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Three board members to be sworn in at Decatur School Board meeting

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Three board members to be sworn in at Decatur School Board meeting

Elizabeth Wilson School Support Center, City Schools of Decatur. Photo by Dean Hesse.

This story has been updated. 

Decatur, GA — The City Schools of Decatur School Board will meet on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 6:30 p.m. for a regular meeting. The meeting will be held in person at the Wilson School Support Center, 125 Electric Ave. in Decatur.

The meeting will also be available virtually through Zoom. To attend the meeting via Zoom, click here.

To view the meeting agenda, click here.

During the meeting, Jana Johnson-Davis, Dr. Carmen Sulton and Hans Utz will be sworn in for their first full terms as School Board members. Each board member will also sign an acknowledgement they have received and read the district’s code of ethics.

The School Board will discuss the superintendent’s contract. There was additional information about this item as of Jan. 10. No supporting documents were attached to the agenda. School Board member Tasha White said on Jan. 11 that the agenda item will be amended to a discussion about the upcoming superintendent search. She said the board would not be discussing changes to Superintendent Maggie Fehrman’s contract.

Fehrman was hired to the role in May 2021. Her contract states the term of employment is July, 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

“No contract extensions or amendments will be discussed at tonight’s meeting,” White said.

The School Board will additionally discuss the school district’s budget and calendar. The board began discussing the fiscal year 2022 budget amendment and the 2023 budget priorities in November. CSD’s current fiscal year, 2022, ends on June 30 and fiscal year 2023 begins on July 1. The next budget will need to be approved by July 1.

According to the Fiscal Year 22 budget presentation, CSD budgeted about $83.8 million in the general fund, $10.7 million for the capital fund, $2.7 million for the school nutrition fund and about $6.7 million for the special revenue fund.

Local sources of revenue are the largest source for the district, and property taxes account for a majority of the local revenue. Property taxes generate an average of 52% of CSD’s revenue. The district anticipates collecting about $45.5 million in property tax revenue in the current fiscal year.

If the tentative millage rate for the next fiscal year stays at 21 mills, the digest for current real and personal property is anticipated to increase by about 8% in fiscal year 2023.

The largest expenditure for CSD is goes toward salaries and benefits for staff. This budget item makes up 86% of the district’s expenditures and has increased since 2019. The current expense is about $72.6 million.

“Salary and fringe benefits have increased at a minimum of 11% since 2019,” Chief Financial Officer Lonita Broome said at the Nov. 30 work session. “Some of the factors that have contributed to the increase include staff increases and raises for each year and opening Talley Street in [2019].”

Salaries and benefits also increased in the last fiscal year as the salary scales were adjusted to make City Schools of Decatur more competitive in the metro Atlanta region.

Typically, the largest areas of spending are professional services, supplies and materials, technology supply, software and equipment, repairs and maintenance.

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