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GCPS Approves $1.7 Billion Budget

The Gwinnett County school board made it official Thursday. Teachers will not receive raises and there will be two furlough days.

The Gwinnett school board formally adopted its fiscal year 2013 budget on Thursday, after holding a second public hearing. The events took place at the May board meeting at the .

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The spending blueprint totals $1.7 billion, virtually unchanged from the current fiscal year. However, the operating budget is down 4.8 percent, largely because of expenses to handle continued growth, and also from the declining tax digest in Gwinnett County, which affects property tax revenue. Also, no federal stimulus funds were available for FY 2013.

The state's largest school system (163,000 for 2013) had to overcome an $89 million revenue shortfall to balance the budget. No contracted personnel were let go, but there will be no pay raises and two furlough days. Some non-contract personnel were let go, and some vacant jobs at the Instructional Support Center were eliminated.

It's the fourth straight year that GCPS teachers have not had raises.

Board members have voiced concern that the continuing cuts to education spending could have a negative effect on student learning.

"We've got to prepare our kids for the next generation," Board Chairman Radloff told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "and it's critical that we be able to do so with adequate funding."

The new fiscal year begins July 1.

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