DeKalb Schools discovers unexpected surplus of $27M - FOX 13 News

DeKalb Schools discovers unexpected surplus of $27M

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The embattled DeKalb County school system announced on Tuesday that they've discovered what amounts to $27 million in surplus money for the next school year.

DeKalb Schools Superintendent Michael Thurmond said that the surplus money includes $9 million from the current school year.

Thurmond said that the money was found reviewing the books as well as the result of some budget cuts.

"There was some revenue that was really here but not maintained on the official books of the district. We also, it's not just surplus revenue or money that we found, it was also we made some significant cuts," Thurmond said.

Thurmond said that every dollar will go towards academic achievement and making things better in the school.

"What we have to do is demonstrate not just to our accrediting agency but to the citizens of this county that we are serious about managing the money that we have and being good stewards of it," Thurmond said.

Thurmond said that some of the money will go towards eliminating a furlough day, putting more money back into the rainy day fund, which has been depleted.

Some parents said they weren't celebrating yet.

"Until parents can physically see that change happening, it means nothing to us," said Cicely Brown.

Thurmond says he understands why parents have their doubts. In the recent past, news of projected surpluses was followed by news of huge deficits. But this time, he says, the numbers are reliable.

Parents said they have their own ideas about how the money should be spent.

"More teachers, smaller classrooms --that is what we need here. And if they are able to. build more schools," said Nicole Brown.

Thurmond says nearly half of the surplus will be used to fund the rainy day account, since that is empty. He also says the money will be used to for textbooks, student diagnostic needs and band uniform and instrument repairs.

Parents and homeowners will have a chance to voice their concerns about the county's school budget during a meeting to be held at 6 p.m. at the J. David Williamson Board Room, Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex in Stone Mountain.

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