The DeKalb County High School graduation rate continues to improve.
Jonathan Fontanez, Supervisor of Instruction for grades 7-12, told members of the board of education Thursday night that according to the state, the preliminary graduation rate is 90.6%. "The state has released our preliminary graduation rate and I want to put the emphasis on the term ‘preliminary' as the state is conducting last minute calculations of appeals on our students. The preliminary graduation rate that we have received at this time is 90.6%, which indicates that 90.6% of our students are graduating from high school. That is well above the track that we are mandated by the federal government to be on and compared with other school districts across the state, we are fairing very well additionally. I look for this preliminary graduation rate to actually be adjusted just a bit to the better as a result of some additional appeals that we submitted based on requirements, etc."
The DeKalb County Board of Education reluctantly adopted the 2010-11 budget for schools Thursday night, as approved by the county commission Tuesday night.
Even though the budget includes $10,768 more local money than the board of education had requested, school board members were upset that the county commission had reduced the property tax rate for schools from 49 cents to 48 cents per $100 of assessed value. And since one cent of the tax rate generates $47,023 in local money or $44,320 with a 5.75% delinquency rate figured into the equation, board members say that's how much more the school system would have had this year, had the one cent reduction not been made. That extra money, they say, could have been used to hire another teacher.
For that reason, the school board initially voted 5 to 1 to reject the school budget. Seventh district board member Johnny Lattimore made a motion to pass it and first district member John David Foutch offered a second to the motion. But during the roll call vote, Foutch voted no along with fellow board members W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, Kenny Rhody, Bruce Parsley, and Board Chairman Charles Robinson. Lattimore voted yes and fourth district member Joan Draper was absent.
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Director of Schools Mark Willoughby then asked that the board members to take a recess apparently to explain to them that they had little choice but to adopt the spending plan, since schools can't operate without a budget. After the break, another vote was taken. Lattimore again made the motion to pass the budget and Foutch again offered a second to the motion. This time Foutch voted yes along with Lattimore, Rhody, and Robinson. But Evins and Parsley again voted no. So the budget was adopted 4-2.
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