School district to lay off 148 district employees following $88M deficit
Teachers spared from cuts
The DeKalb County School System will lay off 148 employees to manage a ballooning $88 million budget deficit for next year, Superintendent Crawford Lewis said Feb. 24.
The layoffs will not include teachers and will be focused primarily on the central office, which employs more than 900 people, Lewis said. The cuts will save the district an estimated $10.7 million, the superintendent said, as the district searches for more options to meet a deficit that will likely grow over the next year.
Lewis said he will cut his cabinet of 24 administrators in half, retaining only the most critical positions while forcing remaining administrators to reapply for their jobs. The district will also consider outside candidates.
“An $88 million deficit compels you to make sure every position is a position that stands on its own,” Lewis said.
District officials had been working on a budget deficit of more than $50 million last month, but after county officials revealed that the valuation of the county’s tax digest was inaccurate, district officials were told to expect an additional $30-plus million shortfall.
Lewis plans to meet with the school board Feb. 26 to consider additional cutbacks and implied that he may give back the controversial $15,000 raise he negotiated into his contract last month that led to widespread frustration among teachers and taxpayers.