City DopeNews

Clarke School Budget Includes Funding for Security

The Clarke County School District will hire additional teachers and security and give employees raises if the school board approves Superintendent Philip Lanoue’s proposed budget.

Officials are anticipating 4 percent growth in the tax base, which, along with the state reinstating some of the recession’s austerity cuts, has given the district a bit of wiggle room. The proposed budget is $137 million, up about 7 percent from last year. The budget includes funding for 3–5 percent raises for the district’s 2,700 employees, as well as money to hire 16 new teachers (mostly in middle schools).

In response to the Cedar Shoals sexual assault controversy, Lanoue wants to hire another police officer to station at each of the high schools as well as three roving security guards, bring UGA doctoral students into elementary schools to help with behavioral challenges and start “transition classes” for K–5 students who need additional help. Lanoue also wants to hire an administrator to develop and implement policy and restructure the human resources department to hire someone focused on employee investigations. Board members said at their Apr. 14 meeting that they like those proposals but would like to find money for more counselors and behavioral specialists as well. Lanoue reminded them that they added a social worker and psychologist two years ago.

The budget also includes funding for an administrator to oversee CCSD’s transition to a charter district and to hire an outside firm to recruit and train the local governance teams that will be in charge of policy at the school level.

Public hearings will be held at 5:30 p.m. May 11 at Alps Road Elementary, May 18 at Gaines Elementary and May 26 at H.T. Edwards. The board will vote to finalize budget June 2.