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Rockdale school board to hold next budget hearing Thursday

CONYERS — The Rockdale County Board of Education is scheduled to hold its next budget hearing this week before it approves a final budget for next school year.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the board room at the Rockdale County Public Schools administrative office complex, which is located at 954 North Main St. in Conyers.

In May, the school board approved with a 6-0 vote one of two budget options presented for the 2011-12 school year. School board member Darlene Hotchkiss was absent from the meeting.

The option approved allows RCPS to continue with its custodial services with a modified delivery model, instead of outsourcing the program as originally proposed to save $1 million.

The budget will total $125,444,519 and the school board’s reserve fund balance will be reduced by $2.1 million to make up for any shortfalls expected by decreased revenues.

Cuts to this year’s budget include removing three staff days from the calendar to save $1.5 million, suspending the alternative retirement contribution for the third consecutive year to save $3.6 million, deferring textbook purchases for the second consecutive year to save more than $2.7 million, deferring computer and laptop replacements to save more than $1.5 million, increasing class size to eliminate 58 teacher positions to save nearly $3.9 million and eliminating 17 central office positions to save nearly $1 million.

Thursday’s public hearing will be followed by the board’s monthly work session, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the same location. The board is expected to approve a final budget at the work session.

The board is scheduled to approve a millage rate in July or August, according to its budget calendar.