• As Atlanta Public Schools begins the process of developing the FY2021 budget proposal, we believe it is important to provide context and narrative to our community that may provide insight into why certain budgetary decisions are made.  It is our hope that this FY2021 Budget Primer will serve that purpose.  Within this document, we will provide a brief overview of our current budget.  In doing so, we walk through the factors as we currently know them to be, that will impact both our revenue and expenditures assumptions against the backdrop of all the great work that is happening through these resources across the District.

    Within this document, we will review the state, federal, and local economic context that impacts our budgeted revenue projections.  We will also highlight where APS is doing more to maximize these funding sources, or at the very least minimize our losses, due to tax allocation districts (TADs), abatements, and other legislation.  Even with our interventions, we project very modest revenue growth that will mostly be offset by ever-increasing mandatory costs.

    The largest increases in the APS budget continue to be in the areas of salary and benefits.  We will also discuss the governor’s continued drive for teacher raises and the potential impacts of that proposal on our budget and the employees of APS.  Our charter and partner schools continue to support a greater percentage of our total student population, which means continued scaling down of our central office administrative budgets.  Other large investments were made through our Student Success Funding (SSF) model to increase the school allocations and also to allow Principals and GoTeams more access to dollars previously budgeted within the central office, increasing site-based autonomy and flexibility. 

    The FY2021 budget primer does not just discuss the dollar and cents.  It also outlines the District's strategic plan, guiding principles for revenue and expenditures, budget parameters for FY2021, and other resource strategies that better align dollars to actual needs.  This document highlights the flexibilities and autonomies available through the charter system strategy, including our innovative funding model, consolidation of funds, and turnaround investments.  

    Finally, this primer provides a timeline presenting a step-by-step process for the development of the FY2021 budget so the community can stay aware and involved as we learn more about potential revenue impacts, solidify expenditure recommendations, and begin the inevitable conversations around closing any potential funding gap.  We still anticipate some tough conversations around priorities, trade-offs, and reallocations of funds especially as we work in support of the new 2020-2025 Strategic Plan and Board Policy BBBB, the District commits to work aggressively toward equity in the allocation of resources.

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