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School system facing larger deficit than anticipated
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IN BRIEF: Rockdale County Public Schools reported it is facing a much larger than anticipated budget deficit of about $20 million after receiving preliminary estimates from the county Tax Assessor that the digest, or total value of taxable property, dropped by nearly 20 percent, rather than 4 to 9 percent as in recent years. 

Initially the school system thought it would need to find about $14.4 million in cuts to balance the budget for the 2013-2014 school year, but received information on Monday that amount would likely be much higher, said Chief Financial Officer Lee Davis at the Thursday evening school board finance committee meeting.

Even it were to take options as drastic as cutting the student school year calendar to 160 days and eliminating programs such as the Alpha school, Open Campus, and the Early Learning Center, RCPS would still be facing a deficit. Taking the rollback milage rate, or the property tax rate that would bring in the same amount of revenue as last year, would bring the school system nearly to its ceiling of 30 mils.

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