By Maggie Lee

DeKalb County school officials say they should be able to get through the 2011-2012 school year without furloughs, under a $1.16 billion budget presented to the school board.

“Thank you so much for this budget and for restoring furlough days,” said Eugene Walker, an at-large member of the school board, at its April 18 meeting.

Only a few details have been made public. They are listed in a small document called budget “improvements.” Eliminating the furloughs will cost $30 million. Higher health insurance rates cost $5 million and legal bills $2.5 million. Some $1 million will be channeled toward AP exam fees, band and orchestra.

The budget for this year, ending in June 2011, totals some $1.2 billion.

“We’re in a better situation than any other metro [school] system,” said board member Donald McChesney, who’s already been able to study the 600-plus-page document.

The draft budget is open for public comment at two public meetings scheduled for this month The next meeting begins at 6 p.m. Aprill 27 at school board headquarters, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain.

A school board vote on the budget is scheduled for May 9.

The full budget proposal should be available online at

Turner Construction Co. beat nine other bidders to be the general contractor for the replacement school at Chamblee High School with a bid of $845,000. The total cost of the new school is expected to reach about $52 million. According to bid documents, students should be in the new school by August 2013.