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 https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/index.aspx?S=4054.

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.