Those are among the sentiments of parents, teachers and taxpayers in DeKalb County who learned in recent days just how financially damaged their school system is.
While hard times have hit most school systems in metro Atlanta, none has been hit quite as hard as DeKalb. Most districts could turn to cash reserves to cushion the blow of declining tax revenues and increasing costs. In DeKalb though, officials expect to finish this fiscal year in debt. The dire situation and the resulting deep cuts have left many feeling that mismanagement, is to blame.
"It's ridiculous how much money does not make it into the classroom," said Bill Armstrong, a parent at a public Montessori school who expects to see teachers eliminated as part of the cuts.
Armstrong was among the lucky dozens who got a chance to speak Wednesday night at the DeKalb County School District's second and final public hearing on the fiscal 2013 budget. Such hearings are usually quiet affairs that attract some staffers and a few gadflies, but this one drew a spillover crowd of over 200.