Gwinnett County School board approves preliminary budget - CBS46 News

Gwinnett County School board approves preliminary budget

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For the last few years Ashley Palomino has seen her class sizes grow steadily larger.

"There's about maybe 25 - 30 students in a class," Palomino said.

Palomino, an 11th grader at Shiloh High School in Melville, said that many students can be a few too many.

"Some classes are bigger. That could be a distraction in the classroom," Palomino said.

Economic tough times left Gwinnett County schools with gaping budget holes of tens of millions a few years ago, forcing the district to furlough and layoff teachers, which is why Palomino is glad Gwinnett County schools plan to hire more teachers next year.

"Smaller class sizes, more teachers, sounds better to me," Palomino said.

The Gwinnett County school board on Tuesday evening approved its preliminary $1.9-billion budget, the highest it has been since 2006.

The budget includes money for 850 new teachers and nine new resource officers.

Mark Palomino, Ashley Palomino's father, said the increases would improve his daughter's education. 

"Hiring more teachers will make the class sizes a little smaller, so that's excellent for the students," Mark Palomino said.

The district also would give employees wage increases averaging nearly 3.9 percent.

Spokeswoman, Sloan Roach, said the district found the additional money by carefully managing its budgets during the recession, increased property-tax collection and more funding from the state.

"It's some additional money we can use here locally," Roach said.

The district will hold two more meetings on the budget and vote on the final budget on May 15.

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