The summer fun is over for thousands of metro Atlanta area students and teachers this morning. Students in Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb and seven other north Georgia counties head back to school today to begin a brand new year.
Barrow, Carroll, Clayton, Griffin-Spalding, Rabun, and Walton County schools are also back in session this morning.
As a new school year begins in DeKalb County, there's a smaller staff and continuing questions about the district's financial issues. Since the last school year ended, district officials revealed they were much further in debt than they feared. They're dealing with roughly an $85 million budget deficit.
In June, school board members voted to approve a millage increase, as well as to increase class sizes, add furlough days for teachers and lay off 200 paraprofessionals. In July, they rejected a plan to cut 370 teaching positions, though some have remained concerned that the system may still eventually have to make some tough decisions.
It's also the first day of school in Fulton County, but it's the first day ever for students at one school. The newly-opened Cambridge High School in Milton will welcome 1,100 students to campus, 100 of whom are seniors.
Dr. Edward Spurka, the school's principal, says he's excited about their state-of-the-art technology and their staff. Some retired teachers from across the county will be on-hand Monday to help get the new year off to a good start.
Cambridge's sports program is already in full swing. According to the school's calendar, the women's softball team has been playing for a few weeks already, and their varsity football team has a scrimmage planned Thursday night vs. Blessed Trinity.
Children in Cobb County enjoyed their last day of summer vacation on Sunday. The county welcomes brand-new Mableton Elementary School students to campus for the first time.
The county has also installed cameras on more than 100 school buses. The cameras are designed to catch drivers who pass school buses while they're stopped to drop off and pick up students. Drivers who are caught on camera could face up to $300 in fines.
FOX 5'S DARRYL CARVER REPORTS ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL IN DEKALB COUNTY, WHILE MARC TEICHNER IS IN COBB COUNTY. CLICK ON THE VIDEO ABOVE TO SEE THEIR FULL STORIES.