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School Board to Vote on Calendar Rule

The Cobb County Board of Education also will consider paving a bus parking lot and using most of the SPLOST reserve fund at tonight's meeting.

The Cobb County Board of Education is expected to vote tonight on an administration-backed that would guarantee at least nine months’ notice for calendar changes.

The new rule would create a 29-member committee of community members and district employees that would recommend at least two calendar options to the school board.

David Banks of East and Northeast Cobb’s Post 5 told Patch he would prefer for the board to receive “one option that I accept or reject.”

“The problem with two is that if one is chosen, the other side has conflict—not only on the board, but in the community,” he said. “So why put that out there?”

As , Banks thinks the calendar rule modification has no real power because newly elected board members in January 2013 could undo the rule and change the school calendar with less than six months’ notice.

Banks would like the calendar committee to be formed this year and wants to vote on new calendars only in odd-number years to guarantee two-year cycles.

Vice Chairman Scott Sweeney of East Cobb’s Post 6 suggested at the Oct. 12 meeting that the board adopt only the 2013-14 calendar in October 2012, then have the next school board adopt a two-year calendar for 2014-15 and 2015-16.

“I hope the superintendent sees the wisdom of doing it this year; otherwise, it will be a contentious issue for the next two years,” Banks said. “Why do you need that? Why don’t we put this issue to bed? Take that public anger out. The constituents out there still want the balanced calendar.

“When , there were 75 percent that wanted it. It created a tremendous amount of anger, and the only way you can get rid of that is to come up with some compromise.”

The board also will vote tonight on whether to award Baldwin Paving of Marietta a $663,892.71 contract to , which houses 230 buses.

Transportation Director Rick Grisham said the lot also needs an additional 50 parking spots, but that would push the accelerated SPLOST III project’s cost to $1,050,899.

Approving the higher cost would leave only $100,000 in the SPLOST contingency fund, which particularly concerned board member Kathleen Angelucci of North Cobb’s Post 4 at the Oct. 12 board meeting.

Doug Shepard, the district’s chief executive for its SPLOST projects, told Patch the district had realized more than $15 million in SPLOST III construction savings this summer, but the board voted to distribute those savings in July and August.

In July, the board allocated $5 million to replace obsolete computer workstations and $400,000 for textbooks. In August, the board took $5 million from the SPLOST undesignated-classroom fund and $8.5 million from the construction savings to pay for the construction project, Shepard said.

He said other small project overages, administratively approved, have reduced the SPLOST fund contingency to about $500,000.

Also up for a vote tonight are the board’s legislative priorities, which focus on unfunded mandates, and the purchase and installation of resilient athletic flooring at 15 elementary and middle schools from SnapSports Southeast for $500,000.

At the beginning of the meeting, the board will recognize the following Georgia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance award recipients:

  • Principal Hilda Wilkins, Advocate of the Year.
  • Stephanie Lawson, Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year.
  • teacher Michael Sawyer, Excellence in Physical Education.

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the at 514 Glover St. in Marietta.

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