Sunday, May 19, 2013
The $856.3 million budget approved Thursday includes 5 furlough days and 182 teacher cuts through attrition.
The Cobb County Board of Education on Thursday approved a fiscal year 2014 budget that includes five furlough days for teachers and staff, a reduction of 182 teaching positions through attrition, a half-year step increase for employees and taking $41 million from reserves to reach a balance. After the board voted down three other budget proposals -- including an amended version of the tentative budget with a full-year step increase for Cobb County School District employees -- it went back to something it could pass. The $856.3 million budget, which takes effect July 1, is similar to the package that the board tentatively approved on April 29 and that closes a deficit of $86.4 million. Voting in favor the budget were board chairman Randy …
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
"You're going to destroy the county if you don't fix the problem," educators told school board members Wednesday.
Only a small handful of people turned out for a public hearing on the proposed Cobb County School District fiscal year 2014 budget Tuesday. But they packed a raw, emotional punch. Several teachers and coaches at Walton High School were especially vocal about budget proposals that they said would increase morale problems and stress levels that have been building up for several years. Among the proposals included in a tentatively adopted budget (see green column in attached PDF) include 182 teacher position cuts through attrition, a mid-year cost-of-living increase, higher insurance costs for teachers, larger classroom sizes and five furlough days. Those components are part of a budget plan that addresses an estimated deficit of $86.4 …
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The public is invited to comment on the tentative fiscal year 2014 budget.
The Cobb County Board of Education will hold a public hearing Tuesday on the proposed fiscal year 2-14 budget. The hearing takes place at 7 p.m. in the board room of the Cobb County School District central office, 514 Glover Street, Marietta. A salary hearing will precede the hearing at 6:30 p.m. A public hearing is required before the board formally votes to adopt the budget. On April 29 the board tentatively adopted a budget (see attached PDF) that includes numerous spending cuts, staff and teacher reductions, borrowing reserve funds and furloughs to eliminate an $86.4 million deficit. The school district also has prepared a page on its website with more detailed budget information, including a place for members of the Cobb public …
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Tentative approval of the fiscal year 2014 budget has been pushed back to next Monday.
Members of the Cobb Board of Education remain far apart on how to close a significant budget deficit and have delayed an initial vote on a fiscal year 2014 spending plan for the Cobb County School District. At the end of a nearly four-hour work session on Monday, the board agreed, in a 5-2 vote, to conduct another budget meeting next Monday, April 29, at 1 p.m. The board was to slated adopt a tentative budget Thursday, an action that meets a legal requirement to advertise a public hearing. That hearing, scheduled for May 14, must be publicly advertised 14 days in advance. Next Monday's work session is 15 days ahead of the hearing. The board has scheduled May 16 for final budget approval. But Monday's work session further revealed sharp …
Monday, April 22, 2013
The Board of Education continues its discussions at a 2 p.m. special meeting.
After getting a newly revised set of options for balancing the fiscal year 2014 budget last week, the Cobb County Board of Education will hold a special budget meeting on Monday. The meeting takes place at 2 p.m. in the board room of the Cobb County School District Central Office, 514 Glover Street, Marietta. Last Wednesday, the board received requested changes in the budget proposal that would restore some proposed teacher reductions through attrition, provide a mid-year cost-of-living increase for district employees and carry over $10 million in fiscal year 2013 leftover funding to reach an $838 million balance. The proposal still calls for five furlough days for all district employees and using $22 million in district reserves. The …
Thursday, April 18, 2013
But school board members remain divided over how to balance the numbers for fiscal year 2014.
Cobb County School District officials presented a fresh set of options for balancing the fiscal year 2014 budget on Wednesday, but school board members rehashed familiar arguments for addressing a projected deficit of $86.4 million. In a lengthy work session on Wednesday, chief financial officer Brad Johnson offered a new proposal that gets to an $838 million balance by ditching several suggested cuts board members didn't like. Reductions in magnet school transportation and outsourcing custodial services have been placed below "a line" of 18 specific revenue and expense items that achieve a balance. But that didn't satisfy some board members worried over increased class sizes, steep teaching reductions through attrition and other cuts they…
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Details of suggested cuts to close an $86.4 million budget deficit weren't received well at a work session Wednesday.
Thursday, April 4
Getting used to what's being called "the new normal" isn't going to be easy for the Cobb Board of Education. After absorbing more details of a proposed fiscal year 2014 budget that recommends deep cuts in several key areas, school board members on Wednesday demanded more options as they try to solve a projected $86.4 million deficit. That's because many of the suggestions provided by Cobb County School District officials were hardly to their liking. During a long and at times heated work session, school board members told Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and the district's chief financial officer, Brad Johnson, that they weren't happy with a 13-point list of proposed cuts and changes to achieve a balanced budget. "This board needs to be …
Friday, March 1, 2013
The Cobb school superintendent's contract was due to expire on June 30.
With no discussion, the Cobb Board of Education voted Thursday night to extend the contract of Superintendent Michael Hinojosa through the end of calendar year 2014. By a 5-2 vote, the board approved an extension -- which is not a renewal -- for Hinojosa, whose initial two-year contract was to have ended on June 30 of this year. Board member Kathleen Angelucci tried inserting an amendment to delay the decision pending the results of surveys from staff, teachers and parents, but her motion gained the support of only one other colleague, David Banks. They voted against the extension, with board chairman Randy Scamihorn, vice chairman Brad Wheeler and members Scott Sweeney, David Morgan and Tim Stultz voting in favor. "I'm excited about it," …
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The school board also is expected to vote on a contract extension for Superintendent Michael Hinojosa Thursday.
Wednesday, February 27
The extension of an existing contract to install "buzz-in" security systems at elementary schools is on the Cobb Board of Education agenda Thursday. The board will hold its monthly business meeting at 7 p.m. at the Cobb County School District central office, 514 Glover Street, Marietta. A public comment session will be held at the start of the meeting. Earlier this month the board heard at its work session about the proposed $900,000 extension with Kratos Defense and Security, a sole source provider. The money would come from surplus SPLOST III funds and the contract period begin on April 1 and conclude on March 31, 2014. Similar security installation work began in the Cobb school system during the SPLOST II period. Thursday's meeting will…
Thursday, February 14, 2013
The process begins in earnest in March, with mid-May approval expected.
The Cobb County School District's reputation for holding the line on administrative costs is being touted as the Cobb Board of Education prepares to dig into the fiscal year 2014 budget process. Brad Johnson, the district's chief financial officer, reminded board members during a work session on Wednesday that Cobb's full-time equivalency (per student) expenditure of $7,553 per year is the lowest of any major school system in the metro Atlanta area. Cobb's FTE general admistration cost of $83 -- compared to $1,342 in Atlanta Public Schools -- also is lower than DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett. "These are really good numbers that we really need to advertise," Johnson said in his budget briefing, which also included a specific schedule for the …