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Cobb School Budget Vote on Tap

A preliminary vote to address a projected $62 million deficit headlines Thursday's school board agenda.

The first major step in what figures to be some painful budget-cutting decisions by the Cobb Board of Education begins tonight. 

The school board is slated to vote on a tentative fiscal 2013 budget that includes a recommendation to shrink the teaching staff by hundreds of positions to help eliminate a projected $62 million deficit. 

Mike Addison, the 's chief financial officer, is suggesting that cutting 350 teaching jobs by attrition, imposing five furlough days, increasing class sizes, and other measures, including using $21 million in reserve funds, be undertaken to balance the budget. 

But school board member David Banks, in East Cobb Patch and Northeast Cobb Patch, questioned most of the proposed cuts. 

Banks, who represents the , and districts, said that $50 million in reserve funds should be used to trim the deficit. 

School board Chairman Scott Sweeney of East Cobb, who represents the and districts, pointed out this month that the school system if the state was fully funding the Quality Basic Education formula. 

The final budget is scheduled to be approved May 17. 

JoEllen Smith April 26, 2012 at 04:23 PM
I think everyone should be aware that Cobb sends away $134 million per year in education funds to other counties! We are considered a "rich" county by state standards because our property taxes are averaged. The high end property taxes weight things upwards. However, we nearly always self-tax our citizens towards the highest end of the millage rate (20%) due to our commitment to education. So our homeowners are making it up in higher millage rate. Meanwhile many, many of the other counties who receive the Cobb money, have county millage rates that are drastically lower. The complex QBE laws only state that local counties have to have only a 5% millage rate to receive QBE funds! There was legislation this year to raise that % but I think we should focus on eliminating this entire "Equalization" grant business. $134 million per year?! While we pay close to 18, 19 mills? This would more than cover our $62 million deficit and save hundreds of teachers from being fired and stop class sizes from being raised. I don't think many people in Cobb consider themselves "rich" or have extensive disposable income especially in this economy. I pledge to focus on this if elected. www.JoellenSmith.com
Mit April 26, 2012 at 10:54 PM
So what is your proposed solution to ensure adequate funding in the rest of Georgia?

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