What Do You Think About Cobb School Budget?
Now's the time to try to influence the Cobb spending plan for fiscal 2013.
The Cobb County Board of Education's passage of a preliminary $841.9 million budget for fiscal 2013 Thursday was far from the final word on school spending for next year.
The 6-1 vote was largely procedural to meet legal requirements for notifying the public about the plan, but the school board can make changes until it enacts the final plan May 17. You can play a part in the process.
The Cobb County School District has created a website devoted to educating the public about the proposed budget, which runs from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013, and projects an enrollment of 106,591 students.
How would you balance the Cobb school budget? Tell us in the comment space below.
The initial plan closes a projected $62.5 million deficit by increasing class sizes by an average of two students, reducing the number of teachers by 350—preferably by attrition—furloughing employees for five days, cutting the school year to 175 days from 180, making library paraprofessionals part-timers, delaying step raises by half a year, and spending $21 million of reserve funds, among other actions.
Neither school board member for Northeast Cobb showed much enthusiasm for the plan.
Post 5's David Banks cast the lone vote against the budget. He said the budget can be balanced without any furlough days or cuts to teachers by tapping the school system's $100 million reserve fund.
Post 4's Kathleen Angelucci voted for the plan but joined a call for district Chief Financial Officer Mike Addison to present an alternative May 9 that uses only three furlough days and restores parapros in elementary school libraries to full-time statuts.
Those changes would cost more than $7 million: $6.1 million for the two unfurloughed days; $400,000 for transportation for two more school days; and $590,000 for the parapros.
The school board will hear public comments on the budget at 7 p.m. next Monday at the Central Office before discussing changes at a work session two days later at 8:30 a.m.
You also can provide feedback on the budget website, as well as comment in the space below.
The board will approve the final budget at its 7 p.m. meeting May 17.