But his proposal to spend $4 million in reserve funds to hire teachers and staff to accommodate any reductions didn't gain much traction at Wednesday's board work session.
Banks, who voted in June against a waiver that would allow the Cobb County School District to exceed maximum classroom size, said he made the proposal to give Superintendent Michael Hinojosa flexibility to hire additional staff and teachers.
"You don't have to spend it, but it gives you the option of spending it," said Banks, a Northeast Cobb Republican, "and without having to come to the board" to address class size issues on a case-by-case basis.
But Hinojosa said that while "I would love to have the $4 million, it would be prudent to wait and see."
That's because, he said, Cobb school enrollment is down by about a thousand from the start of the 2013-14 school year. The district has an enrollment of around 107,000 students, the second-largest in Georgia behind Gwinnett.
The allotted classroom sizes for the new school year in Cobb include a student-teacher ratio as follows:
- 24-1 in kindergarten with a paraprofessional;
- 25-1 in 1st through 3rd grades;
- 32-1 in 4th and 5th grades;
- 33-1 in middle school;
- 35-1 in high school.
In its fiscal year 2014 budget, the Cobb school board built in the loss of 182 teaching positions through attrition.
This time a year ago, enrollment jumped unexpectedly by around a thousand students, prompting the board to spend $2.2 million to hire 30 new teachers.
Banks was able to get his colleagues to place the item on next week's discussion agenda at the board's business meeting, but it might end there.
"There's not a lot of enthusiasm for this," admitted board chairman Randy Scamihorn.