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Final Cobb Budget to Tweak Calendar

The Cobb County Board of Education will set the 2012-13 calendar after choosing three or five furlough days at its meeting tonight.

The Cobb County Board of Education will take up the budget, the next SPLOST and Teach for America at its regular meeting tonight.

Aside from a , the biggest issue on the agenda is final passage of the $841.9 million fiscal 2013 budget, which runs from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013. Once the board approves a budget, it will have to agree on a school calendar to implement the furlough says.

The from Chief Financial Officer Mike Addison and Superintendent Michael Hinojosa has not changed: five furlough days for all full-time employees; 175 school days; an increase of two students in the average class size; a decrease of 350 teachers across the system, most if not all by attritition; a half-year delay in step pay increases for teachers and other eligible employees; a reduction in hours for library paraprofessionals to 60 percent time; and the use of $21.2 million in reserve funds.

The will use $20.3 million in to buy down the millage rate so county residents won’t see a tax increase.

What do you hope will happen with the school budget?

Alternatives discussed at the and likely to be proposed tonight are a , an increase to 177 school days and a return to full-time status for library parapros at elementary schools.

Those three items combined would cost $7.1 million, with the money coming from the district’s reserves.

The school district has almost $100 million in reserve now; adopting a budget with all three changes would leave about $71 million, roughly one month’s expenses, Addison said at the work session.

The school board will have to adopt a calendar for next school year after passing a budget.

Action on the budget will come after the school board votes to take the next step toward SPLOST IV and before a vote allowing Hinojosa to move ahead with bringing Teach for America to South Cobb in the 2013-14 school year.

The administration judged Education Planners of Marietta the best of four bidders to prepare a list of projects for the school district’s next Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax and oversee the process leading up to a referendum next March.

The proposed contract for the board’s approval totals $75,000. The contract runs from Friday through April 30.

is the final action item on the Board of Education’s agenda.

If the board votes yes, Hinojosa will have authorization to try to raise $200,000 or so to cover the training expenses of as many as 25 Teach for America teachers to work in South Cobb starting in 2013-14.

The conditions on the program include:

  • No costs hit the general fund beyond the standard salary and benefits costs for any entry-level teacher.
  • TFA teachers could not replace current teachers.
  • School principals would have to approve the hiring of TFA teachers.

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. at the district’s Central Office, 514 Glover St., Marietta. You can watch the meeting streaming live on Northeast Cobb Patch.

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