Cobb school board to consider $890 million budget at meeting
By Rose French – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Cobb County school board members are slated to consider the superintendent’s proposed budget for the next school year at the group’s meeting Thursday evening.
Board members are not expected to offer major changes to the nearly $890 million budget proposed by Superintendent Michael Hinojosa. Some board members have questioned how much in rainy day reserve funds they want to use to fund the budget and how many teachers they would like to hire.
Hinojosa’s recommended budget represents a complete turnaround for Georgia’s second-largest school system, which had previously faced a nearly $79 million budget deficit.
Now school district leaders are presenting a balanced budget, which proposes up to a 1 percent pay raise for school district employees. It also recommends hiring up to 200 teachers to reduce class sizes as well as an end to furlough days. Students would be back to a full-time, 180-day calendar under the proposed budget.
Several factors helped eliminate the deficit:
• The school system is getting about $35 million more in state funding from the governor’s budget, in addition to about $20 million extra in local property tax revenues.
• The district is also spending about $20 million less this year, largely because of a hiring freeze.
• Cobb is also proposing to dip into its rainy day reserve fund nearly $15 million as part of the budget.
School board leaders could be voting on the budget at tonight’s meeting.
By Rose French
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution