Cobb County school board mulls budget
by Lindsay Field
February 12, 2013 01:17 AM | 4735 views | 11 11 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
While Cobb County school board members aren’t ready to say how they plan to fix a looming $79.5 million budget deficit, some tentative solutions may soon be placed on the table for debate.

“We hope to begin suggesting tentative solutions for the board later in March as we are still gathering information regarding the current State of Georgia Legislative session,” said Brad Johnson, the district’s chief financial officer.

He said the budget calendar he will present to the board Wednesday will detail dates for major budget tasks during the next four months.

“The goal is to move through the calendar and arrive at a balanced budget,” he said. “Our tentative budget approval date is May 2013.”

The state requires public school boards to approve annual budgets by June 30 of each year.

Johnson will also present the quarterly financial report, board-approved expenditures and talk about how Cobb Schools continues to spend the least amount of money compared to other metro Atlanta districts on administrative and support costs and is among the highest on spending for classroom instruction.

The board will talk at the Wednesday work session about whether to approve the following items at its Feb. 28 regular meeting:

* A $3.04 million contract with Merit Construction Co. of Atlanta to renovate Baker Elementary School in Acworth.

The project is 41 percent, or $883,507, over budget, will be paid for with SPLOST III funds and should be completed by July 26.

Chris Ragsdale, Cobb’s deputy superintendent of operations, said there is $4.6 million in the SPLOST contingency fund, which will fund the overage.

* A $900,000 contract with Kratos Defense and Security Solutions Inc. of San Diego, Calif., to extend a contract to install the buzz-in system for all elementary and middle school and any additional badge entry systems over the next 12 months.

The contract will run between April 1 and March 31, 2014, and be funded by SPLOST III.

* A $734,280 contract with Diversified Construction of Georgia in Decatur to renovate Argyle Elementary School in Smyrna.

The project is 96 percent, or $359,720, over budget, will be paid for with SPLOST III funds and should be completed by Sept. 6.

* A $540,400 contract with Edupoint Educational Systems LLC of Irvine, Calif., to the K-12 software licensing for Synergy Gradebook and Synergy Toolkit to help with student scheduled.

The Request For Proposal (RFP) will be paid for with SPLOST III funding beginning March 1. The software licensing will cost $264,000 and the installation, implementation and training is estimated to cost $250,000.

* A $504,965 contract with Bon Building Services of Conyers to renovate Nicholson Elementary School in Marietta.

The project is 18 percent, or $107,355, under budget, will be paid for with SPLOST III funds and should be completed by July 19.

* A $443,800 contract with Classic Plains Construction LLC of Marietta to renovate Harmony Leland Elementary School in Mableton.

The project is 44 percent, or $137,278, over budget, will be paid for with SPLOST III funds and should be completed by July 19.

* A $200,331 contract with Wade Ford Inc. of Smyrna to purchase seven 2013 Ford Escape SEs for the Cobb transportation department and two for the SPLOST program management.

The cars, which are replacing 13-plus-year-old cars with an average of 90,000 miles on each, will be paid for out of SPLOST III and purchased between March 1 and Feb. 28, 2014.

* A $220,000 contract with one of seven vendors that submitted a bid and qualified for the RFP for occupational therapy services for the district.

It will be funded by Medicaid contract services.

The work session is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. with public comments in the Cobb School board room, 514 Glover St., in Marietta.
Comments
(11)
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Circus Clowns
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February 15, 2013
What if we vote no to Ed-SPLOST until these clowns figure out how to manage budgets?
Wrong focus...
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February 15, 2013
Cobb Board of Education has had to address major budget deficits the last few years. What if the time and energy they put into changing the calendar two years ago had been put into solving the budget issues? Four years ago, the BOE spent a lot of time and energy changing from a traditional to a balanced calendar, and then two years ago this new board spent a lot more time changing back. Please focus on what really matters: 1. Educating our children (Georgia is ranked #47 or #48 in the nation) and 2. Managing the budget...
Allen Brock
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February 13, 2013
Does anyone else have a problem with the fact that a number of these prpejcts are coming in a lot over budget? 41% 44% 96%!! Something is wrong somewhere.
anonymous
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February 13, 2013
They will blame the previous SPLOST person, just as Obama keeps blaming Bush for everything. And tehy keep pulling moiney from the SPLOST III reserve funds. How long will that hold out or are we not being told the right amount is out there?
No solutions
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February 12, 2013
The only solutions I have heard from the central office is putting high school kids to online learning. Really? We have a huge drop out rate and you are going to expect students to teach themselves? Why hasn't the school board looked into closing the whole system for 3 weeks during the summer? How about going out of the box and changing to 4 8 hour days and having Friday, Saturday and Sunday off? Many school districts did this to cut down on utilities. How about starting in September to cut down on utilities? Bus advertising? That would raise a lot of money for transportation. Transportation is a huge chunk of the budget. Whether people like it or not, the senior exemption needs to change to age 65 and go to 50% instead of 100% exemption. In addition, max out the millage rate! The board cannot continue to make our children suffer or the teachers. Sitting at 30 in a classroom is ridiculous!
Pay Up Seniors
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February 12, 2013
I know where they can get the funding and should get it! Seniors benefit from good school systems as well.
westc
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February 12, 2013
To: Just Sayin' I am single and soon to be senior citizen of Cobb County. I am a CCSD school employee and will be retiring soon. My retirement check will be less than $600 a month. My health insurance will be deducted from the $600 a month. I have paid property taxes since I purchased my first home at 19 years old. I worked over 30 years full time and years in between part time. Do I lose my home because I can't pay school taxes? Have a little empathy Just Sayin'. Let senior citizens keep the senior exemption. Most can not afford to pay full taxes after retirement.
Just Sayin'....
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February 12, 2013
Look for cuts to instructional time and teacher salaries via more furlough days, while NO cuts will happen on Glover Street.
anonymous
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February 12, 2013
I see folks driving newer Ford Escapes and pick ups now that look fine. Why do they need new ones?
complainer
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February 12, 2013
Yup, and it only equates to $28,619 per SUV!
ASH.
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February 12, 2013
Instead of implementing a knee jerk reaction by installing a buzz in system at almost 1 million dollars why not develop a comprehensive plan?

In addition, why do you need a new scheduling software? seems like the old one is working just fine. Being a parent these items are really easy to see, I bet you there a large number of other places cuts can be made.
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