Board Approves Reduction In Force; Receives Survey Results
At its April 22, 2010 meeting, the Cobb County Board of Education approved a series of initial steps to help the school district address a projected $137 million budget deficit for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2010. The deficit is due to reductions in state funding and local property tax collections – the two main sources of school district revenue. The school district and Board of Education have announced previously that due to the unprecedented scope of the deficit, the District will have no choice but to expand to the maximum class sizes allowed by the state at each grade level.
Expanding to maximum class sizes will result in a reduction in teaching positions. The Board approved an agenda item that authorizes administration to begin a Reduction in Force (RIF) that will impact 579 teaching positions, 68 central office and support positions, 34 graduation coach positions, 21 school counselor positions and 31 alternative education staff positions. The RIF will offset approximately $58.6 million of the projected $137 million shortfall.
Prior to the meeting, the Board held a called budget meeting to discuss additional solutions to address the budget shortfall, and learn the results of a community-wide online survey that gauged public opinion of school district budget priorities. The Stakeholder Budget Survey received 23,889 responses and more than 10,000 comments and suggestions. The survey results and comments submitted are available on the District Web site. The data and comments from the survey will be used to gauge support for additional budget reduction considerations.
The Board approved changes to the Districts Reduction in Force policy during its April 14 work session, shifting the criteria to a performance-based model. Personnel who receive an unsatisfactory annual evaluation will be considered first for RIF, along with documented performance concerns and seniority as other factors.
Additional budget reductions will be recommended in the coming weeks, and the Board will approve the final FY2011 budget on June 9, 2010.
The good news story of SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) continues for Cobb County taxpayers. The following agenda items approved by the Board of Education are SPLOST-related and/or involve the use of SPLOST funds. In April 2010, the School Board:
• Awarded contracts for HVAC replacement at Mabry Middle to Triad Construction of Atlanta at a cost of $1,918,000; and for Murdock Elementary to YLH Construction of Atlanta at a cost of $1,330,000.
• Awarded contracts for maintenance and renovations for Green Acres Elementary to T.A. Millsap Construction at a cost of $848,426; for Floyd Middle to Shirah Contracting at a cost of $556,700; and for Cooper Middle to Atlantic South Construction at a cost of $624,700.
• Awarded contracts to Blount Construction of Marietta for asphault repaving at Mt. Bethel Elementary and Lost Mountain Middle, at a cost of $715,300.
• Awarded contracts for replacement of HVAC and fire suppression systems at Norton Park Elementary to JM Williams Construction at a cost of $762,186; for Campbell High to E. Escher, Inc. at a cost of $1,019,000; for Lost Mountain Middle to E. Escher, Inc. at a cost of $368,500; and for East Cobb Middle to John F. Pennebaker, Co. at a cost of $634,100.
• Awarded a contract to Nix Fowler Construction for additions/renovations and construction of a 9th grade center at South Cobb High, at a cost of $17,728,000.
• Awarded a contract to Blount Construction of Marietta for parking lot modifications at Teasley and Powder Springs elementary schools, at a cost of $754,429.74.
• Awarded contracts for maintenance and renovations for Chalker Elementary to Beatty Construction at a cost of $455,300; for Durham Middle to Shirah Contracting at a cost of $595,260; and for Frey Elementary to Caspian Construction at a cost of $558,000.
• Awarded a contract to Blount Construction of Marietta for asphault repaving at the Mars Hill bus shop and the Pitts (south Cobb) Transportation center, at a cost of $639,500.
• Approved adoption of the 9-12 English Language Arts, 6-12 Foreign Language and K-12 ESOL instructional resources, at a cost of $3,603,853.86.
These projects were part of the SPLOST III program approved by Cobb County voters in 2008. To view the agenda items for the projects, please click here. To view the SPLOST III referendum approved Sept. 16, 2008, please click here.