On Thursday, May 15, 2014, the Cobb County Board of Education will convene for the FY2015 Budget Public Forum at 7 p.m. in the Board Room, located at 514 Glover Street in Marietta.
In a unanimous vote at its April 24, 2014 meeting, the Board of Education approved a tentative budget for Fiscal Year 2015 that
will add at least 300 teachers to lower class sizes across the
district, and will provide all district employees a 1 percent pay
The new budget, which goes into effect on July 1, 2014, features a much-improved financial picture from previous years. The "tentative" description means the budget will be advertised and presented to the public for input prior to a final vote on May 23, 2014. The balanced budget anticipates expenditures of $899 million.
The proposal approved Thursday presents a far more positive outlook than in recent years. The proposed pay increase partially restores a 2 percent employee pay cut that occurred in 2010. Additionally, the new budget includes zero furlough days and full step increases for all eligible employees. The additional teachers that will be hired will help reduce class sizes by approximately one student.
"This budget is great news for our school district staff and for our community," said Board Chair Kathleen Angelucci in a news release. "After several years of extreme budget cuts, we are finally able to make positive moves in pay for employees and in reducing class sizes. The budget is a win-win for everyone who supports public education."
The tentative budget includes significant boosts to the district's two main sources of revenue: an additional $20.1 million in state revenue, and $21.3 million in local property tax revenue. The budget also includes more than $13 million in carryover "lapse" funds that were budgeted for FY2014 but were not spent, due to frugal management by district operations. Finally, to balance the budget the school board approved using at least $23.5 million in reserve funds, which still leaves the district with more than $90 million in fund balance.