Cobb ‘super’ wants to hire 30 teachers
by Lindsay Field
September 11, 2012 12:39 AM | 4856 views | 6 6 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dr. Michael Hinojosa<br>Staff/file
Dr. Michael Hinojosa
MARIETTA — While the Cobb County School Board typically doesn’t vote until their night meetings each month, Cobb Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa said he will be asking the board to approve the addition of 30 new teachers in Cobb during the Wednesday work session to help relieve some of the overcrowding in classrooms.

“Those middle school classes are just so big, and we had a lot more kids than expected,” Hinojosa said. “We need the teachers now, so we’ll ask for approval now.”

In other news, the board will also talk about approving the reduction of one furlough day for educators, but Hinojosa will not be asking for approval of that until the board’s Sept. 27 regular meeting.

Initial enrollment figures for Cobb Schools, which were calculated after the first two weeks of schools, showed that they have 105, 757 students, or about 1,364 more than projected, putting some classes in the district way above their average teacher/student ratio, specifically in 12 of Cobb’s 25 middle schools where some classes have anywhere from 36 to 44 students in a room.

The district will spend about $2.2 million to hire the additional teachers. Hinojosa said Monday that Cobb Schools will use money from the district’s Fund Balance but will get that money back from the state after they turn their enrollment figures in October and again March.

“We’ll get reimbursed most of that because our enrollment is so much higher, but we won’t get it until the end of the (school) year,” he said.

Hinojosa also said the district should have most applications “on hand” to fill these allotted positions but that there may be a few tough areas that may be harder to fill.

“We need to hustle in some areas, but in others we’ll have plenty of applicants,” he said.

Another expense the board will be considering is about $3 million in funds to reduce the number of furlough days approved in the FY13 budget from three to two.

“We have a lot of great staff, and it was a tough budget year but we think we can get the money because we had a significant surplus for (FY12),” Hinojosa said. “In other words, we spent less money than we budgeted. Our teachers and our staff work so hard, we wanted to buy back one furlough day this year.”

Hinojosa said that with the district looking at having about $10 million in surplus, they should be able to easily take $3 million from that to give teachers back a furlough day. The district won’t know for sure until December after the audit is complete how much money will be available.

The proposed furlough days for 2012-13 are Dec. 21; Feb. 15, 2013; and May 30, 2013. Hinojosa anticipates returning the third day to teachers.

The board will also continue their postponed discussion about censuring David Banks, using retired administrators for education tribunals, the superintendent’s evaluation document and using SPLOST funds for Cobb’s charter schools.

The discussion about censuring Banks was delayed at the August work session because board member Kathleen Angelucci said she wanted all board members present and Lynnda Eagle was absent.

Eagle, who requested the board use retired administrators from outside Cobb to participate in tribunals, said at the August night meeting that she only wanted the district to use them when they are unable to get three board members to sit in on the timely hearings.

Vice chair David Morgan has requested the board also discuss Hinojosa’s annual evaluation so that it includes more information on student achievement and the overall success of the district.

Southwest Cobb’s Tim Stultz said he requested the board talk about the use of SPLOST funds with charter schools.

“I do not know if the district has used SPLOST funds for charter schools in the past. Representatives at International Academy of Smyrna communicated that they were interested in participating in the new SPLOST proposal, so the discussion is to determine what needs they and the other charters may have, and to determine what may be included in the notebook,” he said Monday.

Additionally during Hinojosa’s report, the board will hear more about the $25 million Race to the Top grant deadline, get an update on the Strategic Plan and review new information about the SPLOST IV notebook of projects the board is anticipated to vote on sometime in November and December and put before the voters in March 2013.

In other business, the board will talk about approving:

n A $900,000 contract with LMI Systems to purchase and install a security camera and surveillance system. The contract would run between Oct. 1 and Sept. 30, 2013, and be funded by SPLOST III.

n The newly revised Strategic Plan’s format, which includes key strategies, key actions, long and short range targets.

n A board resolution certifying the FY14 State Capital Outlay Project application with which the state would reimburse the district up to $8.3 million for construction projects as they are completed.

n A $237,250 contract for residential placement of a student to receive a Fair and Appropriate Public Education. According to the agenda, the student requires help around the clock.

n A $300,000 contract for nursing services for “medically fragile students.” According to the agenda, the Request for Proposal was originally awarded in June 2010 and the service will provide help for students who exhibit “sporadic” attendance because of their individual health conditions.

This contract will run between Oct. 1 and Sept. 30, 2013.

n A Memorandum of Approval between Cobb County Schools, the Georgia Department of Education and Brumby, Hayes, Riverside Intermediate and Sanders elementary and East Cobb Middle schools, which were identified by the state as “focus schools” last spring.

There is no cost associated with the contract and this will allot each school to “receive additional support from the state through the Metro Regional Educational Service Area as well as the local school district,” according to the agenda.

n A new name for the newly constructed Smyrna Elementary School off Fleming Street in Smyrna. The board will choose between Jonquil Elementary, Marion Worley Mitchell Elementary or Smyrna Elementary. The name selection committee has recommended the board name the school Smyrna Elementary School.

The board meeting, which is open to the public, will begin at 8:30 a.m. with public comments and is held in the school district’s boardroom at 540 Glover St. in Marietta.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Numbers Games
September 11, 2012
Only hiring 30 teachers will probably mean bringing

those classes of 40 to 44 down to 35 to 40. Not

that much value added when we're looking at class

room numbers this high. It is a pity we can't have

a SPLOST for hiring teachers. Have never seen brick and mortar educate a single kid. Have seen some

buildings built at the cost of millions that were

not really needed. Not likely we'll ever have a

super or a board with enough imagination to create

smarter ways to bring in revenue.
Numbers Guy
September 13, 2012
Unfortunately, school systems are bound by law to use only property tax revenue, state funding, and federal grants to pay salaries. There are 10 districts in the state that have 2 SPLOSTs: 1 cent for construction projects and 1 cent for operations. We need everyone to ask the Legislature and Governor to allow for a local referendum to put the other 170 districts on the same level as those 10 (they were allowed to get State Constitutional Amendments passed in the early 80's, but the Legislature put a stop to it before any others could do it).
west Cobb voter
September 11, 2012
The middle school classrooms are horribly overcrowded. The Board should, no must, fund new teaching slots to alleviate the situation. We'll be watching the votes.
don't understand
September 11, 2012
First, why do we have so many new, and apparently, unexpected students? Where do they come from? Are these illegals or what? Then the second question is, how can the County justify hiring new teachers when the money is so tight they are still making teachers take furlough days?
JCB in Cobb
September 11, 2012
Why are they having to hire more teachers (more like re-hire)? Because there are middle school classrooms, in East Cobb, mind you, that are so full another body (adult or child) can not be squeezed in. Very soon, some schools will be holding "Bring Your Parent to School" Day--where the added grown-ups will fit in on-level classes at schools like Simpson is beyond me. My child's classes are terribly overcrowded--as are the classes of her peers--but (not surprisingly) there are "honors" classes with only a handful of students.

Cobb shouldn't have cut teachers at the end of last year. It is time to face facts--we need to raise taxes or readjust or eliminate the senior school tax exemption. Cobb schools will not survive without more money coming in.

That we also need to dump Hinojosa is another issue all together.
September 11, 2012
yes they are illegals... and we as a school district are designated to educate them...welcome to the world...also, we are building brand new schools for them to attend while our kids attend 20 year old schools...we also pay for their school supplies, and give them free lunches while their parents drive SUV's and have the latest technology... we are going downhill in a handbasket quickly... time for America to wake for Romney.
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