Also during its seven-hour Wednesday work session, the board approved hiring Amy Krause, the district’s current assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and assessment, to replace Chief Academic Officer Judi Jones, along with other elementary school principal appointments.
The board decided 5-1, with vice chair David Morgan opposing and Tim Stultz absent, to send just one priority to Cobb’s legislators on Nov. 26.
“I move that we recommend to the Cobb Delegation a commitment to impose no austerity cuts for the next fiscal year,” said Lynnda Eagle, who represents northeast Cobb.
Eagle said she wanted to give legislators just one thing to consider after back-to-back years of presenting the same set of priorities.
“One single commitment could help this district get through their budget,” she said.
Last school year, the district got $72 million less than it was entitled to based on student enrollment.
“I absolutely and totally agree with Mrs. Eagle,” said Kathleen Angelucci, who represents north Cobb. “We have to start looking out for ourselves. We need to ask for a commitment … then the ball is in their court.”
West-central Cobb’s Alison Bartlett said the district should also inform parents, staff and community members of what they will be asking of the delegation.
“While we’re hitting all the different business communities, getting them to support it, we should hit our parents, we should hit the voters because they need to understand that we are not getting fully funded,” Bartlett said. “I have seen state legislators say we are fully funded, and the answer is, no we’re not because on average since 2003, we’re $60-$70 million a year in austerity cuts.”
However, not everyone was on board with Eagle’s request: Morgan said he would rather work with the delegation on what they can actually do because he didn’t believe the single request would be realistic.
Morgan suggested the district ask for more “flexibility” to waive state-mandated education reforms, but his motion was voted down in a 3-3 tie.
Other proposed priorities included legislators looking into funding educational mandates coming down from the state, career pathways and dual enrollment, and maintaining employee benefits.
In other business, the board unanimously approved hiring Krause to replace Jones as of Dec. 1 and appointed Susan Stanton to be LaBelle Elementary’s new principal and Susan Hallmark as Addison Elementary’s new principal.
Jones announced her retirement from Cobb Schools after 38 years of service two weeks ago.
Krause’s career in education began in 1984 as a teacher at an elementary school in Alabama. She began teaching in Georgia in 1994 as a “Learner Support Strategist” at Bryant Elementary in Mableton and moved her way up, eventually being named Cobb’s director of K-12 curriculum and instruction in 2008.
She left Cobb between 2010 and 2012 to serve as assistant superintendent of curriculum and support in Fulton County Schools in Atlanta but returned last January to her current position in Cobb Schools.
In her new position, Krause’s salary will go from $114,000 annually to $130,000.
At LaBelle, Stanton will take her new position Dec. 1. She is currently an assistant principal at Teasley in Smyrna, where she’s been since 2011.
Stanton’s educational career began in 1987 as a teacher at Sky View Elementary in Mableton and has remained in Cobb ever since. Her salary will go from $79,664 a year to $96,857.
Hallmark has been an assistant principal at Still Elementary in Powder Springs since 2010 and will be Addison Elementary’s new principal starting Dec. 1.
Hallmark joined the Cobb County School District in 1996 as a teacher at Vaughan Elementary in Powder Springs and worked her way up to an administrator. She has been an educator since 1981.
Her salary will go from $75,424 annually to $92,006.