“I would prefer to balance the budget with spending cuts alone,” Chief Financial Officer Mike Addison said. “However, this year we realized that we were going to have to go with a hybrid approach: a combination of spending cuts and utilization of $21 million of unassigned fund balance,”
The board will also talk about where Gov. Nathan Deal is with signing the district’s reapportionment map, hear about a proposal to reorganize the SPLOST III project list, consider naming a SPLOST director and submit evaluations of the superintendent.
Addison is recommending the district close the budget gap by cutting 350 staff positions; increasing class sizes by two students and the number of furlough days from two to five; reducing the number of work days from 180 to 175; delaying raises for half a year; eliminating 50 library positions; reducing, and eventually eliminating, funding for Project 2400; and taking $21.5 million from the $99 million in reserves.
The school board will consider approving the tentative budget tomorrow night and the final FY13 budget on May 17.
Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa hopes to cut the 350 positions through attrition, but 75 remain filled: 50 at the elementary level and 25 at the secondary level.
As for the reapportionment map, Board Chair Scott Sweeney said he’s concerned candidates for the school board won’t have enough time to campaign if the map isn’t signed soon.
“It’s important to discuss the current map status now to understand how the process moves ahead relative to candidate qualification and primary elections,” he said. “Some potential school board candidates are in a holding pattern since they do not know if they reside within a certain voting district. This effectively shortens the time they have to muster campaign resources.”
Alison Bartlett, who represents central Cobb, will be running for re-election on July 31. According to the new map, her post will move farther into northwest Cobb.
She said the district hasn’t received any direction from the state or Cobb Board of Elections about what happens if the map doesn’t get signed in time for candidate qualifying on May 23.
According to Bartlett, the governor has 60 days to sign the bill, the school board has 40 days to submit it to the Justice Department and they have 60 days to review and consider approving it. But the school board vote will be take place in less than 97 days from today, and as of Tuesday afternoon, the map still hadn’t been signed by the governor.
Bartlett, Vice Chair David Morgan, Lynnda Eagle and David Banks are up for re-election. All but Eagle have confirmed they are running.
In other business, the district’s Deputy Superintendent of Operations Chris Ragsdale will present a reorganized list of SPLOST III projects so that they can apply for additional capital outlay funds.
“Basically, we’re looking at projects that can be pushed out until the very end of SPLOST III,” he said.
There are approximately 97 individual projects left in SPLOST III, estimated to cost about $56 million. Ragsdale said all of the projects would remain on the reorganized list
Collections for the referendum began on Jan. 1, 2009, and will end Dec. 31, 2013. Ragsdale couldn’t say how much additional funding the district could bring in.
The board will also consider approving Hinojosa’s recommendation to name a SPLOST acting executive director.
Hinojosa was unavailable for comment Tuesday, but Ragsdale said the district would probably not identify the candidate until after the vote.
The executive director would help Ragsdale manage the remaining projects in SPLOST III, a duty formerly handled by Doug Shepard, who resigned in late February to become the director of real estate and development at MedQuest in the greater Atlanta area, according to his LinkedIn profile.
In other business, the board will also submit their superintendent evaluation forms. Vice Chair David Morgan said each board member received a copy of the forms a few weeks ago and that it is part of the superintendent’s contract.
“He will have at least two evaluations annually,” Morgan said.
Morgan said he focused on student achievement and finances when filling out his evaluation.
Hinojosa started with Cobb on July 1, 2011.
In other news, the board will also consider approving three construction projects:
* A $917,000 contract with SouthCore Construction of Kennesaw for playground installation and site work at eight elementary schools by July 20. The project, which is $289,520, or 45 percent, over budget, will be funded by SPLOST III and the contingency fund.
The project will include site work at Baker, Brumby, Rocky Mount and Teasley elementary schools and playground installations at Baker, Birney, Brumby, Compton, Dowell, Garrison and Teasley elementary schools.
Cablik Enterprises of Atlanta submitted the second highest bid, the only other bid, at $1.1 million.
Playground safety guidelines changed since the SPLOST III notebook was put together, driving up the cost, Ragsdale said.
* A $456,650 contract with Classic Plains Construction of Marietta to renovate Griffin Middle by Aug. 24. The project, which is $18,596, or 4 percent, over budget, will be funded by SPLOST III and the contingency fund.
The project will include fixing school restrooms, extending the loading dock outside the cafeteria, replacing auditorium seats and furnishing the media center’s casework.
The second lowest bid, $520,000, was submitted by SouthCore Construction, followed by a bid of $521,632 by Atlantic South Construction of Atlanta.
* A $299,400 contract with Classic Plains Construction to renovate Austell Primary and Austell Intermediate elementary schools by July 20. The project, which is $71,729 over budget, or 32 percent, will be funded by SPLOST III and countywide building funds.
The project will include site work at both schools, painting at Austell Intermediate and replacement of the stage floor at Austell Primary.
The second lowest bid, $353,077, was submitted by Cablik Enterprises, followed by a $356,000 bid from SouthCore Construction.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the boardroom at 514 Glover St. in Marietta.