I’m writing about the Cobb County School Board’s $86 million budget deficit. I agree that requiring senior citizens to pay the school tax is not the solution.
As a former Cobb teacher, it is disgraceful what has happened. Cobb’s school system is in crisis! With 183 teacher jobs eliminated, five forced unpaid furlough days (a 2 percent decrease in pay) year after year, and class sizes increasing, it’s time for a change.
Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa recently compared Cobb’s spending per student to neighboring counties. Cobb student spending at $83 per student vs. Fulton at $181 vs. Gwinnett at $240. Not only are teachers not paid fairly but we cannot afford to give students adequate resources to be successful.
Is there a solution to improve the quality of our education with multi-year budget deficits? Gov. Deal’s goal is to recruit new businesses for our state. What a grand idea! It creates new jobs, provides new services, and generates millions in new tax revenues that directly fund the school system, dollars desperately needed.
Why does West Cobb Commissioner, Helen Goreham refuse to support rezoning major parcels along Dallas Highway that would generate millions of dollars in taxes? In April 2013, Jeff Fuqua, a large commercial developer, discussed placing an upscale farmer’s market concept and other retailers on the corner of Casteel and Dallas Highway on a 20-acre tract, adjacent to the Avenues. The annual estimated taxes were $20 million, yet Goreham not only opposed that proposal but has repeatedly opposed commercial zoning in west Cobb for over 10 years. That one property over a decade could have generated $200 million in new taxes for our schools.
Why aren’t citizens up in arms? I suggest a call to action. Let’s work smart to develop our community with new businesses that we need, create new jobs, and simultaneously get the much needed tax dollars to pay our teachers fairly and become the best school district state wide.
Susan L. Wright