You may have heard that Gov. Nathan Deal announced half a billion dollars in extra funding to Education in Georgia. On the surface, this is great news.
The same day, you may also have heard optimism from the Cobb School Board that it may have more income from other sources than anticipated for fiscal 2014-15. It appears that the district may not have spent as much as it anticipated this fiscal year. They also suspect that property taxes may have risen slightly. Again, great news on the surface.
However, simply in order to have no furlough days and no teacher losses, we need to have $80 million more than was anticipated in the October estimated budget. That is a lot of cash.
Informed opinion indicates that, without strong advocacy, the extra money in the education budget announced by the governor could represent only around $20 million to $30 million for Cobb County. The truth is, no one knows.
What we do know is that strong advocacy from parents in Cobb County is the best way to ensure Cobb gets the maximum possible. An extra $20 million from the state would leave us with a $60 million deficit to manage locally, which, even if total 2013 spending was $30 million less than anticipated in last year’s budget, would still leave us with $30 million to find from other sources, such as furlough days and teacher reductions.
As Kathleen Angelucci, newly elected chair of the CCSD Board, said at last Wednesday’s board meeting, “We cannot lose one more teacher.”
So there are three things that Cobb parents can do to help now.
The first is to contact legislators now. They are in session so it is crucial to call ASAP. Ask them to ensure that Cobb gets a good proportion of the increased education funds.
It will take five minutes to make the call and it could make a huge difference to your children’s futures.
The second is to come to any of the upcoming meetings about education being held in our area. For details of these go to the Facebook page FundCobbSchools.
The third is to vote in this year’s elections. If a legislator is not listening to you on education issues, use your vote on a candidate who is listening.
Please be sure you are fully registered to vote in the upcoming elections. This year’s is a crucial year for the future of education both at state level and locally.
Together, we can make a difference.
Fund Cobb Schools