Cobb school board to mull spending $11M on new buses
by Hilary Butschek
August 27, 2014 04:00 AM | 2979 views | 3 3 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — The Cobb County school board will consider spending $11 million to buy 125 new school buses at tomorrow’s meeting.

The district needs new buses, said board member David Banks, because more than half of its total 1,115 buses have been running for too long.

“We’ve got buses that are being overused,” Banks said. “I think the board agrees. I think it will be a 7-0 vote (to approve buying new buses).”

Randy Scamihorn, board vice chairman, said some buses have undergone natural wear and tear for too long.

“Buses are like automobiles, they all depreciate based on the amount of mileage and usage, and they get where they’re more expensive to repair than to replace,” Scamihorn said.

As of this year, 180 buses have been running for more than 16 years, and 527 buses have been in operation for 10 to 15 years, according to a board presentation.

The board will fund the purchase with $10 million from SPLOST IV revenue, and $900,000 from bond funds from the Georgia Department of Education.

The 125 buses will include 100 conventional buses that each hold 72 passengers, as well as 25 exceptional child buses that each hold 48 passengers.

In other business, the board will recognize Allatoona High School Principal Scott Bursmith at tomorrow’s meeting, where he will announce his retirement.

Bursmith spent eight years as Allatoona’s principal. Bursmith said he won’t be taking a job at another school because after 35 years in education, “it’s time” to retire.

The board will also vote to consider agreeing with two policies to receive state and federal funding for its career, technical and agricultural education funding.

The school board will submit its plan to improve graduation rates and student completion of career pathway instruction, which prepares students for careers, to the state Board of Education.

If the Cobb board approves the plan, the state is expected to give the county a $684,000 grant for fiscal 2015 to fund its career teaching program, according to a presentation to the board.

Prior to the meeting, at 3:30 p.m., the board will receive its annual training required by the Georgia School Boards Association, Banks said.

“The training is a range of things concerning governance: What board members can and can’t do, going over the code of ethics, just a mixture of things that pertain to how our board governs,” Banks said.

Comments
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anonymous
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August 29, 2014
I think they should talk to the mega bus people and get double deckers with TV, WiFi and reclining seats and of course, A/C.
Graduation rates
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August 27, 2014
Georgia is WAY behind the 8 ball. Unless you have other avenues than college, it will remain high. We are in a majority minority district with a college preparedness avenue only. Some kids don't want to go to college and we offer them nothing else. We need to partner with Chattahoochee Tech and KSU to get something going. It will be way too long before a tech school is ready. Cookie cutter doesn't work!
Andy McDuffie
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August 28, 2014
Since the school board has school starting in early August and the hot weather doesn't cool off here until mid to late October, they ought to look for buses with air condition. Plus, we don't want a bus driver passing out, due to the heat inside the bus, with busload of kids.
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