Student population study is criticized
by Emily Boorstein
August 29, 2014 04:00 AM | 4498 views | 2 2 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kathleen Angelucci
Kathleen Angelucci
A Kennesaw man believes a study projecting student population over the next 10 years is flawed because it does not account for future housing developments.

Skip Gunter, a retired engineer who has sent his children through schools in the Harrison High School district, said the June report prepared by Davis Demographics and Planning Inc. for the Cobb School District is already inaccurate. He said the projections for new students at Bullard Elementary and Due West Elementary were off by 20 and 15 percent, respectively.

He worries the county will sign off on future developments, such as a proposed 195-home project slated for Paul Samuel and Acworth Due West roads, because the report says schools in the area are under capacity.

“There’s a flaw in this study I believe can be rectified through working with the Cobb County government, who manage rezoning activity,” Gunter told the school board during its public comment section Thursday night.

Chairwoman Kathleen Angelucci said the board will have to further investigate Gunter’s claims.

“This is an opportunity to also re-examine the intergovernmental relationships that we have,” Angelucci said.

“I think it’s important that we make a more concerted effort to have those relationships (with the Cobb Board of Commissioners and city governments) strengthened so that we know about things before they happen, and I look forward to that.”

She said she hopes the next school board chair will continue to push for those bolstered ties.

Later in the meeting, the board voted 7-0 on a number of agenda items, including the renewal of cell towers at Tritt Elementary School South Cobb High School and the Frey Elementary School Bus Facility. The district will earn approximately $362,396 per site over a 15-year period, according to information presented at a work session earlier this month.

The board also rescinded money to renovate Brumby Elementary School since it voted in February to build a replacement school with special purpose local option sales tax funds.

In another 7-0 vote, the board approved spending $11 million to buy 125 new school buses.

Also at the meeting, the board voted 5-2, with David Banks and Vice Chairman Randy Scamihorn, opposed, to accept the retirement of Allatoona High School Principal Scott Bursmith, which will go into effect Dec. 1.

Banks and Scamihorn said their votes to oppose the 35-year educator’s plans were purely symbolic. “Even though we can’t stop you from retiring, we don’t want you to,” Banks said.

Scamihorn described Bursmith as “level-headed,” and “phenomenal,” adding, “You can’t recover that kind of experience.”

Comments-icon Post a Comment
September 04, 2014
Did Mr. Gunter disclose the reason he is concerned is because the development he is talking about is being built adjacent to property he owns?
Focus on now
August 29, 2014
I am wondering where the 300 positions went that the board promised to lower class sizes? We have 30-34 children in classes and no new staff. The board and central office aren't even talking about this school year and the overloaded classes. Sad!
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