The Cobb school board is expected to adopt on Thursday the $1.53 billion fiscal 2022 budget, which includes raises of 4% to 8.6% for the district’s 18,000-plus employees.

If approved, the raise would not use any federal pandemic relief. It was made possible by past conservative budgeting, Superintendent Chris Ragsdale told the district’s Board of Education in April.

At that meeting, Brad Johnson, the district’s chief financial officer, said Cobb Schools would give each employee a 4% raise. In addition, employees on a salary schedule would be moved up one step on that schedule, earning raises between 0% and 4.6% on top of the across-the-board 4% raise.

Johnson said the district’s general fund millage rate will remain the same for fiscal 2022 as it was in fiscal 2021, at 18.9 mills.

The fiscal 2022 budget includes no change in staff allotments, and cuts no programs, Johnson said.

The district’s fiscal years run from July 1 to June 30.

In other business, the board is expected to consider approving the $486,768 construction of the Cobb Online Learning Academy on the third floor of Cobb Horizon High School, at 1765 The Exchange SE, Atlanta.

The online academy for grades 6-12, which the district says will accommodate the growing demand for online course offerings, opens in August, but only staff will occupy the new space at Cobb Horizon, according to Nan Kiel, a spokeswoman for the school district.

Middle schoolers can take courses including art, physical education, English language arts, science and social studies through the full-time academy. High schoolers can take courses ranging from those in the Career, Technical and Agricultural Education, or CTAE track, to the usual course curriculum, such as English Language Arts, math, science, social studies and world languages.

The construction agreement with Ward Humphrey, Inc., will be paid for with money from the current iteration of the county’s special 1% sales tax for education.

The Cobb school board will meet at 514 Glover St., Marietta, on Thursday for a work session with public comment at 1 p.m., followed by an executive session. The board will return for a budget hearing at 6:30 p.m. and a voting session with public comment at 7 p.m.

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