MARIETTA — The Cobb school board approved its 2020 budget Thursday, solidifying historic pay raises for virtually all school staff starting July 1.

Every non-temporary staff member will receive the raises, which range from 8 to 12.6%. Non-temporary staff members include teachers, bus drivers, meal workers, nurses and counselors. Substitute teachers will also see an 8% pay increase.

Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said the raise “shows the priority of the district, which is our staff and our students.”

Brad Johnson, the district’s chief financial officer, said the district expects to generate $1.16 billion in revenue in 2020, $80 million more than last year. He also said while the millage rate of 18.9 mills is not expected to increase, home values have, and a Cobb homeowner who owns an average-priced home can expect to pay about $2,200 in school tax in 2020 — about $121 more than last fiscal year.

The budget was approved with one amendment, which added a $340,000 expense to provide a stipend to one staff member in each grade at each elementary school in the district to serve as a department head, according to Brad Johnson, the district’s chief financial officer. Johnson said the stipend is consistent with what is already in place at middle and high schools in the district.

Other items in the approved 2020 budget include a 2% salary step for school nurses every two years; a pay increase for school police officers; hiring of 90 more teachers in various specialties across the district; hiring of additional custodians to be assigned to schools that have expanded; and a new pay schedule for bus drivers that spreads payment across the year, rather than just the 180 days of school.

In other business, the board unanimously approved the appointment of Alvin Thomas as principal of Tapp Middle School. Thomas will receive an annual salary bump from $91,797.54 to $113,550.66.

Follow Thomas Hartwell on Twitter at twitter.com/MDJThomas.

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