Cobb and municipal voters will be asked to vote on a ballot measure for a new 1% sales tax for education on Nov. 2.
For residents of unincorporated Cobb County, that will be the only vote to cast.
A penny out of every dollar spent in Cobb County goes directly to the Cobb and Marietta school districts to pay for school-related capital improvements needed to educate their 120,000-plus students.
In March 2017, Cobb voters passed the fifth cycle of the 1% special purpose local option sales tax for education, or Ed-SPLOST V. Collection of the tax began in January 2019, and it is expected to bring in roughly $797 million for the Cobb School District and about $62.5 million for Marietta City Schools through 2023.
The first iteration of Ed-SPLOST taxes in the county came in 1999.
If approved, the new cycle of the tax, Ed-SPLOST VI, is projected to bring in $894 million for Cobb Schools and $70.8 million for Marietta. The collection period would run from January 2024 and expire at the end of December 2028.
Both school districts have announced their project wish lists for that period, with Cobb planning a rebuild of Sprayberry High School, construction of a second career academy in the northern region of the county and facility upgrades.
Other items on the list include facility upgrades and additions at North Cobb High, Bells Ferry Elementary and Tapp Middle schools; athletic facility and stadium upgrades; individual school site improvements; and general infrastructure, security and technology enhancements.
New annexes are expected for Kincaid, Mt. Bethel, Murdock, Sope Creek and Tritt elementary schools. The district has not laid out dollar amounts for each project.
Meanwhile, Marietta is earmarking most of its money for major renovations to several schools. Marietta High School, for example, is expected to receive a $21.8 million renovation.
Westside Elementary School would receive a $11.5 million schoolwide renovation, as would Hickory Hills Elementary for $6.1 million, Sawyer Road Elementary for $5.95 million and the Marietta Center for Advanced Academics for $3.6 million.
Marietta High’s baseball and softball stadiums would get turf and facility improvements for a price tag of $1.66 million, and a $200,000 video scoreboard would be installed at Northcutt Stadium.
Money would also be put into security upgrades, instructional materials, copiers and administrative or legal expenses.
Chuck Gardner, the district’s chief operations officer, said 52% of students in the district would see their school get a full renovation through the ED-SPLOST VI project list. He said attention would likely turn to a Marietta Middle School renovation, a much larger undertaking, in a later round of SPLOST funding, should voters approve it.