DEAR EDITOR:

Thank you for the article in the Wednesday May 6 edition on the MDJ. The article helped to spotlight for me the severity of the situation facing our Cobb County Schools. By itself the proposed 14% reduction in funding by the state would be catastrophic. Coupled with the prospect of increased costs related to educating amid the COVID-19 public health crisis, the result could be a devastating blow to the school district’s ability to provide a quality education for our children. The $14 million to $16 million slated to go to Cobb County Schools from the $411 million of federal funding given to Georgia to help local schools will not close this widening gap.

Cobb County government has been allocated $132 million of the over $4.1 billion dollars in CARES Act funding provided to the State to help with actual COVID-19 related expenses. Cobb County has hired a consultant to assist in dividing up these available funds. Now, I know that there will be many organizations, businesses and even city governments deserving of sharing in these funds, and I am not proposing that their requests not be considered. What I am proposing is that we take care of our future first and provide as the top priority funding to our Cobb County Schools to assist them in offsetting the additional costs they have incurred and will incur educating the County’s students during this crisis. I understand that sharing these funds with the schools is permissible.

The quality of life in Cobb County, our property values and the very reason that many of us settled in Cobb County to begin with is inextricably tied to the quality of education provided by our Cobb County Schools. Let’s make sure we preserve this before we address the remaining concerns or we may find ourselves left with not much worth preserving.

Andy Smith

Marietta

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