Cobb school board adopts spending resolution for July

The Cobb Board of Education on Thursday adopted a spending resolution to fund Cobb County School District operations during the month of July.Cobb County School District, Cobb schools dual enrollment summit

The resolution, passed on the board’s consent agenda at its voting meeting, was necessary since the board hasn’t been able to adopt a fiscal year 2021 budget.

The Cobb school district’s fiscal year begins in July, but the board was awaiting passage of the Georgia state budget, which was delayed when the legislative session was suspended in March due to COVID-19. Nearly half of Cobb’s school budget comes from state funding.

The Georgia Senate passed a budget resolution later on Thursday that included nearly $1 billion in public education spending cuts. The House was scheduled to vote on the budget on Friday, the last day of its resumed session.

The Cobb school district’s current fiscal year 2020 budget of $1.17 billion included $589 million from the state under the Quality Basic Education Act.

Under state law, public school districts that cannot adopt a budget must adopt a spending resolution in the interim.

A monthly spending resolution also cannot total more than one-twelfth of a district’s current adopted annual budget.

According to an agenda item from Thursday’s meeting, the Cobb school district is estimating revenues of $107,899 million for July, and expenses of $111,231 million.

The district will release a proposed budget once the state budget is finalized. The district also is awaiting word on the size of the Cobb tax digest, which is revealed in early July.

Initially state budget reductions were projected to be around 14 percent, which would have left Cobb schools with an $80 million deficit.

The district has received $16 million in federal CARES Act spending through the Georgia Department of Education.

The district also could receive CARES Act funding through the Cobb Board of Commissioners, which has around $80 million and is holding a special meeting on that topic July 13.

At the board’s work session Thursday morning, Cobb school superintendent Chris Ragsdale said he would not be including any furlough days or pay cuts for full-time staff in his fiscal year 2021 budget proposal.

Cobb schools will be returning for a new academic year on Aug. 3, with a mix of classroom instruction and students learning from home whose parents choose a remote option.

Georgia law requires public school districts to hold public hearings on the proposed millage rate and budget.

Cobb schools have scheduled several “virtual” sessions in the month of July:

  • July 9, 11:30 a.m.: Virtual tax digest public hearing
  • July 9, 6:05 p.m.: Virtual budget public forum
  • July 16, 9 a.m.: Virtual budget public forum
  • July 16, 9:30 a.m.: Virtual tax digest hearing

The school board is scheduled to adopt a budget at its July 16 voting meeting.

More Cobb school budget information can be found here.

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