Cobb school board approves budget, includes step increase for staff

The logo on front of a Cobb County School District facilityCobb County School District sign (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

The Cobb County School District Board of Education approved the proposed FY2021 budget.

The CCSD issued the following press release:

The Cobb County School District Board of Education (BOE) met virtually on July 16 and voted to approve the District’s tentative budget for FY2021, which prioritizes Cobb staff at the recommendation of Superintendent Chris Ragsdale. 

Despite a $65 million budget cut based on the state’s education budget, Cobb’s FY2021 budget of almost $1.3 billion will include a step increase for all eligible staff members. Although other school districts may be facing furloughs and pay cuts, the Cobb Schools FY2021 budget avoids both. 

“I am extremely thankful to Board of Education for upholding our commitment to staff by approving the tentative budget for the upcoming school year. Now more than ever, our staff who have responded successfully and professionally to each obstacle they have encountered over the past several months, need to know that we are there to support them. They are our first priority because they make our students their first priority,” said Superintendent Chris Ragsdale. 

As part of approving the tentative budget and After holding three public hearings, the BOE also voted to maintain the general fund millage rate of 18.90 mills. Cobb Schools has not raised the millage rate in almost two decades. In 2002, the millage rate increased from 17.55 to 19.00. The Board voted to lower the millage rate to 18.90 mills more than a decade ago. 

Superintendent Ragsdale Announces Full Remote Learning Start for 2020-2021 School Year 

During the July Board Meeting, Superintendent Chris Ragsdale also announced that Cobb Schools will move ahead with a full remote start for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.  

Since COVID-19 became part of our daily life here in Cobb, the Superintendent has relied on state and county public health experts to inform decision-making which prioritizes student and staff safety.   

“This decision has been weighing on me for a while. I know we need to get back to face-to-face instruction. That is why we tried to offer parents two options—in-person and remote—to start the school year. Unfortunately, public health guidance does not make that possible,” said Superintendent Ragsdale. Our teachers are awesome, and they will continue to do an awesome job virtually, but nothing takes the place of in-person instruction from our Cobb County teachers. I am not setting a timeline for how long our students will engage in virtual learning. We will continue to monitor the data and work with public health officials so we can open for face-to-face instruction as soon as humanly possible.”   

For additional details on the updated start to the new school year, go here.

Read Ragsdale’s complete statement in a previous Courier article here.