Cobb schools 2024 millage rate public hearings to be held in July

A schoolhouse with books superimposed on the front

By Rebecca Gaunt

The Cobb County School District will hold three legally required public hearings regarding the millage rate in July.

The first two are scheduled for Thursday, July 11, at 11:30 a.m. and 6:05 p.m. The third will take place Thursday, July 18, at 6:30 p.m. The rate will be set at the July 18 board meeting following the hearing.

The hearings are an opportunity for the public to give feedback on the millage rate that decides the school portion of the property tax bill.

The $1.85 billion 2024 fiscal year budget approved last month maintains the 18.7 mill rate from last year. In 2023, the board approved a rate reduction from 18.9 mills to 18.7 to offset rising property values. That was the first reduction since 2007.

The 2024 budget reflects an increase of $400 million, which is partly due to the end of pandemic relief funds. To maintain additional staff and programs that were added during COVID-19, the district must now pull from its own funds. This is in contrast to other school districts across the country that are laying off staff in the additional positions as a result of the ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) fiscal cliff.

$2 million is allotted for Prisms, a new math and science virtual reality program. Staff will also receive raises ranging from 4.4% to a 9% bump as part of the budget.

The controversial planned $50 million event center is not currently part of the budget as the construction funds are coming from sales of district property funds and capital outlay reimbursements from the state.

During the budget presentation, Brad Johnson, the district’s chief financial officer, told board members that Cobb’s projected tax digest growth in 2024 is 7.5%, a drop from 14.6% in 2023.

The hearings are not currently featured on the district website’s main page or calendar, but more information can be found by going to the main page. Then click Departments>Financial Services>Financial Planning and Analysis>FY 2025 Budget Calendar.

Meetings are held at the district’s main office at 514 Glover St.

Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.