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SPLOST Vote Before Cobb School Board

Wednesday's work session agenda includes a resolution for a March 2013 referendum.

After an accelerated process to put together and revise a $717 million project list of school construction and maintenance projects, the Cobb Board of Education is expected to vote today to call for a referendum to pay for them.

A resolution calling for a March 19, 2013 referendum that would extend the current Cobb Education SPLOST highlights the board's Wednesday work session agenda (see attached PDF).

The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. in the board room of the Cobb County School District central office, 514 Glover Street, Marietta.

After two board members expressed a desire to postpone a referendum to November 2013, Wednesday's agenda item includes a recommendation from Superintendent Michael Hinojosa for a March vote.

The current SPLOST III one-penny sales tax expires at the end of next year. The SPLOST IV, if approved by Cobb voters, would be collected from January 2014 through December 2018.

SPLOST IV would pay for a variety of major construction projects, including two replacement elementary schools costing $23 million each; a $30 million replacement for Osborne High School; a $30 million replacement for an East Cobb area middle school; a $30 million career academy; a new fine arts complex and other improvements totalling nearly $40 million for Walton High School; and gym and theater renovations at a number of high schools (see attached PDF).

Several board members polled by The Marietta Daily Journal favor a March referendum to ensure uninterrupted progress on projects. More than $2 billion in needs were identified in the SPLOST IV process.

Also on Wednesday, the board is expected to:

  • Accept the retirement of Chief Academic Officer Judi Jones, who is leaving at the end of the week, and consider appointing an acting successor;
  • Apppoint new principals at Addison Elementary School and LaBelle Elementary School;
  • Hear a presentation from Jones on charter schools in Smyrna and Kennesaw;
  • Hear a presentation on proposed graduation requirements from board member Alison Bartlett;
  • Hold an official signing ceremony for the charter at Walton High School, which was recently extended;
  • Consider a recommendation on the naming of the concert hall at Lassiter High School;
  • Approve its 2014 legislative priorities.
Not a Fool November 15, 2012 at 07:45 AM
SPLOST IV..... Seems like we were lead to believe back when we voted for SPLOST 1, this was to be a one time solution to help our school system finance badly needed projects. Now as the school board has "accelerated the process to put together and revise a $717 million project list of school construction and maintenance projects" for SPLOST IV, we realize this is a tax that never ends. Now the School Board's method is to figure out how much money the tax can generate and then to come up with a wish list of projects to spend the money on. And why the need to "accelerate" this process? Guess they were afraid of there being a gap in the tax period and wouldn't want the public to see what it felt like not to pay an extra 1% on every thing they buy. SPLOST means "Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax", not "Sell Public Lots Of Sad Tales" about what the school system needs. Let the School Board spend the revenues from those school property taxes we pay every year. That's how it was done for years and years before SPLOST came along. Now is the time to break this seemingly endless cycle of extra sales tax.
Frank November 28, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Have you actually been following the process? Or are you getting your news from the news and believing it... Following it closely, you'd realize that the district started with a needs assessment, not a revenue assessment. The non-accelerated process started last year with a review of all athletic facilities, a five year facility plan, a review of technology, curriculum, etc... Over $2 billion in needs were identified. The process this go-round has been the most transparent of any preceding SPLOST put before Cobb voters. Prior to SPLOST, you're right, property taxes funded bonds to pay for capital improvements. This community has favored SPLOST over bond financing for several years and by doing so has remained debt free.

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