Cobb school board tackles massive budget deficit - CBS46 News

Cobb school board tackles massive budget deficit

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The Cobb County school board voted 4-3 Monday to pass a tentative budget for the 2013-2014 school year. The district is facing a $86.4 million shortfall in the upcoming year.

The plan that school board members signed off on calls for 182 open jobs to remain unfilled and five furlough days for employees. 

"It's a difficult job," said board member Kathleen Angelucci.  "It's a big job but I think at the end of the day it's something we're going to have to do."

The proposed cuts do not include a recommendation for teacher layoffs, but savings through attrition. 

"We're not solving anything," said board member David Morgan.  "We're just putting a Band-Aid on something and hoping something happens down the line."

The district says cuts in state funding and declining property tax revenues have led to years of massive budget shortfall.  

"As a parent and a teacher, this budget process is incredibly frustrating," said Connie Jackson of the Cobb County Association of Educators.  "It is a back-and-forth, and it's not a consensus. And I think at this point we've got to get to the nitty gritty and get it done."

Some board members agreed they should begin budget talks months well in advance, not just weeks before as they do every year.

"We can't continue to stuff kids into our classrooms and expect real instruction to take place first of all," said Angelucci.  "Secondly, we can't continue to do what we've been doing to our teachers. At some point that has to stop."  

A public hearing is scheduled for May 14 before a final vote on the spending plan is taken two days later.

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