Board of Education to begin budget talks
by Megan Thornton
March 21, 2013 12:00 AM | 2744 views | 3 3 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cherokee County Board of Education will squeeze discussion of four major topics into its hour-long work session tonight, including a legislative update, tentative budget discussions and status reports from two newly created committees: the Ad Hoc Safety and Security Committee and Ad Hoc Responsible Relationships Committee.

The work session, which begins at 6 p.m. at the Historic Canton High School/School Board Auditorium, will be the first time board members will discuss budgetary information for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

District spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby said much of the discussion will be preliminary, as hard numbers from the local tax digest have yet to be provided to the district.

During the regular meeting, the board will consider a resolution for class size exemptions and school board policy revisions proposed by District 1 board member Kelly Marlow.

On Feb. 20 the state Board of Education granted a continued exception for statutory and regulatory class size maximums for the 2013-14 school year. According to the agenda item, local districts seeking the exception are required to submit a resolution to the Georgia DOE.

The proposed resolution is essentially a continuation of larger class sizes and “reflects a continued shortfall available in state revenue for next year and will ensure development of a balanced 2013-14 Tentative School District Budget,” according to the agenda item.

However critically needed the flexibility, staff will continue to make every effort to maintain class sizes below the maximum allowed by the resolution, the agenda item states.

Proposed board policy revisions by Marlow, who represents the central part of the county, include a request to require all meeting agenda items to include a dollar amount stating the financial impact.

“In cases where there is no cost to the District, the dollar amount should be listed as 0,” the revision states.

Marlow faced scrutiny after the Feb. 7 meeting when she requested to table the approval of overnight field trips and out-of-state travel until the cost to the district was determined, as no cost was listed on the monthly agenda items.

District spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby said student field trips are solely funded by the students, either through fundraisers or out of their own pockets. The trips are at no cost to the district but are vetted by district officials for safety and security reasons, among others, she said.

The board also will:

* Consider January 2013 financial report and sales tax update;

* Consider a resolution to certify a closeout for Clark Creek Elementary School;

* Consider special lease agreements with summer camps held at district schools and Kingdom Come Church; and

* Enter into executive session for a student discipline matter.

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Joe Schmo
March 21, 2013
Is Ms. Marlow the only board member looking out for we, the Taxpayer?

The rest seem to be a bunch of spineless puppets, strings being pulled by the superintendent. What a joke.

Good luck to Marlow tilting against this windmill of bloated 'Yes men' spenders.
March 22, 2013
Pretty sure Kelly is the puppet here. Why is her "political consultant" still following her around every where she goes? How much is he getting paid to attend every board meeting anyway? Must be nice for her to have such a "bloated" budget to afford her own staff.
March 25, 2013
What Ms. Marlow is proposing is redundant and would increase the work load of the administrative staff which is already burdened from all of the budget cuts. Would you support paying staff overtime rates to complete the tasks asked of Marlow?

In my opinion Ms. Marlow is grandstanding to get her name in the paper and unfortunately it's working. I would like the press to ask her why she doesn't seem to object to the fact that Cherokee Charter School doesn't even come close to being transparent with their budget or meetings held out of the county or by teleconference! After all that is where her children attend school.
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