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Ed-SPLOST 4 Scheduled for Special Election on March 19 >>> SPLOST stands for Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. It is a one-cent tax on all consumer goods that must be approved by voters in a referendum. Ed-SPLOST receipts can be used only for school-related capital improvements. The current Ed-SPLOST III in Cobb County expires Dec. 31, 2013. The Ed-SPLOST 4 referendum will be held Tuesday, March 19, 2013 to extend the tax another five years. Because Cobb’s learning environments and infrastructure require ongoing maintenance and to continue providing the most effective instructional resources for Cobb students. Ed-SPLOST I (19992003) and Ed-SPLOST II (2004-2008) were responsive to years of rapid population growth, providing for construction of 21 new schools, 1,982 new classrooms and funding a myriad of capital improvements. As enrollment trends have flattened in recent years, the District’s needs have shifted toward revitalization of outdated facilities. Many Cobb schools are more than 40 years old and have inadequate space and resources to best serve students. The current Ed-SPLOST III (2009-2013) and the proposed Ed-SPLOST 4 are focused on giving new life to existing facilities, replacing some of the oldest and least efficient school buildings and refreshing the District’s technology resources and infrastructure. About 90 percent of the district’s operating budget, which is supported by state funding and local property taxes, goes to pay the salaries of teachers, administrators, bus drivers, food service employees, custodians, and other staff. The other 10 percent pays for items such as textbooks and supplies, as well as utilities such as fuel, gas, electricity and water. State funding and local property taxes do not provide for regular building maintenance, or for technology enhancements. To address these needs, the district must use a different funding source such as Ed-SPLOST. Prior to Ed-SPLOST, the district issued bonds that had to be paid back over many years with interest and resulted in a property tax increase. By the end of summer 2013, the school district will have removed approximately 551 portable 12 February 2013

Ed-SPLOST 4 PROPOSED EXPENDITURES Replacement Facilities

$159,659,448

Land $10,000,000 Additions/Modifications

$122,272,498

Infrastructure / Individual School Needs

$176,065,034

Safety and Support

$99,276,327

Curriculum, Instruction and Technology

$150,571,400

TOTAL PROPOSED EXPENDITURES

$717,844,707

classrooms from schools thanks to Ed-SPLOST, an 88 percent reduction. Ed-SPLOST 4 will continue to reduce portable classrooms via building additions and new school facilities. Unfortunately, some portables will always exist at schools due to space limitations on some campuses, and because they provide flexibility for schools to address enrollment shifts. Every one of Cobb’s 112 schools will see improvements through Ed-SPLOST 4. See pages 16-19 for a list of planned projects for East Cobb Schools, for more details, readers are encouraged to visit www.cobbk12.org online. The following information outlines the proposed expenditures of the Ed-SPLOST 4. New and Replacement Facilities • Ed-SPLOST 4 calls for replacement facilities for Osborne and Walton High Schools an East Cobb Area middle school and two elementary schools (yet to be determined). The proposal also includes one new high school career academy. • Constructing approximately 407 new classrooms. Additions/Modifications • Adding to existing facilities approximately 56 classrooms (46 at the elementary school level and 10 at the high school level). • Constructing major additions/modifications/renovations at the following locations: Campbell, Harrison, Lassiter, North Cobb, Pope, South Cobb, Walton and Wheeler high schools, Tapp middle school and Kincaid, Mt. Bethel, Sope Creek, Teasley and Tritt elementary schools.

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Maintenance/Renovation • Maintenance projects including parking lot repaving, additional parking spaces, drainage enhancements, fencing repairs, landscaping, playground equipment, gymnasium improvements, reflooring, painting, Energy Management Systems, HVAC, plumbing and various electrical upgrades (fire alarm systems, emergency generators, sports lighting, etc). • Modifications to athletics facilities based on the Board of Education’s Athletic Standards Model. • Renovations to food service facilities and replacement of large kitchen equipment. Curriculum/Instruction/Technology • Continuing to maintain the existing technology infrastructure, as well as upgrading servers, switches, data center, and phone systems and updating library automation systems Districtwide.

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• Providing computing devices, printers, and copiers for classrooms and schools, updated audio/ visual equipment, interactive classroom devices, band instruments, instruments and equipment for general/choral instruction and graphing calculators for middle school math instruction. • Adoption and purchase of textbooks and instructional materials. Safety and Support • Continuing to improve school safety by adding access controls, surveillance cameras, security fencing, signage, and traffic controls and replacing the outdated radio communications system. • Providing support functions, including school buses, maintenance vehicles and equipment, school-level equipment for growth and replacement, student information systems enhancement and replacement of the human resources/payroll system. • Renovations and equipment purchases to serve students with disabilities and comply with accessibility provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. www.eastcobber.com

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February 2013 13


IN

Ed-SPLOST 4 Focused on Breathing New Life Into East Cobb Schools By Paulette Farley

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The Ed-SPLOST 4 referendum will go before Cobb voters on March 19 with the potential to fund sorely needed Ed-SPLOST projects in numerous Cobb County schools. The continuation of the 1% tax on retail purchases will rebuild 3 local East Cobb schools and will complete numerous capital improvements throughout the county. If approved, the district expects to collect around $718 million, yet that will only cover 36% of the $2 billion in identified needs based projects for the entire district.

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The Cobb County School District has invested a tremendous amount of time gathering information from departments within the county as well as from school principals. Additionally, anyone from the community, including parents, were invited to offer feedback to the county through the district website regarding needed school improvement needs.

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$175 million of proposed SPLOST 4 appropriations are for new and replacement schools. In the East Cobb community, the emphasis of SPLOST 4 is rebuilding and capital improvements. East Cobb Middle School, Walton High School and a yet unspecified elementary school are proposed rebuild projects. Kincaid Elementary and Mt. Bethel Elementary will see long term temporary annexes replaced. A complete listing of projects for all schools can be found on the Cobb County School District web site.

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Abby Shiffman, past-president of the East Cobb County Council of PTAs and mother of students at both Wheeler and Pebblebrook High Schools, stated, “The East Cobb County Council of PTAs will be presenting a resolution in favor of the education SPLOST to be voted on at their next general meeting in February. Every PTA/PTSA can pass its own resolution and we encourage stakeholders to be informed on how the SPLOST will benefit their school or schools in their area.”

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Every voter in Cobb County has the opportunity to come out and vote for or against SPLOST 4 on March 19th. The timing of the March referendum, planned to coordinate with the City of Marietta vote, will allow the county to take advantage of summer 2014 for construction projects should SPLOST 4 pass. While SPLOSTS should not be an assumption, Ed-SPLOSTS in Cobb County have built 22 new schools, added 2,372 new classrooms, eliminated 551 portable classrooms, provided for new technology and supported more than 5,000 total projects all done with zero assumption of debt. Breathing new life into local school is good for Cobb students and residents. Vote “YES” for Ed-SPLOST 4 on March 19.

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Paulette Farley is the mother of 2 children: James Farley, 16, is an 11th grader in the magnet program at Wheeler High School; and, Patrick Farley, 15, is a 9th grader at Walton High School.  She and her husband, Mike, have lived in East Cobb since 1994 in the Princeton Walk subdivision. www.eastcobber.com


Vote NO on the Education SPLOST By Lance Lamberton On March 19 Cobb voters will be asked to decide whether to approve yet another Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), in this case an Education SPLOST put forward by the Cobb County School Board. If passed, it will impose an additional $718 million tax levy on purchases made in Cobb over the next five years, starting in January 2014.

facilities, and expansion of sports and recreation facilities (like two gyms at every high school) which have little to do with the mission of the District, which is to educate. For example:

The most glaring issue with this SPLOST is that it puts the cart before the horse. Since the District has calculated that it can get $718 million over five years by continuing the sales tax, they’ve developed a project list to coincide with anticipated revenue. Instead, it should first develop a true needs list and then present a SPLOST which is in line with those needs.

Consequently, there are many projects on the District’s wish list of dubious value. For example, the proposed Career Academy, with a price tag of $30 million. There are many unanswered questions with respect to this facility. Where will it be located, how much will the land cost, what criteria will be used to determine who can attend, how will students be transported to the Academy, how will the District pay for teachers, administrative salaries or maintenance?

• Interior and exterior painting at $7.2 million. • New schools to replace existing schools which don’t need to be replaced. • Adding new theaters to five high schools. • $4.5 million for track resurfacing. • $1 million for tennis courts. While these are nice things to have when money is no object, (which is never the case) I have to ask how critical new gyms and theaters are towards achieving our educational mission, especially when this SPLOST allocates three times as much for these items than it does for learning and instructional purposes. Adding to these concerns is the issue holding a special election for this SPLOST, when it can be held during a general election or primary, thereby saving taxpayers $300,000. This is done to discourage voter turnout, where spending interests have a greater stake in its passage than the citizenry at large.

In response to these concerns, Superintendent Hinojosa has offered a series of vague reassurances. With transportation he said we’ll “figure out a way to get there.” With respect to maintenance costs, he said “We still have to work out the details.” With regard to staffing, he said they would begin looking at that in January of 2013, just two months before the March vote. In fairness to those of us asked to foot the bill, we deserve more transparency before we agree to giving the District a blank check.

This is not to say that Education SPLOSTS should never be passed, but the one before us now is hastily conceived and fraught with wasteful spending priorities. As such, it is time for the voters to tell the District to go back to the drawing board and give us a SPLOST which is truly deserving of our support.

Another concern is that the SPLOST was established by state law to pay for expansion of existing facilities to accommodate growing student enrollment, yet there is woefully little of that in this project list, and most of the money goes towards routine maintenance, replacement of serviceable

Lance Lamberton has been a Cobb resident since 2001, and is the president of the Cobb Taxpayers Association, which is leading a grass-roots effort to defeat the Education SPLOST.

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February 2013 15


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Ed-SPLOST 4 Expenditures Planned for East Cobb Schools >>> The current Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or SPLOST, will expire Dec. 31, 2013. A referendum to extend the building program five years will be held March 19, 2013. SPLOST 4 funds will be spent on all Cobb County Schools. In the interest of our readers, the EAST COBBER pulled out the following improvements planned for schools located in East Cobb County from the Cobb County Board of Education’s “Notebook” for the ED-SPLOST 4: Addison Elementary School: HVAC System Replacement ($1,830,015); Playground Replacement ($85,000); Building repainted, flooring replaced, blinds on windows replaced; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Replace Carpeting in Gymnasium Play; Area to Sport Court; Technology Upgrades*.

Dodgen Middle School: Concrete & Stair Railing ($6,400); Gymnasium Electrical Project ($223,561); Roof & Skylight Replacement ($2,533,370); Replacement of covered play area with a permanent structure to include AC/Heat; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Technology Upgrades*; Band Instruments*; Choral*.

Bells Ferry Elementary School: Put in new means of handicap accessibility; New Roof on the older section of the Building; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Replace Carpeting in Gymnasium Play; Area to Sport Court; Technology Upgrades*.

East Cobb Middle School: Gymnasium Electrical Project ($223,561); Roof & Skylight Replacement ($2,618,714); Plumbing Project ($357,267); Light fixtures updated; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Technology Upgrades*; Band Instruments*; Choral*.

Blackwell Elementary School: Playground Replacement ($85,000); Replacement of all building windows and Frames (per maintenance recommendation) with Tinting windows on the West end of the Building; (Cafeteria and Media Center Rooms) – Environmental and Energy Efficiency; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Technology Upgrades*.

East Side Elementary School: New Playground for intermediate grades; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Technology Upgrades*.

Brumby Elementary School: Playground Replacement ($85,000); New flooring in all buildings; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Replace Carpeting in Gymnasium Play; Area to Sport Court; Technology Upgrades*. Daniell Middle School: Electrical System Upgrade ($300,000); Gymnasium Electrical Project ($223,561); HVAC System Replacement ($3,986,460); HVAC Control System Conversion ($531,528); Window & Door Replacement ($224,233); Safety - Front Lobby Redesigned for Safety; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Technology Upgrades*; Band Instruments*; Choral*. Davis Elementary School: Gymnasium Electrical Project ($210,210); Plumbing Project ($164,510); Playground Replacement ($85,000); Replace windows in classrooms and office area; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Technology Upgrades*. Dickerson Middle School: Re-Roofing ($1,100,000); Gymnasium Electrical Project ($223,561); Refinish gym floorbut only with quality bid; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Technology Upgrades*; Band Instruments*; Choral*.

Eastvalley Elementary School: Playground Replacement ($85,000); Parking lot expansion; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Technology Upgrades*. Garrison Mill Elementary School: Gymnasium Electrical Project ($210,210); Playground Replacement ($85,000); Bus Lane Awning; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Technology Upgrades*. Hightower Trail Middle School: Electrical System Upgrade ($300,000); Gymnasium Electrical Project ($10,920); Roof & Skylight Replacement ($2,086,532); Paving ($115,400); Replace roof; Exterior painting of trim and awnings; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Technology Upgrades*; Band Instruments*; Choral*. Keheley Elementary School: Gymnasium Electrical Project ($210,210); Roof & Skylight Replacement ($987,518); Playground Replacement ($85,000); Paint - all interior & exterior walls (exclude newly renovated office suites) and Paint - cafeteria & kitchen; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Replace Carpeting in Gymnasium Play; Area to Sport Court; Technology Upgrades*. Kell HighSchool: Athletic Field Electrical Project ($72,000); Track/P.E. Resurfacing ($350,000); Tennis/P.E. Court Resurfacing ($90,000); Bus Port Modification, Intercom phone system (VOIP), Technology Upgrades*,Band Instruments*, Choral*, Athletic Standards - Restroom Improvements; Athletic Standards -Concession Improvements; Athletic Standards- Stadium.

*Technology Upgrades: Upgrade classroom workstations, teacher computers, classroom audio visual equipment, printer/copiers, interactive classroom devices, and supporting equipment. *Band Instruments: Upgrade and/or replace of existing instruments and equipment, and purchase of additional instruments and equipment. *Choral: Upgrade and/or replacement of existing choral instruments and equipment (including digital pianos, choral risers, acoustic shells, keyboards, guitars, and other instruments).

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>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Kincaid Elementary School: Electrical System Upgrade ($300,000); Gymnasium Electrical Project ($210,210); Temporary Annex Building Replacement ($3,027,250); Expanded Parking 3 lot in upper lot; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Technology Upgrades*. Lassiter High School: Main Gymnasium ($11,750,000); Athletic Field Electrical Project ($72,000); Track/P.E. Resurfacing ($350,000); Intercom phone system (VOIP); Technology Upgrades*; Band Instruments*; Choral*; Athletic Standards- Restroom Improvements; Athletic Standards -Concession Improvements; Athletic Standards –Stadium. Mabry Middle School: Flooring Replacement ($168,000); Gymnasium Electrical Project ($223,561); Theater Seat Replacement ($150,000); Renovate all original restroom fixtures/stalls and add blow dryers (adult & student); Intercom phone system (VOIP); Technology Upgrades*; Band Instruments*; Choral*. McCleskey Middle School: Gymnasium Electrical Project ($210,210); Roof & Skylight Replacement ($2,094,078); Updated locker rooms with new lockers and benches; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Technology Upgrades*; Band Instruments*; Choral*. Mountain View Elementary School: Interior & Exterior Painting ($221,399); Electrical System Upgrade ($300,000); Gymnasium Electrical Project ($210,210); HVAC System Replacement ($1,932,216); Parking lot expansion; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Technology Upgrades*. Mt. Bethel Elementary School: Concrete & Stair Railing ($3,120); Electrical System Upgrade ($300,000); Gymnasium Electrical Project ($210,210); Temporary Annex Building Replacement ($2,928,062); Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Technology Upgrades*.

Murdock Elementary School: Gymnasium Electrical Project ($210,210); New Playscapes; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Technology Upgrades*. Nicholson Elementary School: Gymnasium Electrical Project ($210,210); HVAC System Replacement ($1,819,200); Playground Replacement ($85,000); Reconfiguration of front office and lobby area for security; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Technology Upgrades*. Pope High School: Addition - Theatre Sitework, Theatre General Construction, Theatre & Main Gymnasium ($17,873,750); Athletic Field Electrical Project ($72,000); Track/P.E. Resurfacing ($350,000); Tennis/P.E. Court Resurfacing ($90,000); New flooring throughout the building; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Technology Upgrades*; Band Instruments*; Choral*; Athletic Standards - Restroom Improvements; Athletic Standards - Concession Improvements; Athletic Standards – Stadium. Powers Ferry Elementary School: New flooring throughout building; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Technology Upgrades*. Rocky Mount Elementary School: Interior & Exterior Painting ($196,372); Concrete & Stair Railing ($9,000); Boiler Replacement ($40,200); Playground Replacement ($85,000); Renovate all bathrooms; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Technology Upgrades*. Sedalia Park Elementary School: Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Replace Carpeting in Gymnasium Play; Area to Sport Court; Technology Upgrades*.

>>> Continued on next page >>>

*Technology Upgrades: Upgrade classroom workstations, teacher computers, classroom audio visual equipment, printer/copiers, interactive classroom devices, and supporting equipment. *Band Instruments: Upgrade and/or replace of existing instruments and equipment, and purchase of additional instruments and equipment. *Choral: Upgrade and/or replacement of existing choral instruments and equipment (including digital pianos, choral risers, acoustic shells, keyboards, guitars, and other instruments).

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February 2013 17


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Ed-SPLOST 4 Expenditures Planned for East Cobb Schools Shallowford Falls Elementary School: Gymnasium Electrical Project ($210,210); Interior & Exterior Painting ($309,705); Paving ($59,200); Playground Replacement ($85,000); Repair drainage problem (from field to parking area); Intercom phone system; (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Technology Upgrades*.

Timber Ridge Elementary School: Gymnasium Electrical Project ($210,210); Roof; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Technology Upgrades*.

Simpson Middle School: Gymnasium Electrical Project ($223,561); Theater Seat Replacement ($150,000); Refurbish Floors-Gym and Covered play area; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Technology Upgrades*; Band Instruments*; Choral*. Sprayberry High School: Athletic Field Electrical Project ($72,000); Plumbing Project ($367,801); Track/P.E. Resurfacing ($350,000); Tennis/P.E. Court Resurfacing ($90,000); Replace main Gymnasium floor; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Technology Upgrades*; Band Instruments*; Choral*; Athletic Standards - Restroom Improvements; Athletic Standards Concession Improvements; Athletic Standards – Stadium. Sope Creek Elementary School: Sitework - Asphalt Paving - Add Parking $300,000); P.E Building Renovation ($2,233,750); Flooring Replacement ($413,366); Plumbing Project ($254,687); Playground Replacement ($85,000); Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Technology Upgrades*.

Tritt Elementary School: Gymnasium Electrical Project ($210,210); Temporary Annex Building Replacement ($3,027,250); Paving drive (right side of School); Intercom phone system (VOIP); Bathroom Modifications as Needed; Technology Upgrades*. Walton High School: Main Gymnasium & New Facility Including Fine Arts Facilities with Theater ($38,410,000); Plumbing Project ($570,326); Paving ($45,800); Track/P.E. Resurfacing ($350,000); Tennis/P.E. Court Resurfacing ($90,000); Site Modified as Necessary; Intercom phone system (VOIP); Technology Upgrades*; Band Instruments*; Choral*; Athletic Standards - Restroom Improvements; Athletic Standards - Concession Improvements; Athletic Standards – Stadium. Wheeler High School: Addition - Theatre Sitework, Theatre & Main Gymnasium ($17,730,000); Athletic Field Electrical Project ($72,000); Track/P.E. Resurfacing ($350,000); Tennis/P.E. Court Resurfacing ($90,000); Intercom phone system (VOIP); Technology Upgrades*; Band Instruments*; Choral*; Athletic Standards - Restroom Improvements; Athletic Standards - Concession Improvements; Athletic Standards – Stadium.

*Technology Upgrades: Upgrade classroom workstations, teacher computers, classroom audio visual equipment, printer/copiers, interactive classroom devices, and supporting equipment. *Band Instruments: Upgrade and/or replace of existing instruments and equipment, and purchase of additional instruments and equipment. *Choral: Upgrade and/or replacement of existing choral instruments and equipment (including digital pianos, choral risers, acoustic shells, keyboards, guitars, and other instruments).

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SPLOST IV  

SPLOST IV explained