Cobb Superintendent and Board Safeguard Budget by Canceling Multipurpose Facility Project

Cobb Schools One Team

Supporting Superintendent Chris Ragsdale’s recommendation, the Cobb Schools Board of Education voted today 6-0 to add an extra safeguard to the budget during a time of national economic uncertainty. 

In a brief special called Board meeting, Superintendent Ragsdale repeated the fiscal priorities given to him by the Board: to provide the best academic results at the cheapest cost for taxpayers and to prioritize people, not programs or facilities. 

To continue to accomplish both goals, he advised the Board that rising costs and a slow national growth rate required discontinuing plans for the multipurpose facility. As noted by Board members during the meeting, this decision protects Cobb’s ability to continue providing the best educational outcomes at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers. 

“Superintendent Ragsdale’s decision exemplifies his forward thinking, fiscal management, and leadership. This is why we trust our leadership team to guide our district and why we’ve been so successful,” said Board member Brad Wheeler (Post 7). Later, Mr. Wheeler went on to say, “…the real cost of buying groceries, paying for gasoline, and paying for necessary living items made this decision a wise one for all Cobb families”. 

Other Board members praised the recommendation to protect the 2024-2025 budget, 94% of which is spent on Cobb’s approximately 19,000 teachers and staff. 

“The economy has changed a lot in the last two years, and our financial decisions have to change with it,” Superintendent Ragsdale said. “For the last five years, as we have been planning for the multipurpose center, the economy across the country was growing. Fast forward to the middle of 2024, and the economy has slowed to a crawl.” 

However, economic headwinds aside and as this recommendation affirms, the Superintendent and Board remain committed to maintaining the lowest cost per student in the metropolitan area ($11,100), which is lower than DeKalb ($11,915), Fulton ($12,076), and Atlanta ($18,278) school districts. 

“We provide the best results at the cheapest cost for the taxpayer,” Board Chair Randy Scamihorn explained after the meeting ended. 

“I will always present a budget that prioritizes our people over facilities. Nothing is more important,” Superintendent Ragsdale said. 

Today’s decision ensures Cobb’s teachers continue to be prioritized while Cobb’s taxpayers continue to benefit from living in a county with the lowest cost and the highest academic results.