Strategic Waiver School System


In 2008, HB 1209 established the opportunity for Georgia public school districts to increase flexibility by becoming a Charter School District or an Investing in Educational Excellence (IE2) school district.  The Cobb County School District made the decision to pursue becoming an IE2 district in 2014.  This decision allowed Cobb to receive increased flexibility in the form of waivers of certain state laws, rules, and guidelines in exchange for greater accountability for increased student performance.  Subsequently in 2015, HB 502 changed the IE2 distinction to the Strategic Waivers School System (SWSS).  In February 2024, the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) announced that all SWSS would be reapplying for continued status. Cobb’s 2024 application development began by evaluating waivers currently being utilized to determine a continued need.  Additional waivers from all divisions and local school input were considered.  The GaDOE will allow the opportunity to add waivers over the course of the 6-year contract as needs arise.

Waiver Rationale:

The Cobb County School District, a suburban school district in Metro Atlanta, is the second largest school district in Georgia and 23rd largest school district in the nation. It serves over 106,000 student with112 schools. Since 2020, the district has seen a decrease in enrollment particularly in our elementary grades, yet there was an increase in the diversity of student need. Post- pandemic the number of striving learners has increased. In February 2023, our board of education adopted a new strategic plan focusing on the key competencies of a graduate around the themes of scholars (math and science content knowledge, language arts and social studies knowledge, personal finance knowledge), leaders (communication skills, entrepreneurial skills, self-direction and personal responsibility), and citizen (critical thinking, collaboration skills, community awareness). The submitted waivers, which align to the Superintendent’s priorities, seek flexibility of specified Georgia State Board of Education rules, codes, and laws pertaining to academic programs, human resources and financial flexibility allowing us to ensure all students throughout our large and diverse district have the ability to become competent and confident graduates.