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. Education SPLOST (Ed-SPLOST) receipts can be used only for school-related capital improvements.
With a $1.3 billion budget and more than 18,000 employees, Cobb Schools’ monetary needs are similar to a major corporation. Capital projects—infrastructure, buildings, transportation, etc.—are an ongoing expense in the District. Cobb County offers taxpayers a unique way to fund such needs through the Ed-SPLOST program.
Ed-SPLOST allows Cobb Schools to pay for capital projects as they happen with money the District receives through the 1 penny sales tax. The only other option for funding major projects is through bonds, which means that Cobb borrows the money it needs and pays it back over a much longer time. Ed-SPLOST allows the District to remain debt-free, while bonds create long-term debt.
Ed-SPLOST has been an ongoing source of funding for Cobb Schools since 1998. During that time, there have been 5 Ed-SPLOST campaigns approved by Cobb voters. These five campaigns have resulted in a much improved and much larger school district that has been able to accommodate the growing educational needs of a growing county.
Since 1998, Ed-SPLOST has funded the construction of thirty-two new school buildings: nineteen elementary schools, eight middle schools, and five high schools. Nine brand-new elementary schools were built, while ten were replaced. Six new middle schools were built, and two were replaced. Four new high schools were built, and one was replaced. Overall, nineteen new schools were built, while thirteen were replaced.
The following lists the major projects the Ed-SPLOST VI money will be used for:
- Career Academy #2 – Northern Cobb Area
- New Elementary School – Southern Cobb Area
- Classroom Rebuild with Modernization & Upgrades – Sprayberry High School
- Bells Ferry Elementary School addition/modifications
- North Cobb High School facility upgrades
- Tapp Middle School facility upgrades
- Kincaid, Mt. Bethel, Murdock, Sope Creek and Tritt Elementary School Annexes
- Infrastructure improvements – HVAC, electrical, roofing, plumbing, flooring, lighting, painting
- Athletic facility and stadium upgrades – ADA and safety improvements, restoration and repairs
- Individual school site improvements including but not limited to signage, canopies and asphalt paving
- Safety, security and support enhancements
- Academic and technology refresh/upgrades/enhancements
- Undesignated classrooms
For a complete list of Ed-SPLOST VI projects click HERE.
Readers can also click HERE to watch Mr. Randy Scamihorn, Chair of the Cobb County School Board, discuss money and capital funding with Cobb Schools’ Chief Financial Officer, Brad Johnson. Mr. Johnson has worked with Cobb Schools since 1988. Mr. Johnson has been Cobb’s CFO for nearly a decade and is very familiar with the challenges and obstacles that come with funding a major school district of its size.
Hey, East Cobbers! Will you be voting for Ed-SPLOST VI? Why or Why not? Pls share your comments below.