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Cherokee Schools Reach Milestone

The district anticipated a peak enrollment of 38,925. Wednesday, they got a surprise.

For the first time, student enrollment in the has topped 39,000.

On the sixth day of school Wednesday, enrollment reached 39,039. The school system estimated that the number would peak at 38,925 this year.

"Our increasing enrollment is further evidence that more families are learning about the top-notch public school system we have here and making the choice to enroll their children with us," district spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby said in an email.

Jacoby said the "as opposed to further depleting reserves in order to balance the 2012-13 School Year budget puts the School District in a better position to deal with these and other costs associated with higher-than-anticipated enrollment."

The growth in the district coincides with the launch of , an initiative intended to expand school choice options in the county.

Four elementary schools, Ball Ground, , Clark Creek and Holly Springs, opened last Wednesday as science, technology, engineering and mathematics academies. Two schools,  and Oak Grove, opened as fine arts academies.

"As the School District nears enrollment of 40,000," Jacoby said, "it also means we have a large enough student population to offer additional specialized academic programs ... like the Cherokee Academies initiative ... and future phases of it."

By the Numbers

  • Day 6 count: 39,039 students
  • Number of students who enrolled in the Cherokee County School District on Wednesday: 47
  • Number of students who have enrolled since the first day of school: 817
  • Projected peak enrollment: 38,925

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Phil McCall August 10, 2012 at 01:37 PM
According to this link http://www.cherokee.k12.ga.us/Pages/Welcome.aspx under "Financial State of the District" page 6; "86% of the CCSD Operating/General Fund budget is expended on Employee Salaries and Benefits...". That leaves 14% for new text books and new buses in existing schools, maintenance on existing schools, utilities & insurance on existing & SPLOST facilities, etc. The options are limited and point to more taxes as we build more facilities that require more teachers, more buses, more utilities, etc. The more we build under ESPLOST the more M&O will be strained. Frankly [no pun intended], I'd like the supt. to layout EXACTLY how he would spend the additional tax money in a budget document. A lot of the argument would evaporate if he were to show us exactly how we would spend the money. As of now, we hear we are underfunded - but no exact amount of how much is needed. We are told how much local dropped, and how much the State is not providing, and a passing comment about Stimulus going away, - but no answer on how much is required. We do not hear how the money would be spent. Lastly, if CCSD wants more support for raising taxes the supt. should also show us what will improve or stay status quo if we give more taxes. Until we know how more money would be spent and what we gain - the majority of the tax payers will not support more taxation.
Frank Jones August 10, 2012 at 05:58 PM
@Terry...I know it's tough to agree with Steely as he's usually off-the-wall. However, I've reviewed Cobb's and Cherokee's personnel expenses (2011) by title and find that Admin in Cherokee is better, for instance: Asst Superintendent: Cherokee 7@$108,695 ($761K) vs. Cobb 11@$116,462 (1.3M) Dir. of Curriculum: Cherokee 2@$105,866 ($212K) vs. Cobb 8@$89,110 ($713K) Food Svc Admin: Cherokee 3@81,883 ($245K) vs. Cobb 11@$72916 ($802K) Transport. Dir.: Cherokee 3 at $260K vs Cobb 17 at $1 million Superintendent: Cherokee $225,953 vs Cobb $259,805 (above numbers and counts based upon Open.Georgia.gov website, 2011 data) Factoring in the relative school sizes, Cherokee appears to be doing better.
Jim Beam August 10, 2012 at 07:04 PM
And that's the problem with Frank Jones and his ilk: A concerned taxpayer like me desiring real fiscal conservatism is considered "off the wall". Frank,would you care to retract your oft-told, tired LIE that the "Gold Dome" is cutting funding even though all evidence points to the contrary? The State has increased Ed. funding every year since 2010, including a $25M increase this year. And why do we need 7 assistant superintendents making $116K each? Why is a "Food Service Admin" making $80K?? Why does our Superintendent need a $600/month vehicle allowance? Comparisons to Cobb are invalid since Cobb embraces the Charter school movement whereas Cherokee BOE and superintendent hate Charter schools, parents, and children attending them. You know what's off-the-wall? Our superintendent threatening to "transferring more costs to parents" in 2013 the day before their property taxes were increased. But to Frank Jones and crew, we're all supposed to just keep quiet, open our wallets, insist on no accountability whatsoever and be happy with mediocre results. Now THAT is off-the-wall.
Frank Jones August 11, 2012 at 03:49 PM
@Steely...There is a difference between fiscal conservatism and fiscally smart. Unfortunately, too many fiscal conservatives don't understand economics, finance, budgets, and employment issues. And as such, I stand by my claim that you're "off the wall". So let's address my "LIES" and address your lies as well. First, the state has underfunded CCSD based upon QBE by $83.1 million in years 2010-2012. $26.6 million in 2012 alone. The Gold Dome has increased the State's total school funding recently, however, the state's recommended budget for 2013 of $7.168 billion is $1.851 billion less than it was in 2007. Further, the state has had education budget DECREASES every year from 2007 through 2012. As to your claim that the state increased funding by $25 million this year, I have to ask, which year -- 2011/12 or 2012/13. Either way, the CCSD budget does not show that increase. Instead, the 2011/12 budget shows an increase of only $14.5 million while 2012/13 shows a small decrease. As to "Why we need 7 Asst. Superintendents?" it's because Asst. Superintendents are like business Vice Presidents. These people are in charge of functional areas/departments like: finance (CFO), technology (CIO), school operations, personnel, etc. And why do we pay them "So Much"? It's because that's the market price, or even below-market price, for these positions. If you want to argue your point, bring facts and knowledge. Don't argue "Your Beliefs".
No More Bullies August 13, 2012 at 10:56 AM
The county board of commissioners raising the millage rate has nothing to do with the school district. and yes, Cobb does have charter schools. They approved several Imagine schools which have since closed and left town. The Charter friendly Cobb School Board also voted down the Charter Schools USA standard template application three times, including in June 2011 when it was voted down on the consent agenda. In charter friendly Cobb, with a population three times that of Cherokee, not a single person came to speak on behalf of the CSUSA petition. Not one.

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