A new college and career academy in Cobb County could include certified nursing, computer programming and graphic communications programs that would draw high school students from across the district, superintendent Michael Hinojosa said during a detailed presentation to the school board Monday.
Funds to build the school would come from a $717 special sales tax (SPLOST) proposal if it is placed on the March ballot and passed by Cobb residents.
Meanwhile, two board members questioned if the board should delay placing the sales tax on the March ballot.
Hinojosa said building a $29 million career and college academy would fulfill Cobb’s mission to help students prepare for college and careers.
Under the proposal, participating high school juniors and seniors would spend half their day at the school taking classes in the architecture, health care, computer information science and Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) career fields.
The administration estimated that each program could cost anywhere from $150,000 to $200,000. But those costs could be subsidized through state grants and partnerships with local businesses and community colleges, administrators said. The district would also have to pay to staff the school.
“I think this was a very comprehensive presentation,” said board member Lynnda Eagle. “I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there. If we share more information with our parents, we’ll have students clamoring to get into a program like this.”
The presentation came during the final days before the school board is expected to vote on whether to place the SPLOST proposal on the March ballot.
A draft of the proposal includes replacing several schools, adding on to others and completing hundreds of other projects over the next five years.
Hinojosa originally proposed that the board build two career and college academies.
But board members said proposing to build two new high schools even though the district wasn’t growing could turn voters against the proposal.
Last week, administrators knocked one of the two schools off the proposal.
After the presentation, board members Kathleen Angelucci and Tim Stultz asked that the board consider giving the community more time to give input on the SPLOST proposal and to place it instead on the November 2013 ballot. That decision is expected to be made at the board’s Nov. 14 meeting.