COBB COUNTY, GA — A new social media policy for district employees, critical race theory, staff raises, a $1.5 billion fiscal year 2021-22 budget and new principals were among the agenda items for the Cobb County School District Board of Education this week.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. District employees can’t post anything on social media that may discredit the district, and cannot speak to members of the media without district coordination.
Cobb board members approved an addition to the employee ethics policy, which prohibits employees from communicating with members of the media without first coordinating with the district’s communications department. If an employee speaks with a media outlet, they must say they’re speaking in a personal capacity and not as a representative of the district.
Additionally, the new social media policy bans employees from posting anything on their professional or personal accounts that “places in doubt the reliability, trustworthiness, or sound judgment of the district, the Cobb County Board of Education, or any of its employees;” “harms the reputation of or discredits the district;” violates privacy laws; or uses any type of hate speech.
The new social media policy also prohibits employees from accepting or initiating friend requests from students, messaging with students and posting pictures or videos of students on personal accounts.
You can read the full social media policy on page 21 of this PDF document.
2. Critical race theory will not be taught in Cobb County Schools.
The board approved a resolution, along party lines, that bans the teaching of critical race theory and The New York Times’ 1619 Project.
Read more: Critical Race Theory Banned In Cobb County Schools
3. All non-temporary district employees will get a raise.
During the meeting Thursday, board members approved a $1.5 billion fiscal year 2021-22 district budget, which allows for a 4 to 8.6 percent raise for all non-temporary staff.
All employees will get a 4 percent raise, and the FY 2022 budget includes a full salary step for eligible employees. Specific employee raises will be based on both particular roles and eligibility for step increases. Raises take effect July 1.
“The salary increase for every single non-temporary employee, of 4 to 8.6 percent, is a small way to say thank you to our entire team, especially our teachers,” Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said in a news release. “You have heard me say it often. We have two types of employees: teachers and those who support those who teach. It has taken every single team member to get through this year, and I could not be more proud of our team.”
4. Three schools will have new principals for the 2021-22 school year.
- Jeffrey Jones, the principal at Chalker Elementary School, will replace Alison Dugan as the principal for Baker Elementary School. Dugan resigned from her role, effective July 31, and Jones will take over June 11.
- Ansley Daniel, principal at Simpson Middle School, will replace Lenora Nyeste as the principal for Lost Mountain Middle School. Nyeste retires July 1, and Daniel will take over then.
- Mari LaEla, assistant principal at Hillgrove High School, will take over Daniel’s principal role at Simpson Middle School beginning July 1.