Cobb school board votes to pay for new textbooks

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COBB COUNTY, Ga. —

A battle over math books came to an end Wednesday as the Cobb County school board voted to pay for new textbooks.

It started in April when the board voted against spending $7.5 million for new math textbooks due to the state's Common Core curriculum.

The new math curriculum means students need new math books to match them. Supporters said students need to keep up and there's no time to waste. The board eventually agreed with that line of reasoning.

“After considerable debate and study, it has been determined that teachers and students need resources and it is imperative the Cobb County Board of Education reconsider the adoption of instructional materials,” Wednesday’s agenda said.

Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach was at the district headquarters in Marietta for the heated debate ahead of the vote. Both sides had their chance to talk on the contentious issue inside during the meeting that started Wednesday morning.

"School begins in two weeks. Pre-planning begins in a week. You have tied the hands of our teachers. You have impacted every single student," said former teacher Dr. Beth Farokhi.

Others worried the Common Core standards that most states have adopted amount to a federal government takeover of local schools and argued the state may soon ditch the standards.

One mother of two Cobb County elementary students said her kids' workbooks teaching Common Core math are ridiculous. And she's against a compromise of a scaled-down version of new online and digital textbooks.

"To even consider spending almost $3 million on materials without a shred of open public discussion, or thoroughly vetting them yourselves is disgusting," said parent Tammy Slaten.

The public comments were about even split, both for and against.

The board’s agenda said, “Budgeted funds within SPLOST III will be used to purchase the adopted instructional resources. The auditor and attorney have concurred that the materials included in this agenda item are appropriate expenditures for SPLOST.”