Cobb County Schools Invest in Educator Success with Expanded Post-Graduate Program

In a commitment to support the professional growth and development of its educators, Cobb County Schools has expanded its post-graduate education program, offering teachers even more opportunities to pursue advanced degrees funded by the school system.

Georgia’s BEST (Building Educator Success Together) program, in partnership with the University of West Georgia, provides funding for master’s, education specialist, and doctorate degrees for educators, all at no cost to the teachers themselves. This initiative represents a significant investment in the continued excellence of Cobb County’s educators, fostering a culture of lifelong learning and growth within the school district.

The inaugural year of the program saw a substantial investment, with over $1.15 million allocated to support educators in pursuing advanced degrees, according to district records. Building upon this foundation of success, Cobb County Schools is poised to expand the program further, welcoming approximately 200 new educators into the program starting in August. This expansion brings the total number of teachers benefiting from the program to 700 in just the first two years of its operation, highlighting its rapid growth and popularity among educators.

Cobb school board member Brad Wheeler expressed enthusiasm for the program’s impact, noting the positive reception it has received from educators throughout the district. “Teachers come to schools and stay in classrooms where they are valued,” Wheeler remarked, reflecting on his decades-long experience in education. “I have never heard our Team more excited about anything, or feel more valued, in my 30 years in Cobb.”

Indeed, the Georgia’s BEST program has emerged as one of the district’s most effective recruitment and retention tools, with a notable decrease in teacher vacancies and a high rate of educator satisfaction. At the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year, Cobb County experienced only 20 vacancies, a stark contrast to the hundreds seen in districts across metro Atlanta. Additionally, over 98% of Cobb educators have expressed their intention to return to the district for the 2024-2025 school year, underscoring the program’s role in fostering a supportive and fulfilling work environment.

Superintendent Chris Ragsdale praised the board’s commitment to supporting educators and hailed the expansion of the Georgia’s BEST program as a testament to Cobb County’s dedication to excellence in education. “Georgia’s BEST benefits our entire team of students, staff, families, and taxpayers,” Ragsdale emphasized, expressing gratitude for the unanimous approval of the program’s expansion.

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As the application deadline for the 2024 BEST cohort approaches, Cobb teachers are encouraged to seize the opportunity to further their professional growth and development. With the district’s unwavering support and investment in their success, educators have the resources they need to excel in their careers and continue making a positive impact on the lives of students in Cobb County Schools.

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