School board member Lynnda Eagle said the move would boost voter turnout.
"If it were on the general election, I definitely believe that we would have a bigger turnout," said northwest Cobb's school board member. "I actually support that, more than a special election. I believe in getting as much input from as many voters as we can."
School board member Tim Stultz said he supports the move.
"I favor moving the SPLOST referendums to general elections," said Stultz, who represents southeast Cobb. "It will result in more voters being aware of it, which will force the governing bodies to only include projects that address needs and not wants. If that is achieved, the referendum has a higher chance of being passed."
School board member David Banks, meanwhile, said voters will go to the ballot box regardless of when the election is held.
"It's true that we'll see more voters. Now whether they vote for or against SPLOST is another story," said Banks, who represents northeast Cobb. "Even if it's a special election, if they have a concern, they'll come out either way."
Board Vice Chair Scott Sweeney, who represents east Cobb, said a SPLOST's chances of passing depend upon the content of the project list, not the date.
"When drafting any SPLOST referendum, governing bodies must clearly and effectively advocate for their needs-based project list to garner majority backing," Sweeney said. "As we're witnessing with the current TSPLOST, a lively needs-versus-wants discussion will ensue. Elected officials understand that SPLOST support fades when SPLOST project lists are dominated by wants, regardless of a vote scheduled during a special or general election."
Neither school board chair Alison Bartlett and David Morgan would say whether they would support the change.
"I really don't know, because we've never had a SPLOST during a general election," Bartlett said. "Based on that, I have no experience to know if it would or would not be good or bad to do it."
Morgan said he hasn't given the issue much thought.
"I haven't delved into that and what outcomes manifest from that simply because it isn't a reality," Morgan said. "When it is a reality, I'll do all I can to see how it may benefit our district."
School board member Kathleen Angelucci could not be reached for comment.
Chuck Clay, a local lawyer and former GOP state party chairman, has assembled a coalition of school systems across the state that includes Cobb County but says he is not a lobbyist. Other schools in the group include Cartersville, Chatham County, Coweta, Fayette, Fulton and Gwinnett.
"I don't think anybody has a crystal ball as to which way is the best way to go," Clay said. "If you would have asked me, I would have liked to see the vote moved to November, but you keep hoping and praying that the economy would turn around and give a little more time to hopefully build that sense of confidence in economic growth. ... I don't think it's the date, as much as the economy."
Marietta Mayor and former state representative Steve Tumlin said he was at the state Capitol when voters could set an election for any time.
"I like the way the law was set up three or four years ago. I don't think they should make it too tight. Personally, I think it's a local community's choice, but certain parameters should be set by the state. I would not have favored it, my world being a mayor of a municipality. I would not have favored just once every two years. I think that was just too broad. I'm going to say that we definitely dodged a bullet, from the local perspective."
Tom Maloy, member of the board of directors for the Georgia Tea Party, said that it was hard to say whether or not a date change would affect the education SPLOST.
"It seems like conventional wisdom says that if the thing is put on the November ballot instead of the primary ballot, that it would give the supporters more time to press forward and that there would be a larger voter turnout, so that the people who might support that, would be at the polls. Looking at it the other way, if there were more people that opposed the (SPLOST), putting it on the general election would favor the people who oppose it. I really think it just depends on how well each side gets their message across. If the opposition does a good job of saying that the TPLOST list is not a good list, the opposition would bring a good voter turnout."
Maloy said he thinks it will come back before Deal again.
"I believe it's in January that they'll look at it again. At that point, we'll have to look at it again. It's just going to depend on how educated the voter is."