Should school bus service be reinstated?

Should CCPS reinstate school bus service?

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Like all businesses these days, Clayton County Public Schools has been forced to make tough decisions in order to balance its budget. To that end, they recently enforced a 20+ year old policy terminating bus service for students living within a mile and a half of their schools, saving the system about $4 million.

Ever since this decision was made, I have been bombarded with stories from families directly affected and their supporters. Tonight, they will ask the Board of Education to put childrens safety first by reinstating school bus service.

Although Morrow resident “Dee” has transportation to get her children to school, she supports reinstating bus service for parents without alternatives. “The State Pardon Parole and Probation Office where criminals of all kind report, including people with a history of violent crimes, is two blocks away from Jackson Elementary and one block from Jonesboro High School,” says Dee. “This is the number one concern of ALL parents in my community.”

Recently, parent LaSaundra Algeré could only listen as strangers offered her children car rides. “I gave directions over the phone to say “No thanks” and keep walking. Suddenly, I was talking to an adult who then asked if it would be okay to give my children a ride seeing as she had already given them a ride the day prior,” says Algeré, who works a full-time job along with her husband and can not take the kids to and from school. “I had no prior knowledge of this ride nor did I give my consent. I no longer trust this area nor my childrens’ judgment to walk to school alone.”

Other concerns include lack of sidewalks, insufficient lighting and large trucks and other vehicles traveling along our major roadways. “Early morning is when most trucks travel (on Southlake Parkway) and this places the students whom are walking at risk, especially when there are no sidewalks,” adds Dee. With daylight savings time fast approaching on November 7, walking will become even more dangerous for students with no transportation options.

“Children are exposed not only to the elements, traffic, and road conditions, but also to over [300] registered sexual offenders clustered in Clayton’s communities where kids are walking,” says 40-year resident Alicia Schneider, who hopes to work with the BOE to mobilize available parents to start a Neighborhood Walk (similar to a neighborhood watch). “I believe both the parents and BOE share responsibility. If we can get parents to act as escorts/chaperones and scout for potential road hazards, we can protect our kids.”

Would you join a "Neighborhood Walk" to keep kids in your community safe walking to/from school?

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Call the BOE Secretary if you wish to comment at tonight’s meeting, which starts at 6:00 PM (1058 Fifth Ave. Jonesboro).

Connect with other concerned CCPS parents on Facebook by “friending” Clayco Parent.

Your thoughts?

UPDATE: Last night BOE voted 6-3 not to reinstate school bus service.

62 comments Add your comment

Not a Clayton parent but ...

September 13th, 2010
1:38 pm

The board and schools need to budget cut somewhere else. Some of these kids I see walking are too young to be out there alone life was much different when this policy was first created. Why position the schools and county for a future lawsuit, its inevitable.

whatever

September 13th, 2010
1:39 pm

The question the School Board SHOULD be asking themselves is not, “will this save us money?” But “Would I as an adult, feel safe walking every morning and afternoon in some of these areas we are sentencing our younger children to walk>” if the answer in no then No amount of savings are worth the risk.

I'm just saying...

September 13th, 2010
2:28 pm

The school system is having a “back in the day…; I walked 6miles one way in the snow” moment. They are assuming that communities operate as they did in the past. Neighborhoods have changed (not just in Clayton but across this country). Many citizens have relocated to areas away from extended family. Many citizens today do not know and definitely do not trust their neighbor to look out for their children.

Reinstate the bus service!!!!!!!

oldtimer

September 13th, 2010
3:03 pm

Parents could, as a group, arrange to take turns walking or driving kids. As a kid in Dekalb we walked..no sidewalks or crossing guards, but parents took turns monitoring the walk routes and watching for little ones. Also parents that go in late could volunteer to drive and another who gets off a little earlier coould pick up. The state does not provide funing for the buses.

2DPoint

September 13th, 2010
5:01 pm

I believe that many parents can and should do more in their roles to work with the school system – but homeowner taxes are the bulk of what’s driving the train for these services INCLUDING the buses. If Clayton County’s roads were properly designed and proper safety actions in place that would protect the children, then I’d be a bit softer on the issue. I remember the “good old days” when some kids could walk to school but our civilization has regressed some it seems (lots of pedophiles, fast cars with idiots on cell phones, stray animals, etc). Keep the buses on the road and make other cuts that doesn’t harm the children or take away from the effectiveness of learning.

Synamonsays!

September 13th, 2010
8:05 pm

Freethinkers

September 13th, 2010
8:33 pm

Use some of the “Race to the Top Money” to bus 5-10 year olds to school Countywide! The County Commission has already squandered so-called SPLOST money that was supposed to be used for safe sidewalks in the county for years! However we don’t have sidewalks! Use the “Race to the Top Money” for bussing the children NOT the overpaid so-called non-classroom administrators, like the BOE commonly do.

Bit o' Jack

September 13th, 2010
8:42 pm

If the BOE don’t change the policy, its simply stupid do what stupid does!

Secret Agent Man

September 13th, 2010
11:16 pm

Cut bus service ONLY for Middle and High Schoolers. The young elementary kids should not be walking to school. Irregardless, these parents need to be taking their youngest children to school anyway.

Long time Clayton Resident

September 14th, 2010
7:30 am

I personally am not affected by this rule as we live 1/2 a mile from the elementary school and I am able to provide transportation. But I fear for the kids who walk have to walk to school through my neighborhood. Most of the street is not lighted and since there is a hill on this street, most people speed down it. There is a curve at the end of the hill and I pray ever day that a kid is not hit. Kids are allowed to walk home unsupervised but if they ride the bus and are a PreK/K/1st grader, then a parent must be there to pick them up. How come a kid can walk home at that age but not ride a bus home unsupervised?

zoe

September 14th, 2010
9:15 am

The school system offers an after school program for all students in elementary schools. If you are too cheap to pay $40 a week for someone to supervise your child and instead alone him/her to walk home alone to be a latch key kid, that is not my issue. Don’t ask me to pay higher taxes to make up a $4 million deficit for bus service. It is amazing how many people want services for free and don’t realize there is a cost behind it.

ann price

September 14th, 2010
10:14 am

All of this dialogue is a good start but let us work together as parents, community and school system to come up with a solution that will best suit our children and move education forward.

clayco teacher

September 14th, 2010
5:07 pm

I actually see parents walking their kids to school in the morning…wow, imagine that, spending a little quality time with your kid…no computer, no video games, no tv… best 20 minutes of the day

MY CHILD, MY JOB

September 14th, 2010
5:08 pm

As a parent of an elementary school aged child here in Clayton County…. I ABSOLUTELY support restriction of bus service for middle school and high school students. I would ALSO support the restriction of bus service for the elementary school children IF we could count on the parents of these children to take the responsibility of determining if their child’s walk to school is safe, and if NOT, making alternate plans for getting their child to school (driving or walking the child themselves, car pools, etc.) Since the board voted NOT to reinstate the bus service, we as PARENTS must be the responsible party- this is a no brainer! If your child is too young or not mature enough to make the walk alone, or if the walk itself is unsafe, YOU MUST MAKE YOUR OWN PROVISIONS TO GET YOUR CHILD TO AND FROM SCHOOL SAFELY! Yes I know this is “hard” on some families, some will even say “impossible” but parents must do what is necessary to ensure their childs safety regardless of the negative impact it will have on their life or work. ( No I’m not crazy!) I personally worked EVERY weekend, double shifts, for TEN years so that I could get my child to and from school safely. A previous poster mentioned before/after-school programs…an EXCELLENT choice for parents that have difficult work schedules! I’ve also had several co-workers over the years that have obtained altered schedules to allow for getting their kids to and from school…you never know if you don’t ask! If you don’t have any family to help…find a BABYSITTER! I know all of this sounds harsh, but REALLY, I don’t understand why so many parents expect everyone else to take so much responsibility for their children when they themselves can’t be bothered? Aarrgghh!!

MONGREL

September 14th, 2010
7:05 pm

Maximum bussing should be the priority, however, not for this bunch on the BOE. Moreover, destroying a charter school is! Heatley has been installed by the folks who need to give children consent to watch President Obama on TV talk to the school children about education (unprecedented by other president) wonder Why? I’ll really be sorry for them when something happens to a child going to/from school!

Hampton Place

September 15th, 2010
9:21 am

I agree with My Child, My Job. We as parents must step up and make a way. People already complain about how the government is already too involved with how parents parent their child. Now is the time for parents to step up and be PARENTS. It is also time for the community to get together and learn about one another. Meet your neighbor and others in your neighborhood this will also help to deter crime in your area. The school system is only entitled to provide resources to educate our children; it is OUR responsibility as parents to make sure they get it and to get there. Now maybe next year those parents who believe in keeping their children out of school until after Labor Day will rethink! Get your child to school on time, make sure that they are doing their homework and actually grasping the information given so the county don’t have to keep budgeting money in other unnecessary areas. PARENTS be PARENTS get involved and volunteer…….

Shannon

September 15th, 2010
10:13 am

Wonder how long it will take for some child to be serious injured/killed/kidnapped/etc. on the walk to school? Shall we take bets on how long after that full bus service will be reinstated?

Blanket enforcement of rules is almost always stupid. In this case, definitely. Transportation administrators need to do a case-by-case walkthrough (and I use the word deliberately) of all the areas in question to determine how safe they really are. Some should be fine for elementary through high school students. Some may only be okay for middle and high school students. Some areas, even high school students shouldn’t be walking over a mile alone.

What baffles me is how very obvious this is, and how nobody is talking about considering the facts of each area.

Synamonsays!

September 15th, 2010
10:56 am

The asininity of the idea for anyone to think that it is OK for small children to walk a mile and a half on “roads” where there are not sidewalks is absolutely sinful. This is clearly a safety issue and nothing more. Children are not adults and they cannot think like adults and we are responsible for their safety. Enforcing a 20 year old policy is definitely not progressive thinking. It shows the inability to explore new ideas and policies that fit today’s education environment.
It was irresponsible for the community to find out literally days before school started that bus service would not be available for our children. It is even more irresponsible to expect these small children to walk along dangerous hazardous roads that even some adults will not attempt to navigate. But 5, 6, 7 and 8 years old children should? The decision by a majority of 6 on the BOE shows that it is not “all about the children”. Contact them and let them know you are not pleased, better yet show up at the next meeting and voice your concern about this ludicrous decision.

Even if we had sidewalks all over the county, these small children should not have to walk a mile and a half to school in fear of predators, careless drivers and in darkness. We need to care more about our students here in Clayton County. How many of the members who voted to kill bus service have small children? How many even considered the harsh ramifications of such a vote for the children?

It, according to the superintendent, costs 2.7 million dollars per year to fund the buses. Is this the price for the safety of our children? Are they worth such an investment? As stakeholders we must insist that the BOE go back to the drawing board, do some research on how other systems are putting their students’ safety first, and come up with some workable options, (which will take some real work on their part) but above all protect our children now! Is it asking too much to resume the service until they figure it out?

In terms of the school system, we voted for this BOE on their promise that it would be all about the children–but it seems to be all about everything else. The six people who voted not to reinstate the bus service have made a very poor decision. I am sure they are all very nice people. My prayer is that they do not end up with blood on their hands. We know that parents are the first line of defense for their children and many obviously do that very well, but the BOE we elected and pay (all board positions receive approximately $12,000 per year to serve) have a shared responsibility as well.

I abhor recalls, for they circumvent the voters’ choice and power, but I truly believe in the Ballot. We have two whole years to make sure that we identify, support and elect at least five people to work with other Board of Education Members: who want it to be “all about the children”, are independent thinkers, have the will to think out of the box, are willing to explore new ideas, focus on ways of raising the bar for everyone and finally, understand that they are the superintendent’s leader, not the other way around.
My last note is people, please do not be bamboozled again, the Board of Commissioners, contrary to what Bell and Heatley think , cannot rectify this Board of Education problem. We must keep our eyes on the real issues. Transportation for our students is not under the purview of the BOC and they cannot just magically start building sidewalks. We suffer and are fooled due to our lack of civic literacy and civic engagement. This allows politicians the ability to tell us anything! Do your own due diligence or get involved with those who do. Attend BOC and BOE meetings listen carefully, observe and speak out!

MY CHILD, MY JOB

September 15th, 2010
3:55 pm

Somewhere along the way, many have forgotten that county provided transportation to schools was intended as a priviledge, not an entitlement. A priviledge to students who did not live close enough to their school to walk or for their parents to provide transportation or escort their children themselves. In the current state of the economy it seems logical to me that the priviledges get cut first. It’s not unreasonable for the county to expect a parent to get their children to school safely….it IS, afterall, about the education itself, not who is responsible for getting a child a mile and a half down the road! To all who are concerned about safety…. None of you have mentioned what the parents of these kids should be doing to ensure their safety. Aren’t the parents the bottom line? Someone please explain to me why it’s so UNREASONABLE to expect a parent to be the responsible party in protecting their own children from the dangers of a mile and a half of road? A relatively small investment in our children’s safety can save the county alot of money. No one seems to want any cuts in the budget that might affect THEM…”go cut somewhere else!” is the response. But in this case, the county is asking for the PARENTS to compensate where the county can longer afford to provide services. No one is asking us to send our kids into danger, they’re asking us to step up and be responsible for the safety of our own kids!!!

bigdogears

September 15th, 2010
4:48 pm

The kids on the busses should be dropped off 1.5-miles from school. In fact, put the facility parking area 1.5-miles from school too. Everybody gets to enjoy a little morning and afternoon stroll.

MorrowDude

September 15th, 2010
5:13 pm

The school board has made the decision and must ultimately be responsible for the consequences. Economic times are tough and everyone must sacrifice. I don’t like the idea of elementary students walking unescorted, but the system can’t afford the bus service if the state won’t provide reimbursement. It’s a matter of simple economics.

Juanita Hrdz

September 15th, 2010
7:46 pm

I live on a 3 lane road. My son (6 years old)does ride the bus but he has to stand on the side of the road where there is no side walk. He has to walk along the roadside to get to the bus stop because there is no side walk. Me as a full time single parent have 3 other kids and I cant be there all the time. I have to park in the middle of the street to wait for the bus. We have other adults yelling at the kids because they are standing in the driveway instead of the grass.

Parent and Taxpayer

September 15th, 2010
9:35 pm

This is off subject, but since there was no communication about Jonesboro High’s leadership change, can somebody tell me if that school was reconstituted under No Child Left Behind? What happnened to the previous school leadership? I have looked on the Website and as usual, there is nothing about it. Hey, that’s an idea, cut the pay and positions of the overpaid staff that don’t do their jobs and pay for transportation. Isn’t the school system’s motto, It’s all about the children. Hmmmmmmm, really? Anyway, would love an answer on the leadership at JHS.

Hoodwinked

September 15th, 2010
10:36 pm

MorrowDude,bigdogears and MY CHILD, MY JOB don’t have children in the school system! They say, the school system can’t afford the bus service if the state won’t provide reimbursement. It’s a matter of simple economics. They missed the point the FED did provie the state with “Race to the Top Money” for Clayton! However, these daily bloggers supports paying MILLIONS from “Race to the Top Money” to contractors, vendors and the like, all of which don’t live in the county however, own businesses here. The children’s safety is a non-issue for the bosses of the BOE and we all know who they are!

Synamonsays!

September 15th, 2010
11:17 pm

It saddens me to read some of these blogs. I do not have children in the school system but I have enough common sense to know that this decision can only result in disaster. Our village is on fire and some people keep throwing coals on the fire rather than working for a sound solution. We must stand up for our children because clearly there are those who do not give a damn. Yes cuts have to be made but not at the expense of safety for the small children.

bigdogears

September 16th, 2010
8:54 am

Hoodwinked: You’re correct; I don’t have any children in the school system. I don’t have any children period. This was a choice I made years ago. Others made the choice to have children. Good for them! I’m happy to pay my taxes to help provide a good education to the children of my neighbors. The sad fact is that few actually get a good education. Even worse is that our education dollars are wasted on projects not related to education including transportation, sports, food, etc.

Hampton Place

September 16th, 2010
8:58 am

Everyone who states that the safety of children are in jeopardy and say the buses should be reinstated for the elementary students, I have 1 question WHERE ARE THE PARENTS? School’s don’t allow the student in the building before 7am the bus wouldn’t come to much before 7am so why can’t the parent take their child to school at 7am!!!!!!! To address Juanita Hrdz you stated “Me as a full time single parent have 3 other kids and I cant be there all the time.” That is your JOB and your RESPONSIBILITY to be there all the time he is 6 not 16. I am tired of parents deciding when they can be parents, when they can do for THEIR children and how much they will do for THEIR children. Once again I ask how are PARENTS or when are PARENTS going to step up and be responsible instead of passing it off to the BOE. If you can’t be there I advised you to find another adult who can, that is part of being a PARENT.

Synamonsays! Child Hit while crossing street...

September 16th, 2010
10:39 am

Hampton Place and others, “it takes a village to raise a child” is not just some catch phrase. It is the strength in any community regardless of the demographics.

If this issue is not a concern for you that is great. But for those of us who are concerned about the children, do not attack with this insidious parents, parents, parents mantra! Again the issue is community safety. Children deserve safety just like adults. It boggles my mind that the people and politicians who were protesting the removal of CTRAN have not come to the aid of small defenseless children.

As reported on today’s Fox 5 News, a child was hit by a car in Paulding county. She had part of her skull removed and remained in a coma for 9 days. It is a miracle that she has survived through God’s grace. There were no sidewalks at the point in which she had to cross the street to get to her school. This child had only put one foot in the roadway when she was run down by a driver going 40-45 miles an hour in a school zone.

Imagine if she were your child, what would you say?

Shannon, M.Div.

September 16th, 2010
10:42 am

Love the judgment.

You’re a single mother, therefore you are responsible for your child EVERY MOMENT and you should FIND A WAY to get them to SCHOOL because it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, right?

Oh, walking your kids to school or driving them to school will make you lose your job? Don’t come cryin’ to us, welfare-whiners. You are RESPONSIBLE for paying for YOUR CHILD’s needs and YOU need to earn your own MONEY and your life circumstances are irrelevant! Get another job in this 10 percent unemployment state!

So what I’m hearing is that the good ol’ Republicans (let’s call it what it is–the cult of personal responsibility with absolutely no understanding of systemic issues constraining peoples’ abilities and choices) want it both ways from Sunday. As a parent, you need to be able to be in seven places at once. That’s your job. If you couldn’t do that, you shouldn’t have children.

That is absolutely ridiculous. It’s a given in our state that transportation is provided for students to get to school, period. This cost-cutting measure, made with very little warning to the affected families, is wrong, period.

Something else that’s annoying: periodic use of CAPITAL LETTERS to make a silly point. Do you really think yelling in the middle of your sentences will make people listen more?

By the way, I’m married (10 years now!) with no children, and we have planned not to have children for several reasons.

And no, we aren’t taking government handouts. We just realize that being born on third base doesn’t mean we hit a triple.

Synamonsays!

September 16th, 2010
10:58 am

Shannon, does the M. Div mean you have a Masters Degree in Divinity or is that just your blog moniker?

2DPoint

September 16th, 2010
11:41 am

I find some of these views interesting but with this recent decision by the BOE, it poses a real safety risk for our children and it’s also causing havoc in the careers of some parents who must now take out time to get their own children to school. Again – it’s taxpayer dollars that foot the bill for children’s transportation. It’s great to have cars and time to take the kids to school but not all parents have that luxury. I will trust that the BOE will eventually reverse this decision and truly emphasize the priority on the children’s safety rather than saving some bucks. If a child is injured or killed as a result of the current state, there will be hell to pay.

MY CHILD, MY JOB

September 16th, 2010
2:52 pm

Hoodwinked, you have assumed incorrectly…..I DO have a child in CCPS, 5th grade actually, and he has been in CCPS since preK. I too am a product of CCPS, was born at SRMC and have lived here in Clayton County my entire life. You’re also off base in assuming I “support millions of the “Race to the Top” money going to contractors and vendors…..” REALLY? That’s a big leap in logic! I continue to be amazed by the number of people that consider it a someone else’s (the county specifically) responsibility to keep their own children safe on the way to school. Uninvolved, disinterested, VICTIM MENTALITY parents are a VERY serious problem that directly impacts every aspect of these kids lives. Nothing is a “given” anymore, especially in the school system. Are any of you aware that this isn’t just big bad Clayco making all these poor children and their parents suffer for a few bucks? Check around and you’ll see that other counties have same or similar restrictions in place. I will continue my “parents, parents, parents” mantra because we have learned the hard way that when a child is raised 100% by the school system disaster is the result. Parents are the single most important factor in raising a healthy, happy and productive member of society. Or do you STILL just want someone else to raise your child and leave you alone to pursue your own interests?!?

Hampton Place

September 16th, 2010
3:58 pm

@ Synamonsays you missed the whole point because you are to busy trying to make the BOE out to be the culprit. once again my question is if the bus comes NO earlier than 6:45 for your child’s stop. The school will start to allow kids come in at 7:00am. If you the PARENT can’t drop your child to school to ensure their safety what do you do? A parent who is responsible will ask another ADULT to help and to make sure their child get to school safety… I hope by asking an adult neighbor is using your resources in the community or VILLAGE if that is what you want to call it. The bottom line is that if the county has run out of money PARENTS have to make sure that their child get the necessities.

I am a single parent, who works full-time and a tax payer in Clayton County. I make time to volunteer at my child’s school and extra activities. I don’t have a job with flexible hours but as a parent I make sure my child get to school on time and to the best of my abilities safely. Because being a single parent is so much harder and I do need that extra help from time to time, I have gotten to know my neighbors who fill in when I am not able. That is what a responsible parent does instead of shifting primary responsibility to others and complaining when others can no longer be responsible for my child. I laid down and joined in by creating him therefore I take responsibility for raising him.

The bottom line is that we are all concerned but the fact is they don’t have buses and supposedly there are no funds. As parents you look for other ways to make it happen. Complaining hasn’t reinstated the buses so far so parents need to find another way and not just allow their child to be in harms way. If parents are allowing their children to walk alone knowing the conditions are not safe, that’s just as foolish as the BOE not providing the bus service. Remember they have no bond with your child!

Bob

September 16th, 2010
6:04 pm

Under Sonny Perdue the state of Georgia has shorted Clayton county over 80 million dollars. You should complain to him. The state also does not compensate the county for bus pick-ups less than one and a half miles from school. Again complain to Sonny and your in-state Senate and House members. There is no money for these buses in the county budget.

Wanna know why? The taxes Clayton use to get was on homes deemed to be worth 40% more – thus the county had more to spend. With the economy down and the last 15 years of Atlanta’s destroying public housing. Our subsequent explosion in high occupancy development and section 8 housing – there is your monetary shortcomings for Clayton.

Synamonsays!

September 16th, 2010
8:07 pm

Clearly it is not I who have missed the point. My sincere and only concern is the safety of the children. As for your comment about the BOE, please do not attempt to marginalize the real issue which is safety. Let’s see how Paulding County resolves the issue, especially since a child was hit, had part of her skull removed and remained in a coma for nine days. This was a teenage student and she only had one foot in the street as she crossed to her school and she is hit by a driver going 40-45 miles in a school zone. It is a miracle she is alive.

Synamonsays!

September 16th, 2010
8:20 pm

Hampton Place I applaud you for being such a great parent. Reality is that we have thousands of great parents who do their best and should also be applauded. So keep being great parents and doing your job so well so we do not have to concern ourselves with you or your children.

But I ask that you not piss on people who do give a damn about the children that are not our own. I would pose this question to you and all of the other great parents who want to condemn the children who don’t have great parents like you. Why are you so upset that some want to make a difference in the lives of children now rather than pay the price later?

Hoodwinked

September 16th, 2010
11:02 pm

Bob, Hampton Place and MY CHILD, MY JOB are crying about the school system not having any money–NOT! They do have money ” “Race to the Top Money” MILLIONS! However, the “Powers that be” and the BOE don’t want to spend the money on the children–they want to give it to non-classroom specialist, funny named administrators, contractors, vendors and the like, all of which don’t live in the county however, own businesses here. “Race to the Top Money” is our money as taxpayers–we want child safety issue handled! The children are our NUMBER 1 PRIORITY– get it! Not those people; get it!

maxx

September 16th, 2010
11:21 pm

When the first child is hit and killed by some fast moving vehicle…due to CCPS’s 1 1/2 mile rule…that will be Clayton County’s 911. Some policies are just plain dumb. I pray something never happens but if it does…every elected official that su

maxx

September 16th, 2010
11:27 pm

Every elected official that supported this ridiculous policy all in the name of trimming the budget..you will have blood on your hands.

slutsrus

September 17th, 2010
9:11 am

Synamonsays!

What kind of “woman” would use the word “pi## in her post? A real woman would never use filthy language.Must be an Atlanta transplant from the projects. Discusting!

Synamonsays!

September 17th, 2010
9:27 am

slutsrus, I meant what I said! And I am still a real woman! As for where do I hail from –Detroit Michigan! Project living is something I know nothing of, having been raised in a civic minded Black Middle Class Community, which accounts for my confidence, strength and strong sense of self-worth.

What is your point? Are you referring to yourself as slutsrus, does that make you a real man or woman since you want to go there like that?

Bob

September 17th, 2010
9:30 am

To HoodW – again that money goes to the state. So on the local level – would you support another 1% sales tax to help with this matter. IT really is THAT important.

TO maxx – again – it is not a CCPS rule – it is a state rule. Complain about and complain to the proper officials – those you voted into state offices.

Synamon – as tragic as this accident in Paulding is. The news reports were that the 13 year old darted into traffic. A sidewalk is of no use in this situation. But it does show that we should teach our children that there are dangers out there and they should be totally aware of their surroundings. This is even more of an issue – the younger the child. As a sidenote – the driver was not charged.

Synamonsays!

September 17th, 2010
9:48 am

slutrus, one last thought for you. If I were a transplant from Atlanta projects (there is nothing inherently wrong with being from the projects) what does that really matter? I once had a professor tell me that people who come from poverty, once they achieve in life, have the tendency to “piss” (yes I said piss) on those from where they come. This assertion was hard for me to accept. But, I finally get it especially since living in Clayton county.

There is a constant berating of people who are less fortunate in this county. Yet, I promise if you examined the backgrounds of those who are the biggest haters, you will find that they probably grew up in a “least” of those environment. They generally do not lift as they climb. They blame those in poverty for not being able to rise above. More than anything these haters are a drain on the minority community because they can be depended on to highlight the negatives. I term these people the brilliant ignorant. They have not realized their own power to bring change!

Synamonsays!

September 17th, 2010
11:01 am

Bob, the driver was going 40-45 miles an hour in a school zone, the fact that the person was not charged is reason for everyone to pause.

Now I truly agree with you about the sidewalks. Sidewalks are not the answer, safe bus transportation is. Seriously do you think that the majority of parents do not teach their children about safety? You make the good point in that the child was 13 years old. If a 13 year old teenager according to what you say was at fault, what can you expect from children ages 5-12. Again that is why adults hold the responsibility for making the best decision for children. In this case re-instating the buses is the best decision for now.

We can teach our children all kinds of things but they are not adults and should not be expected to think like adults. Again, it is the responsibility of adults to protect our children. In this case I am saying reinstate the buses for the protection and safety of our children.

To reinstate a 20 plus year old policy is evidence of poor thinking and quite frankly it frightens me to know that this was the only solution this brilliant body of BOE members – six members voted to uphold the 20 year old policy – could come up with. The safety of our children should never have been on the table as a means to balance the school budget.

I am still trying to understand why the regular bloggers on this site, citizens and politicians who lobbied and continue to lobby for raising our taxes to support adult transportation for them to get to work and school (CTRAN for example) are silent on the issue of transportation for our most precious resource, our children. There is something drastically wrong with this scenario.

Bob

September 17th, 2010
1:31 pm

I am with you now Synamon – let us advocate for the commishioners to get a 1 percent additioinal sales tax on items sold in Clayton County on the ballot for Nov.. I am more than sure the voters will see this need and pass it.

Otherwise go after your in-state reps. They, in the Capitol, are the ones who wrote the laws that do not want to compensate for buses for those within one and a half miles of a school. Also – if you were at the BOE meeting – and understood what was going on. The resolution voiced at the meeeting was not binding. There is a process and Jessie did not do due diligence. Like always – she is a grandstander, not a doer.

One more – as a person who was there -as far a poverty is concerned – can see that having chidlren without adequate support is at best foolish, and continues the poverty cycle. Look around.

Synamonsays!

September 17th, 2010
2:30 pm

Bob, Civic illiteracy is something that I find is rampant in Clayton County. A one percent county sales tax would not solve the problem. It will wreck more havoc than we could possibly imagine. But, that is a whole another issue.

Right now the issue is bus transportation for the safety of our children, nothing more than that. All that political haggling is for another time. I applaud Ms. Goree for standing strong and truly making it all about the children! She will be attacked and attempts to marginalize her are already in process.

As for having children with out adequate support, life happens Bob and people can start out with what is adequate only to find themselves faced with uncontrollable events such as disease, death, downsizing, or divorce just to name a few. You condemn the children of these realities?

As I look around I am glad that to see that there are those of us who recognize that every child who made it through the birth canal did so by God’s grace. We are not all destined to be wealthy, rich or even adequate as you put it. Is there something in the bible that speaks of the “least of these?” And “the poor will be among us always?”

MY CHILD, MY JOB

September 17th, 2010
3:19 pm

Hoodwinked….You make it sound like those “powers that be” and the BOE are going to receive a big fat check direct deposited into their own personal accounts from “The Race to the Top” administrators. As another poster pointed out, that money goes to the state, who in turn determines who gets what based on the performance of the school (worst wins the most). From the beginning, it’s been very clear that this money has long and strong Federal strings attached that don’t allow for free spending by the counties. There is a specific outline of “priorities” that have been issued as guidelines for spending.The State will be responsible for overseeing county allocations to ensure they are in line with the goals of this Federal program. This money is a GRANT…..meaning you have to line up, toe the line and say “thank you sir may I have another” to get money that has already been earmarked for what the Federal government wants it to be spent on. I’m going to make a HUGE leap and say that the Federal/State governments aren’t going to spend money on bus service for those 1 1/2 miles from school when the state has already refused to subsidize it on their own. And another big leap…. if the State doesn’t support it, they aren’t going to allow the counties to do it on their own with these funds. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t oppose the grant, we desperately need the money….but it’s not the windfall that some may believe it to be. It’s like your Grandma giving you $100, but then forcing you to spend every dime on school uniforms! Meanwhile, back at the ranch, little Johnny still needs to get to school. I’m willing to support our schools by reprioritizing in order to get him there and back myself by whatever means necessary. Being broke really sucks, but you make the sacrifices and move on.

MY CHILD, MY JOB

September 17th, 2010
3:33 pm

Synamonsays!…You obviously have a big heart and alot of concern and compassion for the children in our county, I sincerely applaud you for that. I hope you can carry that forward and reach out to your neighbors who may be experiencing difficulties in devising a plan to get their kids to school safely. Volunteering your time and energy not only protects the children, but is a huge step in bringing our community together as a more compassionate and cohesive group of diverse individuals with a common bond.

Synamonsays!

September 17th, 2010
7:23 pm

My child, My job,
In the meantime as we move towards community engagement, which is lacking in Clayton, lets focus on the safety of our children where we can make a difference. Judging from your posts your child is fine and safe. That makes your child one less that we have to concern ourselves with. Good job!

ReallyNow!

September 18th, 2010
12:35 am

Bob says, “under Sonny Perdue the state of Georgia has shorted Clayton county over 80 million dollars. You should complain to him. The state also does not compensate the county for bus pick-ups less than one and a half miles from school. Again complain to Sonny and your in-state Senate and House members. There is no money for these buses in the county budget”. True, but what Bob failed to tell you is Clayton’s state delegation alone with Sonny decided to take Clayton’s accreditation in an effort to teach the populous how to vote. That what cost county over 80 million dollars. In other words you, Glanton and Buckner cost the county accreditation! I see you!

NowReally!!

September 18th, 2010
12:39 am

MY CHILD, MY JOB: You’re silly, we’re not talking about parents involved in their children life; that’s a given! We’re talking all the tax money we give to the school system to provide services like “Bussing” only to watch the BOE keep “non-essential” contractors, vendors, administrators, so-called specialist and the like on contract with “We the People” tax dollars. I say, before we pay all these “non-essentials”; let bus the smaller 5-10 years old children to/from school! Get your priorities straight! “Safety is the number 1 priority! Do a forensic audit on the BOE, you’ll find money; Race To the Top Money; and I bit ya!

MY CHILD, MY JOB

September 18th, 2010
2:58 am

Translation: “in the meantime…” Classic yet unimaginative redirection to draw attention from all that you’re NOT doing in the REAL world to help REAL people (children). Good Job!

Shannon, M.Div.

September 18th, 2010
7:37 am

@Synamonsays: To answer your question, I do have a Master of Divinity degree (and a Th.M.–Master of Theology–on top of that). I was very excited when I graduated with my degree from Candler (Emory) and began to use this moniker then. It seems a little silly to me now to tack it on there, but since that’s how I’ve been posting, I haven’t changed it.

With respect to the much-disparaged grants…
* If “grandma” sends $100 and designates that it be used on clothes, then that’s $100 out of the family budget that won’t have to go to clothes. Designated grant money can do two things:
* It can relieve budgetary pressure, even when designated, by paying for something that would have needed to be paid for anyway.
* It can offer something to the school system that the system would otherwise not have been able to afford. Considering this is for children, I would think we would be glad to have additional funds for working on instructional improvement.

Folks disparaging grant money seem to think that if Grandma tells you what she’d like the money to be spent on, it’s best to just leave it on the table. I think some people have been listening to a little too much talk radio. Grant money is not evil.

Some of what children are asked to do here simply isn’t safe. I think everyone agrees on that, given that people who advocate for keeping bus service only for those who live 1.5 miles away suggest that parents should be walking/driving their children to school. They aren’t saying “Pish tosh, the kids are fine walking”; they’re saying “It’s a parent’s responsibility to make sure the child gets to school.”

Why does this parental responsibility end at 1.5 miles away?

Synamonsays!

September 18th, 2010
7:01 pm

Shannon, M.Div. Thank you for responding to my query about your credentials and you have a right to be proud and you are to be commended for your accomplishments. My question most respectfully to you is What would Jesus do about the little children?

Synamonsays!

September 18th, 2010
7:12 pm

@my job, my child. That response was very nonsensical especially because you definitely based on your post have absolutely no knowledge about what I do, nor do I know what you do. Let us get back on track. What is important is making sure that we protect our children. To revert back to a 20 year old policy that affects the children in such a drastic way is what I would term “unimaginative!”

MY CHILD, MY JOB

September 18th, 2010
7:25 pm

OK, so if I get this straight REALLY, the state delegation, Sonny, Buckner, Glanton and ME got together at Longhorn one night and decided to strip CCPS of it’s accreditation to teach the foolish voters how to act AND rob the county of $80 million dollars in order to cut the bus service and put all the little children in mortal danger? That’s a really cool string of logic you have going there. Except the part about you seeing me, that’s just creepy.

But in all seriousness, I have NEVER stated here or anywhere else that there isn’t a much larger problem with our state, Sonny, BOE et al. I’ve been posting on the original question that started this thread: Should bus service be reinstated? While it would be REALLY nice to fix all the problems with everyone everywhere in one post, I’ve simply been pointing out that the county isn’t asking parents to put their kids in danger, they’re asking parents to take over the responsibility of safey for their own children in order to save CCPS some money. I simply don’t think this is unreasonable as a parent of one of the children in question.

And to Shannon- with- the- pretentious- title, if you’d read my post thoroughly you’d have noted that I said I wasn’t against the grant and that we need the money desperately…I was simply stating that there ARE some drawbacks to this Federal money.
Lastly, why do alot of you react so defensively to the suggestion that parents could be doing MORE? I’ve noticed several of the more passionate posters don’t even have kids in the school system. I DO have a child that is affected by this restriction and I don’t mind doing MORE. It’s my job.

I see stupid people

September 18th, 2010
8:21 pm

There is no money for the chillren. No money, no money, no money!!!

Shannon, M.Div.

September 20th, 2010
8:34 am

@Synamonsays–Well, I’d be surprised if Jesus showed up in any bureaucracy, to be honest. ;) But certainly the Bible suggests that we prioritize those who cannot defend themselves above all else–hence all the verses about widows, orphans, the poor, “strangers” in the community. I think children in general fall into that category of the defenseless.

@MY CHILD, MY JOB: Lots of people *do* disparage federal grants (you know, because they’re from that Evil Administration), so when I saw some conversation headed in that direction, I wanted to nip it right out. I also think it says something when people without children are passionate about this issue. If the greater community is outraged and it isn’t just the affected parents, then it’s clearly beyond a few whiners.

There’s a difference between saying that parents can be doing more (although most of the parents I know are already doing quite a bit, thank you) and saying that they need to reschedule their lives with little warning around specific times. I know very few single parents with the flexibility of schedule to be available at both 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to pick up or walk their children to and from school.

So with respect to this busing issue…
* The timing was inappropriate, as parents did not find out in sufficient time to make alternate arrangements.
* The safety of the children is not considered, as evidenced by the fact that this is a blanket and not a case-by-case rule.
* The needs of working single parents, who are already often the sole source of income for their families, are shoved aside in favor of not raising taxes.

This strikes me as a moral issue, and it strikes me as morally wrong.

Shannon, M.Div.

September 20th, 2010
8:35 am

@MY CHILD, MY JOB: One more thing. It’s great that your life affords you the flexibility to be able to handle taking or walking your children to school. Why are you so defensive about the fact that not everyone has that luxury of time?

Kreanna

September 20th, 2010
9:07 am

They are many positions in Clayton County that should be cut/elimanated. Hundreds of office positions are duplicated. There are code enforcement vehicles sitting idly under trees and in store parking lots. The people making these decisions dont have children in school and don’t have a clue. I didnot vote for them and will not vote for them. Until all of these dead beat folks trying to run Clayton county are out, we will not do any better ! Eldrin Bell is too old to make any decision that are benefical to anyone except himself. Diversity in Clayton did not mean bring in a person just because he is black . Wake up folks ! Tax payers are not speaking up, we pay taxes to take care of our children .

DixieDarling

September 20th, 2010
9:14 am

Hampton place is awesome. It doesn’t take a village, it takes a family.

Bob

September 20th, 2010
5:55 pm

It is hard to understand why Synamon – sould disparage a one percent sales tax. If it were not for the one percent Splost voted in several years ago – we would not have many of the fine new schools we have now. And the teaching would be even more inadequate. Thankfully the voters of that time understood, they were part of the solution. At least on the local level we control the spending for SPLOST money – not the federal or even state politicians.

And you misread me. I am all for helping people who “find” themselves in situation. Those numbers of people pale in comparison to those who “make” their situation by having no personal responsibility and leading to so many young unwed mothers and deadbeat “baby daddys”. Many people are soooo tired of hearing this “cradle to grave” mentality being espoused by the Liberals and Democrat. The woeful cycle will continues until a great leader can inspire the citizens to truly understand what the “DREAM” meant. Sadly, there are no such leaders at this time.