Will Cobb board revisit longer summer and its calendar switch?

Last month’s surprising vote by the Cobb Board of Education to dump the balanced calendar after less than a year and return to a traditional calendar may not be the last word in the county’s calendar wars. The school calendar may be discussed at today’s school board work session.

Will Cobb students have a longer or shorter summer this year? (AP Images)

Will Cobb students have a longer or shorter summer this year? (AP Images)

A balanced calendar is a shorter summer with more breaks during the year. My system is also on a balanced calendar, and we go back this year on Aug. 1. Like Cobb, we had week-long breaks in the early fall and last month. Cobb was in the first of three-year trial with its balanced calendar when the school board abandoned the model.

Not all board members were in agreement. And there are some unhappy parents as well.

Board member David Banks has asked for the balanced calendar to be reconsidered.  “I asked for a ‘Discussion to rescind the Calendar vote made at the Feb. 17th Board meeting’ be put on the March 9 Board Work Session agenda and it has been placed on the agenda,” he writes in his newsletter to parents.

He also wrote:

With the Board’s vote to change the school calendar to a later August start date, I and other Board members have received  over 2,000 emails with over 72 percent of those emails in favor of the “Balanced Calendar.”  As most of you know there is a tremendous amount of research information supporting the Balanced calendar or a calendar resembling a Balanced calendar.

A parent also shared a letter with me that she wrote to SACS about the conduct of four Cobb board members in moving so quickly to change the calendar.

She wrote:

The recent school calendar discussions took place from February 9, 2011 to February 17, 2011.  In the past, the opportunity for public notice and input was lengthy and took place over many, many months.  The community appears to be very distressed at the rush to judgment in changing the school calendar and the lack of substantiated data to make a calendar change at this time.

The Cobb Board of Education did not make a concerted effort to involve “hard to reach” stakeholders with the school calendar survey conducted from February 11-17, 2011, as it was delivered solely by email and internet access.  Also, the survey was only available in English.  With more than 40,000 students in the district qualifying for free and reduced lunch, and more than 8,000 students qualifying for ESOL services, it stands to reason a significant number of stakeholders were meaningfully excluded from access to the survey.

Of the stakeholders who responded to the survey, the results were overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining the 3-year commitment to the Balanced Calendar.  Members of the Caucus of Four disregarded the survey results, failing to discuss the survey at the February 17, 2011, prior to voting.

Finally, the disregard of the public’s voice on the calendar issue has resulted in significant concern and press that casts a negative light on the district.  Of special concern are comments made by the members of the Caucus of Four that misrepresent the utility costs involved and offend the public.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

110 comments Add your comment

Cobb History Teacher

March 9th, 2011
5:34 am

The decision did seem rushed. Ultimately I believe the four members who voted for going back to the traditional calendar had ulterior motives. I believe they were being used or have interests in local businesses who claim to lose revenue from the slightly shorter summer. To be honest the calendar isn’t as important to me because I work on a contract and get paid the same whether the summer is longer or shorter. I would like them to keep a break in the fall and I’d like to see all the breaks come at the end of each quarter (to me that would be a balanced school year)..

Time4change

March 9th, 2011
5:34 am

As a Cobb County resident, parent and teacher, what I am most upset about is the way the calendar issue was handled. I have my preference but I can deal with anything. However, when you go back in your word, tell voters their opinion doesn’t count and put political agendas before collecting data to find out what is best for student achievement in our
district, you are setting a terrible example for the children.

You have created a divided community with parents versus teacher mentality. Also, the economic benefits in hundreds of thousands I’d dollars saved by not using nearly as many substitutes is
ignored.

I have asked the board members for the data they are using to make their decisions in regards to student achievement and savings but no one will even reply to my email.

Again, the process is embarrassing, the decision isn’t the issue any longer it is what we have lost along the way-integrity and respect.

Cobb History Teacher

March 9th, 2011
6:03 am

Yes, I too was disappointed with how the board handled the calendar issue. It seems they rushed to judgement and this simply shows they were serving their ow interests. So much for “public” service.

Will from Cobb

March 9th, 2011
6:15 am

I was proud of how the newly elected school board members kept their campaign promise to ditch the ridiculous balanced calendar. Now that I see they truly are people of their word (unlike the individuals they replaced), I know they will find tremendous support among voters when challenged over the issue. Thank goodness for a traditional summer and calendar in which kids will actually attend school for more than 4 weeks without a break. They may actually retain something!

Normal Dad

March 9th, 2011
6:36 am

Typical Tea-Bagger mentality by this four uneducated dolts. They know what is best – not the overwhelming majority of parents, educators and citizens of Cobb County. Please make a note voters: The fear and anger fueled by these Tea-Bagger wannabes that got elected to our board resulted in this eventuality. Please, PLEASE think before you vote. We are stuck with these illiterates because we voted for whoever had an (R) next to their name. It’s our fault. They ARE morons, make no mistake about it, but it remains our fault for electing the morons.

barneyb

March 9th, 2011
6:55 am

As a parent with a child in a Cobb high school, this was our experience thus far:

One supposed benefit to the breaks in September and February was that your family could take a vacation and reap the benefits of off-season rates. That proved not to be the case. Many schools in other States and Canada (such as the 2-week Winter Games break in Canada this February) were also off, so the rates remained the same.

Additionally, after being off for 2 weeks during Christmas, 1 week for “Snowpalooza” and then the Winter Break, the kids were in school about 17 days out of a month and a half. They are now so behind in their curriculums it’s ridiculous. There has been no continuity in learning, and so far, this has been a lost semester. Teachers and students alike at our East Cobb high school have commented on what a joke classes have been since returning in January. Now we have the High School Graduation Tests coming up, EOCT’s and other tests, so again, no real instruction will be taking place. This is leaving our kids ill-prepared to tackle class next year, and I would bet a paycheck it will impact SAT and ACT scores. Particularly Junior and Seniors at our school are freaking out over feeling unprepared for these.

Starting school on a “Balanced Calendar” the beginning of August is a joke. Non-air conditioned buses, the added expense of running A/C in the schools during the hottest month of the year, and band/football and other camps 2-3 weeks before the start of school is just flat-out dangerous and irresponsible. These kids are marching on asphalt parking lots where the surface temps reach or exceed 104º F. That is a fact- I have been there with them! The football teams, while on a nearby grass field, are experiencing similar conditions. The buses smell like locker rooms from all the sweaty kids who ride the buses and walk to and from the bus stops in the heat. Not to mention sitting in schools where it’s not uncommon to have inadequate A/C and having to take PE classes.

Sure, I was not especially happy about the way the vote was hurried. However, I must admit, that I have to give credit to the Board members who stood by their campaign promises. An honest politician is a rare commodity these days.

My suggestion would be to look at high-performing schools in the Northeast and Middle Atlantic States. Their calendars may not be the direct cause of high student performance, but isn’t it worth a look? Many of those districts begin school immediately following Labor Day, and complete their calendars around the first or second week of June. Is there anybody in a position of authority conducting this research? Cobb County is no longer an agrarian community, so attempting to shadow a farming harvest calendar is antiquated and ignorant. Come on CCSD- come out of the dark ages!

Mike

March 9th, 2011
6:56 am

To “Normal Dad”. Those that can’t do teach. Those that can’t reason use name calling and bullying tactics and are not worthy of further consideration. Good work and congratulations for sound economic policy you have passed. Remember always who pays the freight its “We the People”

Concerned Cobb Teacher

March 9th, 2011
6:57 am

Will—get a grip dude. This calendar has provided for better attendance from both students and teachers. Students get breaks and do not have to be removed from school as often for appointment and family scheduled travel. Teachers have an opportunity to plan likewise as well without having to use substitutes as much, and mentally both groups get much needed breaks throughout the year. That two weeks of summer…well the savings on utilities is questionable because the school is still closed two weeks in winter when the HEAT must be ran….duh.

Normal Dad…while I agree with your comments these people are hardly tea baggers..the tea party movement is looking for more limited government and control BY the people….these people are acting more like power hungry democrats who do not care what the people think but simply have an agenda of their own to carry out….just like our current federal policy makers.

Let’s just call this what it is, a mistake by a group who is NOT considering overall impact and really does not care to hear what the people have to say.

M. Fresh

March 9th, 2011
6:57 am

Re: “Last month’s surprising vote by”

The vote wasn’t the least bit surprising.
Last year’s board was ousted partly due to their vote for the balanced calendar.
The new board members all campaigned with the promise to change the calendar.
They won.
They changed the calendar.
No surprise.

M. Fresh

March 9th, 2011
7:02 am

barneyb:
excellent points

I too didn’t care too much either way on the calendar, and have been seeing similiar issues at the elementary level. At the elementary level, rather than issues with tests – it seems that it more “pre break lack of focus” followed by “post break struggle to get back on track”.

Another Screw-up

March 9th, 2011
7:04 am

Where ever there’s “a problem” with the school board, just look for attorney Glen Brock. I wonder who called for SACS. Keep education in total turmoil for another decade. Clayton, APS, Dekalb, Cherokee(way back when), and as always Cobb. Thanks alot.

Normal Dad

March 9th, 2011
7:12 am

Mike. Thanks for proving my point.

CCT: I understand your reasoning, but I respectfully disagree.

Concerned Cobb Citizen

March 9th, 2011
7:20 am

Angelucci and the other traditional folks refuse to acknowledge that AC will be running in August. Teacher workdays begin Aug. 8th and we will have open houses, sneak-a -peeks and all of the before school activities that week. First week of Aug. – all administrators, custodians, lunchroom managers and many, many hardworking teachers will be back. Band and football practice will already be going on. Savings will be minimal if any at all. We live in Georgia – the entire month of August is hot – if you can’t handle the heat get out of the state!

John Q. Public

March 9th, 2011
7:33 am

The only thing that the survey demostrated is that the respondents are resistant to change. If a similar survey was conducted prior to the introduction of the balanced calendar, it would have shown a majority favored keeping the traditional calendar.

mom2boys

March 9th, 2011
7:45 am

Seriously, what is the hoopla about the buses and A/C the first week of August? That’s so ridiculous. There are activities going on at the high schools ALL SUMMER. And it will be just as hot August 15 as it will be the first week of August, not to mention that teachers and others will be returning prior to the start date anyway. That is such a laughable argument. I am glad my child only has one more year in the Cobb County school system. What a joke!

teacher

March 9th, 2011
7:48 am

I cannot wait for you parents to get your school board in hot water with SACS!!!!!
HOOT
Then, we can all listen to your whining about losing accreditation

Jackie Moon

March 9th, 2011
7:51 am

I’m tired of hearing all of this crap about keeping campaign promises. These board members should just resign and run for state senate or a US government seat if all they are worried about is keeping a campaign promise. Politics is all they seem worried about. Getting elected again. Seems to me that they are acting like people in Atlanta and Washington. They are freaking school board members. They are supposed to do what is best for the students.

Inman Park Boy

March 9th, 2011
7:56 am

There is no “perfect” school calendar. But l will say that the “traditional” calendar, where a child has off 8 to 10 weeks in the summer, is so culturally ingrained in American households that any effort to chane it is doomed to fail. It would be like moving the Fourth of July to Octber, or something equally as weird. Politicians tread on cultural norms at their own peril!

Ally

March 9th, 2011
8:05 am

Well said, time4change. You said pretty much what I think. Along with that, the whole argument of saving money on utilites is a crock. It’s been proven by board member David Banks that it actually *saves* money to go with the balanced calendar. And he has more credibility than the average commenter because he has better access to actual expenses than we do.

And the absolutely laughable argument about wanting a calendar the same as the schools where they have better test scores. I grew up where school began after Labor Day and ended in June, and I wouldn’t wish that on my children. It was an absolute nightmare to have finals after the winter break, and that calendar is irrelevant to how well kids do on standardized test. We haven’t even had a full year of the balanced calendar so how could you say that there is a correlation? Oh, that’s right, you’re good at comparing apples and oranges.

missy

March 9th, 2011
8:06 am

I’m all for going back to the traditional calendar – I think adding these additional breaks sets our children up for failure. Ever speak to a teacher about how long it takes to resume the routine in a classroom after a break?? I takes about a week…so our children are basically losing two weeks (three for Christmas break) every six weeks. Arguing that it may interfer with a planned family vacation is absurd, perhaps you should download the calendar and plan your vacations accordingly. You are more worried about vacations than you are about your children getting a good education. Taking children out of school every six weeks disruptes their routine and takes away valuable teaching time. Look at the northern states which are ranked highest in education – they start after Labor Day and don’t require special breaks because the students are too worn out from doing what is expected. Our children are being set up for failure – I cannot imagine how they would function as adults if they have to take a break every time they feel worn out.

Call it like it is

March 9th, 2011
8:09 am

The main issue I have is we were told this would be a 3 year plan. They didnt even give it a chance. Now there appears to be issues with local water park and theme parks exchanging money. May or may not be true. Stick with the original plan and at the end of 3 years address it with all the data and make a sound reasonable decision, to which you present to the citizens of Cobb County so they understand your logic.

madmommy

March 9th, 2011
8:15 am

What about the parents who work and may only get a whole 15 days off a year? This new caledar has been a joke and is useless. Go to a more traditional school year. We went from after labor day to about the second week in June and it seemed to work out fine. BTW, we only had the Christmas Break and Spring Break and we all seemed to make it. How are kids going to act when you get NO BREAKS in REAL LIFE. Let’s get our kids ready for the real world already.

EnoughAlready

March 9th, 2011
8:25 am

Only a fool would contact SACS; I agree wholeheartedly with the teacher above.

Dr NO

March 9th, 2011
8:26 am

Methinks we have too many chiefs and to little indians.
The “team concept” is bunk.
Too many cooks spoil the soup.

Who is the tall, buxom blondie on the cobb school board. WOW…she is dynamite!!

Dr NO

March 9th, 2011
8:27 am

“They didnt even give it a chance.”

Thats kinda like saying give ObaManure a chance. We cant afford this giving chances to non-qualified presidents or ideas.

Good intentions pave the way to hell.

Another Cobb Teacher

March 9th, 2011
8:28 am

I find it interesting that the county has counted more then 9000 less teachers absences for the 2010- 2011 balenced calendar school year than the year before which was on a traditional calendar. It seems to me that means the teacher was actually in the classroom teaching students instead of a substitute “babysitting” them. This should definitiely count for something, don’t you think?

Normal Dad

March 9th, 2011
8:41 am

ACT, there you go, injecting facts into a discussion that should be about politics and whatever “Obamanure” is. Why can’t we all just agree that Republicans are right about everything (even the many, many things they are wrong about) and move on?

shellybean

March 9th, 2011
8:44 am

Inman Park Boy … you hit the nail on the head!!!!!!! Thank you for putting into words what I have not been able to do!

M. Fresh

March 9th, 2011
8:47 am

Another Cobb Teacher:

It is more likely that the reduced absences are due to the new attendance policy for teachers.
With teacher layoffs, teachers understand that there performance and absences now have some impact on whether or not they are employed. So, they play less hooky. I don’t have any data to prove my point, and neither do you.

It’s interesting how that over the past couple of years budgets have been drastically reduced, classroom sizes, have increased, etc – AND student performance, AYP performance, etc. seems to have remained level or perhaps even improved. It looks like more pressure on teachers to perform rather than more money and balanced calendars is what is needed.

Good to see Another Cobb Teacher posting during school hours.

Concerned Citizen

March 9th, 2011
9:03 am

Another Cobb Teacher – perhaps you shouldn’t admit you’re a teacher with your misspellings! Perhaps you were taught under a balanced calendar and with all the time you spent enjoying your breaks, you were losing valuable time learning how to spell properly.

Lynn

March 9th, 2011
9:09 am

M. Fresh: You’re comments are not correct. We do have the data indicating fewer teacher absences. What we don’t have is the cause. You can speculate that teachers are absence less due to job security fears but you don’t know that. However, there are fewer absences and Cobb County Teacher’s speculation that this is due to more breaks available for scheduling appointments is just as valid.

Also, Middle Schools don’t begin in Cobb until after 9:00.

Warrior Woman

March 9th, 2011
9:16 am

How anyone that has paid attention can call the calendar change surprising is beyond me. The new board members ran and were elected on a platform of returning to the old calendar. They did what they promised to do.

The balanced calendar costs the system and the county money, it increases student absences early in the year, and doesn’t help educational outcomes. Why keep it for two more years?

Maureen Downey

March 9th, 2011
9:35 am

@Warrior,
The only surprise was the speed of both the survey and the reversal, especially given the complaint that education reforms fail because they are never given enough time to take root before they’re yanked.
Maureen

AJinCobb

March 9th, 2011
9:57 am

missy wrote,

“Look at the northern states which are ranked highest in education – they start after Labor Day and don’t require special breaks because the students are too worn out from doing what is expected.”

The suggestion that we should look to the highly ranked northern states as our model comes up a lot. So I went to Google and typed “massachusetts school calendar 2011″ and looked at some of the system calendars that came up. They all showed a start date in September, an end date in June, a week off in February and a week off in April.

My, a week off in February. Specifically, the week of President’s Day, the same week that Cobb schools had off this year, under the balanced calendar.

How can this be? What’s with those people in Mass? Don’t they know that a week’s vacation in February is untraditional and just plain bad for children and families? Hmm…..

ABC

March 9th, 2011
10:00 am

3 years is too long of a time to run an experiment that affects my child’s education. Hurray for the traditional calendar and boo hoo to the wealthy east cobbers that are more concerned with family vacations than the quality of education.

Philosopher

March 9th, 2011
10:02 am

Life is tough for teachers, so t we should alter our lives so they can get more rest periods so they will show up in the classroom as they are expected to do?? What a crock! There are many jobs tougher than being a teacher and somehow they manage to meet their job expectations without taking a week off every 6 weeks, a Christmas break and a summer break, too. Teachers needing breaks should have not a damn thing to do with the design of a school calendar!

tim

March 9th, 2011
10:05 am

It seems pretty strange to me to have kids go back to school in the summer (AUG 1) and then give them week breaks every 6 weeks. Do the poor little fragile kids get overloaded with so much info that they can’t procees it in their medicated little minds?

It’s no wonder children today feel they are “entitled’ and sit on their duffs……they mimic their irresponsible parents.

Matt

March 9th, 2011
10:16 am

One of those 2000 emails:

Dear Mr. Banks,

I applaud your recent vote to maintain the current calendar for the Cobb County School System next year. Since the calendar ‘experiment’ was passed for a three year trial last year. It would only make sense to see that through to get real data on educational and pedagogical progress, budget impacts, etc. before reverting to the past system.

I am discouraged that the board, as a whole, asked for the opinion of the residents of Cobb County, and then in the face of overwhelming support (the kind of support rarely seen in these days of acerbically divided government), effectively thumbed their nose at those people who gave them the opinion that they asked for. I work in higher education, and while the two parallel, I realize they aren’t exactly congruent. Our calendars are planned years in advance, and then not changed unless it is an emergency. People (parents) have plans, made employment decisions based upon the calendar, camp and child care decisions, and yes, even vacation decisions. At a fundamental level it is not right to continually keep things in flux.

I appreciate your efforts and appreciate your support of maintaining the ‘experimental’ calendar through its intended duration. Your vote shows me you have a rational, well-thought approach to your position.

Centrist

March 9th, 2011
10:20 am

Surveys seldom approximate what a general population feels. The majority who don’t feel strongly either way don’t participate – so survey results are skewed and mostly worthless. Since the board members ran on the issue and won replacing board members who advocated the balanced calendar – those results obviously trump a survey.

The elected board has the data, represents the will of the people, and should make policy. If the electorate is not happy, they will change the board make-up in the next election. Minority group activists second guessing elected officials should be ignored unless and until they garner enough votes to change representatives.

CobbParent

March 9th, 2011
10:27 am

My old school (up North) has the right idea in my humble opinion. School started this year on September 8th, the kids then had October 11 (Columbus Day) and November 11 (Veteran’s Day). Then there was…wait for this shocker…two days for Thanksgiving! Yeah, that is exactly the way I recall it happening when I was a kid. I have never understood the idea of a whole week for Thanksgiving, especially when you are about to have a week or more for Christmas a month later. Thursday through Sunday for Thanksgiving is plenty of time to see family….quit your whining about travel and either drive on Wednesday night/Thursday morning or wait until December or move back to where your family is if they are so darn important to you. Christmas Break from December 24 going back January 3. Then Regents exams are the last week of January (I never knew anyone who felt disadvantaged by the timing of exams after the break until this whole balanced schedule debate started) after having off the 17th (MLK Day). One week off the last week of February and another week for Spring Break (3rd week of April). Off May 30 (Memorial Day) and Regents exams the last two weeks of June (last day of school June 24). 92 Student Days in the first semester and 91 Student Days in the second semester. Off for the hottest two months – July and August. Sounds darn near perfect to me.

Let the data decide

March 9th, 2011
10:27 am

I agree with Matt. Continue with the experiment as planned, collect the resulting facts and figures, and then make an informed decision about what’s best for the students and the budget.

Yep

March 9th, 2011
10:37 am

Let’s all face it. The balanced calendar was really implemented for the benefit of the teachers. I can see no signs of how this calendar benefits my kids other than that they really lose 1-2 weeks of study time recovering from the breaks. I know that they are young 8-10 y/o kids, but it takes a number of days for them to return their focus on their studies as a result.

Who else benefits from the break other than the teachers? No one. I do not know any average person that gets more than 4 weeks vacation per year to take advantage of the breaks. I guess that I am lucky that my wife is a SAHM, otherwise we would have to scramble during breaks to find day care at an additional expense to our household. These expenses, both on the school system’s and individual side add up! Combine these with the fact that children actually lose out in the educational experience through this plethora of mental breaks and lose focus on their studies.

A return to the standard calendar makes perfect sense to me. Teachers, quit being selfish and drop the lightly shrouded efforts to coast throughout the year.

Charles

March 9th, 2011
10:40 am

Farmers unite – keep the traditional calendar! The one we put in place 150 years ago so our kids could help us bring in the crops. Now we need it to make sure White Water and Six Flags are gainfully employed and enjoy long lines of kids each summer. Ignore that we are the only industrialized nation in the world to use a traditional calendar with long summers that require 6 weeks of “reteaching” each year. Ignore that we also have the shortest school year in the world and, of course, ignore where I kids are testing in comparison. Finally, ignore the fact that every other school system that has implemented a more balanced calendar loves it and continues to use them. Long live our traditions…bring on the leeches…

Dr NO

March 9th, 2011
10:41 am

When I was a young whippersnapper we began in late August and ended in May. Whats with all these new fangled ideas. Revisions and changes for revision and change sake is for crap-ola. Just like ObaManure and his changes and we need change and change has come to America…blah blah blah…what a waste and failure these changes seem to be.

m. fresh

March 9th, 2011
10:43 am

Lynn,
we are both saying the same thing.
i know absences are down.
and we both know the cause is not known.
teachers think it is because with the breaks – the can rest, take care of appointments, etc. without playing hooky.

i put forth another potential cause – teachers are being watched more closely now and so they are learning to deal.

in reality, it is probably a mix of both.

CobbParent

March 9th, 2011
10:43 am

“otherwise we would have to scramble during breaks to find day care at an additional expense to our household”

Actually, by my count the number of days off per annum are the same under both the traditional and balanced schedules, so parents who work have to find daycare for the same amount of time. Most facilities in the area started offering daycare for the breaks similar to what is offered in the summer…even the local YMCA had programs during the two breaks.

Whatever the schedule turns out to be, I will deal with it. No biggie. I don’t need daycare anymore. I like the idea of starting after Labor Day only because that is what I grew up with and I can be an old crud that way sometimes. Basically…whatever.

m. fresh

March 9th, 2011
10:45 am

Maureen,

You must not be following Cobb too closely if you think that Cobb citizens are concerned that reforms are not given enough time.

Cobb citizens, I believe, generally are tired of reforms being enacted (grading mechanism, the push to give all students a pc, the balanced calendar being put in in the first place, etc.)

CobbParent

March 9th, 2011
10:47 am

“bring on the leeches”

psst…they are once again using maggots and leeches in medicine. Turns out that some old ideas, even gross ones, were actually good ones.

Common Sense

March 9th, 2011
10:47 am

Of the three calendars being considered, two were comparable in that one started school on Aug 15th and the other Aug 17th and I believe the main difference being one had a week off at T-giving and the other only 3 days. The third calendar was the “balanced calendar” with school starting Aug 1st with a week off in Sept, the two weeks around Christmas, a week in Feb and the spring break week in April.

All the opinions I have seen expressed are an either/or with no talk of a compromise. So, how about this:

– School starts on Aug 10th
– Delete the winter break in Feb but keep the fall break in Sept (That way, there’s a week off in fall and a week off in spring)
– Take a week off for T-giving (there’s little to no productive value of having kids go for two days the week of T-giving anyway)
– Have the Christmas break (’Holiday break” for all you PC people) where Christmas is somewhere in the middle of the break

I realize offering a compromise may be a moot point because it actually makes sense and both sides can gain a good bit of what they are looking for; however, both sides will have to give a little to gain a lot and obviously that just won’t do.

As a side point, I don’t really put a lot of faith in the survey that was done since anyone in the world with an internet connection could vote. The only filter it had was that you could not vote more than once from the same computer. If you want a relevant survey, give a unique ID to each student and one to each teacher and then let them vote. Again, this too will be shot down due to too much common sense.

I have to go now, I am delivering a load of $800 toilet seat lids to the government building.

You get what you vote for

March 9th, 2011
10:49 am

I know this is off topic but just wanted to vent

For any teacher who has voted for Perdue/Deal or a GOP representative, thanks a lot. Mismanagement of funding, furloughs, pay cuts, reduction/take away of national teacher incentive, and soon health insurance premiums that will eat up 15-20% plus of your pay check if you have a family to support.

Georgia health plan 
in $250 million hole
By James Salzer

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

4:38 a.m. Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Insurance premiums for state employees, retirees, teachers and school personnel could increase by as much as 67 percent next year because the state has a $250 million shortfall in its health benefits program.

If the state makes up the newly discovered shortfall only with premium increases, costs could rise by two-thirds for employees, teachers and state government retirees. That would mean an extra $100 to $200 or more per month for many of them.