Former Mayor Shirley Franklin: Georgia will be beat by states that invest in knowledge economy

Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin says the state will fall behind if it does not invest in education.

Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin says the state will fall behind if it does not invest in education.

I have been surprised at the opposition toward the education SPLOST on the Nov. 8 ballot in Atlanta,  Fulton, DeKalb, Decatur, Gwinnett, Buford, Cherokee and Henry.

Given the stark reduction in state funds for education and the depressed housing market, schools are in desperate straits, and there would seem to be no more critical time to renew the penny sales tax for construction and capital improvements than now.

Among those who have not signed on — Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the business community. In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier this year, Reed said the penny — which has helped build or renovate 84 city schools or other buildings in the last 15 years— instead needs to go to a regional transportation plan expected to be put to voters next year.

Reed did not want the school system to seek to renew its SPLOST because Atlanta residents will be asked three times to raise their taxes between November and July. In March, Atlantans will vote on an extension of a 1-cent sales tax to upgrade the city’s water and sewer system, and later deal with another penny tax on the transportation bill. If both were to pass, Reed warned that the city would have the state’s highest sales tax at 9 percent and would be at a competitive disadvantage.

But won’t the entire state be at a competitive disadvantage if the schools are underfunded?

Here is what another Atlanta Mayor, Shirley Franklin, says about the lack of any visible support from the business community for the education SPLOST:

The Metro and Georgia chambers have stood silently by while devastating cuts to education occurred — from pre-k all the way through higher ed.  The Metro and Georgia chambers talk about a knowledge-based economy but they just do not go to bat for the public investment to make it so.

We are no different than 50 years ago when our economic development strategy consisted of building more roads (or ports) and believing they shall come. The talk has changed, just not the walk. Over the long-term, we will be beat by those states that really do invest in the knowledge economy. The data is overwhelming — higher paying jobs following higher educational attainment — and I am not just talking about four year B.A. degrees; this includes some level of post-secondary attainment, whether two or four years.

Georgia lost 31,000 jobs from September 2010-September 2011.  We are a sinking ship. If it were not for Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, we would be dead in the water.  Our neighboring states cannot duplicate this asset anytime soon, but this will not help the rest of Georgia, just metro Atlanta.

What would I like to see?  Gov. Deal, surrounded by business leaders, announcing that over the next 10 years we will raise the average level of educational attainment in every area of the state. More high school graduates. More two-year degrees. More four-year degrees. More master’s degrees. We will put as the top priority investment the one asset that can distinguish us — our people.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

152 comments Add your comment

Fled

October 29th, 2011
8:01 am

Looks like some of us got out while the getting was good. People are understandably hurting and angry, but I think their anger is misdirected. Teachers are not your enemies, though it is in the interests of the corporate types to make you think otherwise. Actually, almost all teachers are the good guys and girls. All most of us want is to be left alone to do what we love the way we think it ought to be done.

The corporate boys are after the schools, and it looks like they will get them. You all are being manipulated by corporate interests. Love the service at Wal Mart? How about Verizon? That’s the future of your schools, unless you stop this process while you still can. I’m not optimistic, but I am sure that people will look back and wonder why they gave the schools away. You see, there’s a big fat pile of money that could be turned to corporate profits, and they want you to give it to them.

This is not to say that the school system, especially in places like Fulton, is not screwed up top to bottom. It is. Of course it is. I just don’t believe in killing the patient to cure the disease.

Had enough yet, teachers? Give up. Throw in the towel. Flee.

Attentive Parent

October 29th, 2011
8:25 am

Here’s my problem with SPLOST. A huge amount of it is going to fund technology that will continue to substitute access to knowledge via a computer for knowledge in a student’s own long term memory. I want students who know enough to be able to think analytically and recognize the nonsensical arguments regularly foisted on them.

I want kids who can read phonetically and think conceptually with lots of facts at their command because they have been taught the wonderful stories of literature and history that exist if you are a fluent reader. I do not want Skinnerian lab rats trained to respond at a visual and perceptual level to the expensive program on their computer screen. These programs may do a poor job of teaching reading but they are a revenue goldmine for the providers. SPLOST will finance even more of this expensive and troubling practices.

I do not want more of my tax dollars going to benefit technology companies practicing crony capitalism and simultaneously pushing bad ed policies that will make it that much more unlikely they need worry in the future about a more innovative, better priced product destroying their market.

I think the SPLOST allowed absurd salaries to be paid out of my property taxes to deputy supers and assistant grand poobahs to supers and directors of various disciplines who show their ignorance and arrogance each time they speak or respond to an email.

Most of us in the private sector have suffered dramatic declines in compensation in this recession and have to pay for our own high deductible health insurance and our own retirements. When tax revenues declined and the result was furlough days to continue to allow accrual for that pension, it should have been understood by public employees as a slight percentage change in their overall compensation for that year. Not a we are not getting paid for today so we will not be teaching or grading today either.

One of the things wrong with education in Georgia is the confusion of getting a degree with increasing knowledge and skills that add value. K-12 exists for the benefit of state and district employees and to produce revenue streams for the absurdly large university system. It exists for the benefit of its employees. How many of those 35 institutions essentially have no admissions standards apart from a willingness to pay? Frequently with borrowed funds.

Education is the next bubble and SPLOST kicks that reality further down the road.

Marcus Valdes

October 29th, 2011
8:26 am

More taxes always fixes the schools. It has worked so well in the past. Any parent who thinks their kids are learning at a goverent school is crazy. The only answer is to teach them yourself.

anon

October 29th, 2011
8:27 am

Maureen,

Look at the Dekalb School Watch and its post on Reforms in DCSS. There are a lot of answers there.

Maureen Downey

October 29th, 2011
8:28 am

@anon, Will do.
Maureen

oldtimer

October 29th, 2011
8:29 am

I think the problem is no one trusts the school systems to use the money well.

Good point

October 29th, 2011
8:29 am

Fled is correct. Couldn’t have said it better.

This problem is definitely state wide. Look at GA state BOE and ask how they are tied to the big business of charters (which is tied to billionaire “reformers”). The county boards are just their unsuspecting tools, who have led PTAs and parents down the path of unwittingly advocating policies which hurt their own children, communities and ultimately, the economy.

And consider this: if we allow billionaires to carpetbag our school governance, schools cease to be democratic institutions.

Very Passionate About Our Schools

October 29th, 2011
8:30 am

Until ALL the schools get what is needed out of SPLOST and not just high rent district schools, I will vote against them. Title I schools, over 50 years old, get nothing while Dunwood gets one torn down and a new one built. Put doors on the classrooms. They don’t need a new school. ALL students deserve the same quality education. Until things become fair I am urging my friends to vote NO also.

Anonmom

October 29th, 2011
8:39 am

Too much fraud and corruption… until the State and local authorities start figuring out how to better monitor what’s happening to the money –it’s a pit. There is zero transparency (e.g. an on-line check register and p-card register, and no tax returns) and minimal oversight. The funds are most decidedly not being used to directly benefit the children. There are higher and better uses for the money than how they are currently being used.

carlosgvv

October 29th, 2011
8:45 am

Of course our schools are underfunded. They will stay that way too. This is Georgia by golly and we’re not in last place for nothing. We work at it!!!!!

Good point

October 29th, 2011
8:55 am

Well said, Very Passionate

Shirley Franklin and other politicians should not be surprised when SPLOST fails to pass. Parents are not tired of funding education; they are tired of funding cronyism,”disaster” capitalism and ill-conceived privatization schemes. The word is finally getting out.

There is nothing wrong with “government” schools. 1st world countries have them; it’s what separates us from the 3rd world countries. But, there is something terribly wrong with privatization and corporate cronyism . We don’t want corporations to do to our schools EXACTLY what they did to our economy; allow poor schools to get poorer, while wealthy kids bask in luxurious non-necessities. Have you ever noticed that the fix for ‘bad’ schools never includes copying the neighboring ‘good’ public schools? Why is the answer always a quick rush to charters, vouchers and the middle-men of privatization?

To a certain extent, this has been the plan all along. Break the schools and then send a superhero in to magically save the day…all at taxpayer expense, while ignoring the true, underlying causes of underachievement.

Fulton

October 29th, 2011
9:12 am

It is not MORE taxes. It is maintaining the tax level that has been in place for the last year. Does no one on this board watch the news? School districts are desperately trying to maintain class levels. This all flows downhill. Money HAS to be spent to upgrade and maintain the buildings. Software licenses have to be kept up to date (and those are very expensive). YOUR personal information is kept on mainframe computers that are used to manage data that keeps the buses routed properly, your kids lunch status, keeping grades in order. These mainframes are under constant attack by the bad guys trying to steal your information. It takes your money to keep these mainframes up to date and properly protected. If the cost for all of this comes out of the general fund then you get less teachers and larger classroom sizes. You can’t do away with the cost of the buildings, but you can do away with people. And that is the choice you force on School Boards when you refuse to invest in you child’s education. You may not be paying for your kids to go to some fancy private school. But you still pay for kids education. So is it going to a good education with lots of attention from a decently paid teacher? Or 40 kids in a classroom with an underpaid babysitter who can’t pay their rent and is constantly trying to find another job.

Concerned Citizen

October 29th, 2011
9:20 am

I go to those meetings, and the money spent on one school is the same as the money spent on another. School employees are told over and over again to be very careful about making sure everything is fair. ALL the kids matter, but some parents simply refuse to believe that. I’ve seen the meeting where clear evidence was presented that money was divided up properly, and that group of parents refused to believe it. Stop hating. Your attempts to hurt the “rich” kids will only hurt yours.

Woody

October 29th, 2011
9:20 am

I’m really sad that this is going to be yet one more consequence of Beverly Hall’s wicked reign of terror. I frankly would not blame anyone in Atlanta for voting against the education SPLOST. But it does make me sad, because I think underfunded or corrupt educational systems are at the root of the eternal question: Why is Georgia such a poor state? But I’m not sure that more money is going to fix the problems in our schools. Better ideas, integrity, purpose, humanity, maybe. I think that those are all values that are fostered by good superintendents. If those can occur, perhaps the money will follow.

@anon from Good point

October 29th, 2011
9:34 am

A question about the RFP posted at the Dekalb Watch site: does anyone know who wrote it? In my experience, they are usually written by the organization which has their foot in the door already. That one looks like it was written by and for someone seeking to reform (aka privatize). The process is similar to a ‘push poll’ in that the answers are a foregone conclusion; the study giving the illusion of input (like when your wife games you to think it was all your idea-heh)
The blog author hopes they mean to ’shake things up”. They will. That is the process; create upheaval, manufacture panic, then re-build it in the desired format. It works here because Southerners have a fundamental distrust of government, to the point of biting off our own noses.

@Fulton is correct in that it is not ‘more’ taxes, and the issues faced by schools are complex, expensive and real. SPLOST is not my favored means of funding public schools. Many people would prefer a permanent solution that adequately funds schools without the constant patchwork of funding, grants and attacks on schools born of paranoia and anger. We are slow learners in Georgia; apparently too proud to consider copying the systems in states where schools work.

catlady

October 29th, 2011
9:40 am

People are tired of seeing their money wasted. They don’t trust their “officials” with even a penny of their money. E-scandals, 400, HOT lanes, roads to the governor’s property–all of this makes everyone wary of any push in giving more money to the elected.

Near where I live, the BOE decided to use SPLOST money to buy a fancy building for themselves. SPLOST will not pay the power bill for this building, however. Once again, the taxpayers are on the hook.

Officials should not be surprised at the consequences of their actions. I will never vote for another SPLOST, even if it is totally devoted to supporting ME, or any constitutional amendments, as we know they will result in the “common folks” paying more.

Look at our neighbors, Florida, who I think have a 9 or 10% sales tax, BUT NO INCOME TAX. And how about Tennessee?

If we need things for schools (and we do) the state needs to stop handing out tax breaks like it is candy. It should be paid for collectively.

teach ss

October 29th, 2011
10:03 am

SPLOST is not a new tax Mayor Reed; it is a continuation of the 1-cent tax we’ve had in years. And Oldtimer, schools lay out everything the money is going towards way before voting time, so no suprises.
It is very important to update technology. It is what these children will be using in the future. And new buildings are quite important to help with overcrowding – especially in Gwinnett. Citizens not voting for SPLOST are part of the link to keeping GA on the bottom of all other states that have citizen support.
If you don’t like the system, then why did you move here? Jobs and schools are the top two reasons for relocating and GA has seen its share of growth over the last 20 years. It is because of new residents that we need more classrooms, books and technology. Yet, those some move-ins don’t want to support their new state. Weird.

Shar

October 29th, 2011
10:04 am

The schools are not in desperate straits due to funding shortfalls. We are voting on the fourth SPLOST, not the first, and Atlanta spends over twice per pupil than the state average, which is close to the national average.

The schools are decaying because of the cheating, lying embezzlers who are running them, and the corrupt business people who are sucking the money out rather than getting it in the classroom where it is intended and needed. Politicians, and specifically Shirley Franklin, both enabled these criminals and did their best to cover up for them when exposure threatened. Remember her infamous letter to Arne Duncan trying to quash the AJC cheating investigation?

Parents, too, are at fault. Too many abdicate all responsibility once their child enters the school door, and taxpayer investment is wasted on students who are not supported, motivated or who disrupt the learning of others.

The arrogance of the APS administration also discourges further investment. The Board is beneath contempt, caring nothing for students or wise use of funds and utterly in the pocket of a corrupt and vicious Superintendent who has made APS a national disgrace and victimized thousands of students. The new temporary replacement has done little to punish the guilty or to stem the spending, and in fact has said that he will proceed with the projects regardless of whether the taxpayers approve the money.

None of these problems can be fixed with more money. They will only be perpetuated. The people who have profiteered from the existing rotten system are the ones who claim it is ‘all for the children’, but who cut classroom spending first, protecting the huge bureaucracy and their cronies within it, to punish any taxpayer or parent-led reform efforts.

The system cannot be fixed and does not deliver value to taxpayers, students or parents. It has not earned additional investment and until reform has been instituted from the foundations up it will not deserve a dollar of tax money, much less an additional appropriation.

In fact, Ms. Downey, I’m amazed at your surprise and disappointed by your willingness to go along with the ceaseless demands of a corrupt organization that preys on the vulnerable.

Buzz144

October 29th, 2011
10:08 am

It is never enough. Our schools have become black holes into which taxpayers pour money and in turn the schools turn out mediocre students who, upon graduating and entering college, are sent into remedial math and English classes. It is time for a voucher system whereby we can send our kids to good schools and let the inefficient schools wither and die. Power to the people.

dekalb parent

October 29th, 2011
10:09 am

Attentive Parent said it best.
Many in the DeKalb community who will be voting against SPLOST IV support more funding for public schools but want to see drastic reductions in the funding of non-school based programs and administrative staff before blindly approving more taxes. DeKalb still has no long term vision for the education of our students. Are you going to increase the size and rigor of magnet programs? Are you going to have a math/science/technology magnet like Gwinnett? How will you address the needs of the growing ELL population? How will you better use the millions of Title I dollars to increase staff and learning in the classroom? What are you going to do with the huge chunk of land on N.Druid Hills Rd?

@teach ss

October 29th, 2011
10:13 am

Most people who moved here didn’t ‘come’ here. They were relocated by companies seeking low tax rates, no tax rates and even rebates; as well as cheap, uneducated labor. They live in upscale areas where lack of money for schools is mitigated by public school “foundations” and large scale donations to academic and athletic programs. They come from areas which typically, overwhelmingly support any tax increase (they’re used to paying for the best schools, roads and libraries)
But, I defy you to find anyone who moved to Georgia “for the schools”

posterchild

October 29th, 2011
10:19 am

@teach ss, agreed and well-said regarding why people most likely move to Georgia.

Franklin's "Slick" Move

October 29th, 2011
10:22 am

Mayor Franklin’s -, cunning move trying to bring APS in through the back door (lumping them in with the others). Shame on her!

I can’t speak to other districts, but APS deserves a Big Fat NOTHING. If fact, taxpayers deserve a refund for the millions and millions that have been squandered. Much of the same APS leadership (board members & administrators) remains in place. These folks have shown no fiduciary consciousness. They care zip about your money!

I could go on and on about the litany of corruption, but I’ll just refer to the latest specter — flashed back upon us in yesterday’s AJC’s article by Jamie Sarrio which reported that Hall made over Half a Million dollars ($580,000) in bonus loot.

Would you trust APS board members to run a business – small or large? Quite simply, they are not competent. I am shocked that citizens have any faith in their governance after reading about the level of collusion around the letting of contracts and other fiscal matters that have been revealed over the past decade.

Citizens with any degree of awareness will be voting a Big FAT NO!

cobb mom of 4

October 29th, 2011
10:35 am

I can’t wait for the SPLOST (education, roads, whatever) to come on the ballot in Cobb so that I can vote NO. These SPLOSTs bring in lots of money to someone, but the pennies don’t trickle down to the classrooms or teachers. Look at the HOT mess on I85, and they want to bring it to 75 & other parts of the metro area…not if it depends on my vote. The labor commissioner wants to cut unemployment benefits instead of raising payroll taxes on businesses back to what they should have been years ago. Deal doesn’t want to allow gambling to come up for vote in Georgia…WHY NOT?

Shirley, I don’t think anyone is voting against education in general..they are finally voting against the million dollar slush funds that are not benefiting those that are paying into it. While I support education and roads, I do not worship at the altar of Corporate America and Cronyism.

Vouchers aren't the answer....

October 29th, 2011
10:39 am

Vouchers won’t fix our school system. Policies such as mandatory enrollment until sixteen, guarantees that anyone can attend school until twenty-one regardless of progress, and federal laws that prevent any real punishment of troublemakers if they are labeled as “special ed” that are handicapping education.

If you close down public schools in lieu of vouchers, those problems will just present themselves at a different type of school. However, you will still have the problems.

I’ve never understood why people think these problems will mysteriously disappear if you have vouchers.They will just be transferred to a different type of school.

Did you know that if a child is labeled with an “emotional or behavior” disorder, they can’t be suspended out of school more than nine days TOTAL per year? A disciplinary panel can remove them out of their home school but they still MUST be provided with educational services courtesy of your tax dollars. However, if you’re child is regular education, there is no limit to the amount of days they can be suspended out of school.

Did you know that you can be 18 and a FRESHMAN in high school and there is nothing the school can do about it?

Did you know that there are 16 year olds attending middle school in some schools in Georgia?

Did you know that failure in a single testing subgroup such as “Math for English Language Learners” can label an entire school as failing?

It is policies such as these that are the results of stupid laws that are handicapping our education system. Without changing these policies, a voucher system will do nothing to improve education.

Who Cares

October 29th, 2011
10:40 am

Well put…these money-grubbing teachers are already rich enough…why should they get paid more. Schools are just day care centers…why should we as citizens care about the education of our children in government schools. If you really care about your kid you will home-school or pay for a private education. Why do they need more technology? Books were good enough for 1000’s of years, now these kids need computers and ipads…I think not. Kids that go to public school will just work at walmart anyway. Save the technology for the home-school and private kids that will go somewhere in life.

Who Cares

October 29th, 2011
10:43 am

I blame teachers in all this. These selfish women entered this profession because they new they could bilk the government and get paid high salaries with fully paid medical, ridiculous pensions, 5 hour days and 6 months off a year. America is being cheated by these teachers, who are nothing more than baby-sitters for kids from lower-class families that have no future.

@Franklin's "Slick" Move from G.P.

October 29th, 2011
10:43 am

Would I trust the APS to run a business? Who cares. Let’s not forget their ties to the hallowed “business community” and the Chamber of Commerce:
http://www.peachpundit.com/2011/07/21/more-aps-cheating-scandal-fallout-should-heads-roll-at-the-chamber-of-commerce/

The bigger question is: do we trust business to run our schools?

Maybe

October 29th, 2011
11:01 am

Cut the administrators and absorb the workload at the teacher level. Half time as admin and half time as teacher.

For the school facilities. Learning can occur anywhere right? Why do we need an expensive facility to do it. Find an empty building such as an abandon grocery store, tape off a section on the floor and put the desks in there. That is your classroom. The bigger the store- the more classrooms you can have.

School lunch- most of todays little ones like to eat out. Give them that eating out look and feel. Centralize school lunch production. Start cooking in the morning and have the school bus drivers load it up in the bus and deliver it after they have dropped the little ones off at the converted grocery store. Make a production of it- every lunch is the same

For school materials- Wikipedia has a lot of information and so does the internet. Use your best assests, teachers!, to pull this material off the internet and craft it to fit their lesson plan. Hopefully, they know enough about what they are teaching to decipher fact from fiction. Put it on a projector and teach the children off that.

Books – why give these children a lot of something that they will only use a little of. For those without a computer- Print only what you want them to study. For those with one that has internet access- access it at home.

SPLOST is more tax money for an inefficient system. If you cannot survive on the funds you have- the solution is easy- cut the damn expenses!!!!!

Roberta

October 29th, 2011
11:13 am

My 2 cents worth ……. our local Georgia schools are CRAP. We transferred here, and would love to transfer back. The 2nd grader has the most un-balanced curriculum I have seen. Our poor, rural kids back home do far better in school than GA. My granddaughter spends her ENTIRE morning devoted to ‘literacy’ activities’. She has five hours a week COMBiNED for social studies and science. She loves these two subjects, ‘you just sit there and you dont have to do anything’ as she told me last week. Then, at the beginning if the year the 2nd grade teachers gave us the homework packet for the week, with about an HOUR of literacy homework a night! SERIOUSLY, you CAN integrate literacy into the other content areas. There is something called ‘too much’. There is no real ‘thinking and discovery’ activities going on in class. 2 hours a week on science ??? no wonder GA is doing so poorly. Back home, kids her age are actively studying the solar system, plus there is some science homework. But no. Here is is reading, reading, reading, and some math.

Linda Borchers

October 29th, 2011
11:17 am

Let me understand–the whole APS has been under a cheating scandal for years–the problem has been there for along time–only recently were the double dippers fired and the high schools lost there accreditation–and you want me to vote for SPOLST–Fat Chance!!

rojer

October 29th, 2011
11:19 am

I am generally in favor of sales taxes as a revenue raising tool and am buying a house specifically to put my kids in APS but im not voting for all three sales taxes. I think the sewers will get the no vote but im really just setting myself up for an outrageous water bill lest the wrath of some federal judge. Yes to APS, yes to BeltLine, No to sewers.

KatyWatts

October 29th, 2011
11:20 am

“Good Point” you are crazy. what in heavens name is the matter with privatization??? Like the government has done such a wonderful job with schools, social security and our national debt?! Private companies would do a much better job. And as far as SPLOST is concerning. My vote is heck NO!!!!

Prof

October 29th, 2011
11:23 am

@ Who Cares and Maybe.

Great senses of satire…..potential Jonathan Swifts. Though not as savage as “A Modest Proposal.”

DannyX

October 29th, 2011
11:26 am

Although I have voiced strong support for the new DeKalb superintendent I will be voting NO on the Nov SPLOST. The DeKalb School system, will have to prove they can be trusted. The last SPLOST was a disaster. Clean the place up then come back to the voters.

RGB

October 29th, 2011
11:31 am

You people who attempt to equate spending on public schools with performance or outcomes must resolve in 2012 to give it up.

The public schools in this country that spend the most often achieve the least. Government schools are monopolies and monopolies have no incentive to deliver a good product.

Also, you government workers who bash business should insist that your “departments” no longer accept tax money either from these evil businesses or from those individuals who are employed by them.

The idiot who cited Verizon as having poor customer service should note that this company has the best-ranked customer service by Consumer Reports for several years in a row. Government employees who live off the largesse of others should not bite the hand that feeds them. Like it or not–and you obviously don’t–we are your customers. Many of your customers have FLED terrible government schools by enrolling their children in private schools–while other customers home school their children.

That your former customers would double-pay just to avoid using your product should be a wake-up call. But your own greed and incompetence crowd out what should be an innate sense of responsibility which you no longer possess.

Ole Guy

October 29th, 2011
11:37 am

Who Cares, your “well-informed” reply serves as an excellent example of what happens when one receives a frontal labotomy and, out of pure habit, continues to issue opinions. Do you honestly believe people, particularly young women, enter the teaching profession because it is the road to riches? You are, unfortunately, correct in that teachers have become, essentially, babysitters for kids from families who, regardless of socioeconomic status, have no future. I do not, however, know where you get the 5-hour days from. The kids themselves may be in school for a few short hours, however, teachers themselves put in one helluva lot more time. During my abreviated tenure in the education community, I often felt I would just as well camp in the parking lot!

I do agree, however, that America is being cheated by teachers…NOT for the completely uninformed reasons you have allowed to dribble forth, but because the teacher corps has allowed itself to lapse into a 4th class labor group. Rather than assuming FULL and COMPLETE command of their profession, teachers seem to have accepted, with absolutely no retort, the social position of “whiping boy”; willing recipient of all educational ills. Like the story of Joan of Arc, they are willing to be burned at the stake…sacrificed at the altar of parental indifference and administrative ineptitude…all-the-while believing that their plight will be, somehow, relieved by “public demand”. Rather than assume ownership for their profession, and for the children they portend to truly care about, they seem to cower under the threat of displeasing their handlers, the administrators whose only true agenda lies in political appeasement and expedience.

Your extremely shallow opinion (kindest words which one can muster while in a state of sobriety) indicates the utterly mindless view which the semi-literate public can puke up. If you have any kids in the public education circus, I believe you have, through your “words of wisdom”, provided a clear picture of what’s wrong with education…STUPID PARENTS WHOSE SOLE QUALIFICATIONS FOR PARENTHOOD LIE IN THE MIDSECTION WITH ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN THE BRAIN.

atlmom

October 29th, 2011
11:42 am

why does anyone think the schools are underfunded? what leads you to that conclusion? The problem is with the administration. The problem is having ONE administrator for EACH teacher in the system. I think that’s absurd. And some of those administrators make a fortune. It’s craziness. Redirect funds, fire lots of people, do things so that parents aren’t forced to sue the school system, run the place better. part of the problem is some federal mandates, but there’s not much the state can do about that.
But seriously, look at those bonuses that Ms. Hall got – and she wasn’t the only one getting a bonus. There is plenty of money in the school system for them to do what is needed. They just aren’t using it properly.

Ole Guy

October 29th, 2011
11:42 am

Prof, I fail to see how you can interpret this clown’s nonesense as satire.

atlmom

October 29th, 2011
11:43 am

AND – most importantly – STOP asking the voters their opinions on taxes. we send you to office to do what is needed. if you think you need to raise our taxes, then raise our taxes. DO. YOUR. JOB.

rojer

October 29th, 2011
11:43 am

Eloquent response to the trolls. Dont feed them. Youre wrong though. Was in a elementary school yesterday. No other way to described the teacher than Ghetto Queen. And thats from a lib. Not to mention the 25 or so kids in the class. There are serious problems with public education and the teachers are certainly a part of those problems.

atlmom

October 29th, 2011
11:45 am

Good point: schools shouldn’t be democratic institutions!!! (we are a republic, after all). Why do you think it should be. We the voters elect people to do their jobs. If they are not doing their jobs, fire them.

campbell635

October 29th, 2011
11:49 am

My only problem with the tax is that get keeps coming up for renewal. We are asked to approve it for one purpose and a limited time period. At the end of the approved period we are asked to continue it. At least gieve us a one year break! It never seems to end.

SeenIt

October 29th, 2011
11:53 am

@WHOCARES What rock have you been under? You are probably one of those parents who gets up late, gets your child to school late, never reads to your child, picks him up an hour after school is out ,and generally expect teachers to raise your child in addition to educating him. Right? If you had been at your kid’s school you would know the day is twice as long as 5 hours and far less than 6 months off a year. Teachers would love to able to just teach your child but spend the majority of the time disciplining children of parents who have sent their kid off to school at 5 years old and relenquished all responsibiliy to the school at that point. They are given an impossible job raising some children to grade level that are 3 years behind because they are so ADD (read:parents have no structure at home) they haven’t focused on anything in years. There has been no money for books in years, so they must buy or search for materials on the Internet. All planning and grading of papers must be done on their own time, as they have 25 kids in their “office” all day. If a parent is contacted to let them know their kid is impeding progress (disrupting) in the classroom, they are reported to higher authorities. If we want our schools to improve, parents must do some parenting. By the way, SPLOST funds do not fund teacher salaries, anyway. And if it did, remember, your get what you pay for.

Teacher

October 29th, 2011
11:56 am

Gosh, I did realize I had it so good. Let’s see last week (which is a typical week), I was at the school working with students 60 hours last week, I worked at home 12 hours, and it is Saturday and I’ve been up since 5:00 work on school work. Mind you I did have off from June 1 to August 1 this summer, but during that time I went to 4 weeks of professional develop and worked on new curriculum for a new class. I’m living the high life!!!

frustrated APS mom

October 29th, 2011
11:58 am

There are some great comments on here this morning. Shar, I loved yours. I am a mom with 2 kids in APS and I will be voting NO. We are happy with our elementary school, even though class sizes have exploded in the last 2 years. However, I am dreading next year when I have to send my oldest to a severely overcrowded middle school (Sutton) for one year while they decide what they plan to do about it by the next year when the fancy high school is built. Why won’t they just tell us what they are going to do with the 1300 + middle schoolers in the fall of 2013? What is the big secret?

APS 4th grade teacher & a Proud Cheater!

October 29th, 2011
12:15 pm

What’s all the fuss about? We need more of your moneyto continue the way we have veen operating. What else could you folks ask for, over a decade of dramatic results.

Yes, we need your tax dollars to continue to fuel the “APSMiralce!”

As always, Standing up for: Truth, Justice & the American Way.

Thank you very much,

Fighting in the Trenches

Brian

October 29th, 2011
12:21 pm

She isn’t another mayor. Another implies they is more than 1 mayor. She is a FORMER mayor. Get it right Maureen. Nobody cares what she thinks anyway. She is right up there with Bill Campbell on legacy.

Big FOOL!

October 29th, 2011
12:23 pm

Only a FOOL would the folks at APS!!!!!

Big FOOL! -correction

October 29th, 2011
12:28 pm

Only a Big, Big, FOOL would the folks at APS! We have heard all about the kick backs involving contracts for construction and technology (hardware & software). We are no FOOLS!