Protect taxpayers from failed ventures including charter schools

John Konop of Cherokee County is an entrepreneur who shared with me a short essay he wrote on funding charter schools. (He is also one of the brave Get Schooled posters who posts under his name.)

By John Konop

Charter schools are becoming a main character in a separate but equally contentious drama: Public financing of private projects, which, in my county of Cherokee, include a recycling center that could cost taxpayers $20 million and a golf course.

Whenever a county considers accepting an ongoing private and or public operating liability — such as guaranteeing the bonds, providing upfront funding, accepting material ongoing liabilities — protecting taxpayers against unreasonable risk should be a top priority. When a private company receives public money, it is irrational for the private company to receive all the upside of success and the taxpayers left on hook if the venture fails.

Let’s start with the Cherokee Charter Academy. I support charter schools, if they are properly funded. But before we debate the viability of charter schools, we should first understand the liabilities put on taxpayers.

From what is reported, it is obvious that we have discrepancies about the financial viability of the school. Taxpayers would not only lose their initial investment, but the quality of our school system will be shaken as it struggles to absorb close to 1,000 students from a failed charter school mid-year.

We, as a community, can prevent these kinds of financial losses in the future by requiring a surety bond (or some other form of security) from the private company receiving public funds. This kind of security means that independent experts will have validated the viability of the project to the point that they’re willing to put their own company’s money at risk if the venture fails. It would also establish stronger financial controls than the government is typically capable of executing. None of the three projects mentioned earlier — the charter school, recycling plant, or golf course — has any such taxpayer protections in place

Kelly McCutchen of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation points out, “Charter schools are completely responsible for their own buildings. What we need is predictable year-to-year facility funding that could support a lease or mortgage payment — the payment would end the moment the charter was closed and the charter would have responsibility for any unpaid mortgage. This is fair to charters and protects taxpayers.”

He further suggests, “… it might make sense to require a bond for schools that grow beyond a certain point. Larger schools would be better able to afford that extra cost.”

If no financial institution will provide a reasonable rate for guaranteeing a particular public/private venture, that should be a red flag that the project scope and financing needs to be restructured or not implemented. We need to demand that our elected officials treat taxpayer money in a fiscally conservative manner before they approve any future publicly funded projects, including charter schools, recycling plants, aquatic parks or golf courses.

Let’s agree on fiscally rational financial requirements of these projects before we debate the politics behind them.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

102 comments Add your comment

TrishaDishaWarEagle

July 16th, 2012
3:44 am

I have no issue with the idea of a surety bond…but it should also be required to be posted of public school teachers so that when they fail or cheat, their ineptitude does not cost the tax payers thru either contract buyouts or court costs. On second thought, every public sector employee should have to post a surety bond so that their actions can not result in the loss of tax payer funds.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

July 16th, 2012
3:45 am

And I also post under my real name..all it takes if a look on facebook Trisha Doherty

bootney farnsworth

July 16th, 2012
7:19 am

completely agree. totally.

I have no issue with the concept of charter schools. But in this economy public funding is a luxury we can’t afford on unproven concepts.

for a charter school to open, they must has some at least enough private funding to operate for three years. especially in these times where STEM is so vital and skilled tradesmen are missing it will not stain our souls to have entities Home Depot or Scientific Atlanta (they still exist?) funding education which is in their overall best interest.

bootney farnsworth

July 16th, 2012
7:21 am

for that matter, the Bulldog Athletic Association (private entity) can sponsor a school dedicated to prepping promising athletes to survive in college

Pride and Joy

July 16th, 2012
7:28 am

I agree we should protect tax payers from failed ventures. Failed ventures mean every school system in APS. Some are better than most but all are bottomless pits of waste and greed.
Vouchers.
We tax payers need to choose our child’s education instead of APS robbing us of everything they can get their crooked hands on.

justjanny

July 16th, 2012
8:04 am

Charter schools are public schools. For some reason, parents think that putting their children in a charter school is the same as putting them in a private school. Wouldn’t it make sense for parents to engage in their “neighborhood” school at the same level and higher that is required of charter schools? You’re just transporting your children to another public school outside of your zoned school. Stay at home and make it better!

mark

July 16th, 2012
8:14 am

When the charter school leaves town, they take the materials, supplies, books, desk and building with them. That is the major difference when a charter school fails. The company in Florida gets the building that we paid for!! If a public school is shuttered, we still owe the property, the books, the desks and all other supplies.

bootney farnsworth

July 16th, 2012
8:15 am

@ janny

completely agre there, too.

there can be a happy middle ground for both. IMO one of the biggest problems in education is the determination to create a one size fits all solution

bootney farnsworth

July 16th, 2012
8:16 am

@ mark

thats why I advocate for a corporate partner.

Pride and Joy

July 16th, 2012
8:34 am

Just Janny you say that parents should just stay in their zoned public school and make it better instead of going to a charter school. You wrote “Wouldn’t it make sense for parents to engage in their “neighborhood” school at the same level and higher that is required of charter schools?”
If it were that easy, of course we would. When it is possible it takes a decade or more to make a school worthy of our children. Most often, it isn’t possible because we can’t force people to do things differently. We cannot force people not to cheat on tests and we cannot force people to be honest and force them to care. We don’t have enough control over a bloated bureaucracy full of crooks.
We also have full time jobs too and work well past the time when all teachers and administrators are home snug on their couches.
To say to parents, just stay in the rotten school and make it better is the same as telling a battered and abused wife to just stay and make it better.
She can’t control an abuser any more than parents can change the rotten core of a public school system.

Dunwoody Mom

July 16th, 2012
8:43 am

Google "NEA" and "donations"

July 16th, 2012
8:48 am

Maureen, there’s an elephant in the room distracting readers from your ongoing war against parental choice (in this case charter schools).

Several, in fact. First, there is a substantial body of parents, notably in inner-city areas, increasingly vocal in their dissatisfaction with traditional public schools—and increasingly unwilling to let white liberals like you limit their options in seeking solutions.

Second, decades of liberal bromides plus vast quantities of public funding have utterly failed to address the problems of disappointing test results.

If the futures of young children weren’t at stake perhaps the preferences of union bosses would continue to carry the day.

But by now that must seem increasingly unlikely even to you.

lets be serious

July 16th, 2012
8:49 am

Cherokee Charter School performed as well (or better) on test scores the first year in operation. They have instituted “Cambridge Academy” this year for the gifted and educated for grades 6-8.. The only people who are complaining about the school are teachers or the friends and family of teachers. What is so difficult to understand that change and competition is a good thing.

Dunwoody Mom

July 16th, 2012
8:50 am

So, Maureen to Pride and Joy’s point, have you done a column on the the parent trigger laws? I believe California has had one for a few years with Louisiana just passing such a law?

mom2two

July 16th, 2012
8:58 am

Pride and Joy,

I was thinking the same thing. Its not always simple to have change in the local public schools. Two public schools, with the same demographic, can have vastly different results based on the administrators and staff in that school. These people are not “hired” by the parents. I see lots of turnover in principals in some of our schools. When that happens how can the parents affect change. The same holds true for the Charter schools, but if one is unhappy with the results, yes they can return to their local school. I think what most parents want is choice. Healthy competition increases quality.

Eddie Hall

July 16th, 2012
8:59 am

In fairness I will note I sit on a BOE in N GA. It is however as a parent and taxpayer I base my opposition to this amendment and the concept itself of state funded charter schools. First of all, make no mistake about it, for the charter schools themselves, it is about money and making the education of our children a business. From there start to connect the dots. For a business to be profitable, and yes, that will be the goal, they will only seek to turn out the best “product”. My friends and fellow parents, that is all fine and good until YOUR child gets that “irregular” stamp and is sent to the now even more underfunded, city or county school. It to me has the aire of the beginning of a ” class” system.
The system we have now is not perfect. It is however ultimately controlled by ” us” the voter and taxpayer, not a CEO.
This is also an effort to strip the hardworking educators of many of the hard fought benefits they have earned. This too is a step backwards for education and our state.
Last but certainly not least, the local BOE is the last bastion local voter control, and influence. This measure will take that away and send all decision making to Atlanta.
Can any of this be the BEST we can do for our children?

Formerteacher

July 16th, 2012
9:03 am

Pride and Joy- if it can take up to 10 years to see change at your neighborhood school, why do you think it will happen faster at a charter? I have heard many stories of parents who never darkened the door of their child’s neighborhood school, but have all the time in the world for the charter school. Why is that? What if that same effort had been applied at the first school? Why was that school and its students not deserving of the parent’s time, but the charter is? Still sounds like parents want something akin to a private school without the private school tuition.

Pride and Joy

July 16th, 2012
9:13 am

Former teachers asks a good question “if it can take up to 10 years to see change at your neighborhood school, why do you think it will happen faster at a charter?”
Because parents have more control. That’s why. APS is a bloated bureaucracy that moves at the speed of a glacier. It is also crooked and the culture of greed and crime is as imbedded into it as it is at Penn State.
When parents create charter schools, they can move faster and make changes that are best for the kids.
Drew Charter is an outstanding example. Coan Middle School and Whitefoord elementary school, which are in the same neighborhood have been dismal failures for decades. Yet, APS is throwing more money at COAN. APS wanted to limit the successful Drew Charter School from expanding. It’s just outrageous.
Parents in that neighborhood voted with their feet. They CHOSE Drew Charter for their children. Drew is a success. Coan is a failure. Which one does APS support? The failure.
That answers your question perfectly.

dc

July 16th, 2012
9:19 am

please stop with the “underfunded public schools” drivel….funding per student has increased dramatically with zero results. That’s just a fact. So quit with that smoke screen, it’s been debunked time and time again, and taxpayers and parents aren’t buying it anymore. Actually, now that I think about it, keep spouting it!! It really helps tax payers and parents see the truth of the agenda behind so many administrators.

If the above blogger is truly on a school board, then he is the perfect picture of what’s wrong with public education today. He seems to think that anyone who isn’t following the same administrator top heavy public school model isn’t “in it for the students”…. this from the same folks who, every time there is a budget issue, cut teachers before they cut any of the top heavy admin…seriously?

Way too many school system bureaucrats, while professing to “be in it for the children”, started focusing on protecting their jobs and positions over the good of the kids, long ago. Fortunately that’s becoming more and more obvious to taxpayers and parents alike.

living in an outdated ed system

July 16th, 2012
9:47 am

Problem I have is with your title, which shows your continued bias against public charter schools and any new type of innovation to reform public education.

The other problem I have is the continued assumption that charter schools must remain under local control. If you would all just be open to new ideas, and the constitutional amendment, then localities won’t have to take on the financial risk of a new charter school. Funding comes from the state, not from local funds!

Therefore, again let me reiterate that the author is working off a flawed premise, because he won’t consider the fact that perhaps innovation is best left to the innovators and not the local public school monopolies!

living in an outdated ed system

July 16th, 2012
9:50 am

@Eddie Hall – I hate to tell you this, but public education is ALREADY a business, and BIG business for that matter. The textbook publishers make billions of dollars in monopoly profits from K-12, so for you to make such a statement is quite ignorant and isn’t supported by facts. The more all of you fail to realize that the system is irretrievably broken, the further behind our children fall.

Proud Teacher

July 16th, 2012
9:50 am

Why can’t the same rules, regulations, and standards of a charter school be applied to a regular public school? Why are the charter students an elite group who has their own school? Why can’t that same group be formed in a public school where they can not only receive the education they need but also serve as role models to other students? There is nothing wrong with having an AP class which is certainly made up of a certain type of student. There is nothing wrong with having all math whiz-kids in a higher level math class. Why must there be a separate building and staff and call itself a charter? Could it be nobody wants to really address the ridiculous discipline problems in our schools? What a shame.

Really amazed

July 16th, 2012
10:03 am

@dc, so very, very true! Why don’t more people understand this???? The DOE has had so much extra funding thrown its way. Schools are underfunded?? What happenend to all those RTTT funds??? More money is NOT the answer!!

Mikey D.

July 16th, 2012
10:07 am

@dc
The underfunded public education isn’t “drivel”, a myth, or anything else. It’s simple reality. Unfortunately, you very accurately point out the problem. Per-student funding simply takes the budget and divides it by the number of students. The problem with this is that people think that money is actually being spent for the students. Nothing could be further from the truth. In far too many cases, the money is spent to employ an endless string of high level, highly-oaid “administrators”. I have a friend who has spent over $500 of her own money this summer to purchase books that are included in the Georgia DOE units for common core. There’s no funding at the school level to even supply the materials we’re told we must use. Furloughs are ongoing, and are likely a permanent thing now. School years are being shortened. The schools are not flush with cash, as you imply.

David Granger

July 16th, 2012
10:19 am

I agree completely with you, Maureen, that the taxpayers should be protected from failed ventures. Trouble is, I think we should be protected from ALL failed ventures…”green” energy ventures that are not financially viable, car companies that can’t turn a profit without billions in “stimulus” funds…not just charter schools.

Formerteacher

July 16th, 2012
10:24 am

Proud Teacher- I second that! I’ve asked the same question, only to hear the sound of crickets in reply. Let’s make each school a charter school- parents and staff write a charter and are held accountable for meeting the standards set therein. Let each school determine what will best work for their student population. Doesn’t send tax dollars to a for-profit, out-of-state company or put taxpayers on the hook as outlined in Mr. Konop’s essay. But, it also doesn’t line the pockets of our state legislators from those same for-profit, out-of-state companies, and therein, IMHO, lies the rub and why we’ll never see it happen.

Google "NEA" and "donations"

July 16th, 2012
10:25 am

@MikeyD: Washington D.C. public schools receive top funding per student … and return test scores which even the Obamas refuse to countenance for their daughters.

So can we stop the charade that this is even remotely related to dollars?

Pride and Joy

July 16th, 2012
10:28 am

Proud teacher asks an important question “Why must there be a separate building and staff and call itself a charter?”
I’ll give you just one example that tells the whole story. This is an example of what happened to just ONE child at a public school.
The child, a young kindergartener, could not pull up his pants without sitting on the floor. He and his parents had no problem with this. When the child went to the bathroom, he sat on the floor and pulled up his pants.
The prinicapl of the school would not allow the boy to sit on the bathroom floor and pull up his pants. Yet, it was impossible for this child to balance himself and stand and pull up his pants. The principal cited the reason was that the floor was too dirty to sit on.
Now, what would any logical person suggest?
If the floor of the bathroom is too dirty, then the school should keep the floor clean.
But the parent didn’t ask for a thing. Instead, he brought a small stool for his child to sit on, a very light weight one, that his son could easily carry and sit on and pull up his pants.
Well, what do you think the administration did? The went bonkers. They had meeting after meeting with many people involved and hemmed and hawed and couldn’t decide. After a few months and four filled meetings later, the school principal finally allowed the little boy to bring his tiny stool to school and bring it to the bathroom so he could pull up his pants.
Imagine…
All that for a stool. The parents missed several days of work, there was anxiety everywhere and all this for a stool.
When a public school can’t get its head around a small boy pulling up his pants in the bathroom….the public school is in a hopeless, ridiculous quagmire.
Now there is your answer.

Lee

July 16th, 2012
10:30 am

Whenever the subject of charters come up, you have the usual suspect who try to discredit them, but yet fail to see WHY parents are trying to escape what they see as a failed traditional public school. Same holds true for vouchers and privates.

Bottom line; if you are satisfied with your public school, count your lucky stars.

[...] A Georgia entrepreneur suggests that taxpayers should be protected from failed ventures such as some charter schools. (AJC) [...]

Mikey D.

July 16th, 2012
10:44 am

@google:
The money isn’t getting down to the classrooms. That’s the problem. Everyone raves about the 400 million from RTTT, but no one wants to talk about how half of that stays at the state level, and most of the rest is getting tied up at the system level. Practically none of it is filtering to the classrooms. My pay is significantly less than it was 6 years ago (> $7k less). I’m not saying that money isn’t there, but it’s certainly not being used wisely. I’m just trying to look at things realistically. Unfortunately, judging from your screen name, you’re less likely to look at thigns objectively and more likely to see the world through the lens of your “unions are evil” ideology.

[...] · 0 comments TweetOne of our very own frequent commenters John Konop made the AJC.  The gist of his comments are: “Let’s agree on fiscally rational financial requirements [...]

Proud Teacher

July 16th, 2012
10:46 am

Former Teacher: Nobody is willing to address exactly this issue. Everybody avoids giving a direct answer. This can only mean that selfish pride drives the charter schools. Our students are our investment in the future, all students! Students are not widgets to make money for selfish enterprises.

Real Teachers, where are you on this issue?

Old Teacher

July 16th, 2012
10:52 am

Parents want to send their children to charter schools to escape the discipline issues that are present in the public schools. This may be the beginning of a cast system, but until teachers and administrators are given the power to really discipline the bottom ten percent who are in school only because the law requires them to be there, is there a better solution?

Old School 36

July 16th, 2012
11:03 am

@Google “NEA” & Donations…actually I think it has more to do with security issues and the naiveté of folks who head to the White House without understanding the actual impact of becoming the First Family in this world we live in today. Idealistic, but unrealistic.

Proud Teacher

July 16th, 2012
11:07 am

Charter schools are merely a bandaid. We educators must address the more serious issue of why charter schools are even thought to be needed.

Teachers are the whipping children of the administrators. Why can’t anyone with any autority listen to what is really happening in the classroom? Data, statistics, test scores cannot be the only driving forces to improve any school.

Why aren’t the real educators speaking out? Why is PAGE and NEA ignoring the real issues of classroom teachers? This dirty laundry needs to be aired and treated with disinfectant.

d

July 16th, 2012
11:10 am

@google… When you say “union bosses,” are you referring to the math teacher from Arizona, the 4th grade teacher (who started as a cafeteria worker) from Utah and the science teacher from Pennsylvania?

I have to agree with previous comments, though…. The success or failure of any particular school has more to do with the involvement of the parents and surrounding community than anything else. If the students see the investment of their community, they will take greater pride in accomplishing great things. I think the greatest problem in the “traditional” public schools comes from outside “reformers” who just do not have any clue as to what really happens in the classroom. More harm comes to my students and me by a politician trying to dictate how I do my job than from NEA ensuring that a teacher’s due process is followed. Due process will not save a bad teacher’s job if the process is done correctly. Unfortunately, we have placed so many additional requirements on our administrators that it is difficult for them to do their job. Frankly, we rush into so many things, that we don’t really do what is necessary to make them work correctly. How long will we have Common Core before someone decides to change it up? Will I ever see a penny of RTTT money in my 38-student classroom? Somehow, I doubt it.

EMAN

July 16th, 2012
11:20 am

Let’s be for real. Charter schools are not in the busines to educate kids. Their purpose is to make a profit. Their track record is lousy when it comes to educating kids. Taxpayers should not be financing schools that have proven not to work. This is another venture at the expense of hard working citizens.

living in an outdated ed system

July 16th, 2012
11:22 am

I think all of you to need to read “Disrupting Class,” because it’s clear that you have absolutely no understanding for how innovation works. When someone like @Proud Teacher asks, “why can’t the same rules, regulations, and standards of a charter school be applied to a regular public school,” it demonstrates how the folks insider “the system” don’t have the foggiest idea how to innovate.

Concerned DeKalb Mom

July 16th, 2012
11:25 am

@dc and others who think the schools are “overfunded”:

Let’s be clear. School SYSTEMS are overfunded. Schools themselves are not. And if you don’t believe that, go look at DeKalb’s administrative offices, and then visit any number of schools around the county–and all around the county, north/south/east/west. That $$$ is not making it back to the schoolhouses, helping teachers and those who have direct contact with students.

Eddie Hall

July 16th, 2012
11:26 am

@ dc- I spoke as I said, as a parent and tax payer. Just so you know though…
When the economic crisis started and it seemed as if we recieved cuts in state funding on a DAILY basis, and knew there would be cuts, we DID start at central office. We cut other non essential areas, and eventually yes some teaching positions and pay. We also faced a devaluation in our local tax base which meant even less money. THEN we circled the wagons. Our teachers, staff and parents got behind THEIR system and did more with less. We first added back student days to the calender we had cut. They are now at 180 days. We then started adding back positions and supplements, while maintaing some of the other austerity measures that were working without taking away from the students. We then added back teacher days. We are not back to the full 190 days for teachers, but we are are close. We have better than average test scores. We enjoy success in many extra ciricular areas. We are not at the state maximum 20 mils that I think the state is trying to push ALL local systems to. Our people go above and beyond and yes they do more for less. They are dedicated. FYI we also have over 50% on free and reduced meals, so no we are not a “rich” system. We are actually a charter system. This allows our parents and business partners to have MORE involvment and help us with success. The difference is our community “owns” our charter and can “fire” any of us at the ballot box. You won’t have that choice if this amendment passes.
Point being, the system CAN work if you work at it. You may have to vote to change your BOE. You may have to get some business people to serve on the BOE. I will agree, it is, and should be run as much as possible, as a business. The difference is, when the marginal child. and the under preforming child’s welfare is at stake, THEN it is not simply dollars and cents. By the way, I don’t get paid for my service. I am not running for re-election, so I am not trying to protect some mythical government position. I speak ONLY for myself. As I said, as a parent and tax payer, I want school decisions made at the LOCAL level, not in ATLANTA.

d

July 16th, 2012
11:32 am

@Concerned…. I have an interesting proposition for you. Check out open Georgia and check how much our governor, lieutenant governor, and state superintendent earn a year. Then let’s compare that with local superintendents, deputies, etc. Something just isn’t right about that picture.

Cellophane

July 16th, 2012
11:39 am

Thank you, John, for your perspective. Cherokee Charter Academy was $1.3 Million in the hole at mid-year; their treasurer’s explanation was that the State mid-year allotment would help them “catch up.” The mid-year allotment shows the school got $70,000 more, not the $1.3 Million they needed. Now they won’t talk about the budget, whether they filled the $1.3 million gap or not, they just keep saying they are “working with the state.” Maybe because the treasurer is running for School Board Chairman in Cherokee County, touting all his financial wizardry? Transparency and accountability must be demanded of this school and its “board” – none of whom are elected.

Proud Teacher

July 16th, 2012
11:39 am

Living: What? We don’t know inovation? Public school teachers are the greatest innovators in the world! We know how to run a classroom with very little supplies, broken technology, and lack of administrative support because the numbers for the BOE may not be perfect. We don’t know innovation? Please.

You must be with the group who wants to privatize all public education. Should public school teachers be euthanized to put them out of their misery because of the mismanagement of education by those who know nothing of a classroom?

Innovation is inherent to any good classroom teacher. There is no need to destroy a public school because of a couple of bad teachers. Remove those bad teachers from the school system. There is certainly no problem doing this with losing football coaches, is there?

John Konop

July 16th, 2012
11:51 am

Eddie Hall,

I have made the following proposal to my school board members in my county.

1) Let students who participate in a sport in high school replace it with a gym credit requirement
2) Create a home school/public school option for students and allow the students to participate in extracurricular activities. We have a model that is working today across the country with home school charter school today
3) Ask for waivers for elimination of some of the end of the year testing. We know the best countries in the world in education test way less than us
4) Increase opportunities via joint enrollment for vocational kids as well. This would lower the drop-out rate, increase tax revenue via trained qualified graduates and lower the cost of repeat classes taken.
5) Create joint educational opportunities for public schools at night with colleges and or job training. This would save money via building cost and cross utilization of talent.

If you did the following it would not only be a win for students, it would also help with the budget.

living in an outdated ed system

July 16th, 2012
11:52 am

Wrong, @Proud Teacher. See, you immediately get defensive and think I’m anti-teacher. I am NOT anti-teacher – you don’t know me and you don’t know what I believe or what my motivations are. The system has not allowed teachers to innovate – just look at the achievement results and graduation rates in APS. Pathetic! And you can’t remove bad teachers from the system because of industrial-age union rules and last-in, first out policies. Look at how much it cost taxpayers for these ridiculous APS teacher tribunals!

Keep believing what you want to believe, @ProudTeacher. When you think you have all the answers, it becomes clear you have NONE, and are unwilling to consider other approaches to education.

MB

July 16th, 2012
12:11 pm

Eddie Hall – A concern with unfettered local control is mixed priorities and allegiances, especially in smaller districts. In my hometown, where there are fewer than 9000 students in the entire county, their budget situation has been so bleak that they have had 10 furlough days each year for the past couple of years and teachers have to sub during their planning periods. (They don’t hire subs for less than 3-day sick or personal absences.) Class sizes have risen dramatically and when they had fewer furlough days they dropped the county salary supplement.

HOWEVER, their middle school has 8 administrators and 10 clerical/clinic support staff. My middle school has 4 administrators and 6.5 clerical/clinic support staff. (Their school population is only 20% larger than mine.) Some teaching vacancies are not being filled at the high school for next year, but two new administrative positions have been created there, They hired a new football coach (Director of Football Program) who will not teach so his salary will be completely locally funded; he made $94K in his last position at a smaller school.

Does this sound like local control is leading to an emphasis on instruction to you? I contend there needs to be more accountability across the board in using funds for instructional personnel in the school buildings. Will our new ed funding program put in controls to insure that systems cut this top-heavy leaning?

Gerogia and education not compatible

July 16th, 2012
12:12 pm

@ Eddie Hall and Proud Teacher I agree with both of you. I don’t believe people are truly looking beyond the aura of charter schools.

Formerteacher

July 16th, 2012
12:15 pm

“Living”- all that your 11:22 am post demonstrates is that you are one of those folks who refuse to acknowledge that public schools have any value whatsoever and should be thrown out- baby and bathwater. I echo Proud Teacher’s sentiments- teaching by its very nature requires innovation- from one day to the next, from one class to the next. Many times I found myself “innovating” on the fly because a lesson wasn’t working. Innovation does not require destruction. It simply means culling what works from what doesn’t.

@Pride and Joy- everyone can pull out an example of bureaucratic idiocy in schools, or ANY field for that matter. Stupidity is not confined to education. Your story simply shows that THAT administration needed a head check, not that every pubic school is useless. Why can’t we make LOCAL fixes instead of wholesale attacks and “reforms”?

MB

July 16th, 2012
12:16 pm

Proud teacher – I TOTALLY agree that we need to weed out the terrible teachers, but some administrators just don’t seem to have the intestinal fortitude to make it happen. Ironically, the head football coach at my sons’ high school lost his coaching position, but they can’t seem to get the man out of his “teaching” position. (One son had the man for three different classes – health and two PEs – and he was worse than worthless.) So he will continue to draw the paycheck for doing less and less, sadly….