Should state have less say in local schools now that it’s paying less toward them?

Local taxes are now the largest funding source for schools in Georgia, raising questions about the balance of power. (AP Images)

Local taxes are now the largest funding source for schools in Georgia, raising questions about the balance of power. (AP Images)

The AJC has a story today that will not surprise local boards of education: For the first time in 16 years, local governments paid a higher share of the cost of public education than state governments.

In 2010, Georgia’s public schools received about 38 percent of their funding from the state, with local government paying about 48 percent. Federal and private sources accounted for the rest, according to the census report. In the past, the split has been about 55 state and 45 local.

The policy question now becomes: How much input should the state have in local education decisions and practices when it pays only 38 percent of the freight and less in high spending districts such as Decatur and Atlanta?

That has been the crux of the charter school battle: Should the state overrule local boards of education — which, in theory, represent the local voters and local taxpayers — and approve charter schools that then draw local funds?

It is always important to note in these discussions that the local money that underwrites schools does not come only from families with children in the schools. It comes from the entire community, childless couples, retirees and singles. I never understand the posters who come on the blog and insist that “It’s the parents’ money.”

Very few property owners in this state  pay enough in property taxes to cover the full cost of educating even a single child; it requires a community pooling of resources to fund education.

According to the AJC:

Across the country, 44 percent of public education cost is covered by local governments, with the state paying 43.5 percent and the federal government paying 12.5 percent.

Georgia’s public primary and secondary schools got about 38 percent of their funding from the state, with local government paying about 48 percent. Federal and private sources accounted for the rest, according to the census report, which covers the year 2010.

Taxpayers feed both local and state coffers, but the size of those coffers is vastly different. The shift to more reliance on local government has many believing that the squeeze school districts have faced in recent years is not merely cyclical but a new normal.

“This is huge, ” Georgia Board of Education member Wanda Barrs said during a discussion about public education finances last week. “We are where we’ve never been before.”

The economic downturn reduced state revenue and led to budget cuts in multiple areas, including education. That left districts to rely more on local funding. Many districts, however, are seeing that local funding diminish because it is pegged to property taxes, and property values have sunk.

Legislators said public education has taken a hit in recent years. But so has the rest of state government, they argued.

“State revenue has gone down across the board, ” said state Sen. Fran Millar, chairman of the Georgia Senate’s Education and Youth Committee. “We have reduced funding for education the least. They’ve suffered the least cuts.”

Millar said district officials need to be more willing to make unpopular and difficult choices. “They’re going to have to look at raising millage rates, ” Millar said, adding that districts will also need to consider salary reductions and shrinking central-office staffs.

“There are no easy answers here, ” Millar said. “We don’t have the luxuries we once had. Some of these local systems, they need a reality check.”

Many officials in those districts don’t share that opinion. DeKalb County Schools just completed a long, painful budget process that underscored the tough choices districts face and the tough politics behind those choices. Lay off or furlough teachers? Increase class sizes? Increase tax rates?

“It’s frightening, ” said Eugene Walker, chairman of the DeKalb County School Board. “It’s getting worse. We have increased costs and decreased revenue.”

Walker pointed out that, in 2008-2009, one mill of property tax brought in $22 million. Now, after property values have been hammered in the bad economy, a mill is worth $16 million. That’s a 27 percent drop over four years.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

78 comments Add your comment

HS Math Teacher

July 24th, 2012
1:18 pm

Pride and Joy

July 24th, 2012
1:20 pm

It sounds good in theorry, doesn’t it? If the State of GA pays less than the locals, then the locals should have more power, right? Seems reasonble….except…
Except that in practice, when you give local control to school boards in Atlanta, the corrupt school board will do what is best for it, not the children.
We need more Federal and State oversight in the Atlanta Public and Dekalb County public school systems, not less.

Dunwoody Mom

July 24th, 2012
1:32 pm

In perfect circumstances, the state should stay out of the business of the local school districts. But, then, there is DeKalb….

The state should not be in the business of creating alternate “quasi-private” schools, aka Charter Schools over the objection of local school districts.

Married with (School) Children

July 24th, 2012
1:36 pm

The AJC article quoted above includes this line: “DeKalb County Schools just completed a long, painful budget process that underscored the tough choices districts face and the tough politics behind those choices.”

It sounds like the author of that piece does not read their own newspaper:
http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-school-board-rejects-1479032.html

The budget process is not complete when you are still $20 million in the hole!

Fred in DeKalb

July 24th, 2012
2:03 pm

“Millar said district officials need to be more willing to make unpopular and difficult choices. “They’re going to have to look at raising millage rates, ” Millar said, adding that districts will also need to consider salary reductions and shrinking central-office staffs.”

Senator Millar is going to make Grover Norquist upset with statements like this. He also needs to mention this to the DeKalb BOE members that did not want to raise the millage rate nor layoff employees. Given employee compensation makes up about 90% of the budget, increasing revenues need to be a consideration if you want to minimize impact to the classroom.

We also need to revisit the Equalization formulas. How can a county like Gwinnett be a receiving county? This antiquated formula needs to be reevaluated.

To the point of the blog, the Federal government has a lot of say so in local school operations also. Look how much they provide as a percentage of the overall budget.

Don H.

July 24th, 2012
2:16 pm

Perhaps, Maureen, you have trouble understanding taxpaying parents—because so many in your preferred Democrat Party are renters who pay no direct property taxes?

One might hope you could at least understand the growing numbers of taxpayers taking advantage of an option to channel their tax dollars toward aiding private schools and the students hoping to escape failing traditional public schools. It is, after all, THEIR STATE, LOCAL & FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS funding a system many don’t pay into but none-the-less extract benefits from.

Not so oddly, choices are blurred by local school board candidates pretending to be Republican while at the same time accepting endorsements and cash from teachers’ unions—who will demand their future support in blocking education reforms.

Vyper3000

July 24th, 2012
2:19 pm

I have a novel idea: how about we turn over the educational details to – the teachers? A few points to consider:

1.) Most people have that one teacher who made that significant difference in their lives. I’ve never once heard someone say how great an influence that wonderful schoolboard was in their formative years, nor anyone identify a bureaucrat as being the one person that made a positive difference in their outlook on life. There is a reason for this.

2.) It is a truth that the farther a governing body gets from that which they govern, the less in touch or relevant they become. Why then would anyone want specifics dictated from people we’ve never met in a place we’ve never been to children they will never bother to visit? The state should be limited to A.) List the educational goals for the state at large, and B.) Test the results WITHOUT revealing anything other than the topics to the local schools beforehand, and C.) Get out of the way. Instead of teaching the tests, the teachers can then teach the SUBJECTS.

3.) Eliminate the fluffy PC feel-good nonsense that has been injected into the curriculum and teach english, math, history, science, etc. Give the teachers authority in the classroom and let them use corporal punishment. Gice detention to, suspend, or expel students who misbehave and expect the parents to DO THEIR JOB. You know – all the stuff that WORKED when it was done 50 years ago until someone who “knew better” changed it all into the mess we have now.

Edugator

July 24th, 2012
2:24 pm

More local control? Yikes, more local chaos. Funding the schools should be the main priority of the state legislature, not the assortment of pet projects that seems to dominate each legislative session, along with a focus on social issues that play well with the hometown voters. instead, we get repeated austerity cuts and attempts to channel public money into private schools for a select few.

Of course, our schools could do themselves a favor by reducing non-teaching staff and dramatically cutting the pay of those who remain.

catlady

July 24th, 2012
2:30 pm

Except if it wasn’t for the state and (moreso) federal government, many school boards would deny an education to “those people” (whoever is the whipping boy in that county.) All in the name of “wise use of resources,” of course. We have got the rotten “system” we have just because the local school boards were not acting within the law. Some are still not, of course.

Our model seems broken. No one wants money from the feds, but “it’s our money, anyway.” The state also isn’t holding up its end of the deal, denying an adequate education because, “we don’t have the money (we spent it on other priorities, like Go Fish)” yet the state keeps demanding more of the rules it sets be borne at the local level. The local elected people, not wanting to be turned out of office, are largely unwilling to come anywhere near the 20 mil limit*

*more with special permission

At what point is providing an educational opportunity an essential function of our government?

Of course, one way to do more with less is to kick out those who are unwilling to be educated, and who seem determined to drag others along with them. We can probably cut our teaching staff by 25-30% (of course, it will still take the large CO staff to administer, you understand).

Does this sound very negative? Well, I am tired of the SOS year after year, a downward spiral. Teachers are asked to put the children first. Now it is time for the others to do the same!

Vyper3000

July 24th, 2012
2:32 pm

That’s a great idea, Edugator. Dramatically cut the pay of people with college degrees who are already paid a lot less than they would earn in the private sector. Take away the help that a teacher has to keep up with her 150 student load and make her grade all those papers by herself: serves her right for giving that assignment! The teachers that get fed up and leave for better paying jobs working for companies that appreciate them more will just be the bad aggs, after all, and the ones who will stay – you know, the ones who couldn’t get hired anywhere else? – they’ll do just fine. After all, we don’t really need the best and brightest just to teach a bunch of kids, right? Far better for those decisions to be made by politicians in some other city than here at home by educators and parents.

And you wonder why “the select few” (translation – those who attempt to make sound financial decisions and also want to have input into the lives of their kids) are fleeing for those private schools you mentioned….

Tabitha

July 24th, 2012
2:33 pm

How much say-so should the feds have?

BTW, do you think the “high paying districts” like Dekalb and Fulton are getting their money’s worth.

Jefferson

July 24th, 2012
2:39 pm

I’m for 100% coming from the state. Equal funding for students.

jj

July 24th, 2012
2:39 pm

And the Feds fund even less, and want more control than the state. I live in Cobb and pay my Cobb taxes then over $60mm goes to the rest of the state while we lay off teachers. Bring South Georgia farm land up to actual values and they will have plenty of money. (Oh I forgot all of downstate is Democrats who just loath Atlanta until they want our money)

Mary Elizabeth

July 24th, 2012
2:39 pm

” ‘State revenue has gone down across the board,’” said state Sen. Fran Millar, chairman of the Georgia Senate’s Education and Youth Committee. ‘We have reduced funding for education the least. They’ve suffered the least cuts.’ ”
====================================================

Many states, especially those led by Republican politicians, have made efforts to cut back on all public or “government” services, including public education. (It should be noted that ALEC member, state Senator Chip Rogers, is an Ex-Officio member of Georgia Senate’s Education and Youth Committee, which state Sen. Fran Millar, quoted above, chairs.) So, it is not surprising that the state of Georgia has cut back on funding to state programs – across the board – including those to public education. (Cut backs to state programs have been in operation for the past decade in Georgia, even before the 2008 Recession.) In my opinion, those funding cut backs may have much to do with the ideological agenda of many of Georgia’s Republican leaders, as with the admittedly needed budgetary concerns.

The “small government” ideological agenda for Georgia’s educational delivery systems will produce additional cutbacks to Georgia’s traditional public school systems, in the future, if public funds, for educating the young people of Georgia, are allowed to be used for, and by, private schools via vouchers.

Citizens do need to be wary of the intent behind the new amendment to Georgia’s Constitution which will allow the state to approve charter schools over the jurisdiction of local school districts. Rep. Jan Jones, who sponsored that original bill, is also a member of ALEC. See below:
================================================

“Republican Reps. Jan Jones, Brooks Coleman, And Edward Lindsey Sponsored Both Bills. [HR 1162, Georgia General Assembly's website, accessed 5/7/12] [HB 797, Georgia General Assembly's website, accessed 5/7/12]

■Jones Is A Member Of American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) Education Task Force. [Sourcewatch.org, accessed 5/7/12]

■Lindsey Is An ALEC Member. [Sourcewatch.org, accessed 5/7/12]”

Source for the above information:

http://mediamatters.org/print/research/2012/05/09/how-alec-is-quietly-influencing-education-refor/184156
===========================================

From Jay Bookman’s column entitled, “GOP here looks to match voucher program in La.,” published in the Atlanta Journal-Consitution, on July 18, 2012:

“This is the type of program that voucher proponents in Georgia hope to emulate. Last week, for example, Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers acknowledged that if he had his way, such programs would have been implemented ‘yesterday,’ specifically citing Louisiana as a model. But until full-blown implementation is possible, Rogers and others pursue half steps, such as the proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot this November giving the state the power to create charter schools over the protest of local districts.

It is also consistent with proposals from GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who advocates turning federal aid for schools into individual grants ’so that eligible students can choose which school to attend and bring funding with them.’ Interestingly, the Romney plan avoids the term ‘vouchers’, although that is clearly how such grants would function.

That’s in keeping with the stealthy, incremental process by which this goal is being pursued.”

Edugator

July 24th, 2012
2:55 pm

Vyper, you’re confused. I’m all for paying teachers what they deserve. I want the best and the brightest teaching in the classroom. The non- teaching staff I’m referring to are overpaid administrators both in the school and the county offices, folks with cheesy degrees who simply burden classroom teachers with extra hoops to leap through. I doubt many of them could find employment in the private sector.

I want to see funding focused in the classroom, not on self important educrats.

Just Can' Make You Believe

July 24th, 2012
2:58 pm

@Don H; for the millionth time there are NO!!!!!!! teachers unions in Georgia. We are forbidden to collectively bargain by the state constitution. The same constitution that states Ga. should fund public education. You don’t have to watch “Faux News” 24-7.

Just Can't Make You Believe

July 24th, 2012
2:59 pm

Mary Elizabeth

July 24th, 2012
3:02 pm

@Don H, 2:42 pm

Your 2:42 pm post, above, addressed to me is a cut and paste, verbatim, of your post(s) addressed to me on the “Suburbs and Charters” thread of this blog. The original post was removed once (yet reposted later on that thread), probably as a result of the astute words of “Prof,” below:

“@ Maureen. Didn’t you state earlier that you’ve introduced a policy that disallows personal attacks by bloggers? Why do you allow ‘Don H.’ to post as he/she did at 11:08 am about Mary Elizabeth (and Ron F.)? Not only is this cruel and age-ist, it is demonstrably untrue as may be seen in Mary Elizabeth’s well-reasoned, articulate posts.”
============================================

I refused to respond to such inanity as you wrote in those posts, and I will not respond to such, in the future. Obviously, my thoughts are threatening to you, and you show the calibre of your mind with your resulting personal remarks regarding me. You have lost all credibility with me, so I see no reason to address anything that you might post, further.

DonnaCountryside

July 24th, 2012
3:04 pm

“Mary Elizabeth dear, why do I get the feeling when reading your frequent and endless posts that I’m reading Ron F in drag?

The teachers’ union, cut & paste shtick comes through clearly enough. THAT connection is obvious. But you also have a definite “Ron” something about you even while the old-lady-in-her-dotage act is too far over the top to be taken seriously.

Have any fessin’ up to do Ron Mary Elizabeth?”

Too funny. I’m an occasional reader and first-time poster but yes, I’ve noticed both sides use this blog as a propaganda platform. Especially the teacher union side. An FAQ on various terms bounced around would be interesting to us newbies — if it’s strictly non-partisan. :-)

Republican landlord

July 24th, 2012
3:06 pm

@ Don H – “Perhaps, Maureen, you have trouble understanding taxpaying parents—because so many in your preferred Democrat Party are renters who pay no direct property taxes?’

Only an idiot or a very poor business person believes this hogwash. If a landlord is not smart enough to include the tax in his rental figure then he doesn’t need to be renting out property.

Pride and Joy

July 24th, 2012
3:07 pm

Vyper3000, you said we should “turn over the educational details to – the teachers?”
In Atlanta how would that look?
School starts at 10:00 a.m. and gets out at 1 p.m. with a two hour lunch.
Do you hire foxes to guard your hen houses too?

Pride and Joy

July 24th, 2012
3:07 pm

Vyper3000, you said we should “turn over the educational details to – the teachers?”
In Atlanta how would that look?
School starts at 10:00 a.m. and gets out at 1 p.m. with a two hour lunch.
Do you hire foxes to guard your hen houses too?

williebkind

July 24th, 2012
3:11 pm

We should make school voluntary!

Vyper3000

July 24th, 2012
3:13 pm

Edugator – my mistake. I absolutely agree with your comments as explained.

Google "NEA" and "union"

July 24th, 2012
3:16 pm

@Just Can’t:

The National Education Association … a labor union … disagrees with you. They have thousands of members here in Georgia and are INSISTENT they are in fact a union!: http://www.nea.org/home/18469.htm

All Georgia Association of Educators members pay an extra $168 yearly to belong to the NEA.

Vyper3000

July 24th, 2012
3:19 pm

Pride and Joy, if school in Atlanta starts at 10 and lets out at 1 witha two hours lunch, as you say, might I suggest that we may have found the first problem with Atlanta schools? As for my comments to turning over education to teaches, I a am presuming that the local school system has done its job and has hired actual competant teachers as opposed to persons who wish merely to stand in front of a classroom for a while and collect a paycheck for it. School administration traditionally sees to the actual overall running of the school, i.e., making sure that the teachers are in the classroom competantly teaching. If they are not doing that job, then a general housecleaning follwed by a career fair is called for. The answer is not to hire foxes to guard the henhouse: the answer is to fire the foxes and hire hens who actually lay and make nuggets out of the rest.

Courtney

July 24th, 2012
3:24 pm

Georgia has abandon our schools. It is sad to see our state become a third world country. What do you expect from a legislature that thinks cutting down trees for billboards will create jobs! They want our kids to work at Quick Trip.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

July 24th, 2012
3:38 pm

With all due respect, Senator Walker, when was the last time that you and your board colleagues voted to bring in competent, disinterested, out-of-state auditing firms to perform comprehensive financial and personnel evaluations of the DCSS?

Of course, when was the last time that the GDOE underwent similar analyses?

living in an outdated ed system

July 24th, 2012
3:42 pm

The answer to your question is an emphatic NO.

Prof

July 24th, 2012
3:46 pm

@ DonnaCountryside, July 24th, 3:04 pm.

If you’re only an occasional reader here, then you need to realize several things.

1) The “teacher union side” on this blog consists of posters who are not Georgians, for all teachers in Georgia know that the state Constitution prohibits unions altogether. So you should ask yourself about their motive for lying. Hint: it relates to national political battles being waged over educational funding for public education and whether taxpayers’ money should go to support private schools…the Republican Tea Party, in other words.

If you’re a “newbie” here, you better educate yourself via Google about the educational battles between the liberals and the ultra conservatives now going on in Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Colorado, as well as some Midwestern states. Don’t expect us to do it for you.

2) Why do you find what Don H. posted “too funny”? Mary Elizabeth is a regular poster who has noted in the past that she taught in North Cobb schools for about 30 years as a Reading Specialist before retiring. Her posts are extended, often learned defenses of the necessity for public education; and she speaks out of her long experience as an educator.

Kira Willis

July 24th, 2012
3:49 pm

Maureen, last summer, there was a round table discussion with Sen. Millar and other teachers/educators from the around the state. I distinctly remember him and the other senators stating that they would revisit the conversations that we had that day.
It’s possible that I was not included in the second wave of discussions, but…

yuzeyurbrane

July 24th, 2012
3:51 pm

Definitely. Local Boards of Education are 1 of most democratic institutions we have. They should have more power. Instead, Deal and his buds are trying to grab more control in order to destroy public education and steer money to private education contractors under guise of charter school “reform”. Just by chance this multibillion dollar industry makes big campaign contributions. . . and I am certain as one could be that Georgia pols will figure a way to get a personal piece of that pie.

Old timer

July 24th, 2012
3:55 pm

Maybe we could cut state and federal control and rules…then get rid of all the supervisors and teachers would have more time to teach. Leave more of the counties money in each county….like Cobb or Dekalb. Other counties might have to increase their taxes. I would like to go back to pre and post ITBS testing. It was fun seeing the growth during the year. Many low children had a “light” come on about 5th and 6th grade which made teaching so exciting.
On another mater, maybe superintendents should not be paid more than the president or the governor of Ga.

Old timer

July 24th, 2012
3:56 pm

Mary Elizabeth

July 24th, 2012
4:03 pm

Thank you, Prof, for your words of support at 3:46 pm above, as well as your support on the “Suburbs and Charters” thread.

Readers, I regret that so much focus has centered upon me personally on this thread. Please read and focus upon my post at 2:39 pm on this thread. I put effort in sharing what I wanted communicated into that post. That post has much substance, within, related to the state and local funding of public schools in Georgia.

In terms of interpersonal dynamics, I want to share what I just wrote to Prof on the earlier thread mentioned:

“Please know how very much I have appreciated your words of support, regarding the recent personal attack upon me. Such venom is sad to read, even when I am not the target.

It is my hope that human beings will transcend that level of exchange. Intense negativity pulls down all who read it, both spiritually and intellectually. I have faith that most will rise above that level of communication with others, and it is, also, my hope that people will come to trust more the concept that love, not hate, can transform this world, for the better.”

dbow

July 24th, 2012
4:33 pm

Should it happen, yes. Could it work, yes. Will it happen, not a chance. There’s too much power up for grabs and there’s no way that a government will cede any power unless forced to do so. Back in the good old days when public schools were really public and no one ever heard of a charter school because the public schools where working for the majority of kids, this wouldn’t have been an issue. I went to a city/county run school system and it worked because the majority of the people living their made education a priority. The city next door was run down and poor and the schools were terrible. Now how do you think that happens? If more communities would step up and take care of their own business there wouldn’t be a need for the federal gov’t or any other outside agency to take care of educating it’s residents. Unfortunately we know that some people, if left up to their own devices, would choose to do nothing and even willingly let the gov’t make the decisions for them. I think the term is leaches. Maybe it’s moochers.

The Deal

July 24th, 2012
5:04 pm

Until I moved here, I would have been all in favor of 100% local control, but this is DeKalb, and we need anyone and everyone to step in and stop the train wreck. Actually, the wreck is in progress. We need first responders and clean-up.

NONPC

July 24th, 2012
5:09 pm

Eliminate the fluffy PC feel-good nonsense that has been injected into the curriculum and teach english, math, history, science, etc. Give the teachers authority in the classroom and let them use corporal punishment. Gice detention to, suspend, or expel students who misbehave and expect the parents to DO THEIR JOB. You know – all the stuff that WORKED when it was done 50 years ago until someone who “knew better” changed it all into the mess we have now.

You know, this makes more sense than anyone could possibly believe. The modernization of the classroom has not improved learning or test scores one iota.

Get Educated

July 24th, 2012
5:50 pm

NTLB

July 24th, 2012
5:52 pm

Perhaps a lawsuit that mirrors the the Lobado vs Colorado school funding lawsuit will get the message across. This public funding lawsuit was initially filed on June 23, 2005 in which the plaintiffs charged the state of Colorado of violating the state’s constitution and underfunding its K-12 school systems by 3 billion dollars. A district court judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and found that the state’s funding system is “irrational” is not meeting the funding requirements of the state’s constitution. In addition, district court Judge Sheila Rappaport also accused the state’s system of being “unresponsive” to the growing financial and academic demands continuously placed on schools….Sound familiar???

LarryMajor

July 24th, 2012
5:53 pm

Funding did become an issue with the proposed constitutional amendment, but it shouldn’t have. A state chartered school cannot get any local tax revenue unless local voters approve it.
Curiously, if this “pro-charter school” amendment passes, local voters will lose the authority to override their BOE’s local funding denial.

crankee-yankee

July 24th, 2012
6:14 pm

Hmmmmm…

A nice thought, movement to more local control.
But how far do we let the pendulum swing?
The reason for increased state control was because of all the poor local educational governance in the past.
Then there was the call for equalization because of the wide disparities in funding among the counties.
The pendulum swings. Better funding across the board but more state control.
For the past 10 years it has been swinging back as far as decreased state funding but WITHOUT a decrease in state control.
What we are seeing is poor governance on a more massive scale at this point.
state legislators (lower case on purpose) who cut funding but want to exert more control seem to be the norm now.
I see no chance of that changing until thinking voters take control again.
The problem being, in the interim, we run the risk of going all the way back from whence we came and that is not a positive step.

teacher&mom

July 24th, 2012
6:21 pm

@Kira: I also attended the luncheon and have wondered about Rep. Lindsey’s promise to revisit the conversations.

had enough

July 24th, 2012
6:32 pm

Not if your super is Ed Heatley. He already runs the county like a crazed dictator. Too bad Dallas did not want him

crankee-yankee

July 24th, 2012
6:44 pm

@Kira & @teacher&mom

Does this surprise you?
A politician saying something and then not following through?

We need to remember what has been said & subsequently done when we visit the polls.

Ron F.

July 24th, 2012
6:49 pm

Donna: If you read, many of the posters here are teachers and retired teachers who believe very strongly in the need for public schools. They’re not spreading “propaganda”; they are, like me, concerned about the real reason for many of the reforms that are gaining popularity like a new Ben and Jerry’s flavor amongst state politicians who are controlled by personal agendas and corporate lobbies.

As to the topic of this thread, if the state is only providing 38% of funding, it gets a lot of control for its dollars, doesn’t it? We need statewide goals and a state-provided outline for education. But their control needs to be limited as to how local systems function, so long as those systems are meeting state goals. In systems that are failing, like APS, Dekalb, etc., then the state should have more control than the locals.

C Taylor

July 24th, 2012
6:58 pm

I was also at the lunch meeting and I not surprised at how our thoughts were discarded. How many of those making decisions about public education ever had children in public education?

Ron F.

July 24th, 2012
7:04 pm

Mary Elizabeth: You are to be commended for your grace under fire. I’m glad I chose today to spend time in my classroom beginning the always arduous task of finding everything and bringing some semblance of order to it. Your passion for education is appreciated, applauded, and needed. We truly are teachers for life. It isn’t a job, it’s a lifetime career that doesn’t end when we lay down the chalk for the last time!

Bernie

July 24th, 2012
7:05 pm

Only in Georgia, would the citizenry would have to consider such an absurd question.
Because nothing here is really what it seems or appears to be. One must peel back the facade to see the real sinister ugliness that truly exists in those who profess to be Leaders who truly care about the welfare of all its citizens

Solutions

July 24th, 2012
7:13 pm

As a taxpayer, I urge a 10% pay cut for all teachers, especially in Fulton and DeKalb counties!