PTO presidents get ESPLOST info from Sup’t. Bearden at Fayette Chamber

PTO presidents get ESPLOST info from Sup’t. Bearden at Fayette Chamber

PTO presidents representing Fayette County schools packed the house at the Fayette Chamber of Commerce last month as Superintendent Dr. Jeff Bearden addressed immediate challenges facing the public school system.

Topics included updates on the school redistricting process, school finances and budget and information on November election issues including the ESPLOST and the Charter Schools Amendment.

Dr. Bearden spoke at length about what the current ESPLOST has funded and how the continued ESPLOST, if approved Nov. 6, would be used.

The previous ESPLOST funds were used to renovate facilities, replace buses and text books, used to lower the debt, and brought the latest technology advancements into our classrooms, Bearden told the PTO members.

Bearden said that, since the initiation of the new technology programs, discipline problems have gone down and the students are very engaged and performing at a high level.

According to Dr. Bearden, If the ESPLOST passes, it will allow Fayette County schools to continue and enhance the 21st Century Classroom technology programs that are providing the tools our students need to be successful in the future.

The Fayette Chamber has scheduled two opportunities for Fayette County citizens to become informed on the issues prior to the vote on Nov. 6.

The first event on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 5:30 pm will be a Community Conversation featuring discussion between the two school board candidates: incumbent Terri Smith, who switched from Republican to Democrat this year, and Republican challenger Mary Kay Bacallao.

The community is also invited to a State of the Schools Breakfast on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 7:30 a.m. The cost for the breakfast is $10.

Both events will be held at Peachtree City United Methodist Church, 225 Robinson Road, Peachtree City. To register for the events, contact the chamber at 770-461-9983.

Larry Sussberg
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FCBOE Candidates-TUESDAY OCT 16, 5:30PM

Interested in Fayette County Schools? Join us for a Community Conversation...

Tues., Oct. 16, 5:30 pm

Peachtree City United Methodist Church

225 Robinson Rd., Peachtree City

In light of all the challenges facing our public schools, please join us to hear from our two school board candidates for Post 2, Terri Smith and Mary Kay Bacallao. The facilitator for the evening will be Julius Pryor of JPryorGroup. Questions for the candidates are being formulated by local university leaders. This session is open to the community.

PLEASE REGISTER TO COME:

http://fayettechamber.org/chamber-master/?chambermasterpath=events/detai...

Larry Sussberg
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Nuk_1 Milage Rate and Facts

I don't think you have your facts straight on the ESplost and its impact on the milage rate.

Suggest you look at Mr. Marchman's email issued today as to how the tax credits issued reduce you milage rate and why he has decided to support it.

As to Dr. Bearden, your facts are again wrong, and its Fayette's loss but that's what happens when one board member violates SACS ethics rules by undermining his authority in the system.

There is a clear difference between governance and managing. If you disagree look at the recent SACS warning issued 1 week ago to Clayton's Board of Education.
Read the SACS rules to learn the difference between a school board and a corporate board.

I respect the fact you oppose the ESplost but do it based on facts.

Also, since you wanted to hear from Mr Marchman, who I also respect, I suggest you look at Mr. Marchman's clear logic which is based on the facts.

If you want a copy, email me at sussberg@aol.com

Thanks Larry

NUK_1
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Larry: Where am I wrong?

The ESPLOST has no affect on the school millage which is set already at 20mils, the maximum the state allows. Unless you think the ESPLOST getting passed might lower the school millage rate, I don't see where I'm wrong.

We've had an ESPLOST for years and during that time the BOE raised the millage to the maximum allowed by law. I don't see how extending it is going to bring that millage rate down.

As far as Bearden goes, my opinion says you're way wrong. The guy sat on his hands for his first year and then suddenly says "oh my...we have a 15mil shortfall coming up!" DUH. He knew that BEFORE he accepted the position and did nothing besides convince the BOE to extend his contract a few months ago based on no tangible results so he could then negotiate his way out of the system with a year's worth of salary+benefits and leave the cleaning up to someone else.

Bearden's joke of an idea that closing 3 schools gets the BOE out of this financial mess shows what kind of a bad hire he was. Closing those 3 schools doesn't even address 25% of the shortfall. BOE is going to need to close 5 or 6 schools quite honestly.

Husband and Fat...
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Nuk: I am not so sure

you have the right assumption on Dr. Bearden. I could be wrong.

I am getting the feeling that his hands were tied making a lot of the necessary cuts last year. I think politics got in the way of the board approving some of his recommendations. They felt that the cuts were too drastic last year and would use our rainy day fund to balance the budget. You know lets put it off until next year and maybe we can win the lottery.

Any supt is going to have his hands tied to the politicians he serves. Dr. DeCotis knew when to get out. Dr. Bearden found this out too and was bright enough to play the game.

Being a school Supt is a lot like being a head football coach. You need that long term deal to be heard.

Larry Sussberg
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Husband&Father of 2/NUK_1

NUK_1 - from the outside looking in I can appreciate how you draw your conclusions.

Focus on the ESPLOST not Dr. Bearden because that's the discussion.

And, using your primary focus on buildings, you would need to close 25 not 6 to 8 schools to balance the $20 million deficit.

I don't think our school system is sitting on over $400 millions in real estate and/or bonds at 5% interest generating this $20 million deficit.

Stop listening to the politics of school board elections and those trying to influence your vote by fingerpointing and focus on the school system itself and the management who run it.

Your postings are about elected officials and Dr. Bearden, but its the ESPLOST and the further impact on the school system that should be the discussion.

If you don't want to believe me, then email Mr. Marchman and look at his research and position on ESPLOST.

Setting all of this aside NUK_1 - we do agree on our mayor! lol

NUK_1
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Larry: Of course it's about the elected and appointed officials

It's the BOE: past, present and future. They are the entity that determines how the ESPLOST money is spent along with recommendations from staff like Bearden. They also determine how the collected taxes from the millage rate are spent. The BOE has done a fairly horrendous job in that regard for many years and it's going to take a lot to convince voters to trust them by extending the ESPLOST again.

I think I'd be more inclined to wait a year and see how the BOE performs before voting to extend SPLOST. Otherwise, it's throwing good money after bad at this point.

Larry Sussberg
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NUK_1

I respect you viewpoints!

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USES & FACTS ON ESPLOST

Uses of ESPLOST

1.Can the ESPLOST be used for anything the FCBOE wants?
-A.No. The SP n ESPLOST stand for special purpose. The intended uses of the ESPLOST must be stated in broad terms in the ESPLOST resolution. Further, by Georgia State Law, the ESPLOST may only be used for certain things such as buildings, books, buses, and technology.

2.Can the ESPLOST be used for plugging at least some of our $15 – 20 MM operating budget shortfall?
-A.No. ESPLOST can be used for extraordinary items such as capital purchases or maintenance; it may not be used for operations.

3.So does the ESPLOST help the operational budget?
-A.Yes. The ESPLOST supports the operational budget by funding items that would otherwise by paid for out of the operational budget at the expense of programs and teachers. Before the ESPLOST, we paid for school repair, books, buses, technology and other capital items out of the operational budget.

4.Is it true the FCBOE wants to spend ESPLOST money on turf fields for the five high schools and tennis courts?
-A.No. A group of well meaning parents did propose these items and they were specifically deleted by Dr. Bearden and the FCBOE.

5.Is it true the ESPLOST lowers property taxes?
-A.Yes. 35 % of the current ESPLOST and the proposed continuation pay a portion of the school bond payment (principle and interest) which directly lowers the school bond millage rate you are assessed. Go to the calculate my tax relief section on our website to calculate your ESPLOST property tax relief.

6.Is it true the ESPLOST money was used to pay for Rivers Elementary also known as the empty school?
-A.No. Rivers Elementary was funded by school bonds.

7.Is it true that the ESPLOST funds were used to buy cutting edge technology for our schools?
-A.Not quite. ESPLOST funds have been used to equip all of our schools with “Classroom of the 21st Century” technology which is a national standard. The standard classroom has an LCD projector which is tied to the teacher’s desk computer, smart board, and sound amplification. The question was raised in 2009 at a public demonstration at Cleveland Elementary and the public was informed Fayette County was at the 50th percentile in adoption. Fayette County traditionally adopts proven trends.

8.Is it true FCBOE recently paid $1 Million in ESPLOST funds for security technology for our schools?
-A.Yes. These funds were specifically earmarked in the ESPLOST referendum and are used to employ technology to secure our schools in case of threats. Now information about threats and classroom situation can be shared securely and electronically. Previously, teachers would slip a card under the door to indicate security status which may not be optimal during certain threats.

9.Is it true cameras were purchased for our school buses with ESPLOST money?
-A.Yes. Both internal and external cameras were purchased to increase security and provide documentation of facts in the case of on board incidents or people running past stopped school buses.

10.Is it true teachers are responsible for damage to the class room technology?
-A.No.

11.Is it true the bulbs for the LCD projectors are more than $200 each?
-A.Yes, and they are budgeted for.

12.If we have purchased all this technology why do we need more funds?
-A.First, the equipment we have has an estimated useful life of 5 – 7 years. Therefore, we will need to replace it at certain times However, we have all seen the pace of technology change such that we know we will need to not lead but keep pace. The EPLOST covers much more than just technology, including buses and building maintenance which are ongoing expenses.

13.Is Fayette County the only school system in Georgia with an EPLOST?
-A. No. 172 of the 179 school systems in Georgia have an ESPLOST. You are supporting other schools whenever you shop in these other counties.

Missy
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ESPLOST

I am sorry but AT HOME GYM must not have any kids in Middle or High School right now. We need all the security we can get. I am not happy with our current BOE, but I want what is best for our kids. They need to have computers that work, new books, and schools with working heating and air. If you are unhappy with how they spent the ESPLOST, then why would you let them have more of your tax money to spend it as they wish? That is exactly what will happen if you vote "no" to ESPLOST. Your taxes will go up and they can spend this money on anything...a trip to Vegas perhaps?

Missy
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ESPLOST

I am sorry but AT HOME GYM must not have any kids in Middle or High School right now. We need all the security we can get. I am not happy with our current BOE, but I want what is best for our kids. They need to have computers that work, new books, and schools with working heating and air. If you are unhappy with how they spent the ESPLOST, then why would you let them have more of your tax money to spend it as they wish? That is exactly what will happen if you vote "no" to ESPLOST. Your taxes will go up and they can spend this money on anything...a trip to Vegas perhaps?

Missy
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ESPLOST

I am sorry but AT HOME GYM must not have any kids in Middle or High School right now. We need all the security we can get. I am not happy with our BOE right now, but our kids need to have computers that work, new books, and schools with working heating and air. If you are unhappy with how they spent the ESPLOST, then why would you let them have more of your tax money to spend it as they wish? That is exactly what will happen if you vote "no" to ESPLOST. Your taxes will go up and they can spend this money on anything...a trip to Vegas perhaps?

NUK_1
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Missy: School taxes actually can't go up

The millage rate that schools can levy in GA is capped at 20mils, a rate that the fine FC BOE already hit a while back. Whether ESPLOST passes or not, that's not going to change.

I'd like to hear the incoming Dr. Marchman and Ballacao(extremely likely she beats Dem. Smith in Nov) weigh in on the ESPLOST issue and why they feel however they do. I've heard enough BS from Todd and Key over the years and let's hear what the new blood that is inheriting this fiasco has to say. I'm sure Presberg is in favor as he's a Dem and you have to wake up Key and check her pulse while Todd fumbles, bumbles, and stumbles.

heatjam
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school taxes

I believe that the millage rate can be increased with a county-wide referendum vote.

NUK_1
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heatjam: School millage rate

First the referendum idea has to get approved by the State legislature and then there could be a vote at the county level. As far as I know, no county has attempted this yet, despite all the howls you hear from people about the cuts in State funding that affect EVERY school system, not just Fayette County.

for those who support raising the millage rate above 20mils, stop dreaming and start thinking about solutions instead. That's not a solution and it has no chance in hell of passing either at the state level or at the county level. That was something Bearden thought was worth a shot on his way into a sweet severance deal instead of having to deal with reality.

NeilSullivan
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NUK 1 Millage over 20

Actually Dekalb 22.9 Muscogee 23.37 and Rockdale 24.5 are already north of 20.

For the record, I DO NOT support going north of 20, I think we need to fix the QBE.

In 2012, Fayette County earned $500,000 more in QBE funding than Coweta County before adjustments. After adjustments for the “5Mills” and local equalization grants, Coweta received $9.5Million MORE than Fayette. That difference is half our shortfall.

Source :https://etax.dor.ga.gov/PTD/cds/csheets/LGS_Georgia_County_Ad_Valorem_Tax_Digest_Millage_Rates_by_Taxing_Jurisdiction_PTSR006OD_2011.pdf

NUK_1
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Neil: Thanks for that

Good info to have and I wasn't aware that three other systems had ventured north of 20 mills.

NeilSullivan
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delete dp

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NeilSullivan
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Delete Double post

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NeilSullivan
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Delete - Double post

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Husband and Fat...
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Comparisons

I would hope this has already been done, but has anyone spent a couple days at a successful county school district to compare how they have spent and will spend thier money.

What's stopping anyone from making a telephone call and take a trip to say Forsyth County (If they compare to Fayette) to see how they spend thier tax dollars and e-splost money.

I think anyone with a little common sense could compare costs and possibly come back with some suggestions to cut costs.

Every school in this state is playing under the same rules. Why are some schools able to get the budget under control and we going down the same path as Clayton and DeKalb? Lets talk to counties that are perservering with success.

Larry Sussberg
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G35 Dude & Charter Schools

Do a GOOGLE search on charter school performance and costs and read the data.

Costs are the same, performance is mixed.

The interesting thing you will find about education is that it is data driven.

After reading up on charter schools....if you really want BIGGER GOVERNMENT and more government employees, be sure to vote YES to the weirdly worded ballot item on November 6 asking you if you agree to change Georgia's constitution to allow for charter schools....

That will authorize the State of GA to set up a new charter school agency, funding it with money it doesn't have.

Each county is already able and authorized to set up its own charter schools. This way if the GA Department of Education doesn't approve a county's plan for a charter school then this new government agency can step in.

But do your research on it and make your own decision, especially since I have voiced my own opinion here.

thanks

G35 Dude
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Mr Sussberg

So you don't think that competition delivers a better product?

Larry Sussberg
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G35 Guy and Competition

I love competition...but competition should be based on building a better product.

Look at the data, currently I'm not seeing a better product from the data.

Also, as someone concerned about wasted money, aren't you concerned how the state is going to fund this agency?

Have you researched where the funds are coming from to put this on the GA ballot?

Question.....
When you purchased your G35, did you buy it because you perceived it to be better or because you researched it and based upon the facts determined it was built better?

Again, you have to determine how you wish to vote on these issues..

Thanks

G35 Dude
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How to do research
Quote:

Question.....
When you purchased your G35, did you buy it because you perceived it to be better or because you researched it and based upon the facts determined it was built better?

When I bought my car I did so after much research and determining that it was the best car for my needs in my price range. Part of my research was based on past performance of this vehicle. If I apply this method to our school board they don't fare as well as my car did. But you want to throw out past performance as we have new blood on the board. You want me to assume that the new people will right the ship if we just give them even more money. Have you ever seen the definition of assume? When you assume it makes an ass/ of /u/ and me. That is why I ask to see a plan for the future before offering more money. You think I should just trust these folks. I can tell that your heart is in the right place and that you are an intelligent person. But you are far more trusting than I am. In my experience the past is the greatest indicator of what will happen in the future. You invite me to do my research but tell me to not count what our board did. So what do I research if the past is off limits and there is no long term plan for the future?

Davids mom
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Plan for governance ?

In past board elections in other parts of the country, candidates stated in their platform what they planned to do in their term of governance. What in the ' new' boards platforms caused the electorate to vote for them? What did they say they would do in order to assure that our students get the best education possible. - and what is the budgetary need in order to do this? Why are we asking these questions after they are elected?

G35 Dude
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Yes DM, a plan
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Why are we asking these questions after they are elected?

Because a campaign promise and a budgetary plan are very different animals. And I'm asking in advance of the ESPLOST vote so as to give people of differing opinions a chance to debate me and maybe change my mind by supplying me with new information. You see I have a hard time giving this board money and trusting them to spend it wisely. Why you say? Well isn't this the same board that when a member passed away selected a replacement and immediately decided that the new guy with no real experience should be the board chair? Didn't they select Dr Bearden to be the super and were so happy with him that they then extended his contract and gave him a raise? And several months later they agreed to let him leave with a very nice severance package and feeling that they owed us no explanation? How much time has this board had to decide which schools will close? No I'm sorry the past boards and even the current one have done little to gain my confidence. I too hate to see the kids punished for the mistakes of adults but I don't think just giving this group more money will change anything.

G35 Dude
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A plan part 2

In fact if you look you will see an article in the Citizen titled "ESPLOST Blanks: 61 % of projects remain unlisted". Maybe some people are willing to give these folks a blank check but I'm not one of them.

Davids mom
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G35

Understood. I think in the future I will skip the campaign promises, and ask for some specificity. ( and not only on the local level)

Davids mom
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G35

Understood. I think in the future I will skip the campaign promises, and ask for some specificity. ( and not only on the local level)

Davids mom
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G35

Understood. I think in the future I will skip the campaign promises, and ask for some specificity. ( and not only on the local level)

Davids mom
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Larry Sussberg
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G35 Dude

I wish there was something I could say...

What I do know is

Each year the budget must balance and has been balanced by our school system.

This year, NOW, the State is deeply cutting their funding because:
(a) They don't have the funds and
(b) ESPLOSTS are in place in 172 out of 179 counties.

The FCBOE has new members joining and elections are underway for 1 more seat.

Land and building purchased have no real estate taxes and currently sit on the books as assets with little associated costs.

Bonds were issued to purchase buildings/lands and ESPLOST monies can and will be used to reduce those bonds, hence creating tax credits for your 20 milage rate.

Land and buildings are for sale.

90% of the operating budget are salaries and benefits. 90%

Schools will be consolidated. And those that will be closed will be are being analyzed for re-purposing so they are the saleable. Report to be presented by a dedicated superindentent who is working hard up until his last day to right-size the system and balance the budget.

Fayette County is below the State average on educational costs per student.

ESPLOST monies are for specific purposes and uses.

ESPLOST is a 1% retail sales tax, in effect in Fayette for the past 4 years. Surrounding counties have same tax to support their schools.

Starting in 2014-2019, without the Fayette ESPLOST, the FCBOE will have to budget appoximately $20 million each year AWAY from the 90% stated above...teachers....and use those funds for what ESPOST supported. If buildings are right-sized in 2012-2013 and expenses are to the bone...the only place left to cut is teachers pushing class sizes higher.

I appreciate that you are upset with the past FCBOE members.

I will state my own opinion, for what its worth...
____________________________________________________
I have enough data to make my decision...I will vote YES on ESPLOST because I will not punish the children for decisions made by adults.

As for FCBOE election, I will be at The United Methodist Church on Tuesday night Oct 16 to listen to the debate and I will make my decision who to vote for at that time.

As for the charter school amendment, I do not like that 97% of the funding to place it on the GA ballot comes from outside Georgia, funded by SPECIAL INTEREST,and I am not happy that the amendment is written to confuse the average voter. I suspect this amendment will be passed because of the way its written. Charter schools have a place and can offer an alternative but I object to how its been done here.
If you want a charter school we should decide it on our own in this county.

I am sorry I can't give you any more information.
Should you find any other additional information on these topics, feel free to share. Again, I am just stating my opinion...not to sway anyone's vote.

Thank you.

Thanks
Larry

G35 Dude
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Valid Points
Quote:

As for the charter school amendment, I do not like that 97% of the funding to place it on the GA ballot comes from outside Georgia, funded by SPECIAL INTEREST,and I am not happy that the amendment is written to confuse the average voter. I suspect this amendment will be passed because of the way its written. Charter schools have a place and can offer an alternative but I object to how its been done here.
If you want a charter school we should decide it on our own in this county.

Very valid points. Thanks. I have learned a couple of things here. I understand and respect your point of view even if I don't totally agree.

Quallacherokee
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G35 Dude,, DUDE !

Howdy ! nice to E meet ya !
"Very valid points. Thanks. I have learned a couple of things here. I understand and respect your point of view even if I don't totally agree."

Sir, THAT is the point, and result when Humans TALK rather than insult,
Your above quote SHOULD BE the "Motto" for this forum
You Sir are welcome at my families table ANYTIME!

G35 Dude
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Quallacherokee

Nice to E meet you also. I think we all learn more when we are respectful of each other. We don't have to agree I do try to treat others with the same level of respect that I receive.

Larry Sussberg
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sorry

AtHomeGym
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ESPLOST & Challenges

Oh yeah, so the BOE goes out and spends $1 Mill+ of ESPLOST funds on something called "Security Improvements"--just how smart is that?

Larry Sussberg
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AtHomeGym

Security improvements.....you really have a problem with that?

Isn't there a child missing in Fayette right now? What about all the news on Amber alerts, bullying on school buses....

Didn't PTC just hire 2 more patrol officers...

home invasions, golf path flashers...I don't leave my home unlocked anymore, should we leave elemtary schools open and unsecured.

AtHomeGym
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Larry Sussberg & Security

Nothing you said convinces me that they needed to spend more than One Million Dollars on that issue. Did they have the FCSO do a courtesy inspection I wonder. Aren't they the folks truly knowledgeable about the need for different kinds of security in the county? Just saying that on the surface it looks like they said "hey, e've got .....bucks in the ESPLOST kitty--how can anyone disagree if we spend it on something called "security"? So they did it! And there's a million bucks that is legally committed and can't be spent for any other pressing need.

Larry Sussberg
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Security

Unfortunately, have not had time or interest to research the details as to which and how many elementary schools, security experts the purchasing department called in for evaluation and how many bids they reviewed. I count 16 elementary schools in the system

Can you share the data you might have to support the waste.

Thanks

Larry Sussberg
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sorry

Larry Sussberg
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ginga1414
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E-SPLOST..Synthetic Turf Or No Synthetic Turf?

When the E-SPLOST was presented to the BOE, synthetic turf for all 5 high school football stadiums was included. At an April board meeting, the E-SPLOST committee recommended that the turf fields be included based upon results of the then upcoming community survey. https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=4067&AID=3...

Since the BOE is having to implement $20 million in cuts from the general fund just to fund the budget for the next school year, WHY is synthetic turf still a part of the proposed E-SPLOST language?

It has been reported that synthetic turf will cost $10 million just for the first year, alone.

When the BOE wanted to buy 30 acres of property to build the Inman School, they spent almost $3 million for 129.06 acres!

WHY?

It was reported that the seller wouldn't sell less than the entire acreage. However, the BOE could have utilized their governmental right of eminent domain.

WHAT were they thinking? WHAT was the plan?

Perhaps, they planned to sell the surplus acreage to a developer so they could populate the new school.

That didn't work because years later the 99.06 acres is still sitting there for sale, having been declared "surplus property" ten days after it was purchased.

The current E-SPLOST won't expire until March, 2014. So, what's the hurry to renew the tax right now?

Let the new and upcoming board show us that they can spend our money wisely before we throw more money at the problem.

The excessive spending that will occur, if synthetic turf and tennis courts aren't removed from the E-SPLOST language, is exactly what has constantly happened over the last 10 + years with the BOE.

WHAT are SOME BOE members thinking? WHAT is the plan?

Perhaps, they (SOME BOE members, the superintendent, PTO officers, parents, the Chamber of Commerce, & other groups?) think SYNTHETIC TURF and TENNIS COURTS will entice folks to move to Fayette County and populate our empty, drowning in red ink schools.

When I'm being asked to help fund a NEW excess loaded $107 million educational tax, I'm certainly not going to vote in favor of it two years before the current educational tax expires.

On top of all that, WHY would I vote for an incumbent BOE candidate who has professed one party for the past 10 + years and now switches to the opposing party in the face of ginormous financial difficulties she helped create?

ginga1414
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Please Excuse

Please excuse the second post. I'm really not sure what happened, and I haven't been able to delete the second post.

ginga1414
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Does E-SPLOST Referendum Include Synthetic Turf?

I have just received a copy of the E-SPLOST.

https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=4067&AID=3...

See Exhibit B Item iii.

Even though, it does not spell out synthetic turf but does state improvement of athletic facilities, I truly hope everyone will read it carefully. Please decide for yourself.

My opinion is just my opinion. However from past and current experience, I have to say that the wording of a SPLOST is intentionally vague. The language is intended to generalize so that officials hands won't be tied when spending decisions are made.

Many taxpaying homeowners were more than burned by the wording of the 2003 local Transportation-SPLOST. The ballot where that SPLOST appeared was greatly laking in explanation. That ballot simply said the T-SPLOST was for "road, street, and bridge purposes." "Road, street, and bridge purposes" could and did mean anything. For instance, the West Fayetteville Bypass, Fayette County's most wasteful and unpopular road project ever, got voted in when it was not identified by name in the voting booth. This meant the blasting of rock formations so close to homes that the covers to lights fixtures inside one of the homes fell to the floor. It meant continual blasting for many weeks. It meant an additional decrease in property values over and above what had already been caused by the bad economy. As I speak, even more blasting holes are being drilled.

As for what Fayette County Issues Tea Party members support and don't support, those are individual opinions and decisions.

Having read the above E-SPLOST link, I am very happy to see far more explanation than what appeared on the 2003 T-SPLOST ballot. However, an article that appeared in a local publication this past weekend stated that the potential $107 million that could be raised with a new E-SPLOST could be used to purchase synthetic turf fields and tennis courts.

Does improvements of athletic facilities include synthetic turf and tennis courts?

Larry Sussberg
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ESPLOST & TURF

That was mis reporting by the Fayette Daily News.

It is not part of ESPLOST...

Dr. Bearden addressed that issue recently;
"Last spring, we did have a group of citizens petition the BOE for turf fields, but we decided not to put this request on the Splost"

Exhibit B Item iii
(iii) acquiring miscellaneous new equipment, fixtures and furnishings for the school system, including technology equipment and software, safety and security equipment.

I hope that helps...Thanks

Larry Sussberg
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ASTRO TURF IS A NON ISSUE-ESPLOST

IMPORTANT UPDATE:
Astro Turf was removed by Dr. Bearden from the recommendation list. It never left the recommending committee and it was never submitted to the FCBOE.

ASTRO TURF is a non-issue.

Thanks for posting this link:

https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=4067&AID=3

I am surprised to see Dr. Todd recommend astro turf. Dr. Todd has been involved with Fayette County schools for many many years. Has anyone asked him asked him why?

Thanks

Husband and Fat...
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Ginga - You make a great point

Why do we need to vote on this tax in November if the current tax does not expire until 2014?

Can we not vote on this in Nov 2013?

This idea will give the FCBOE time to start righting the ship. We can see if they choose a new supt wisely, consolodate, and evaluate the nexr budget in June/ July of next year.

If we see things moving in the right direction, then we can all vote yes.

Husband and Fat...
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Ginga - You make a great point

Why do we need to vote on this tax in November?
Can we not vote on this in Nov 2013?

This idea will give the FCBOE time to start righting the ship. We can see if they choose a new supt wisely, consolodate, and evaluate the nexr budget in June/ July of next year.

If we see things moving in the right direction, then we can all vote yes.

Quallacherokee
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Esplost HF2

yes ginga made very intelligent points, but the excuse we will be given for not having this debate/vote in 2013 is :

"Elections are expensive"

Now for the REAL reason,
this year people whom pay little to NO attention to politics will "do their patriotic duty" and vote, Folks who vote simply by "oh I know that name'
and "For the Children"
Next year (in an off year) the folks that would show up to cast a vote are THE one's that terrify School Boards, Commissioners, Mayors, and state politicians. How do I know this is true?
Simple, Since when are politicians and school boards worried about expense?

Larry Sussberg
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Quallacherokee

When my wife and I were both working and trying to raise our daughter and cover our expenses, we occasionally missed elections, especially the smaller ones...does that make me a poor citizen or less concerned? Combined, we travelled 125% of our time. Many cases it was for last minute meetings called out of town.

Most families today need 2 incomes to survive...and they also miss elections. They need to be heard too.

The ESPLOST is an issue, not an elected official so its less about a name and more about an issue that greatly affects them. Having it on this election cycle will mostly include more of them which is important.

Thanks

Quallacherokee
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LS,

Travel???? YOU travel????
LMFAO
Ever heard of Corporate Aviation?
Not in town to vote???
LMFAO
Ever Heard of Absentee Ballots?
NOT in town to attend a meeting?
Ever heard of Minutes???

With all due respect, NOT "being there, or traveling"
are poor excuses, right up there with "my dog ate my homework"

The idea that BOTH parents have to work?? really?
LOOK AT YOUR BILLS.
My bet is what your family HAS to pay in ALL taxes each year,,,
you or your wife works SOLELY to pay THOSE taxes ......

Larry Sussberg
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Quallacherokee

Corporate aviation to Japan was too expensive and set a poor example especially when forced to lay off 30% of the employees in a restucturing.

As for minutes, currently watch council meetings, FCBOE meetings and starting now Fayette County Commissioner meetings.

After retiring and moving here, vote all the time.
___________________________________________________

But, let's stay focused on the ESPLOST issue and the idea that having it on this November 6 ballot makes sense to attract young families with limited time, giving them the opportunity to vote on this important issue.

thanks

Quallacherokee
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LS , Time line Focus, and Young Familes

OMG, ,,, you just hit on a winning Voter Block !
"have to do it now? "young" surely doesn't understand about tomorrow
"New Family" ,,, Was NEVER taught THEY are responsible for that which THEY created...

Ok fine, but would you please do me a favor?
Would you at least come here with your government buddies when YOU
take a portion of my life? otherwise I might get the idea that you're a coward and can ONLY use government to TAKE from me and MY family when YOU aren't willing to do this deed yourself

Husband and Fat...
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Living within our means

People still do not get it. We (families & gov't) have to learn to live within our means

When we moved here years ago, we were invited to a party. When we left, my son asked me why we didnt live in a big house like the one we visited, because "they were rich". I laughed at his remark in the car on the way home and asked him if he looked around the house? Yes, it was a large house, and my son saw a lot of fun toys, but that families children, didnt have beds. They slept on a mattress laid on the floor.

The family had a husband and wife that both worked, drove fancy leased vehicles, had a nicer golf cart, talked about thier expensive vacations, but their children spent thier afternoons at the after school program, thier parents didnt have time for them to join sports, music programs, ect..

Then the recession hit, thier ARM went up and they could no longer afford all of these payments because they were living above thier means. I don't remember if they sold the house or foreclosed, but I do know they moved away without much fanfare.

My wife and I selected a home and community in which we can afford. We drive cars that have been paid for. Our mortgage is reasonable on one salary even after I took a 20% paycut a few years ago. My wife is there after to school to pick up the kids, make a snack, and help them with homework before they go out to play. I come home from work and can enjoy a meal with the family on days that that we don't have sports, scouts, ect...

Our schools are in a similar boat as the "rich family". They lived above their means and now they have to rightsize. At the present time, I agree with Ginga and will vote no the the E-splost. If the new BOE can show me that they are good stwards of my tax dollars, than I will be glad to vote yes next year.

Larry Sussberg
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Quallacherokee & G35 Dude

Fayette County schools are concerned about budgets....remember the State just cut its funding and milage tax revenue is down.

If you watch the FCBOE broadcasts, you will see that the school system (Dr. Bearden and administrators) are working of a plan to right-size the system based upon these NEW realities. His proposal will be submitted in December for the FCBOE to approve.

As for the continued discussion on Rivers and purchased land....right or wrong, whatever you believe its really water under the bridge and its an issue of governance not the schools themselves, BUT remember this was all prior to the real estate bubble burst of 2008 which started with Lehman Brothers....My crystal ball was broken in 2008 and I think 99% of all AMERICANS and American school boards had broken crystals then too..

Finally, as to having A PLAN, having run companies 3-1/2x size of Fayette schools in revenue, its a hell of a lot easier to operate and move quickier in a private enterprise and that still took 2+ years to accomplish when the economy was good. This is a public entity...a totally different animal.

People should vote what they believe, based upon the facts.

and NO, its not just the argument that "its about the kids" ONLY...citizens need get involved, watch the FCBOE podcasts, gather real facts and then decide.

I am sure for every 1 good reason, someone could argue 10 bad reasons.

Whatever you do, just VOTE but do your own research.
Thanks

G35 Dude
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Who can answer this question?
Quote:

As for the continued discussion on Rivers and purchased land....right or wrong, whatever you believe its really water under the bridge and its an issue of governance not the schools themselves, BUT remember this was all prior to the real estate bubble burst of 2008 which started with Lehman Brothers....My crystal ball was broken in 2008 and I think 99% of all AMERICANS and American school boards had broken crystals then too..

What is done is done. I understand that. And I too worked in private industry with budgets much larger than the FCBOE. That is why I ask for a plan. Without one you're just reacting to the currents as they are moving today. Trying to drive a rudder less ship so to speak. I'm sure you're aware of Six Sigma? Why doesn't the FCBOE have something like this in place? As for the land issue my concern is for the future of it. Do we need it? Are we paying taxes for it to just sit there? Why has it sat there for so long without selling? Is the price too high? Should we lower the price so it will sell?

I really would like to know what kind of tax burden this land has on our budget. Would you have an answer?

http://www.fcboe.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=362

Larry Sussberg
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G35 Dude

Public schools are tax exempt.

Also, something interesting to ponder...in most school systems, salaries and benefits are the bulk of the total operating budget.

ESplost allievates the pressure on school systems to fund capital expenditures, text books, overall building and facilities maintenance, technology so it can focus on salaries and benefits.

Hope that helps
thanks

G35 Dude
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Thanks Larry

Thanks for the response. I wasn't sure if vacant land was tax exempt for the BoE. I'm aware that salaries and benefits are around 75% of the operating budget and that is why upper management always wants to start there. I just hate to see lower level employees always take the first hit even before waste is addressed. I'd still like to see an overall plan before the ESPLOST but I know that won't happen.

Larry Sussberg
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G35 Dude

I can't disagree with you on the plan but its in the works and we agree its not like a private enterprise.

As you can see, just in this week's paper some of our top educators/administrators are retiring. Dr. Bearden is working on this year's budget and necessary cuts and the new FCBOE and new superintendent will deal with the next year.

Reaching out to the school system to find out what % is labor and of that, what % is management such as administrators, principals.

It's my understanding that close to 90% of Fayette's operating budget is salaries and benefits.
Suspect that management is a small percent.

When you strip this all away Rivers, land etc has nothing to do with nothing. They are now assets on a financial sheet.

As you know, when operating a budget, you look at revenues and expenses. Revenues are declining...so expenses have to be cut.

Yes, sell your assets to raise cash as operating budget offsets...but enough already with the fingerpointing at empty buildings and land. It's prior to the bubble burst and it impacted everyone and by surprise.

Let's deal with the facts, make the cuts, and move on.
Vote NO to renew the ESplost and in 2014 plan on another $20 million cut because the school system will need to cut more to cover what ESplost covered and the reality is we are cutting teachers and raising class sizes! If you think public education is a failure now, how about class sizes over 40 or 50 students?

Bottom line, it's a revenue problem... Less county and state funding.

Citizens need to decide and it's a personal decision.

It doesn't seem to matter what's posted here, there is always an argument against.

So just maybe... It is just about the kids and what we want for them, as a community of adults many who benefited from a public education.

Thanks I'm done til the next round...

G35 Dude
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Maybe Charter Schools are the answer.

Maybe we should just sell all the schools to a charter school system and see if they can do a better job than the government has?

PTC Observer
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G35 Dude - I'll vote

for that! Just one question though, how will those that don't want to be in school be advanced through a system that demand results? Could it be that they won't be require to attend after a certain grade level? I would vote for that too, we need busboys, janitors, dishwashers, yard people, garbage pickers and ditch diggers to make our life better. These jobs are important too.

So, how do we get your idea executed? Hmmm that may not be too easy give that we have a jobs program built around a $600 billion budget for education in this country. That kind of money buys a lot of power.

PTC Observer
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Dup

Dup

Quallacherokee
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LS Yes

Yes Sir I DO understand, I understand that for the last 30 + years Fayette County BOE acted as if THEY had "the school to beat all schools", I will also remember in those years people that sent their "beloved child(ren) to these schools did so WILLINGLY and under the idea that THEY were "good, responsible" patents...

I also know that the FC BOE left unchecked did exactly what any government agency will do,,, They went Hog Wild !

TO this is would ask, let's look at the BOE members PERSONAL Future planning, does it match FC Schools? did THEY suffer a personal downturn?
OR....OR are they as really smart as "we" hoped they were? My guess is they saw what was coming, and personally dealt with it ( GOOD FOR THEM) BUT my guess is also THEY knew most of FC was Government educated and "understood"
It's for the Children" or It's for our Future" ....

Seriously, If life sucks so bad,,,,why is it GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES can't see this?????

Larry Sussberg
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Quallacherokee

Does that mean you won't be voting YES to renew the ESPLOST?

LOL

Appreciate and respect your viewpoints. Thankfully we live in a country we were all can express our opinions.

Thanks

ginga1414
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E-SPLOST..Synthetic Turf Or No Synthetic Turf?

When the E-SPLOST was presented to the BOE, synthetic turf for all 5 high school football stadiums was included. At an April board meeting, the E-SPLOST committee recommended that the turf fields be included based upon results of the then upcoming community survey. https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=4067&AID=3...

Since the BOE is having to implement $20 million in cuts from the general fund just to fund the budget for the next school year, WHY is synthetic turf still a part of the proposed E-SPLOST language?

It has been reported that synthetic turf will cost $10 million just for the first year, alone.

When the BOE wanted to buy 30 acres of property to build the Inman School, they spent almost $3 million for 129.06 acres!

WHY?

It was reported that the seller wouldn't sell less than the entire acreage. However, the BOE could have utilized their governmental right of eminent domain.

WHAT were they thinking? WHAT was the plan?

Perhaps, they planned to sell the surplus acreage to a developer so they could populate the new school.

That didn't work because years later the 99.06 acres is still sitting there for sale, having been declared "surplus property" ten days after it was purchased.

The current E-SPLOST won't expire until March, 2014. So, what's the hurry to renew the tax right now?

Let the new and upcoming board show us that they can spend our money wisely before we throw more money at the problem.

The excessive spending that will occur, if synthetic turf and tennis courts aren't removed from the E-SPLOST language, is exactly what has constantly happened over the last 10 + years with the BOE.

WHAT are SOME BOE members thinking? WHAT is the plan?

Perhaps, they (SOME BOE members, the superintendent, PTO officers, parents, the Chamber of Commerce, & other groups?) think SYNTHETIC TURF and TENNIS COURTS will entice folks to move to Fayette County and populate our empty, drowning in red ink schools.

When I'm being asked to help fund a NEW excess loaded $107 million educational tax, I'm certainly not going to vote in favor of it two years before the current educational tax expires.

On top of all that, WHY would I vote for an incumbent BOE candidate who has professed one party for the past 10 + years and now switches to the opposing party in the face of ginormous financial difficulties she helped create?

Quallacherokee
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Esplost

BRAVO ! AMEN ! and AWESOME !

suggarfoot
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Poisoned well

There is no doubt in anyone's mind that Smith and Smoal have poisoned the well of public support for our schools. We have new schools in remote areas built for developers dream subdivisons and hundreds of acres of land that we can't give away.

But, come this Jan., we will have some new BOE members with the smarts to do what needs to be done. They will need our help. I think I will vote for the ESPLOST to help them and the kids.

We are all still very angry over the mess created, I know I am, but let's stop and realize the people that made the mess will be gone, and the people that can do the right thing will be in office. They are taking on a horrible task to try to make a difference.

suggarfoot
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Poisoned well

There is no doubt in anyone's mind that Smith and Smoal have poisoned the well of public support for our schools. We have new schools in remote areas built for developers dream subdivisons and hundreds of acres of land that we can't give away.

But, come this Jan., we will have some new BOE members with the smarts to do what needs to be done. They will need our help. I think I will vote for the ESPLOST to help them and the kids.

We are all still very angry over the mess created, I know I am, but let's stop and realize the people that made the mess will be gone, and the people that can do the right thing will be in office. They are taking on a horrible task to try to make a difference.

Quallacherokee
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ESPLOST

More money is just adding temptation to be irresponsible, If this new board IS all that and a bag of Apples, Let's give them a chance to trim waste and deal with the money Currently available. Here's a fact, Government,be it Local, State, and Federal have been throwing money at schools for decades "for the children"
and the result is predictably less prepared, undereducated, ill equipped Children, Government spending money hardly ever solves THE issue

PTC Observer
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One could just say

that government spending solves no problems, particularly educational problems.

"Finding Superman" should be a film that every American that supports public education should see. Public education exposed for what it is, a failure. A total failure!

As for the ESPLOST, the current board has used it as a piggy bank assuming that it will be there forever and they have made it part of their everyday budget in running the schools. It was not for this purpose. It was for purchasing items and assets needed over and above what the "normal" budget could buy. Now, it is a "must have" in order to meet current obligations.

Incompetence, spend thrift management, and a degree of arrogance using taxpayer money, now we are asked once again to extend this tax. Why on earth should we? No one manages our money better than us and we are not a bottomless pit. Enough is enough.

heatjam
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PTC Observer
PTC Observer wrote:

that government spending solves no problems, particularly educational problems.

"Finding Superman" should be a film that every American that supports public education should see. Public education exposed for what it is, a failure. A total failure!

As for the ESPLOST, the current board has used it as a piggy bank assuming that it will be there forever and they have made it part of their everyday budget in running the schools. It was not for this purpose. It was for purchasing items and assets needed over and above what the "normal" budget could buy. Now, it is a "must have" in order to meet current obligations.

Incompetence, spend thrift management, and a degree of arrogance using taxpayer money, now we are asked once again to extend this tax. Why on earth should we? No one manages our money better than us and we are not a bottomless pit. Enough is enough.

Excellent post!! Also, you are right about that documentary...it was fabulous!

renault314
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PTCO and Heatjam- by what measure are our schools a failure?

We consistiently put up some of the best numbers in the state. In what way are we failures? True, there are some schools in NY and MD that are ina lot of serious trouble, but do you really think that is the case here? Please dont lump us in with an inner-city school in a crime ridden, impoverished neighborhood you saw in a documentary. Not even the same thing. Besides, most of the failures of those systems can be traced to a corrupt, top heavy union, somthing that clearly is not an issue in Ga. Money, has become an issue for us, but not neccesarily becaaue of anything in particular the school board did. I'm not saying they werent wasteful, (clearly they were) but that has nothing to do with the shortfall next year. It has everything to do with a decline in enrollment, a direct result of the economy tanking, which reduces property tax revenue and state contribution. Nothing, I mean NOTHING the BOE could have donw would have changed this situation. If taxes had been sky high BEFORE 2008, and the BOE was just socking it away for a rainy day, people would have screamed their heads off that taxes were unneccesarily high. The only way to keep people happy was to barely take in what you needed. No body want to save for the lean years in the fat ones. Well, now that the lean years are hear, everybody is mad at the BOE for not saving up ahead of time, as if they could have seen the future when no one else could, or that the taxpayers would have let them even if they had. Its rediculous. You would have dammmned them if they did, now you damn them when they didnt. You dont want to extend the tax? fine. But explain how paying for teachers, busses and school operations is wasteful right now? Weve been cutting back the budget since 2009. This is as tight and trim an operation as this county has had in a long time. A little room for improvement? Maybe. But 20 million dollars worth? I dont think so. And you want to take millions more away on top of that? Just one question, How will that help the schools get back on track?

heatjam
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Not failing

I'm sorry if you thought that I meant that Fayette County schools are failing..obviously if I thought that was the case, my children would not be attending them. The documentary, itself, was fabulous and very enlightening. Our schools, though, are not the best in the metro area as they once were. In fact, the SAT scores placed us 4th behind Forsyth, Cherokee and Fulton County schools.

In PTCO's original post, I was really agreeing on the fact that the BOE has used the ESPLOST as their "piggybank". Repairs to buildings, new books and new busses should be part of their operating budget without having to RELY on the ESPLOST. The 21st technology was over and beyond and, in my opinion, an appropriate use of those funds.

renault314
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Heatjam- under normal economic circumstances

I would agree. But desperate times call for desperate measures. If you dont think this qualifies as a special circumstance, I'd like to know in your opinion what does? Thanks for clarifying your failing schools statement. But, you also didnt answer my other question, Namely, how not renewing the ESPLOST will help the schools? As I said before, we have been cutting our budget back quite a bit every year for the last 5 years. This is as lean as operations have been in a long time. How much more do you think there is to cut before students start to seriously become affected?

heatjam
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cuts at the school level

I agree that at the school level the cuts are probably as deep as could be w/o affecting the students to seriously. Unfortunately, we are still paying for the sins of "our fathers". Take the 2 choices for school closings for example. In the first choice (Dr. Bearden's, you leave a school open with a whopping 250 students attending. Going back several years to when they were building Inman, they also added 6 classrooms on to Brooks with the intention of redistrictng everything south and east. Well, the board paid more attention to certain people/subdivisions then to the welfare of the whole county and hence, no students were moved to fill up those 6 rooms. Now the 2nd choice for school closings leaves Rivers open as it is with another whopping 40 students! Who in their right mind would think that is a good idea? Here's an idea...close all of the schools that are on the table and I bet the county would still have empty seats. This is just 1 example of the sins that the board has created.

Now, I'm not totally against ever having another ESPLOST, let's just wait until the new board and Superintendant get seated. Maybe some fresh outlooks can come up with new ideas. The vote can be held in November 2013 and it would still take effect the same time.

Larry Sussberg
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ESPLOST

I am supporting the ESPLOST with no children currently in the Fayette schools because:

1-I believe in public education. I received a public education and I will not turn my back on the next generation of Americans.

2-I am grateful to Fayette Schools for the education my daughter received, currently a jr at GA Tech thanks to McIntosh HS.

3-I know that the State of Georgia funding formula used to fund the schools has been reduced so the school system is no longer receiving what it needs.

4-Due to reduced home values, the Fayette County's funding is less.

5-ESPLOST was created by the State of GA with clear rules on how the money is to be spent with clear reporting of the expenditures. After we balance the 2012 budget, if the ESPLOST is voted down, the school system will face a $95 million budget cut over the next 5 years at $20 million per year.

6-I will trust our NEW FCBOE members plus this is not a new tax.

Our children are our future, our schools are a reflection of our community. Choke the schools and the families who can, will leave so what happens to those who remain.

We can preach about public education, mis-management by previous board members, government taxes, how bad Fayette is to other school systems...but when you enter that voting booth, think of the children, the logical facts in this situation and remember that this is the next generation of Americans.

G35 Dude
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Second verse same as the first!

Second verse same as the first. Do it for the kids! We have new blood on the board!

Throwing more money at the problem is part of the reason that we are in as deep as we are. I mean if the BoE had not had the money to buy vacant land down around Inman and build an unneeded school (Rivers) would we not be in as much trouble as we are? Changes need to be made. And I understand that the new board may not be able to turn things around without some financial assistance. But if they want my support I'll need to see a plan. One that I believe can work before I continue to throw my money into a bottomless pit. The vacant land for example has been for sale for how long? Does the BoE pay tax on this land? If so how much? Maybe it’s time to reevaluate the asking price? Close down Tyrone and Hood and move those kids to Rivers and sell or rent the old schools. Charge a fee for kids to ride the school bus. Make a plan!!!!!

G35 Dude
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Duplicate post

.

Quallacherokee
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Then you and I will cancell each other out on this vote

I will NOT be supporting ESPLOST

1) They are not "public schools" as "public' implies open to,,
they ARE government schools,
2) Government Education is NOT an American idea, it's straight from Karl Marx
# 10 on his list found in his Communist Manifesto, yet nowhere to be found
in our Constitution
3) I believe the Education of a child is the responsibility of the Parents
not "the village"
4) The ESPLOST may not be a "new" tax but it IS a Tax taken without
Representation (like I said earlier, I like the Constitution As Written)
5) "For the Children" or "For our Future" THE phrase taught at Politician
School 101, Guaranteed to cause voters to leave their Brains outside
of the voting booth, If it WAS for the children, and our future then leading
with values such as financial and personal responsibility would be "the Phrase"
Concepts such as teaching by example would be the key, not some catch all pigeon holed
Liberal arts test
6) Budget Cuts, this is bad how? Here’s a novel idea, replace Government employees such as
Janitors and grass cutters with STUDENTS, let students work in the lunchroom, allow students in High
School to work as substitutes in lower grades, and again It’s a Parents Responsibility to see to it
“Little Johhny” gets to and from school Buses in a county as land mass small as Fayette is absurd

yeah yeah I know all of that above makes me a weirdo Freedom First Lover,
oh well, guess that's my curse for thinking Freedom trumps Slavery

PTC Observer
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Mr. Sussberg - ESPLOST

1. Public education is a failure for the most part and it is getting worse in Fayette County with the current SPLOST. Why is this? A lack of money or mismanagement? I certainly don't think it is a lack of money.
2. I am grateful that despite public schools we have children like yours, but we will always have achievers in our schools no matter how bad they become.
3. What it needs to do what? Continue to spend at levels that are not justified by current enrollment?
4. Isn't this a national issue? I will be glad to pay more property tax for sensible spending on well managed schools. Let's see the results based on positive actions by the new board.
5. A $20 million budget cut sounds like a lot of money, so if it's cut from the budget what will be cut? Computers? Buildings? What are the line items and their values?
6. No it's not a new tax, but it's an optional tax based on need. Our attendance is going down each year but we have the same need? Does it make sense? Why is it that we should have blind trust in an unproven school board, did I miss something?

Look I am a firm believer in paying for what you get, my only problem is that the value of what I am paying for seems to be falling but I am paying just as much. Is there some reason that we shouldn't wait to see how this board performs with the money we pay them through our property taxes? We must consolidate our schools, and people are going to lose their jobs. However, if we come out of this with a smaller more efficient school system producing quality results everyone is a winner. We simply need to stop throwing money at things thinking it will show results. It take more than money to produce results. If money produced results, we wouldn't have any problems because we certainly throw a lot of it round.

Larry Sussberg
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As for "line item cuts" that's for the FCBOE to decide on a year by year basis.

You can go the FCBOE website to see what the ESPOST has paid for over the past 4 years, and see what it will no longer be able to pay for going forward. The FCBOE will have to prioritize and add in such items as new buses, bus maintenance, capital maintenance like roofs, HVAC, textbooks, etc.

thanks

PTC Observer
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Mr. Sussberg - Well

then let's see what they do between Nov. 2012 and Nov.2013 to figure it all out, maybe they will step up and actually do something constructive toward downsizing the system. If the results are good, then we can vote in Nov. 2013 for an ESPOST.

Nothing like a little pressure to get their attention on the problem.

Larry Sussberg
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I respect your opinion. Just stating mine. Thank God we live in America and have different opinions and are able to voice them.

The State of GA has cut its school funding which is why ESPLOST was created. Fayette County funding has also dropped due to falling home values.

These are difficult times at every level.

My concern is for the children in the schools who deserve an education....AND should we elect to stop the ESPLOST and strip the schools down in such a "quick" manner, we will damage this community in many "quick" ways,starting with these children.

Hopefully young Fayette families will vote YES for renewal of ESPLOST and our schools begin the "rightsizing" process under new FCBOE governance. We also need a clear economic development plan, to bring in smart industry that attracts more young families. Not sure of idiotic elected politicians are capable of setting their egos aside to achieve this goal, but that's a different discussion for another day.

As for the failure of education, Totally agree.

Suggest everyone read THE GLOBAL ACHIEVEMENT GAP by Harvard Education professor Tony Wagner. He was just in Fayette, held a town hall meeting, met with Dr. Bearden and Chamber of Commerce, it was open to everyone.

We have an antiquated system built on an agrarian philosophy that worked for our great grandparents. We need to move to a 21st century model which other countires have done and why we have dropped to 17th in the world in education.

You can not teach children preparing them for the future using the ways of our past. Not when technology is changing the competitive landscape and marektplace so quickly.

Fayette has adopted 21st century education principles which include:

-COMPREHENSION
-COLLABORATION
-CREATIVITY
-COMMUNICATION
-CRITICAL THINKING
-CIVILITY
-CITIZENSHIP

To some these may just be words, but GOOGLE the "5C's of education". The last 2 Cs above were added by the Fayette stakeholders.

Change is needed, but since we are dealing with our future.."the children", you make changes slowly, carefully and with measured data.

Meanwhile, ESPLOST supports building the wireless communities inside the schools, provides the technology our students need to learn on and work with to compete in the future not to mention such essentials as textbooks.

Just VOTE on November 6, what you believe in.