School enrollment down 719 students

Student numbers are on a downhill slide at all of the county’s high schools and most of its elementary schools, according to figures from the Fayette County School System. Fewer students mean fewer state dollars coming to an already cash-strapped system. There was a hope that the years-long trend of falling enrollment numbers in Fayette County public schools might begin to see a reversal when student population numbers were tallied during the first week of December.

But as it turns out the school system lost another 719 students between December 2010 and December 2011.

The biggest hit comes at the elementary and high school levels. Compared to the first week of December 2010, elementary schools have lost a total of 311 students while the county’s high schools have lost 307 students.

Fayette’s middle schools, while faring better, still have 101 fewer students than this time last year.

Those numbers reflect a total loss of 719 students since this time December 2010. The December figures put school system enrollment at 20,607 compared to the 21,326 students a year earlier.

Put in perspective, Fayette County schools have not seen so few students in a decade.

A look at the numbers show elementary schools at the beginning of December with a total of 8,324 students. That compares to 8,635 students for the same time last year.

Student enrollment at the county’s middle schools totaled 5,047 compared to the 5,148 students attending one year earlier.

And at Fayette’s high schools enrollment fell from 7,543 a year ago to 7,236 at the beginning of December.

A look at the decrease of 311 students in the county’s elementary schools shows that 14 of the county’s 17 schools lost enrollment over the past year.

Burch Elementary in unincorporated north Fayette was the big loser with a reduced enrollment of 67 student in one year, followed by Peeples Elementary just south of Peachtree City on Ga. Highway 74 that lost 49 students during the same period.

Cleveland Elementary, located just south of Ga. Highway 54 on Fayetteville’s west side lost 43 students. Braelinn Elementary on the south side of Peachtree City lost 38 students and Inman Elementary south of Fayetteville lost 31.

If there is a bright side to the story, it is that there were three elementary schools that gained enrollment over the past year. Those included Peachtree City Elementary at 24, North Fayette Elementary at 13 and Minter Elementary at 4.

A review of the county’s middle schools showed a decrease of 101 students during the one-year review period, with enrollment in December 2010 at 5,148 compared to 5,047 just a few weeks ago.

The most dramatic drop in enrollment came at Fayette Middle in Fayetteville where 69 fewer students are attending this year. And bucking the downward trend was Rising Starr Middle that gained 13 students.

And a review of Fayette high schools showed a decrease of 307 students this year over the same period last year. The December 2010 high school enrollment was 7,543 while the total number of high school students enrolled at the beginning of December was 7,236.

The numbers indicate that Whitewater High, Starr’s Mill High and Fayette County High each lost more than 70 students since last year. Only the alternative high school gained students during the period.

So what does it all mean? Money.

Each student generates approximately $4,000 per year from the state. And while there is a lag time to fully see the results, it goes without saying that the Fayette County School System’s near-term state revenues will see a decrease of more than $2.5 million unless the school system finds more students or comes up with other ways to increase revenues.

The school system was recently faced with having to trim approximately $10 from current expenses in order to present a balanced budget for adoption in June by the Fayette County Board of Education. The board earlier this month adopted the 2012-2013 school calendar that came with a cost savings of $3.3 million.

PTC Observer
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Public Education Trends

"Public secondary enrollment is projected to show a decrease of 3 percent between 2008 and 2011, and then increase again through 2019. Public secondary school enrollment in 2019 is expected to be about 4 percent higher than in 2010. Total public elementary and secondary enrollment is projected to set new records every year from 2010 to 2019."

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (2011). Digest of Education Statistics, 2010 (NCES 2011-015), Chapter 1.

So, should we be surprised? Let's see what happens to Fayette County in the next three or four years before we read too much into these statistics. The real question is what is the BOE doing to actually follow trends and meet the demands put on the system either way.

batman7732
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2012 Happy New Year

We Cannot Blame the White People any Longer

By Dr. William Henry 'Bill' Cosby, Jr., Ed.D.

They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English.

I can't even talk the way these people talk:

"Why you ain't,
Where you is,
What he drive,
Where he stay,
Where he work,
Who you be...".
And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk.

And then I heard the father talk.

Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.

In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living.

People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an Education, and now we've got these knuckleheads walking around.

The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal.

These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids.

$500 sneakers for what?

And they won't spend $200 for "Hooked on Phonics."

I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit.

Where were you when he was 2?

Where were you when he was 12?

Where were you when he was 18, and how come you didn't know that he had a pistol?

And where is the father? Or who is his father?

People putting their clothes on backward. Isn't that a sign of something gone wrong?

People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn't that a sign of something?

Isn't it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles (piercings) going through her body?

What part of Africa did this come from?

We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don't know a thing about Africa.

I say this all of the time — it would be like white people saying they are European-American — that is totally stupid.

I was born here, and so were my parents and grand parents and, very likely my great grandparents. I don't have any connection to Africa, no more than white Americans have to Germany, Scotland, England, Ireland, or the Netherlands.

The same applies to 99 percent of all the black Americans as regards to Africa — so stop, already!

With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap...and all of them are in jail.

Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person's problem.

We have got to take the neighborhood back.

People used to be ashamed.

Today a woman has eight children with eight different 'husbands' — or men or whatever you call them now.

We have millionaire football players who cannot read.

We have million-dollar basketball players who can't write two paragraphs. We, as black folks, have to do a better job.

Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us.

We have to start holding each other to a higher standard....

Davids mom
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MR. COSBY'S COMMENTS

have been addressed by the black community - and he's right - this is the problem of the black community. It's nothing for the 'white' community to gloat over. And there are organizations and individuals in the 'black' community who are doing work such as mentoring, raising money for scholarships, monitoring the educational offerings in the public school systems in our country, etc., etc., etc. And Batman, there are Americans of all colors who have joined us in this endeavor. We have identified our weaknesses - and not assigned blame to anyone in 2011. For those things that can be righted today - many of them have been addressed and corrected. MLK preached - and we heard - we are not victims of a racist society - but survivors. Given an equal opportunity, those individuals with skills and determination can succeed. Fayetteville is populated with many such individuals. There are 'black' CEO's; 'black' professionals in the service field, (teachers, law-enforcement, medical field, etc.) and there are 'black' job creators. (Ophra, etc.) We all have failed our children who are in jail, addicted to drugs, refuse to work an honest job. (White and black). I"m sorry that this letter makes one assume that 'blacks' are not proud of their African heritage. Many are - and many have visited the 'homeland' and have been able to trace their tribal connection. Many, including our President, have also traced their heritage to Europe. We're Americans Batman - proud of who we are and proud of our parents and grandparents and great-great grandparents. I have friends in Africa who are critical of their younger generation naming their children Dick, Jane, etc. Go figure. Education has always been the road to freedom and opportunity for all Americans. Using your individual gifts, taking advantage of educational opportunties and working hard is necessary for all citizens of America in order to realize success. Blacks hear the message. When all Americans work harder at parenting and guiding their children, we'll all be better off. Thank you for sharing a letter that we have all seen before.

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DAVID'S MOM , you never once addressed the crime rate and the coralation between it and your beloved minorities. Hutch, I was merely pointing out the fact that the Alternative School was gaining students. This is not a positive thing , there was not a need for Alternative School 20 years ago in Fayette.:) True example: My Grandparents lived on Campbellton Road (near GREENBRIAR MALL) from the late 50's until '82. After numerous break-ins at the family HVAC business/home they moved to Riverdale. Ten years later more of the same problems. They then retired , moved to Carrollton until they both passed away. Fayette County is already on the same path, I hope you wake up in time to realize the future.

Davids mom
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batman

Criminals don't try to steal from people who have nothing. Fayette County is a target because of a middle class populace. We have, fortunately, good, cooperative law enforcement - and unfortunately a young group of students who buy drugs. (Also a group of men who seduce children via the internet) However, the majority of the students in FC are doing well in school; graduating; and proving to be productive citizens wherever they choose to live. My son in '81 was a student at Morehouse College and was told not to get caught in FC after dark because there was a group of ignorant, racist individuals here. Old-timers in Georgia told my husband and me the same in 2003. The only place we've met anyone who fit that description is here on the net. In this economy - the crime rate has risen throughout our country - and yes criminals come in all colors from Wall Street to Main Street. Our neighborhood is having a meeting this week with law-enforcement so that we can protect one another from crime, etc. This is happening from Beverly Hills to The Hamptons. If the school system starts to decline, the minority parents will do as other parents in FC - and put their children in private schools. From my observation, the schools that are achieving in FC (which is all of them - check the scores) are those schools with active and supportive parents. All of the schools in FC passed 'the test'! Check the scores of the counties you have run to. FC is not attracting Sec. 8 housing or those with low to average incomes. When it does, then the decline will occur. Until then, we're staying - comfortable in an integrated environment enjoyed by intelligent citizens. BYE!

batman7732
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Schools

No one should be shocked by the declining numbers in Fayette County. FCHS is full of former Clayton and Fulton County kids. Sandy Creek also has a number of Fulton's former students. Parents are homeschooling or sending their children to private school to escape this mess. The rest are moving to neighboring counties such as Coweta , Heard and Henry. Notice at the end of the article it states only the Alternative High Scool has grown in numbers. So what does this mean ? Money......no. IT MEANS "WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE" for Fayette county students. I left 15+ years ago and will NEVER move back !!! Perhaps everything north of the Courthouse should be annexed in to Clayton County and let them have their 'PEOPLE' back.

Davids mom
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BATMAN

Thank you for leaving!! I've been here for seven years The minority population is 16% - and they own 20% of the business. In Fayetteville, they live peacefully in new integrated developments as well as large and small individual established homes. Their income puts them smack in the middle of the middle and upper middle class of American citizens. Since I've been a resident, the roads are well maintained; the Main Street area has been renovated; yearly community events in the Town Square are well attended by all residents. Most of the churches here are now integrated. Our students in our high schools are still among the highest achieving in Georgia. Our graduates are being accepted in the outstanding universities of our country. Our student population is dropping - but the economy has made Fayette County one of the expensive counties to live in - and a large number of the new arrivals are retirees. We, like the rest of Georgia, have lost a segment of the Hispanic community. I don't know where you will run to next - but thanks for leaving. We have many minority friends in Henry County - beautiful homes!! I hope you are enjoying yours.

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hutch866
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batman

If you were to read other articles by the Citizen, they said that the private school and home schooled kids are remaining about the same from year to year. The decline is mostly fueled by the lack of new students. My kid just graduated last year from FCHS and got a great education. From what you say here it appears to me your problem is with the color of the kids, and not with where they come from. Moving to Henry County will not keep you from (gasp) black kids. Thankfully you DID move, we don't need people like you here.

Davids mom
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Hutch
Quote:

Thankfully you DID move, we don't need people like you here.

. . .and in seven years - I haven't run across many. . .in fact I haven't run across any!!! Thanks for your response,

batman7732
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hutch866

I never once mentioned race in my comment. I really don't care if they are asian, hispanic , black, white ect. The problem is these are lower income families moving to Fayette and bringing their problems with them. Crime, drugs and gangs. Why don't you check the crime stats for good old Fayette
County over the last 20+ years and see if the numbers match the influx of minorities. Try patroling the great Pavillion and see all the out of town cars in the highest crime area in the city.Randall Johnson is gone and so are the good ole days. When its you or your family that are a victim of a crime , maybe you will change your mind. As for the schools FCHS is at the bottom of the pile. Starr's Mill,McIntosh,Whitewater,Sandy Creek are all far superior in education. Do your homework.........and I'm sad Fayette is such a mess after living there for 27 years.

hutch866
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batman

If we're going to debate a topic, you're going to have to settle on one. Schools or crime? The original topic was the reason for the declining enrollment in the Fayette schools, and your reason was ...well... purely BS. I suggest you do your home work, Fayette County school district graduates 89% and Heard County graduates 78.6, Coweta graduates 75%, Henry graduates 71.7, so tell me how Fayette is going down or which of these districts are doing better then Fayette.

suggarfoot
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Hutch

For what it is worth, I was told a few years ago, that they 'monkey' with that graduation rate here in Fayette county to look better. I'm sure you can figure out 'who' would do that.

There is no way round it. I've been here over 12 years and have to agree with Bateman, it is going down by the minute. I'm one of the few I know in my neighborhood that will still go to Fayetteville to shop. The stores are closing/moving and you only have to look at the empty stores to know that. (and they want a bypass around their town of Fayettville...for what?)

While I will agree that Fayette county schools are better than Dekalb, I can't say they are wonderful. Powers that be on the BOE have brought in Dekalb county people in the general office to do the hiring, so I feel haunted still by Dekalb. I've taken way too many out of county kids home from overnight stays to know that any and all that want to go to Fayette county schools do. I've complained bitterly and gotten nowhere except to be called a like by my BOE rep from my area!

It is a hard pill to swallow that you moved here in good faith, pay ridiculous taxes, thinking you are doing well by your kid, only to get slammed in the face with the fact that any and all from Clayton and Fulton just come across the line. For what we get in that respect, we are paying way too much. I'm stuck in my house for now, as soon as I can, I'm getting out. I so wish I had settled in Coweta instead of here. I've heard the same lament from friends. People can like David's Mom can say, 'get out', we would gladly, but we are stuck. The truth is that word is out and people with kids go to Coweta more and more. Their enrollment is up...ours down. It is just a plain fact. And if you notice, while Fayette's scores are up, they are going down in the schools that are being over run with out of county kids, while Coweta's scores have been going up. The cold hard fact is people with kids are leaving, or bypassing this area and going on the Coweta. Myself, if I ever get lose from this house, I'm not stopping in Coweta, I'm going on to another state and right this off as a bad dream. Atlanta is the only town I know where you have to move ..out.. ever few years. It is simply..not.. worth it. If you don't think it is changing...just look at the incessant/insane race harping/baiting, that is done by you know who on a daily basis. I will say it. I want to go to a white area where I'm not constantly badgered about race! I'm tired like so many others of being beaten over the head with it here in Atlanta as a whole. The badgering has turned many to a deaf ear and a glassy stare. I'm not alone in saying I'm totally sick of it and have better things to do with my life than to put up with the BS.

hutch866
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suggarfoot

Let me know when and I'll print you out a map to where ever you want to go. From the time you got on here you have done nothing but bitch and moan and complain about your city, the cops, and the county. (And don't forget all those out of county black kids taking away scholarships from your friends kids.) By all means, take off. BTW, you do a lot of the incessant/insane race harping/baiting your own self.

Cyclist
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Gee batman,

Like hutch said, please enlighten us.

batman7732
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hutch866 pt 2

Here's the latest crime report,Please connect the dots to see the big picture.

Fayette County Sheriff’s Office
Tuesday, Dec. 20 - Monday, Dec. 26
Mariellen R. Jackson, 57, of Ga. Highway 138, Riverdale, for deposit account fraud.
Jerry C. Lucario, 53, of Magnolia Bend Drive, Conroe, Tex., for theft by taking.
Adashia Y. Richardson, 22, of Teal Circle, Powder Springs, for terroristic threats and acts and tele. haras/disordeerly/fig. words.
Manuel L. Seal, Jr., 51, of Sharon Drive, Fayetteville, for bench warrant.
John Belvin, 50, of Jonathans Bow, Union City, for driving with suspended license and failure to maintain lane.
Santonio M. Gresham, 28, of Meadow Lake Road, College Park, for theft by receiving stolen property and first degree forgery.
Rodney B. Helper, 47, of Knight Way, Fayetteville, for probation/parole violation.
Zachary M. Law, 28, of Brierwood Lane, Fayetteville, for expired/no license plate/decal, license plate used to conceal ID, failure to maintain lane, DUI alcohol and no drivers license on person.
Timothy J. Love, 20, of Lowery Drive, Fayetteville, for furnish/possession/consumption of alcohol by a minor.
Jineane E. Reed, 26, of Holland Park Drive, Ellenwood, for DUI alcohol, failure to maintain lane and duty upon striking fixed object.
Danny N. Williams, 54, of Stonewall Drive, Union City, for no proof of insurance, driving with suspended license and driving with suspended registration.
Heidi L. Hass, 40, of Carrollton Road, Carrollton, for theft by taking.
Maribel Maldonado-Sanchez, 38, of Marlet Manor, Fayetteville, for no drivers license.
Shane M. Nutter, 18, of Redwine Road, Fayetteville, for burglary.
Tyler J. May, 18, of Tara Road, Jonesboro, for possession of marijuana with intent.
Brandon W. Perry, 27, of Marlet Manor, Fayetteville, for deposit account fraud.
Lizzie M. Wright, 28, of Dana Courts, Lithonia, for probation/parole violation.

Fayetteville Police
Reginald Terrence Green, 22, of Crabtree Drive, Jonesboro, for less than an ounce of marijuana.
Tiwuana Nacille Hill, 40, of Slicky Rock Court, Riverdale, for shoplifting.
Michael W. Frye, 59, of Grandview Trace, Fayetteville, for DUI alcohol and traffic offenses (2).
Jill Smith Pitts, 52, of Sharon Drive, Fayetteville, for shoplifting.
Angelo Lamar Roberson, 51, of Case Verde, College Park, simple battery, shoplifting and disorderly conduct.
Guadalupe Torres, 36, of Milam Way, Fairburn, for traffic offense.
Laura Michelle Shepherd, 21, of Red Fox Run, Fayetteville, for traffic offenses (2).
Timothy Allen Bedgood, 41, of Cornwallis Way, Fayetteville, for shoplifting and disorderly conduct.
Amelia Joyce Pearch, 20, of Meadowbrook Court, Fayetteville, for wanted person (Coweta County).
Jennifer Lynn Merrick, 32, of Georgia Avenue, Fayetteville, for less than an ounce of marijuana and traffic offense.
Scott Darrell Newby, 47, of Rabbits Run, Fayetteville, for traffic offenses (3).
Erwin Douglas Smith, 28, of Dennis Drive, Fayetteville, for wanted person (Decatur).
Sharonda L. Leary, 44, of Firethorn Lane, Fayetteville, for obstruction.

Peachtree City Police
John A. Puraldo, 42, of Terrane Ridge, Peachtree City, for probation violation.
Mora Savando, 23, of Peachtree Station Circle, Peachtree City, for driving without license and speeding.
Richard M. Buesgens, 53, of Jefferson Parkway, Newnan, for DUI, driving on suspended license, striking a fixed object and failure to maintain lane.
Eric J. Presley, 19, of Heritage Way, Peachtree City, for revoked/suspended license.
Richard S. Mays, 44, of West Street, Garden Grove, Calif., for parole violation.
Jinnie Fertal, 46, of Creek Bed Court, Peachtree City, for disorderly conduct and drunk disorderly.
Adrian Lucifer, 43, of Lake Seminole Drive, Buford, allowing minors to possess alcohol and driving on suspended license.
Peter Codallo, 18, of Sweetwater Way, Senoia, for no drivers license and speeding.
Jerry Bragg, 44, of Fen Way, Peachtree City, for simple battery-family violence.
Larry Couch, 61, of Robinson Road, Peachtree City, for simple battery-family violence, and obstructing an emergency phone call.
Richard Kirkland, 64, of Spring Ridge Court, Newnan, for DUI and disregard for traffic contol device.

hutch866
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batman

Yet again, what does this have to do with Fayette County Schools enrollment? You dispute my facts, show where I'm wrong.

kevink
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Hutch, Cyclist, Davidsmom, Gym, and others

Nothing for me to say here but.........

HAPPY New Year! !!!!!!!! You guys rock! I'm glad to know you all; to spar verbally; to celebrate with you; at times grieve with you. Here's to a new year of respectful disagreements, conservative drinking, and liberal amounts of fellowship.

CHEERS!!!

Davids mom
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TO THE CITIZEN DEBATERS

Thanks for a wonderful, and often explosive 7 years!! LOL! As Kevin said - you guys rock!! Happy New Year!!
Only in America - and THE NEW SOUTH!! To those who would try to divide, what Kevin says is true "respectful disagreements". Love it!

Cyclist
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Keeping that conga line..

on the move.

I wonder what the next topic could be???? Perhaps, new stupid laws of 2012? That would be one for our ace investigator “roundabout$” to tackle. But I fear that our resident old goat was either been kicked off "The C" or someone left the gate open again.

carbonunit52
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First Coffee of 2012:

The first coffee of 2012 will be held at the Starbucks on 54, by Publix, at 0830 hours on Tuesday, January 2nd. All are welcome to attend. There is no substitute for meeting and greeting your fellow bloggers at these events. I am the carbonunit and kevink has approved this message.

Joe Kawfi
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Sorry, gang

Sorry that I couldn't attend. I was in the john taking an Obama and wiping my Biden.

Davids mom
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Jk

The 'class' of this individual never ceases to amaze.

Davids mom
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First Coffee am or pm?

FALCONS AHEAD 28-0 HALLELUJAH!! Will sincerely try to be there!

Now (5:25) 42-0!! GO FALCONS!!

AtHomeGym
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DM & Coffee

8:30 AM tomorrow--see Carbo's latest post.

hutch866
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carb

Monday is the 2nd, you're going to have to clarify.

carbonunit52
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Coffee time:

How correct you are Hutch: Monday, January 2nd, 8:30 AM

Cyclist
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Coffee time:

Sorry, I can't make tomorrow.

Cyclist
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1st Coffee 2012

Carbon, I have a 0800 lab appointment in Newnan. If I can get through early enough I'll swing by for a quick meet.

kevink
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Athomegym, Cyclist, Hutch, Carbon.....

Very nice way to bring in the New Year; hanging with those that can barely tolerate me versus those who can't :-). We missed you Cycle dude. Don't make us come roof stomp you! Hope all was well and in order.

Athomegym, I kept my promise, brother! And sharing that delicacy was NOT easy. All the best from Jevank as well, who is currently living the dream in an undisclosed sunny location!

Hope to meet more of you all this year... in a well lit, public place :-D

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Kevin & Food sharing

Well, good for you! And from what I saw, those boys of yours can flat wipe out some food! As for the BBQ place we talked about Monday, it's Heirloom Market BBQ, 2243 Akers Mill Rd,Atlanta, 770-612-2502. Don't go at noon! Google it and you'll find lots of info. I'm gonna plan a visit in the near future. The Korean spin on much of their food is a plus in my view. It's really small, attached to a convenience store under the shadow of I-285 and off a mainly residential road in Smyrna. Just remember, make you've got 3 in the Green! BTW, great article in the 9 Jan edition of Time about the 787--bet you can't wait to get your hands on one of those bad boys!

Cyclist
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kevin

I was down at LaGrange visiting my "liberal-progressive" parents.

Davids mom
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Coffee 2012

I'll have to miss it! Just found out I get to take relatives to the airport in the am. Hopefully next time!

AtHomeGym
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G35 & Diff in Ed Pers Salaries

Yes, Fayette does pay less than some--it's called "County Supplement" to the established State salary. However, I have known some (esp teachers) who were very willing to work for less money with the knowledge that parents would be concerned & involved and discipline less of a prob.

G35 Dude
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AHG-Right you are
Quote:

Yes, Fayette does pay less than some--it's called "County Supplement" to the established State salary. However, I have known some (esp teachers) who were very willing to work for less money with the knowledge that parents would be concerned & involved and discipline less of a prob.

My point exactly. This is how Fayette County has built such a good school system. But things appear to be changing.

HappyHomemaker
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Drop in school enrollment

Has anyone thought to look into how many Fayette County children now attend private schools? Someone needs to research the movement of students from the schools, particularly in the northern part of the county. Even though the economy is not in good shape, there are many parents choosing private schools for their children. I do not mean to say that the Fayette Schools are bad, because they are very good. Some parents want a religious education for their children. Some parents want their children away from unsavory behavior exhibited by some students. I think that the schools do the best they can with whatever students come in their doors. There simply are a lot of troubled children in the world of today.

G35 Dude
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HappyHomemaker - May I add

I think you make a couple of good points. Especially in the northern part of Fayette. For many years Fayette has been the destination of choice for affluent families with school age kids because of great schools. But what many people don't realize is that concerned parents actually have as much affect on a child's education as schools and teachers. Fayette attracted affluent families for several reasons. Many of which have changed. Crime is no longer as low as it once was. The area is much more developed. And some of those families have grown up and the kids moved on while the building of new homes has concentrated on an older demographic. The homes that are being sold to school age families now tend to be older homes to less affluent people. That tends to attract families that have those troubled kids you referenced. And they have parents that may be less concerned with whether or not Junior has done his school work.

I'll also comment on the fact that even though we pay the highest school taxes that the state allows Fayette tends to pay school workers less than the surrounding counties. We no longer attract the best people to work in our schools. Some will respond to this statement with the fact that teachers salaries are set by the state. While that is true some counties offer incentives for additional education and training. Fayette usually does not. Don't get me wrong we do have some great teachers here but some have left and how long will the rest stay under these conditions? The reasons for the drop in enrollment are many and far reaching. As our schools rankings drop enrollment will also. So I for one expect the decline in enrollment to continue for at least a few more years.

streetcleaner
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FYE 2013 budget

Well we spent 60% of our reserves, enrollment is down 719 students at a revenue loss of $2.876 million and we have only found a way to save $3.3 million. We are still $10 million short. Please board get serious now before we end up with a bankrupt school system. Youe millage is capped, most of the county is in a declining market, property values will go lower and tax revenue decrease, E-Splost is in the same boat. As I have asked before in this newspaper forum, what are your answers?, we need to know them now. Our students and teachers deserve these answers.
I await your response.

streetcleaner
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FYE 2013 budget

Well we spent 60% of our reserves, enrollment is down 719 students at a revenue loss of $2.876 million and we have only found a way to save $3.3 million. We are still $10 million short. Please board get serious now before we end up with a bankrupt school system. Youe millage is capped, most of the county is in a declining market, property values will go lower and tax revenue decrease, E-Splost is in the same boat. As I have asked before in this newspaper forum, what are your answers?, we need to know them now. Our students and teachers deserve these answers.
I await your response.

g8trgrl
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Fayette County on Cover of AJC

It was interesting to see Fayette County Schools on the cover of the AJC regarding this county building empty schools. Too bad the article was not more informative as to how low the numbers are in some schools and the fact that one school had to be closed to fill up Inman or we would have had 2 empty schools...I would love to be the Principal of Rivers - only 20 kids to worry about....

suggarfoot
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Fayette county on cover of AJC???

I just looked at the online AJC and didn't find it. Can you give and link to the story?

LM1430
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Here is the link (through LexisNexis)

I couldn't find it on the AJC site; however, the LexisNexis site had a link to the article (below). The title is "Taxpayers foot bill for nearly empty school"

http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocum...

suggarfoot
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Taxpayers foot bill for

Taxpayers foot bill for nearly empty school
Ty Tagami; Staff
Enrollment swelled, then fell; officials say they were blindsided. Miscalculation costly, accents planning enigma.
When Fayette County opened a new $9.9 million school, it was supposed to house nearly 700 students. Years later, why is it nearly empty? And what lessons might other school districts learn from the costly mistake?
The faith in infinite growth that led to overbuilding and financial distress in Atlanta's real estate markets also blindsided one metro area school system.
In fall 2009, construction finished on a new $9.9 million elementary school in Fayette County, south of Atlanta. At more than 86,000 square feet, Rivers Elementary could hold nearly 700 students.
Today, it houses about 20.
After years of adding students --- and state numbers showing that would continue --- Fayette County school system officials say they didn't see the enrollment reversal coming.
The miscalculation cost the school system millions at a time when budgets were already straining under a recessionary decline in tax revenue. It also highlights the challenges that school districts and others across metro Atlanta face when planning for the future.
"When we were planning for this school, there were projections that the population would grow," said Bob Todd, chairman of the Fayette County school board. "Of course, the bottom dropped out of the economy."
The situation has stirred controversy in a community beset with other financial problems, such as a saturation of foreclosed homes. Officials should have noticed the enrollment falling, and they should have halted construction, say critics such as Harold Bost, a former county commissioner.
"If they didn't," he said, "they're a hell of a lot dumber than I think they are."
For more than a decade, year after year, Fayette County and its school-age population had boomed. Yards around older schools such as Robert J. Burch Elementary were filled with trailers for the overflow of students, said Mike Satterfield, the system's facility services director.

(This is the part that is very notable...and shows why we should watch who lives here and who doesn't)
"Back in the 1980s and '90s, we were growing 1,200 to 1,500 students a year," Satterfield said. Many of the students were children of construction workers, he said.
But "when construction went south, they loaded up and moved away," said Satterfield, who's been with the system nearly two decades.
Relying on state figures
In spring 2007, the student count in Fayette County peaked at 22,498, according to state figures. The next count, in the fall, showed a drop of nearly 300. Enrollment was down to 20,539 this fall.
Satterfield said he recommended building Rivers based on state projections that had enrollment growing by 414 students in 2008.
But Lynn Jackson, a state Education Department official who monitors school construction, said she hasn't SEEN ANOTHER CASE OF SUCH ..EXTREME OVERBUILDING. WHILE THE STAT WAS PROJECTING ENROLLMENT GROWTH IN FAYETTE, IT ALSO NOTED THAT THERE WERE ALREADY EMPTY CLASSROOMS AND URGED CAUTION, Jackson said.

Officials at some other metro Atlanta school systems --- Cherokee and Forsyth --- say they don't rely on state numbers. Instead, they use their own formulas.
By the fall of 2007, when enrollment started dropping, the board had already approved buying land for the school and hiring architects and engineers for the design, said Terri Smith, a Fayette County school board member.
Because the construction money had come from a voter-approved bond, the school system faced financial penalties if Rivers didn't get built, Smith said.
The epic proportions of the developing recession also were not clear then, she said.
'Mothball' the building

So on March 3, 2008, the Fayette school board voted to hire Hensler & Beavers General Contractors to build the school.
Officials intended to open Rivers as a regular elementary school, but with tax revenue falling, they couldn't afford to staff it, Smith said.
So the board opted to "mothball" the new building. To deter vandals, it was opened as a center for children with severe behavioral disabilities and as an office for about two dozen staffers.
The change in plans saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in operating expenses, but Fayette County property taxpayers are still on the hook for the construction debt.
Today, the Fayette school system is struggling with a multimillion-dollar budget gap. The board recently voted to cut three school days from next year's calendar --- and more cuts likely will be needed.
Some in the community suggest it's time to close older schools and move students to the new one, but that's been controversial among those who cherish their small neighborhood schools.
Brent Scarbrough was among scores of worried parents who descended on a school board meeting in the fall after a rumor spread that their schools were being targeted.
"We just think that you close the school, and you basically take away the core of the community," said Scarbrough, who has two children at Brooks Elementary.

Bost, a former Fayette County commissioner and co-founder of the Fayette County Issues Tea Party, said Rivers Elementary never should have been built.
Bost has promised to make the building an issue before next year's school board election.
In the meantime, it's unclear what will happen with the Rivers Elementary building. Enrollment growth isn't expected to resume anytime soon.
Bost and others say officials should consider closing older schools and consolidating some jobs.
Even Scarbrough, the Brooks Elementary parent, sees the financial case for that.
"They've got to respond to the economic conditions because the money's just not there," Scarbrough said. "I run a business and it's just tough.
"Anything you do, somebody's going to get their feelings hurt."
December 26, 2011

Robert W. Morgan
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Brent Scarbrough understands the situation

He has 2 views:
1. Hands off my kid's school.
2. They have to do something - they have no money.
That's a real problem to balance those 2 views, but that is where we are. The current board (new guy excepted) hasn't done much to put a dent in the $10million deficit. They sure haven't closed any schools. I suppose it will take some backbone on school board to get this done, but by the time we replace the social liberalistas with leaders we will be down another 2,000 students and the deficit will be $20million.

And whoever wrote "each student generates $4,000 in income from the state" is kind of overlooking the other $4,000 that comes from our taxes.

g8trgrl
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Backbone on school board

Liked Robert Morgan's comments re: 2 views. So true - everyone wants a school to close - just not their own school! The current superintendent has stated the closing of a school will not be addressed for at least 2 years. My guess is he will be long gone from Fayette County by then. Maybe the board should wait until the enrollment at some of the smaller schools gets down to about 100 kids, then maybe they will be able to summon up the courage to close them. Good luck to the new appointee to the board, maybe he will bring some backbone to work.

suggarfoot
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Brooks is about half empty

The problem we ...HAD...has ruined us for years to come. Smith, Smola, and Wright voted as a block. They were developer friendly (Smith's husband is a developer) and wouldn't listen to the citizens. Smola has around 2 years college majoring in psychology, no business background. When they built Rivers, the average citizen already knew we didn't need it. There were MANY heated arguments in this very paper about building it. They bulled on and what we have now is the result of it. Scarbrough is a developer and either he or his Daddy developer own a lot of the property around Rivers. With Brooks being the school with the least number of kids in it, it might be poetic justice what school gets axed.

Dondol
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g8trgrl re: backbone

If anyone at the school board needs some backbone, I have some extra in the freezer! Their welcome to it if it will help.