Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Why Parents Turn to Foundations for School Funding

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

eagletrekidentfinalThis is the shameless plug for money for my kid’s school. It is also a fundraiser for two organizations dear to my heart:

The Evansdale Education Foundation – I am a founding board member and OMG, I have put in so many hours on that board.
The Evansdale PTA – I am a committee chair on the PTA and they are just a great, hardworking group, with only the kids’ best interests at heart.

I won’t bore you with the details, because if you read my blog or follow me on FB, you probably know about the dysfunction in our county school board, about budget cuts, etc.

Actually, I will bore you with a few details, because I wonder if people not involved at the schools really understand why these foundations (501c3 organizations) are created by parents to make up for the lack of funding by their counties! The money that each and every person in the county pays (in the form of property taxes) to fund schools should be more than enough to make things work. When we are in an economic situation like the one that we are in now, our county school boards should have been saving for a rainy day. They didn’t. So, now, parents (and teachers) have to step up and fund much of it themselves. (Sit down with a teacher and ask how much of their school supplies are paid for by the county, and how much is paid for out of their own pockets.)

  • Teachers are making less and expected to do more, with less time. Rather than cut exorbitant administration costs, the county makes budget cuts on the teacher’s backs. We hear a lot about ineffective teachers, teachers who don’t care, etc., but in my experience, that is the exception, not the rule. My kids’ teachers have really, really cared. They have handled the crap they are given with grace and aplomb. I want to help them. And raising money to hire teachers and take more pressure off them so that they concentrate on teaching is one way to do that. Let’s just say that having 25 kindergarteners in one class can be too much. Or, if you look at the high school level, they have classes with upwards of 40 students. The county is very slow about alleviating crowding, too, when classes go over the max size. The kindergarten at our school is STILL waiting, a month into school, for an added teacher so that they can relieve overcrowding in the existing four classes.
  • Class sizes are OUT OF CONTROL. Our county raised maximum class sizes again this year. So, every class can have two more students than they did last year. Doesn’t sound that bad, but they raised class sizes last year, too. They just seem to keep going up.
  • Why cut costly administrators making $80,000 or more, and who never come into contact with a single student when you could just CUT PARAPROS? Parapros, or paraprofessionals, are the extra hands on in the classrooms. They help to reduce student/teacher ratios. They allow for differentiated instruction, and focused learning groups. They cost a drop in the bucket compared to administrators. The county cut a TON of them.
  • Did i mention the overcrowding? To alleviate overcrowding at a nearby school, some of their students were redistricted to our school. We were pretty much at capacity. Now we are at, last i checked, about 120% capacity.
  • Lots of those kids redistricted to our school don’t speak English as a first language. Some of their parents speak little to no English. What does the county do? Cuts translator positions. Brilliant.

You get the picture. There is more, but these are the issues that schools, parents, teachers, principals are dealing with all over the county. This is why my fellow parents and I created a foundation – to give us a padding when we have to pay for things ourselves. Should it be this way? No. The county should be a good steward for our money. But it’s not, and we are left to scramble to give our kids and the rest of the kids at the school, a great education.

Want to help? Please donate to our fundraiser. It’s easy and you can do it all online. It’s 100% tax deductible. Every dollar helps. And believe me, I realize that in these times, a dollar is a lot for some people. And when you’re done with that, think about following local education politics. We would not have to do this if more voters and taxpayers held our politicians’ feet to the fire on education funding issues and management of tax dollars.

Thanks for listening if you got this far. You’re a pal.

When was the last time you got a $15,000 Raise?

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

When was the last time you got a $15,000 raise?

Dekalb County School Superintendent Crawford Lewis is getting a pay increase, while Dekalb County is proposing cuts across the system: teachers are taking furloughs, pay cuts are happening all over for those who work in the schools, programs are going to be cut, and millage rates possibly increased. Just last night, President Obama was speaking out against education cuts, but I don’t think he meant pay raises for fat cat administrators and their cronies in the big county nepotism office.

Sure, Dekalb is a huge school system, and the job can’t be very easy, but this man makes almost A QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS EVERY YEAR. Most of the administration in Dekalb Co. (a top-heavy organization, at that) make over $100,000. And yet, custodians and bus drivers and the like have not even gotten a step up in two years. Music and art programs might be cut. Lottery-funded pre-kindergarten programs might be cut. Magnet programs might be cut. We waste money on new textbooks that aren’t even needed, while we don’t get the ones that are needed. But thank god, Crawford Lewis is getting that extra $15,000. Premiere Dekalb, my ass. Lewis hasn’t earned the first $240,000, much less the $15,000 raise!

Want to learn more?


What Lies Behind Dekalb’s Ire Over Schools

Dekalb Parent

Dekalb School Watch

Do you have a child in the Dekalb County school system? Do you live in Dekalb County? This affects you. Make your voice heard. The Board of Education is holding a Public Budget Input meeting this evening at 6:00pm at the William Bradley Bryant Center of Technology:

William Bradley Bryant Center of Technology
2652 Lawrenceville Highway, Decatur, Georgia 30033

Can’t make the meeting? You can send letters to the following Board Members:

H. Paul Womack, Jr. h_paul_womack@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us
Dr. Pamela Speaks pam_speaks@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us
Thomas E. Bowen thomas_bowen@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us
Zepora Roberts zepora_w_roberts@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us
Jim Redovian jim_redovian@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us
Don McChesney don_mcchesney@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us
Sarah Copelin-Wood sarah_copelin-wood@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us
Jesse “Jay” Cunningham, Jr. jay_cunningham@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us
Eugene P. Walker eugene_p_walker@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us

And/Or DCSS Officials:
Terry M. Segovis Terry_M_Segovis@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us
Robert G. Moseley Robert_Moseley@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us

Either Todd or I will be attending the meeting, and if I go, I might Twitter updates. Those show up in the sidebar of my blog, or you can follow me on Twitter.

Seriously?

Monday, September 7th, 2009

The following is a note from my son’s school’s principal, via the PTA. . .

“Dear [name of Elementary School] Families,

As you may be aware, President Obama is scheduled to address the nation’s
schoolchildren on Tuesday. However, [our school] will be postponing the
viewing to later in the week. I will be sending a letter home on Tuesday
explaining the details and giving parents the option of allowing or not
allowing their child to view the address.

Thanks and enjoy the rest of the holiday.

Principal McPrincipalson, Ed.D.
Principal
School Name Elementary

As a PTA membership benefit and an important communication tool, you have received this email directly from the [school name] PTA.”

Seriously? Glad to know that the powers that be at my child’s school are caving to a bunch of hysterical nut jobs.

Here’s the thing: If you don’t want your child to watch it, keep your child out of school that day. And in the future, please refrain from throwing around the old “that’s not patriotic” charge; In my opinion, if you are refusing to let your child hear a message from the President of our country, you are showing disrespect to the office of the President. Who’s unpatriotic now?

Yeah, my kid will be there. I refuse to teach my child that it is okay to refuse to listen to someone else’s viewpoint. I will teach my kid that it is required that he show respect to the highest office in the United States.