Thursday, January 21, 2010

Run for Cover? I plan to fight for both the Students and the fine Teachers of DeKalb County.

The Spruill Gallery has an exhibition called Run For Cover. It’s a look at album covers that has defined and influenced our experience of music, and shaped our lives over the past few decades. Hope Cohn is director for the Spruill Gallery and spoke of the exhibit on WABE's City Cafe. As a 14 year resident of Dunwoody, I will shamefully admit that I have never set foot into the Spruill Gallery on Ashford Dunwoody but I think that is about to change.

I was going to post the simple piece above but the name of the exhibit in relationship to the DeKalb County School System news coming out, just touched me on so many levels.

Like all governmental budgets that depend on property taxes the DeKalb County School System is facing financial crisis, yet we have school board members already saying publicly that they are in favor of tax increases along with cuts in teacher pay vs deep cuts in administrative overhead.
DeKalb County pre-kindergarten classes, magnet schools and art courses will be slashed and teachers will likely see another pay cut to offset a $56 million deficit in the school system. The only other option is to raise property taxes, DeKalb Superintendent Crawford Lewis said Wednesday. Either way, students, teachers and administrators will feel the pinch next year.
The AJC also quotes board member, Eugene Walker who suggested the board raise property taxes 2 mills, which would raise the taxes of a $200,000 homeowner’s tax bill by about $135 more a year.
I read a comment on the DeKalb County School Watch Blog where a resident matter of factly stated that his decision had been made, that he is now going to move out of DeKalb vs. put up with the degradation of the school system, paying higher taxes that he can not afford, for it to be wasted on administrative bloat.

I don't know about you but as a father of three children in the DeKalb County School System, I truely respect my children's teachers, they work hard and are dedicated to the education of my children, sometimes it seems in spite of the obstacles placed upon them by the current administration. Unlike that person who is ready to move out of DeKalb, we the residents of DeKalb County need to stay and fight for quality education for our children and support the teachers who educate them.

I refuse to do differently and if you feel the same I would ask you stay engaged in the process, stay educated on what is happening in DeKalb and be ready to fill the auditorium of Peachtree Charter Middle School on Monday March 1st for the DeKalb County School Board work session where budget alternatives will most likely be discussed.


Bob Fiscella said...

John - well said! I applaud your stance, and plan to be there as well.

George Bradford said...

Thank you, John. Our community is made better by citizens like you.

knitternall said...

Amen, John.

What happens in my kids' classrooms (PCMS and DHS) is wonderful. They're getting a rigorous education by creative, energetic teachers and supported by caring volunteer parents.

What's happening at the leadership level is appalling. The profound lack of business acumen, disastrous missteps in technology (eSis) and facilities management (rundown schools), polarized advocacy for special interests (district, family, et al), and silo mentality (us/administration vs. them/parents and community) has cascaded into a truly bad situation for our schools.

It's human nature to care only about something when it happens to you personally. But the schools DO affect us all, whether or not we have children in public school.

Reputation for bad schools = fewer high quality educators choosing to teach here = lower property values = less interest by corporations to locate in DeKalb County = lower tax base to fund schools.

The very fact that the School Board and Dr. Lewis recommend cutting staff and services that directly impact students indicates that this school system has its priorities very much upside down.

I'll be there.

Rob said...

Ah, good old Washington Monument Syndrome again.

Wishbone Nolan said...

My beloved Georgia, hinc illae lacrimae...I have to cry for my home state of Georgia...last Tuesday night I sat minding my own business, sipping my Colonel Lee bourbon whiskey and was literally spittled awash by the ludicrous pseudo promulgations of an unofficial "Tea-Party" group writhing in erotic-like spasms at the Fox News report on the tavern's TV, that the Republican, Scott Brown, has won Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts Senate Seat, thus essentially killing our good honorable President, Barack Obama's health care plan.

Oh, it's so very difficult living in a red state. All I hear, see and read about are the protests by the same old angry, white Republican men and women whom are remnants from the McCain-Palin rallies.

Rather than think for themselves, they would rather spread the lies of Faux News...Beck, O'Reilly, and Limbaugh. I understand the fact that the Republican Party is now the party of religious zealots, racists, gun-toting extremists and hate-mongers, but I don't understand how the congressional leaders of this party are comfortable representing this ilk.

I laugh out loud when I hear their pleas of "I want my country back." Back to where - the Bush years? Where were the protests from this party when their president turned a surplus into a deficit? Where were the outcries when he went to war on cooked-up intelligence and threw out the laws of the Geneva Conventions?

Where was the yelling when Bush gave tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, big business and oil? Do Katrina, Guantanamo, torture, warrantless wiretappings, firing of U.S. attorneys, outing of CIA agents, children's health care cuts, attacks on women's health care, veto on stem cell research and No Child Left Behind ring a bell to any of them? Were those the good old days? And in regards to the Iraq War, W.B.Yeats said something about the British government conscripting the youth of Ireland to be utilized as cannon fodder on the front lines of World War I that pretty much describes what Bush/Cheney did as well in their murder and maiming of our bravest US troops in Iraq, "It is the sacrifice of the best of us, by the worst of us."

Wishbone Nolan said...

Wake up, Georgia! These "Tea Party" protesters do not speak for this country. They do however speak on behalf of right-wing extremists, corporate greed and the status quo. This state is more interested in allowing guns in bars, restaurants, and school parking lots than providing money for public education. It's no wonder we are considered the dumbest state in the union.

As an American, it is our right to raise our voice when we disagree with our government, but it is un-American to drown out the truth and replace it with lies. The real agenda behind these protesters is to make sure that President Obama does not succeed in making America

The bottom line is that we have an intelligent, black president leading our country, and THAT is the REAL issue behind this angry, white mob mentality.

"Death panels," "going socialist," "I want my America back," "presidential indoctrination" … it is all about fear! Not one shred of a suggestion to help. Not one counter-offer. The radical right, and the Fox News sycophants who promulgate this fear are the true enemies of America.

They are the ones impeding the democratic principles of our great nation from being practiced. This blog isn't big enough for me to actually respond in detail to all the nonsense, but I will offer brief responses that all those except the truly blind can see.

Let's start with the infamous "death panels." That is a blatant lie! There is no such thing. When Betsy McCaughey was on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart thoroughly discredited her and her theory. That interview is online for anyone to see in its entirety. I challenge you to view it.

"Going socialist"- how horrible. Let's get rid of all the socialist policies. Well, we need to get rid of the VA, Medicare and Social Security, for starters. Then we can eliminate unemployment compensation, the post office, the police and the fire department. I feel better already! How about the National Guard?

The president speaks to our school-age children, asking them to stay in school and graduate. How awful! Our president actually asks our children to make themselves better and become prepared for life as an adult. President Reagan spoke to our nation's children, and threw in a message about cutting taxes. I really don't remember the outrage at the nerve of President Reagan politicizing his speech to our children.

"I want my America back." The American Indians have been saying this for centuries. After all, their land was stolen, they were hunted to the edge of extinction, rounded up and put into concentration camps...I mean, reservations. They deserve their America back before you

Which America do you mean? One where a white man is president, where discrimination abounds and corporate America can fleece us into bankruptcy? Or, one where it's OK to proclaim I am a "right wing terrorist" and have one of our nation's leaders say "right on," rather than have him arrested on the spot.

And, of course, all this racism and true anti-Americanism is meant to deflect the discussion from our greatest need. We have the best medical facilities in the world. People from around the world come here for treatment of difficult and challenging conditions. But let's not confuse that with our health care delivery system, which is a disgrace, and costs more than anywhere else in the world. That MUST change.