Do we finally have a real school board?
by Pete_Borden
 CCSD/School Board
April 09, 2013 09:03 AM | 806 views | 4 4 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Is it possible that the good people of Cobb County now have a real school board instead of a collection of people who will rubber stamp anything the Superintendent (no matter who he is) sends to them?

The fact that the current board, led by Chairman Randy Scamihorn, sent the district talking head and the Superintendent back to the square one, with instructions to come up with a realistic and acceptable plan for dealing with the budget shortfall, makes me optimistic.  A realistic and acceptable plan is one that cuts deeply into the top heavy administration at the district level while doing minimal damage to the teachers, the students, the size of classes and the instructional hours.

I am optimistic at this point in time that Scamihorn is the one we have been looking for these past 12 years, as we have suffered through a string of “go along to get along” boards and chairpersons.

Of course I was optimistic when we elected the Rev. Dr. John Crooks, only to see him apparently roll over for the Chamber of Commerce tuxedo businessmen, along with Dr. John Abraham.  I got my hopes up again with the election of Scott Sweeney, but it appears he couldn’t wait to play the rollover game.

I met with Randy for about two hours one Saturday afternoon during the campaign and found that we are like-minded on a great many subjects. Even though he does not represent my post, I felt optimistic when he was elected to the School Board and elated when he was elected Chairman.

Thus far, he has not disappointed me, and I tend to think he will not.  I believe that he will protect our teachers and our students against the onslaught of their interests by those in favor of protecting the top heavy administration on Glover Street.

One would think that the Glover Street gang was protected by some kind of “force field”.  Every time the subject of reducing expenses arises, the first place the board has thought of, in the past, has been the classroom and the teachers.  An example is Board Member Scott Sweeney’s suggestion to have teachers teach in more than one classroom at a time.  Sure, Scott, let’s get rid of all the teachers but one, in each school. That one can surely run from classroom to classroom teaching all the kids.  But, whatever you do, don’t touch the dead weight on Glover Street.

Before the CCSD defenders descend on me quoting statistics about how many people have been cut from Glover Street, please answer two questions. First, how much has the payroll actually been cut? The powers that be are good at shifting people around to make it appear they are cutting expenses.  A good example is the installation of the artificial turf which was supposed to cut down on maintenance. I cannot document that one single person was cut from the payroll as direct result of the much-touted savings. They just got assigned different duties.  Let’s see some dollar figures of savings and expense reduction, not people count.

Second, are you prepared to swear that all the cuts possible have been made?  If not then I am not interested in your protests.

To Chairman Scamihorn and the Board, I say “Good work and keep their feet to the fire until they do the job right, for the teachers and the kids.”
Comments
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Nettie Helen Stemm
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April 10, 2013
@ Funny Stuff. what you do not know about the school board and the reserve fund would fill a very large set of books.
Funny Stuff !
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April 10, 2013
Pete:

Your new champion, Scamihorn, is partnering with Banks, hardly your favorite. Each pledges to spend greater reserve dollars to balance the budget than the district should or that the board's policy permits.

Few stranger bedfellows are known to exist... color us surprised you're in their midst.
right about?
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April 10, 2013
Pete, you've never been right about anything.
Larry Savage
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April 09, 2013
Staffing at Glover Street and to some extent even in the schools is similar in some respects to the ESPLOST project for the Career Academy (Academies?). We were told the investment was a necessary and good thing, but I never heard a reliable description of exactly what a Career Academy is or what it would do. Lots of people spoke about Career Academies, but no one with any official cred. Likewise the staffing. Lots of people who are important, expensive, and absolutely necessary, but with ambiguous titles and unspecified duties. I'm open to believing they are essential, but I'm more easily convinced with a convincing explanation. The standard is their value compared to classroom teachers, since that may be the eventual choice.
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