Time to fire school board for budget?
May 27, 2013 10:10 PM | 1483 views | 9 9 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

It has become common knowledge that once again Cobb County Schools faces a major budget crisis.

The solution is always the same. Larger class sizes, teacher layoffs and the old standby, furlough days. Cobb has gone from a deficit of $62 million (with layoffs, furlough days and initially a 2 percent pay cut) to an $82 million deficit (same solutions, same results) and this year $86 million in deficits and the board offered nothing new.

According to Brad Johnson, Cobb Schools’ financial officer, the horizon looks no better.

As a former employee, now retired, I spent 22 years wondering how a school system could run deficit spending year in and year out and offer no concrete solutions. Of course the world of education has no similarity to reality. Stockholders fire board members in a corporation if deficits become a way of life.

Barry Pack

Formerly of Cobb Schools

Dallas
Comments
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Dr. Teresa Plenge
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June 04, 2013
Gwinnett spends 3 times more per student than Cobb does because Cobb taxpayers are happily sending $65 million dollars to them instead of pressuring the legislators to allow that money to stay in Cobb. In 5-10 years when Gwinnett is getting all the new businesses and property values are 3 times higher than those in Cobb we can all remember the time Cobb County tax payers sat on their rears and allowed the legislators to get away with gross negligence. I know many of the legislators personally and they think it is so funny to watch the Cobb School Board take the heat and scramble to vote on a balanced budget. They have been getting away with their "stick it" to Cobb BOE attitude for 30 yrs so why should they change now?
NO-BS
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June 04, 2013
Dr. Plenge,

If a comprehensive, independent, and objective audit leads us to the State Legislature - then there will be no wiggle room left. Full and open disclosure will help put an end to the shafting of Cobb tax payers for the benefit of other systems courtesy of the "Boys" under the Gold Dome.
anonymous
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June 04, 2013
is Dr Plenge preparing for another run?
Dr. Plenge
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June 05, 2013
No, I am NOT preparing for another run!!!!! I am in a wheelchair and am VERY limited in what I can physically do. However, I still care about the county I live in. I would welcome an audit, but why should we wait for an audit before we act????? We do not need an audit to tell us where OUR tax dollars are going with the blessings of our legislators.
NO-BS
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June 03, 2013
It is time for a comprehensive operational / procedural / financial audit of the CC School System by a reputable, independent, and objective external auditor. Someone on par with KPMG, without back office - under the desk ties with the political structure of the school system leadership and administrative management. It is time for Cobb County Citizens to have ALL the cards put on the table.

Only then will we have the information necessary to build a strategy for Cobb's future beyond the office pool question of the week - "How much will NEXT year's deficit be?"
UR Wrong
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June 01, 2013
You wrote:

"how a school system could run deficit spending year in and year out..."

They don't. That's why layoffs and severe budget cuts have to be made... to pass a balanced budget.

@Barry Pack's got it right. Our state legislature is robbing us blind and nobody seems to notice or care! Call them! Write them! Make some noise that we're sick of being short changed!

If it weren't for the state taking away millions of Cobb taxpayer dollars for "Equalization Grants" and withholding even more through "austerity cuts", we'd have a major surplus by now!
@ Barry Pack
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May 28, 2013
Are you aware that the school district has approximately 1,500 fewer teachers than just a few years ago while still teaching about the same number of students?

Because of state cuts, Cobb has at least $70 million less in funding for the current year.

Apply pressure to the state reps and senators as well as the governor to restore full funding.
anonymous
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May 28, 2013
Deep thoughts, and no solutions

From another whiney educator
Editor Letter
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May 28, 2013
Finally, someone comments with some sense. You are right that "the world of education has no similarity to reality." In the next few months, may all you that realize "the world of education has no similarity to reality," a truer statement was never more eloquently spoken as you hit the weekday snooze button for the next 2 months, in addition to your spring break, thanksgiving week off, christmas and new year's, etc., etc., etc. In the real world, we work for 12 months out of the year with an average of 2 weeks vacation out of those 12 months. Truer words have never been spoken--reality to most of us far differs than the world of education. Thank God, is all I can say, is that you no longer get tenure.

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