Cobb ‘super’ says he still may pursue Teach For America
by Lindsay Field
lfield@mdjonline.com
August 29, 2012 12:48 AM | 3672 views | 17 17 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Cobb Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa said he might bring Teach For America back for a board vote later this fall if the organization can raise the necessary training funds of $200,000.

He is meeting with Teach For America executive director Shyam Kumar Thursday afternoon.

“(I want to) talk about some of the logistics, expectations,” Hinojosa said, adding that he also plans on turning over all fundraising to Teach For America.

“(Teach For America) can let me know when they’ll need me to come to a fundraising meeting, but I’m also going to tell them that we’ll need to know something solid, for sure by X-date,” he said. “I don’t know when that date is but they need to have us a date of when they are sure that they can raise the money.”

Hinojosa said he will allow the non-profit organization to “work their list” for raising funds for Cobb Schools. Kumar emailed him a list of prospective fundraisers from metro Atlanta last fall when the superintendent was working on a contract to take before the board.

“We’re just talking how do we set up the support systems and details and then let them worry about the fundraising until they need me,” he said. “If they don’t have any fundraising success, then it may not even go to the board because we can’t do this without the external funds, and if they do have the support coming, then we’ll make it public, we’ll go to the board and let’s see kind of where we are.”

Phone calls and an email to Kumar requesting comment about fundraising were not returned Tuesday.

In mid-May, the board gave Hinojosa permission to start seek funding for a Teach For America contract for the 13-2014 school year.

He said Tuesday that he now feels more comfortable pursuing a contract with Teach For America, as opposed to when it was met with reluctance in January, because the board authorized him to do so.

Hinojosa was asking for 50 teachers in January, which would equate to about $400,000 in training funds, as opposed to the $200,000 for 25 teachers he now is seeking.

In his May request for authorization, Hinojosa: outlined parameters of the fundraising; vowed not to hire more than 25 teachers; noted that their training wouldn’t be paid for out of the district’s General Fund; that current Cobb teachers won’t be displaced; and that principals will have the purview to hire these individuals.

Board Member Alison Bartlett, who represents west-central Cobb and has previously been outspoken about not bringing Teach For America to Cobb, declined to comment on the superintendent’s intention to bring it back before the board later this fall, emphasizing that she had already voiced her opinion on Teach For America.

Last January during discussions about approving Teach For America for the 2012-13 school year, Bartlett said, “I believe in providing alternate education and different methods but at the same time I believe we should protect our employees, and I have real concerns when we’re talking to a $62 million loss in revenue (for FY13) ... when we talk about adding on additional costs.”

However, Board Chair David Morgan, who has been an advocate for Teach For America since its inception, continues to support Hinojosa’s decision to bring the vote back before the board.

“I’m still a huge fan of it and by all means, I want to see it executed in our district for the betterment of our children,” he said. “I think that Teach For America is another way to add more great teachers, so I think it’s a win-win situation!”
Comments
(17)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
my truth is
|
August 30, 2012
as a 20 year teacher, several things have hurt me over the years, but TFA hurts the most of all.
Cobb Taxpayer
|
August 29, 2012
We had a great opportunity to change the direction of the school board, but uninformed votes did not do their homework and kept two of the most incompetent people on the board - David Banks and David Morgan. If only we could vote on the Superintendent position.

I only hope the board will do the right thing at the next board meeting and censure David Banks. He is a disgrace to our school system.
AskMe
|
August 29, 2012
Hinojosa is out of control and needs to go back to wherever he came from.

This latest Teach for America boondoggle is just his way of sticking it in the faces of Cobb Taxpayers.

It has little or nothing to do with education.
westcobb
|
August 29, 2012
I have a friend who is a teacher in Gwinnette. They used TFA in their schools. She said the teachers were AWFUL. They had no idea what they were doing or how to handle the students.

Why should we hire from TRA when the students graduating with a teachers degree can not get a job teaching???
dustoff
|
August 29, 2012
And to think the idiots at the BOE actually think they will get support for a new SPLOST.

Just heucando -ow far can you stick your head in the sand before you suffocate?
NO SPLOST
|
August 29, 2012
It is sad we will have to put up with Banks and Morgan another 4 years, but we the voters can show the board that we do care and are not idiots. Make the board responsible for the financial direction, take a stand now and let Dr. H and the board know we will not vote in another SPLOST.

Jim Stoll
|
August 29, 2012
There are two annual happenings you can rely on in Cobb County Schools. One is that David Banks will continue his rant for a Balanced School Calendar, with a one week vacation every two months or so, throughout the year for rest and relaxation. The other is that the CCSD Superintendent will continue his push to replace qualified and certified teachers in our schools with uncertified recent college graduates from other deciplines who will gain their teaching skills from a six week bootcamp. Well, I am a graduate of a six week bootcamp, to teach me how to fight a war. The only things bootcamp taught me is how to march in lockstep and how to say "yes sir" whenever someone with brass on his collar spoke. Just what we need to convert our schools from educational institutions to indoctrination centers. As the old story goes: If you want to govern, train the children to think for themselves. If you want to rule, teach the children how to obey orders without question. I have vivid memories of someone else who tried the latter when I was a young man and almost destroyed the free world in the process. I have no desire to live through the consequences of such an action again in Cobb County or in America. God save our children from the adventures of adults in our schools who plot their indoctrination.
Correct Title
|
August 29, 2012
Excellent post. It bothers me they call them self "Teach" For America. Professional people go to college for years, take strenuous testing to be called a doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc. You cannot attend a six week bootcamp and be called a "teacher." I hope everyone in Cobb County rises up against this Superintendent and board and say enough is enough.
Corky Withrow
|
August 29, 2012
I can not believe anyone would be opposed to bringing in a new batch of people to try and teach. Can they do better? A good chance. And who cares if there is a budget shortage, if this gets more contributions into Mr. Morgans and his wife's coffers, it is worth all the effort! He needs to win for years so he can influence the future of our kids and his political endeavors. Let the money roll! Mr Hinajosa will be leaving to go back to TX to be with his wife anyway, but as long as he is raking in half a million a year, why should he push anything too hard. He will soon be on the TFA staff
Outside looking in
|
August 29, 2012
Sounds like a conflict of interest on Morgans Part. I guess I may support TFA if they got rid of the deadbeat teachers that do not actually teach children, but doubt that will ever happen so doubt I will ever support TFA, especially with another projected budget shortfall
TeacherInCobb
|
August 29, 2012
How does Hinojosa continue to get away this ridiculous notion? Does he not really see the sheer stupidity in this or is it just us, the teachers, that know what the heck they are doing?

Hinojosa is running around Cobb complaining that schools are like hair on fire, test scores are low, etc. And he thinks TFA is the answer? To fill teaching positions with UNTRAINED people that have not stepped into the classroom in years and have no idea of what to do? Are you kidding me? C'mon man - wake up and smell the roses.

There are people out there that have the necessary credentials to be a teacher and they can't find a teaching gig anywhere. So you hiring TFA people is a slap in the face to all those that worked hard to get a proper teaching degree.

How did you become Super anyway? I'm beginning to think good ol' boy, Freddy, wasn't all that bad. Nor the Constantinos. Jeesh.
375?
|
August 29, 2012
Next year's budget will be at least as bad as this year's, given that there is no longer any leftover SPLOST money to help cushion the blow. As a result, it is highly likely that the District will have to eliminate yet another 350 positions, hopefully through normal attrition. But, if Hinojosa wants to earmark 25 of those for TFA, that makes the magic number 375. There will likely be an additional 25 teachers on limited contract this year who will not be able to get jobs next year because of 25 reserved TFA slots.
New Board Decision
|
August 29, 2012
This should be a decision for the new Board to make in January, if not later. By that time, the budget situation will begin to be more clear for next year (probably even worse than last year, since there is no SPLOST money left to move over).
Conflict of Interest
|
August 29, 2012
Since Mr. Morgan's wife received campaign donations from TFA, and since she then used her campaign funds to pay for Mr. Morgan's $850 filing fee, Mr. Morgan should recuse himself from any voted on TFA.
ugagrad
|
August 29, 2012
Love Dr. Hinojosa's comment that he will turn the fundraising over to the Teach for America group... that says it all... then he takes no responsibility in the fiasco. Totally agree that Morgan is a snake in the grass, just serving so he can further his Charter school agenda and his wifes political ambitions. Post 3 voters and Post 5 voters get what they deserve after voting these two loons in again. Sad state of our school board when Banks and Morgan are the best they can do.
Take Heed
|
August 29, 2012
Teach For America executive director Shyam Kumar made substantial campaign donations to David Morgan through Morgan's wife; Rep Alisha Thomas-Morgan. Check CDRs...

Here you have an educational lobbyist who is a seated board member taking campaign money, (superintendent is well aware), and voting for contacts from a for-profit-company promoting acceptance of replacement teachers in Cobb County Schools. How many teaching positions were just deleted from Cobb by this superintendent? 350 and Hinojosa has already stated next year will be worse budget wise.

But no one seems to care; especially the voters of Post 3. Wow.
we'll see...
|
August 29, 2012
I wonder if Mr. Morgan would like all 25 TFA teachers in his disctrct's schools.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides