A question was brought up about whether or not SPLOST can have a lot of maintenance projects included in the list. I know that in some cases new facilities/schools are needed; but as a tax-paying citizen I am happier about things being repaired or remodeled or refurbished rather than paying to have entire new buildings being built.
The biggest mistake this county has made was in steering away from neighborhood schools and abandoning them/tearing them down and building new schools where the population is two or three fold what it was in the smaller neighborhood schools. If you have to spend millions building schools, how does that benefit the children? Even if the schools are mostly paid for, there is still the heating, cooling and other upkeep for the bigger schools. It would have cost less to repair and refurbish the existing school and have the smaller utility and upkeep costs. And even if it all added up to be comparable to the new school cost; nothing has been lost and everything has been gained by keeping neighborhoods together.
The subject of “career academies” was brought up at the meeting as well. I feel that another big mistake that Cobb schools made was in taking away the career programs in each high school. Until recently the high schools have always had two routes you could choose from: college or career. However, the Cobb schools revamped the diploma where everyone had to take college prep classes. Again, how is this in the best interest of the students? Students have many different learning styles, capabilities; and interests. Forcing them to prepare for college is not the best choice. Their high school experience ought to be one where the students are making choices about their lives. For most of them, if you let them do it while being well-informed, they will rise to the occasion and make the right choice for themselves.
Now Cobb is looking at building two career academies. Why not just incorporate the career aspect back into every high school rather than having special academies to do this? There won’t be room for every student who wants to do this with just the two academies. Isn’t this a form of segregation? Shouldn’t our schools be filled with a mix of students who wish to take different paths to their futures? Isn’t this what best prepares them for life? To mingle and have relationships with people from all walks of life so that they can better relate to all of their fellow man? That’s where the real education is.
Most decisions that we must make in life require mostly common sense. Following trends mostly leads to disappointment and failure.
Nancy Cheatham Brock Marietta