Home > Education, Taxes > Screwed on taxes, Screwed on Education

Screwed on taxes, Screwed on Education

July 14, 2011

It has been a while since I posted, but there are two things that everyone is talking about and I want to chime in on both

Taxes

I think any of us with a functioning brain knew that DeKalb taxes were going to go up. I don’t see how it could have been any other way. I am no anti-government squawker who believes all government is evil, but I will say that unlike private sector companies, and unlike individual’s, governments just have to vote in order to increase revenues. They don’t need to take on an extra job, they do not need to change their product line or shift their marketing strategy. They just have to say yea and it’s a done deal. That is how I knew it was a done deal. And even when they lower taxes as a gesture of “we care”, it rarely equals the increase they forced on us in the first place. I believe that taxation is part of the societal contract that we have with one another. There are certain things, like public safety,  I do not want turned over to private enterprise, and the only way to pay is through taxes. I do want to see better management of the funds they do collect. Though the CEO touts he has cut some 100 million from the previous two budgets I think he can do a little more.  I wrote a post  last year about the Georgia State study that said DeKalb could shed nearly 800 positions and still provided a decent level of service to all citizens. I would like to see the CEO put those recommendation in place. He asked us to swallow an increase, the least he could do is trim the fat in county operations. Also, I don’t think it is coincidence that the three dissenters in the group are all up for re-election in 2012. Here is where I have to wonder about motives. Of course Boyer would vote against a tax increase, that’s her thing. But Barnes-Sutton and May make me wonder if they did the math and knew that they could dissent knowing that the increase would make it through, thereby giving them cover next year to say they voted against a tax increase. Barnes_Sutton may be trying to mitigate damage for the bad check scandal, and Lee May might have his eyes on an even bigger prize. It would not surprise me. The only one to vote for increase and is up for re-election was Kathie Gannon.

Education

Everybody is up in arms about the APS scandal and the cheating on CRCT tests by teachers and administrators. It is a sad thing when people we trust our kids education with would betray them and us in such a way. They have sent a decade’s worth of children into possible poverty, crime, and hopelessness. Not all of the children touched by the scandal will end up that way, but I cannot wait until the report or documentary comes out examining what happened to the children who attended some of the schools with the most egregious offenses. That brings me to DeKalb and South DeKalb in particular. At the same time revelations about APS started to bubble up, DeKalb also was in the mix along with a few other systems. In fact, the principal at Atherton resigned and was arrested for falsifying documents in 2009. Now there is no proof as of yet that the state or the media found any systemic problems in DeKalb, but that does not mean it isn’t a problem. I do know that local media are looking harder at all the systems who were in the original report, so do not be shocked if DeKalb gets hit by this wave too. In fact this open letter sent to the AJC by the DeKalb County School Watch blog  could stir up the hornets’ nest and reveal some unpleasant information. In the end, we do not know what these children would have done later on in their academic careers, but what these teachers and administrators did was to take from them the  possibility of  academic success. They passed them along knowing they were not properly prepared. These are men and women who turned their backs on the very children they were suppose to prepare for the harsh reality of real life. Instead of preparing them, they turned into a bunch of Judas’ and handed over these childrens future to the streets and ultimately the justice system.

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  1. Concerned DeKalb County School System Parent
    August 9, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Please consider a post letting concerned parents and other citizens know about the approval rating poll in progress now by Parents for DeKalb County Schools. DeKalb School Watch has posted info about the group and the poll:

    http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2011/08/approval-rating-poll.html

    From what I understand, it’s very important that the poll reach all of the county.

  2. Just Watch
    July 17, 2011 at 5:54 am

    If there is widespread cheating in DCSS, there is a bigger problem, because we aren’t even cheating well! The test scores in S. DeKalb, with the exception of the theme schools, are absolutely dreadful. We can’t expect perfect test scores, but shouldn’t these schools be doing as well as the similar schools in Clayton?

    As a system, our CRCT scores are worse than Clayton and Atlanta in most cases.

    Parents should do a better job parenting but citizens in S. DeKalb have to do a better job electing stronger board members. If Cunningham and Copelin-Woods had both lost, I imagine we would have already had an outside superintendent who would have cleaned house and started us on the way to a better outcome.

    I believe that until S DeKalb parents begin to hold the system accountable for the dreadful results their children are having and work to be partners with their schools, nothing is going to change in DeKalb. At every board meeting, there should be a line of S. DeKalb parents speaking about school climate issues, teacher and principal quality issues, etc.

    John Evans, who spoke so passionately about his grandson in June at the board meeting, ought to be leading protests in the street about the quality of the schools.

  3. Bernadette Wilson Cotton
    July 14, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Regarding education, I don’t know if Dekalb’s cheating is to the extent of APS but if you look at the recently released CRCT scores you will see that we have major problems in the South Dekalb elementary and middle schools. The fact is that our children are not learning. I know many great teachers in south Dekalb schools and I know some that should not ever step foot in a classroom. I also know that we have a lot of apathetic parents who put more effort into washing their cars than they do their child’s education.

    • July 14, 2011 at 10:07 pm

      I agree with all your points, especially parents who care more about their cars than their child’s education

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