Monthly Archives: June 2012

Thank you to the many constituents that filled out a Reply Card from my May newsletter and mailed it back with answers to questions of interest to House District 46. House District 46 covers northwest Fulton, including parts of Milton, Roswell, Alpharetta and Mountain Park. The district will be re-numbered to House District 47 in January as a result of re-districting. Property Tax Rate Cap Do you support capping the property tax rate for Fulton County as the average rate of all counties bordering it? It would result in a 20% reduction and would not affect city or school board rates. 99% in favor Public Charter Schools Our November Ballot will ask voters to amend the Constitution of Georgia to allow state or local approval of public charter schools when the communities request them. Do you support more educational opportunities through charter schools? 78% in favor County Government Reform Until sufficient votes exist in the legislature to recreate Milton County,...READ MORE
House Resolution 1162 and House Bill 797 Q & A Why does Georgia need a constitutional amendment on public education this year? A divided 4-3 Georgia Supreme Court decision in 2011 jeopardized Georgia’s ability to establish statewide K-12 public education policy.  Secondarily, the decision also narrowed the state’s general ability to authorize public charter schools, an authority it had exercised for 10 years. If challenged in court, the decision calls into question whether state government has any meaningful role in public education, except, perhaps, for putting a check in the mail.  State taxpayers cover half the cost of K-12 public education through sales and income taxes. The court decision has placed state taxpayers in the questionable position of taxation without being able to demand accountability from the recipients of state monies. K-12 education accounts for almost half of the state’s $18 billion yearly budget. Without a constitutional amendment, many laws on the books that teachers and parents rely upon could be...READ MORE
Here is an evaluation performed following AJC articles regarding proposed teacher and teacher salary reductions and class size increases by Gwinnett and Atlanta Public Schools.  It demonstrates that even in these difficult economic times, Georgia students and teachers would benefit significantly if school districts with large central office staffs would redeploy funds to schools where actual learning takes place. The evaluation is based on information contained in AJC articles; federal, state and local expenditure data reported by school districts and compiled by the Georgia Department of Education; Georgia Department of Revenue millage rate, tax digest and SPLOST data; and other information compiled by the Georgia DOE, such as K-12 capitol construction bonds and graduation rates. Gwinnett Example The AJC recently published an article with the headline, “Gwinnett schools to furlough teachers again and increase class sizes.” The article said these two budgetary efforts would result in $43 million in savings to the Gwinnett district.  The district intends to continue eliminating...READ MORE
News Summaries on School Board Scandals 1. “Leasing ends up costing millions” – Gwinnett County, AJC on June 12, 2011 In June of 2011, the AJC continued their reports on Gwinnett County’s school board. They found that the county paid $12.5 million in November of 2004 for their new headquarters, which was double the amount of money the owner had paid for it a year prior. The board then sold the property for $17 million to allow the former manufacturing plant to be renovated, although Gwinnett decided to lease the property for $300,000 per month while this was taking place. In the deal, Gwinnett agreed that they would buy back the property in 2013, and even pay for all of the renovations that had occurred after they sold the property, which totaled $26.9 million. Essentially, the school board paid $73 million for a project, when it could have been completed for just $39.4 million, which is the cost of the...READ MORE