Since I’ve been on an education kick for the last little bit, might as well keep the streak going. There was an interesting article in the MDJ on Thursday that covered an informational meeting about Cobb County Schools and their budget issues.
Apparently the district is going to have another budgetary shortfall for the ’14-15 school year. How much of a shortfall? $79 million.
That’s not an inconsequential number. However that is not the most glaring issue posed in the article. Indulge me for a couple quotes from the article.
Cobb school board member Scott Sweeney called on parents at a Wednesday town hall meeting to deprive Gov. Nathan Deal of another term in office if he doesn’t give the school system more money.
“Gov. Deal needs to feel uncomfortable,” Sweeney said to about 100 parents gathered at East Side Elementary School. “He needs to think the people of Cobb County will not support him unless he writes in additional funding for education. It’s a fight for dollars.”
Followed immediately by this gem.
“The second largest school system in the state of Georgia is broke. That’s alarming,” Scamihorn said.
Instead of pointing fingers at the board members for failing to balance the budget, Sweeney told parents they should be on their phones with their elected officials, asking for state funding.
So let me sum this up.
- The second largest school district in the state is broke. Not just a little late on the bills but projecting a $79 million shortfall.
- Cobb County is a Republican stronghold that prides itself on local control of it’s schools in order to create what used to be one of the best systems in the state.
- The School Board, in the spirit of local control, is blaming their inability to balance a budget on the Governor.
- Further, the school board will not address the possibility of cutting personnel at the central office. Instead they want to furlough teachers, cut direct contact jobs (teachers and para professionals), and increase class size.
The school board is shifting blame to the Governor because they can’t balance a checkbook. They also want to cut classroom time (furlough days) and teachers and not cut administration or add any similar extra responsibilities to county administration. But remember, it’s all for the children.