We had a terrific Coffee Talk last week. Thank you to all of our speakers and attendees! We recorded the speaking segments so you can catch up if you missed the event. Click here to view the videos and summaries. Here’s my rundown of our speakers and topics:
Thank you to Congressman Kingston for talking with us about his work at the Federal level. Congressman Kingston is a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. He is Chair of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. He works to rein in Federal spending and hold the government accountable for how they spend your tax dollars. Rep. Kingston’s discussion at Coffee Talk showed how he uses data to inform his decisions. I’m thankful we have Rep. Kingston serving our state in Washington. He is also running for the U.S. Senate. Click here to learn more about his campaign. I am thankful that Rep. Kingston joined us for Coffee Talk and look forward to seeing him again soon.
We were also fortunate to have Sen. Fran Millar and Rep. Tom Taylor, update the group on educational issues that will be important for the next legislative session, beginning in January 2014. Rep. Taylor discussed H.R. 486 – a resolution that proposes a constitutional amendment that would allow independent school districts to form in Georgia. Currently, the Georgia Constitution prohibits the formation of new school districts; capping the number of districts to the 159 county districts plus the 21 city school districts that were grandfathered in with our latest Constitution, adopted in 1983.
Kelly Cadman, VP with Georgia Charter School’s Association, Michael O’Sullivan, Outreach Director for StudentsFirst Georgia and Rich Thompson of 100Dads, gave us valuable information about Charter Schools in Georgia and the roll of parents and citizens to effect needed changes in our state’s educational structure. Ms. Cadman updated Coffee Talk on the recent submission of the first Charter School Cluster application in our state – the Druid Hills Charter Cluster. The application is now before the DeKalb County Board of Education. The Board must render a decision on the application within 90 days. Mr. Sullivan discussed the importance of parent empowerment and how you can make your voices heard at the Capitol. Rich Thompson told Coffee Talk we must improve rigor for all of Georgia’s children. He reminded us that we should be talking about “raising the bar” for all of our students rather than “closing the gap”.
Tying all of the subject matters together, Melvin Everson spoke to Coffee Talk about the connection between education and economic development. As a former Exec. Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development and the current Exec. Director of Georgia’s Commission on Equal Opportunity, he has seen first-hand when education works to unite students with a meaningful career and when our system fails to train workers for high-paying jobs that go unfilled across our state.
Stay tuned for upcoming Coffee Talks! If you would like me to come speak to your group, please email or call me.
For your calendars…
Dunwoody Chamblee Parent Council (DCPC)
September 11, 2013 at Dunwoody High School
(Note the September meeting date has been changed.)
October 2, 2013 at Huntley Hills Elementary
November 6, 2013 at Dunwoody Elementary
December 4, 2013 at Kittredge Magnet School
February 5, 2014 at location to be determined
March 5, 2014 at location to be determined
April 2, 2014 at location to be determined
May 7, 2014 at Chamblee High School
RunDunwoody – October 20th!
Click her to register for this 5K race! It’s a qualifier for the Peachtree Road Race. You can also sign-up to be part of a team challenge. The proceeds from the race go to support Rotarian efforts in local schools and law enforcement and to the world health efforts supported by Rotary. Click here to read about the specific groups and areas that benefit from this event.