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DeKalb County School District – upcoming meetings and public hearings about charter school district petition
School Flexibility Option Community Engagement Sessions
The focus of these sessions is to get stakeholder input on the Local School Governance Teams (LSGTs) that will be required at each school and how those teams will have the opportunity to assist in the governance of the school and request flexibility from state law and Department of Education rules and regu-lations.
Region IV Lithonia High School Tuesday, September 29 @ 6:00 PM
Region III Stephenson High School Wednesday, September 30 @ 6:00 PM
Region II Lakeside High School Thursday, October 1 @ 6:00 PM
GA DOE has an established deadline of November 1, 2015, for submission of charter petition applications. The petition’s current draft can be reviewed at the link below It hasn’t changed since last year.
As a part of the legal obligations associated with submission of a charter application to the GA DOE, the District has requested that the Board hold two Public Hearings on October 5, 2015, with the first occurring at 1:30 PM and the second occurring at 5:30 PM. This will allow the public an opportunity to speak directly to the Board and offer input on the charter application. Finally, the District has requested that the Board hold a called meeting during the week of October 19, 2015, to allow the Board an opportunity to adopt a resolution supporting the charter application and its submission to the GA DOE.
One of the arguments against the Charter School Amendment is that it will de-fund education. The facts do not support this claim. More importantly, amendment opponents are only discussing one side of an equation.
It’s called a Balance Sheet
assets = liability + equity
Yes, if a student leaves a traditional school the local district will no longer receive state funding for this student. But the opposition fails to acknowledge that the corresponding “liability” (the cost of educating that child) is also removed from the balance sheet. Because the cost to educate that one child is greater than the amount that the state sends to the district, combined with the fact that the district will keep all of their local tax dollars; the end result is that they removed more liabilities (i.e. cost to educate) than they removed “assets” (state funding). This results in an overall improvement on their balance sheet and improved position relative to every other child in the district. They now have more money per student than they did before.
Don’t let anyone fool you – you must look at both sides of the equation.
Here’s an extremely simple example:
Before charter in district (100 students):
|State funding = 500,000 ($5000 for 100 students)||Cost of educating 100 students: $750,000|
|Local Funding = 500,000||Reserves = 250,000|
|Total assets = 1,000,000||Liabilities + Reserves = 1,000,000|
|Assets per student: $10,000|
After Charter enrolls 10 students from district:
|State funding = 450,000 ($5000 for 90 students)||Cost of educating 90 students: $675,000|
|Local Funding = 500,000||Reserves = 275,000|
|Total assets = 950,000||Liabilities + Reserves = 950,000|
|Assets per student: 10,555 (5.5% more per student after charter school)|
By Nancy Jester
Let’s set the record straight about who controls education in Georgia. Superintendents and their administrators do. Local boards of education do hire the Superintendent but once in place, these educrats are in the driver’s seat. The legal framework in our state reinforces the supremacy of the superintendent’s position relative to a board.
School system administrations choose who works in the system and what they do. We often hear that the board and administration are a “governance team”. Sadly, “the team” is dominated by board members with “Stockholm Syndrome” or they are accomplices in the abduction of local control. All of this power comes with a hefty contract that insulates superintendents and gives them a golden parachute at taxpayer’s expense even if their tenure is marked by failure. Make no mistake about it. Local control is superintendent control. If you agree with the superintendent and they are making good decisions for your particular community, you’re probably content. But, if they are not, you are in a constant struggle with little to no redress.
The charter school amendment is perceived as an existential threat to the gravy train for educrats throughout the state. That is what the fight is about. The “local control” that is hailed by the current purveyors of the fine educational products in Georgia, is “educrat control”. They push the buttons and pull the levers and try to make you believe that “stakeholders” have a say in it all. Despite state legislation on school councils, parents don’t get a seat at the table when selecting a principal for their school. In the struggle for power and control, the educrats have failed you and your children; all the while collecting fat paychecks and doling out six-figure jobs and lucrative contracts to more educrats. If you realize that your voice as a citizen is so diminished within the current power structure of education, you will know that voting for the charter amendment is one of the solutions.
Parents deserve more choices. Communities deserve more input into how their schoolhouses are run. Charter schools are innovation incubators and are governed by a volunteer group of parents, teachers and community members. That’s local control. They get to choose the companies that provide services to their school. If they do a bad job, they will lose their charter and parents will leave their school for a better product. If they are responsible and create a valuable product for their community they will thrive and our children will get the education they deserve. This responsiveness is completely missing in education today. In fact, in DeKalb we have some schools that have been labeled “failing” for as long as a decade, yet remain open with no replacement of staff. All of the “turn around” plans, accountability measures and excuses brought to us courtesy of the “local control” we have today do nothing to rid our system of failure or make it more efficient, helpful and valuable for the students and community. Please join me in supporting real local control. Please join me in advocating for kids and taxpayers in DeKalb County and throughout our state. Please join me by voting YES on the charter school amendment.