Opinion: If governor wants more opportunity for poor Georgia kids, give parents $8,000 to choose education path

Glenn Delk is an Atlanta lawyer and long-time advocate for parental choice in education.

In this essay, he urges Gov. Nathan Deal to embrace education savings accounts, which allow families to use the state money allotted for their children’s k-12 schooling for a variety of educational options, including private school tuition, homeschooling or online classes.

By Glenn Delk

Gov. Nathan Deal, in promoting his Opportunity School District, said Georgia has a moral duty to assist children trapped in failing schools.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval speaks to students, teachers and others in the library at Reno High School after signing into law on Monday, June 8, 2015, a measure creating millions of dollars in incentives to combat the state's teacher shortage. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval  said new education measures in his state, including education savings account, will lift Nevada from the bottom ranks. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)

Previously, in December 2012, he established the Complete College Georgia Plan pursuant to which the University System of Georgia committed to a goal of at least 60 percent of all 9th grade students by 2018 achieving a two or four-year college degree.

However, despite 20 years of school reform, as well as passage of the HOPE Scholarship, the  number for all students achieving the governor’s goal is 9 percent; for minority students, the number is 2 percent. Many believe that to come close to achieving the governor’s laudable objective Georgia needs to give all students “Early Hope.”

While the Opportunity School District — if passed by the voters in 2016 — will assist students in up to 100 failing schools, it will aid at most 50,000 students annually; by some estimates, the state has over 500,000 students attending “D” or “F” schools.

Clearly, given the dismal number of Georgia students receiving a college degree, we’re not preparing all students for post-secondary work. However, recent developments in other states illustrate a possible solution.

Within the last two weeks, the Nevada Legislature passed Senate Bill 302 establishing education savings accounts (“ESAs”), and Gov. Brian Sandoval signed the bill into law, thereby making Nevada the first state in the country to offer universal school choice to nearly 500,000 children.

Under Nevada’s plan, poor students will receive 100 percent of the state per pupil funding, with everyone else getting 90 percent, with the estimated average being $5,000 per student. Nevada’s actions are just the beginning of a groundswell of similar legislation throughout the country. Arizona and Florida already have limited ESAs; Mississippi and Tennessee just passed special needs ESAs.  A liberal Democrat, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, is leading a diverse coalition of more than 100 organizations pushing for passage of New York’s version.

Last year, Gov. Sandoval and his Republican colleagues in the Nevada Legislature took control of the governor’s office and both Houses for the first time since 1929. Within six months of taking office, they passed SB 302, showing the rest of the country that:

  • School choice is a winner politically, as well as from a policy standpoint
  • ESAs, as well as all forms of school choice, are favored by 70 percent of all Americans according to most polls, including those conducted by Democrats
  • ESAs are consistent with the American Dream
  • ESAs are clear, simple and easy to understand
  • ESAs give all parents  the ability and responsibility, for the first time, of owning their child’s education, motivated to choose the highest quality education for each child at the lowest possible cost, since any savings roll-over to pay for college.

Georgia should pass its own version of ESAs, setting funding at $8,000 for low-income students, and $7,000 for everyone else.  Assuming the funds only came from annual state k-12 education budget of $7.5 billion, the state would dedicate up to $4 billion annually to fund ESAs for low-income students and $3.5 billion annually for all other students.

Depending on the demand, the state could create up to 500,000 ESAs of $8,000 each for poor students and up to 500,000 ESAs of $7,000 each for all other students. If ESAs were funded to capacity, it would still leave 700,000 students attending traditional district-run schools, with funding, exclusive of federal funds, of $8 billion in local property tax funds, or $11,428 per student.

The Georgia Student Finance Commission could easily administer the ESAs through the use of debit cards restricting use of the funds to pre-approved categories. Now, the commission administers, amongst other programs, the HOPE Scholarship, with a stated mission of “promoting access to education beyond high school for Georgians.”

All Gov. Deal and the General Assembly would need to do is delete “beyond high school” from the mission to make it applicable to all Georgians from kindergarten through college.

During the 2014 race for governor, PolitiFact Georgia — which checks statements of candidates, politicians and special interests and assigns them a “Truth-O-Meter” rating — challenged an ad by Gov. Deal which featured former Gov. Zell Miller saying:  “HOPE was a big achievement for Georgia. But when it ran into trouble and headed for bankruptcy, Nathan Deal rose to the challenge.  Now, thanks to Nathan, HOPE is available for the next generation.” After “fact-checking,” the AJC concluded that Gov. Deal, with a little help, saved the HOPE Scholarship.

{From Maureen: The Deal campaign ad was one of many from both camps examined by PolitiFact during last year’s campaign. PolitiFact stated: “Deal made changes that eased financial pressures on the popular HOPE scholarship. But he also changed the program significantly. The program is still making higher education more affordable for many students, though not as many as before. Miller makes a valid argument here: Deal — with a little help — saved the HOPE scholarship. But Miller’s declaration needs a bit of context to be fully understood. We rate his statement Mostly True.”}

ESAs represent a natural extension of Gov. Deal’s actions in saving HOPE by making “Early Hope” available to students to enable them and their families to choose the best education, public, charter, private, etc. to prepare and qualify for the HOPE scholarship, as well as succeed in completing college.  According to some estimates, since HOPE was passed more than 20 years ago, more than $15 billion has provided 1.5 million students.

Now is the time to provide $7.5 billion annually in “Early Hope” to a million students in the form of ESAs. If we do so, in 20 years Georgians will rightfully give Gov. Deal the same praise heaped on Zell Miller.

Most importantly, Georgia would become the first state in the history of the United States to give all students from kindergarten through college, regardless of race, income or zip code, an equal opportunity to pursue their version of the American Dream.

 

 

 

Reader Comments 0

184 comments
keithbusting
keithbusting

So typical of a lawyer. I wonder if he attended private school or was home-schooled?

jerryeads
jerryeads

Ty's article in today's print paper - P.1 Metro - reports on a Georgia State University study finding to no surprise that Georgia's state funding for K-12 public education is close to the bottom of the barrel. 40th out of 50 at $4,466 per kid. Average is $6,189.

When locals have the tax base to make up for the state's dereliction, many kids do pretty well. We usually point to Gwinnett and Fulton and a few of the smaller metro districts. The best of the publics go head to head with the swankiest, most egregiously expensive ($20-24k, as I remember) privates. Given the high end metros spend only $8-10k total on a kid, you don't have to be a statistician or economist to figure out those parents are getting a pretty good deal. Many kids from the upper crust publics head to schools (more than a few with full rides) far crustier than Georgia's Tier 1's.

And I've heard only too many reports of kids coming from private schools transferring into the public high schools being a year and even two years behind the kids who have come through the public system. Simply, those kids were shortchanged for life for their parent's delusions about private schooling. Outer, you're welcome to spend twice as much on your kid's schooling to get what you could get at a Gwinnett or Fulton public. Too bad you spent all that on K-12 when you could have sent your kid to (e.g.) Harvard for far less.

All that, of course, doesn't address or excuse how we've so egregiously left behind the kids in so many rural schools, or those kids ruined by decades of criminal neglect in our infamous inner city district. We do indeed have work to do, and the solution is not the delusionally simplistic fantasy of privatization.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@jerryeads


"And I've heard only too many reports of kids coming from private schools transferring into the public high schools being a year and even two years behind the kids who have come through the public system."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


So have I known this, as far back as 1975 when I diagnosed this myself as a leader in the continuous progress school which I have often mentioned here, and as late as two years ago when I heard of an individual case  from people I know in south Georgia about some high school student who had transferred from a private to a public school there, and was doing well above average in the private, church school but was behind in the public school when diagnostic testing was done.

PJ25
PJ25

Funny how it's 2015 and many have yet to figure out throwing money at the education problem generally doesn't work. 


Unless you are paying the money for your kids to go to private schools. 

anothercomment
anothercomment

Here is what is so out, of sink the current property valuations. Fulton County has valued every 50 -55 year old house in my 20 or so house subdivision wether they have ever been renovated or not at $500k to $650k. Many of these houses surprisingly have the original pink and green bathroom tiles, but the owners have pride and manicure the yards. So it retains its beauty. Less than a 1/4 mile away up the road turn the corner and you hit the first Class "C" apartment complex. It sits on a little over 3 acres and has 66 apartments. Even though these apartments last sold for $2.5 million in 2010 or 2011 at a Foreclosure sale, Fulton County only has them at an tax value of $2.1 million or less than $35,000 per apartment. The apartments are about 1,000 SF each built in 68 so they are large by today's standard. ( I can't tell from the tax record if they are 2 or 3 bedrooms just that they average out to a little over 1,000 per apartment, which is a large apartment). Every house in my neighborhood is valued for more than what they were purchased for, even the recent sales) Miraculous gains far beyond published appreciations.

Not a single parent in my neighborhood currently feels that they can put their children in the Middle or High schools. We are zoned to a different elementary school, that mostly avoids the apartments and is rated either an 8/9. The apartments and the rest of that street continues with class C after class C apartments until you get to a Target and major shopping center that was renewed within the last 5 years. They are zoned to an elementary school that is only a 3/10. But we are all zoned to the same Middle and High school. Along with students from 2.5 other elementary schools. I tried to send my daughter to public school for middle school but it was awful. All the apartment kids did from all the 2.5 out of 3.5 schools that have class C apartments is cause chaos for the students who wanted to learn. The students who want to learn are primarily the 24% who do not qualify for free lunch, the students of the parents who work hard and own their own homes wether they be white, black, Asian, purple or any colorful mix. It all boils down to pride and the ownership society.

I hear over and over that renters pay taxes, but when apartments are so undervalued, at $35k, that is less than $250-300 in school taxes per apartment. These class C apartments in many cases have 2-4 students plus per apartment. Then the homes even the modest ones ITP are paying a minimum of $4,500 in school tax with many paying $7,500- 10,000 plus. Then you have no children out of twenty homes in middle or high school. Maybe one or two in the 8/9 out of 10 elementary.

The credit should be the same across the board. $8,000 won't touch an ITP private school. It won't touch a Catholic High school and they are modest compared to Westminster and Woodward. If you pay more for school taxes, you should also be able to get that amount back.

There should not be a disincentive for having pride in ownership and keeping up your house.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

I believe that it will be the African-American citizens of this nation, if they practice the loving spirit in the face of evil that was perpetrated upon 9 of the church members in Charleston, SC, who will be the soul of this nation, and who will save it from itself, and save the heart and spirit of the Declaration of Independence as a model for all nations of this world. 

keithbusting
keithbusting

@MaryElizabethSings


What about the non African-Americans who happen to be white?  Time for them to step up to being the soul of this nation and save the heart and spirit of the Declaration of Independence.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

By the way, Delk's plan would provide 4 million for poor kids and 3.5 million for non-poor kids.  Why not the WHOLE THING for poor kids? Surely we have many, many of them who are deserving?  But, like the private school tax credit, THAT IS NOT THE IDEA!  The idea is to get public citizens' money for non-poor kids' education! While the rest of us make up the money.


Keep your hands off our tax money!  Rich and middle class families need to provide for themselves.  If they don't have the money to afford schooling for their kids, THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE HAD THEM!


Wait, where have I heard that before?  Sarcasm ON

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@Wascatlady


The private school tax credit also uses the OECD Modified scale to determine household income. This scale seems to drastically reduce the appearance of household income making incomes look lower than they actually are.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

It would be nice to see if Mr. Delk's plan would help academic performance. Maybe if he could be so kind as to provide a link to the performance increases in the students who benefit from the 58 million $ private school tax credit each year. Please check my math, but I calculate that every household, on average has to pay an extra 16 dollars per year to make up for the tax credit. I know that there may be some savings in this plan but I don't believe we have access to the data that would allow us to determine that.

class80olddog
class80olddog

So how much did you put in your calculations for the savings to the traditional schools that did not have to educate those kids?

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@class80olddog 


Due to the requirements and data for students using the scholarships there is no way to tell. A student does not have to enroll or be enrolled in public school to get the scholarship.

popacorn
popacorn

Again, check SAT and IQ scores for teachers, especially elementary school teachers. Smart moms can give their kids better educations than they'll receive at school. Not only do we hold some students to impossible-to-achieve standards, perhaps we hold the current crop of teachers to standards which , for them, are intellectually impossible. In other words, the last folks to whom we should turn to solve these problems are, ironically, the folks who have the problem. 

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@popacorn 

Then require the home-schooling moms to submit their SAT and IQ scores also to some certifying board.

popacorn
popacorn

@OriginalProf

A board of educators? Then you have the same problems, plus the probability that the one deciding your childs future is not nearly as bright as the kid's mom. Or the kid, for that matter. 

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@popacorn @OriginalProf 

How about the Ga. BOE, since they have to maintain the parent's Declaration of Intent records in order to home-school in the first place? Your suggestion to home-school...

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@popacorn @OriginalProf


Pop - you seem to be advocating for pay increases for teachers as raising the SAT/ACT score requirement for certification would increase scarcity of teachers. Please be aware that  reformers who donate to politicians have no reliable performance data to support academic improvement for all students in an existing population, and care less about student performance that making money. That is what businesses do and school reform is a business. Look at it this way - a business person says "I might not be able to improve student performance, but I can make a whole lot of money off the scheme, so what's the problem?" 

popacorn
popacorn

@AvgGeorgian

Whatever it takes to get smart people teaching kids.There are 20 million videos of smart people available on YouTube. Khan Academy has lots of smart people teaching. Parents, hopefully two of them, are smart people, sometimes. Put all of the above together, and you have the potential for a very smart education. Honestly, who wouldn't want the smartest people teaching their kids?

popacorn
popacorn

@Quidocetdiscit

Ok, I admit it. Its my fault that we can't attract the best and brightest. And as far as the IQ thingie, I believe you. But what's scary is that if every teacher that said they had a high IQ really did have a high IQ, then basic math says that some teachers are in the Down's Syndrome range. They would have to be to give the averages seen. For the most part, they are the object of my wrath. 

Astropig
Astropig

@popacorn @Quidocetdiscit


@Pops


There are people teaching that shouldn't be teaching-but not because they are not smart. They are teaching because "their mother wanted them to become a teacher",or, they always wanted to be a teacher because they thought it looked interesting or whatever. In other words, they're doing it for a reason other than their passion for teaching. They don't necessarily make good teachers.They're good people, but they're in the wrong line of work. It happens.



@Quido- If you have nothing better to do than stalk a couple of posters posts looking for something to complain about-then you're here for the wrong reason.Pops made a PERFECTLY valid point a couple of times here on this topic and all you can do is ad hominem  him all day without addressing his idea. You seem to have become what you beheld.How about putting a better idea on the page instead of just tearing down others thoughts? Maybe you can put some of that superior intellect to work winning the debate.


Astropig
Astropig

@AvgGeorgian @popacorn @OriginalProf


"Please be aware that  reformers who donate to politicians have no reliable performance data to support academic improvement for all students in an existing population, and care less about student performance that making money."


I'd really like to see any proof you could offer for such a statement. Til then, let me try my hand at this.


"Please be aware that education advocacy groups only donate to political candidates that will give them more money,eliminate all objective performance standards and empower a wildly overpaid bureaucracy to allow failed educators a sinecure for thei declining years"


Wow. This making stuff up is easy.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Astropig @popacorn @Quidocetdiscit


"Maybe you can put some of that superior intellect to work winning the debate."


Astro,


I am not here to "win" anything, which I think may be a problem with some posters.  This is not a "win/lose" scenario  If it were, that would suggest that educational issues have easy solutions.  They do not.  There is no "silver bullet".  I wish there were, but REAL educational reform with REAL results will require  multi-level, multi directional SOCIETAL LEVEL solutions. No talking points.  


I respond to folks at they choose to post.  If posters actually engage in civil thoughtful debate, then I will discuss the issues they raise.  If they decide to post snarky quips and ridiculous assertions, then I will address that.


BTW, do you honestly consider stating that teachers in general are low IQ (without offering ANY proof or a possible solution to this supposed problem) is really a "perfectly valid point"?  


Are there low IQ teachers?  Oh, sure there are.  There are also some very bright, very capable teachers with high IQs.  There are also a lot of very capable teachers with IQs could not begin to guess.  There are high IQ teachers who can't teacher their way out of a paper bag.  In other words, teachers are no different than ANY OTHER PEOPLE ON THE PLANET!  IQ should not be the determining factor.  (Though teachers with higher intelligence are more likely to make better educators than those with low IQs... I will give you that... )  Ability to teach should be the determining factor.  How do we measure that?  Well, THAT is the question the hour.  


I can tell you one thing.  You are not going to attract smart, hardworking, dedicated individuals to the teaching profession by going around constantly suggesting teachers are stupid, lazy, overpaid, underworked, greedy, morons.  THAT is a fact.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Astropig @popacorn @Quidocetdiscit 

Astropig, do face it even though you may agree with his sniping: popacorn is the one who follows around certain teacher-bloggers--yes "stalk" is a good word here--and  undercuts what they say. His message is constantly negative about teachers...it almost sounds like there is a PTSS on the subject from earlier school days. It gets tiresome and wipes out any good he might suggest. The messenger becomes the message....

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Quidocetdiscit 


Thank you for speaking truth with such clarity and commitment.  You have spread much light upon the darkness.  You are a true teacher.

popacorn
popacorn

@OriginalProf @Astropig @popacorn @Quidocetdiscit

I am confused with all my diagnoses, Nurse Ratched. PTSS, narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, lack of empathy, and, my fav, womb-envy. All from a teacher. A teacher! Don't flatter yourself by thinking I 'stalk' you. I have a very accurate 'Pompous Poop Detector'. When I read/smell it, I respond. No ivory tower air fresheners in the real world, Nurse.

On the plus side, the meds you prescribed are working. 

I..feel..much ..bett…..

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@popacorn @OriginalProf @Astropig @Quidocetdiscit 

Gee, this post of yours seems to prove some of those things...I don't know what  your problems are, but I never accused you of "womb-envy." (This is an appropriate day to bring up the subject, which means "male envy of women because men can't have babies.") I mentioned the term as a balance to some poster accusing another of "penis envy."

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@popacorn


"Ok, I admit it. Its my fault that we can't attract the best and brightest."


Pops,


It is not "your fault" per se.  But your negative attacks are symptomatic of an overall attack on this profession which has been going on for some time now.  The amount of misinformation found on the internet only exacerbates the situation.  Some teaches end up in the news on child molestation charged, and suddenly "every" teacher is a pedophile.  Someone knows a teacher who makes $5,000 a month in retirement, and suddenly "every" teacher is rolling in dough with gold plated pensions.  Someone finds one teacher who makes $130,000 a year, and suddenly "every" teacher is making obscene amounts of money on the taxpayer's dime. People like to post the "average" teacher salary and compare it to the "average" general salary without bothering to tease out administrators salaries from the mix, not to mention the average US salary also includes all those who do not have advanced degrees or even college degrees.  People go on and on about "failing" schools, without mentioning all the schools that are doing a very good job. People consistently blame teachers and the system for "failing schools" while ignoring overwhelming data that is it POVERTY that is most indicative of whether a student will succeed or fail.  Then people use all these misrepresented "facts" to attack the entire public school system nationwide.  They don't honestly try to solve problems, they just lump the entire system into one easy to dismiss category of "failing" and then propose ways to "fix" things which usually involve those who are proposing changes ending up reaping some kind of rewards, either monetary or political, from those suggested changes. 


Donning my tin hat, so bear with me:   The attacks on the teaching profession have been used to undermine and destroy the teacher unions and tenure programs, making it far easier to exploit educators.  Interestingly, I now see the same types of attacks being aimed at our police forces - which just happen to be one of the few public unions (along with teachers) and public funded services still functioning intros nation.  (I am not arguing that there are not serious problems within our police forces - there are - just as there are real problems facing our educational systems - but that is for another time.)  Now, I suddenly see the narrative arriving that ALL police are corrupt and ALL police officers are "bad"... reminds me off all the anti- teacher rhetoric over the past few years... So I wonder.... how long will it be before some "concerned" reformers start stepping forward with private sector "solutions" to the problems with our police forces, and suggesting we need to get rid of the police unions?  How long before some start proposing "private" police forces funded by taxpayer money? 


Let's consider what has happened to the prison system, which used to be mostly public.... now many prisons are run by "private" for profit companies paid by taxpayers' funds. And what is happening as a result?  Well those prisons are proving to be VERY profitable to certain members of the upper crust, while prisons fill with low level drug offenders and conditions become more and more unbearable for inmates, but who cares...they are all criminals, so why should we care if prisons in Texas have no air conditioning in the middle of summer or prisoners can't get treated for medical conditions and die or treatable conditions?  Can't do the time, don't do the crime, as they say.... right?


People need to start connecting the dots and realizing all of this is deliberate.  While folks rant and rave about silly side distractions, our nation is being stolen right out from under us and put under the control of a very few. 


An educated populous is one of the ways we can continue to fight against this insidious creeping illness... and no, it is not "liberals" who want an undereducated public so they will continue to vote "democratic".  And no, it is not "conservatives" who want a dumbed down public so they will not realize what is happening around them... make no mistake, it is those in power and who want to consolidate that power and the money who have a vested interested in keeping us ALL in the dark.


Okay... off with my tin hat for now.

popacorn
popacorn

@OriginalProf

Relax, Nurse, I'm not going to run tattle to Maureen about all of your name-calling. Fire away!

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@popacorn @OriginalProf 

"Relax, Nurse Ratched..." yeah, right, no name-calling.


And btw, I didn't accuse you of stalking me, or of having the "dark triad of personality traits" (unless you are admitting to being an Internet troll), or of having PTSS about teachers...Guilty conscience much?

Starik
Starik

@Quidocetdiscit @popacorn I have had two opportunities to judge teachers, my schooling and my kids. Both times I encountered some wonderful teachers and some who shouldn't have been permitted to teach. 


Different ethnic groups were involved; in the old days most of the worst teachers were white and male, and their primary interest was in whatever they were coaching.  More recently most of the awful ones were black, as were some really good ones. Coaches were better, but still included a few bad ones. 


Upgrade your profession. "Q," you're clearly a good one, probably a great one, and underpaid.  If we let the coaches coach and stay out of the classroom and screened the classroom teachers to exclude the undereducated and those without academic knowledge maybe the public would force the pols, even the Georgia variety, to pay much better. 



Georgia pays all it's non-political employees badly.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@popacorn 


You say you want "smart people" teaching children, yet you continually attack, insult and  degrade teachers.  You treat us like dirt and then expect to attract the best and brightest?  Really?


BTW, my IQ puts me above the 95%.  What about yours?

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Unable to reply below - 


To Astro -


Astro - don't know if you saw the same link I did. This could possibly construed as profiting from vouchers and charters - 

"Current scope is heavily focused on education, both "not-for-profit", and commercial.


Expert in charter school law, school choice, vouchers, legislation, and representation of education professionals.

We have formed numerous education related entities, perfected charter school document sets, acted in both an advisory and Board capacity. We can assist on facilities related financing, operating financing, acquisitions, EMO/CMO contract negotiations for either party. When necessary we can advise on litigation in all areas, whether local or in remote jurisdictions.

We have sources for other professionals, including curriculum, staffing, Board member recruitment, software and systems, back office assistance and mergers, both commercial and not-for-profit"

Astropig
Astropig

@AvgGeorgian


" This could possibly construed as profiting from vouchers and charters - "


I construe it as him doing what he is trained for and has a passion to do. I would certainly want you to follow the same path and I wouldn't begrudge you a nickle of your pay.


It also says (and you quote) that he is an expert in charter school law. I'm going to listen to him before I listen to you vis a vis charter schools any day of the week.


Look, we get it. No need to belabor the point. You feel some threat to some little corner of your financial well being because of parental empowerment. Got it. But...


The public schools are owned in common with the entire public, including people with no kids,19 kids,whatever.The only process we have to make changes (when changes need to be made) is the political process.People that think that they alone know how schools should be run usually have an agenda that is very self serving. I've said for eons that if the education establishment has a better plan than what is being implemented, let's see it. So far,their "plan" is to call Nathan Deal a crook and recruit embarrassingly bad candidates to run against him. He got a suggestion from the author of the article. Don't know if he will take it, but I say let the guy do his job and judge him on election day.


I'll now pass the collection plate after today's sermon. 

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@Astropig @AvgGeorgian


You totally missed the point. I have no feelings about Mr. Delk's business. I do feel however that a "printed" opinion piece by the AJC should give warning that the writer makes a living off the topic posted. It is a standard disclaimer procedure in the news business and allows readers to consider possible profit motive as they assess the article.

Astropig
Astropig

@AvgGeorgian @Astropig


" I have no feelings about Mr. Delk's business. I do feel however that a "printed" opinion piece by the AJC should give warning that the writer makes a living off the topic posted. "


Sounds like your issue is with The AJC,not Mr. Delk.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@Astropig @AvgGeorgian


I fault Mr. Delk for his lack of transparency if he is representing himself only as a concerned citizen. I do not fault him if he is simply using the AJC to drum up business, add to his resume, and promote his business with free "opinion piece" advertising-that is what businesses do. I fault the AJC in either scenario for not better informing readers.

straker
straker

ColonelJack - "the prevailing political wind"


This is not confined to public schools.


Every corporation I ever worked for had the same atmosphere and you had to live by your wits just to stay employed.

ColonelJack
ColonelJack

Wow.  Just ... wow.


I'm so glad I don't teach in public schools any more.  Everyone has their own little fiefdom that they want to defend against any attack, real or perceived.  And woe be upon the teacher who just tries to get his/her job done to the best of their ability, and who falls afoul of the prevailing political wind.  That's all these "fixes" and "reforms" and "commissions" and all that other claptrap add up to, folks.  Politics.  Nobody gives a tinker's damn about the children, not down deep where it counts.  They're only concerned with their little fiefdom and the politics that will enable it to continue.  


They don't print enough money to get me to go back into that cesspool the public education has become. 


Fix the problems?  People can't even agree on what the problems ARE, much less how to attack and fix them.  

class80olddog
class80olddog

@ColonelJack 

"Fix the problems?  People can't even agree on what the problems ARE, much less how to attack and fix them. "

Well said, coloneljack! 


The really sad thing is that teachers really know what the problems are (although most won't admit it and choose to blame money issues instead).  Occasionally I have had teachers break down and admit what I talk about as issues (discipline, attendance, social promotion) ARE really issues that need to be dealt with.


The trouble is that these problems are HARD to deal with - they require LOTS of intestinal fortitude, which apparently administrators do not have.


I became absolutely livid when I heard from a couple of teachers about how they could not call the school resource officer if a fight broke out in their room.  Good grief!  Talk about total dysfunction!

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@AvgGeorgian


Thanks, AvgGeorgian. Your telling link about attorney Glenn Delk informs this retired public school teacher quite a bit.  As a result, I'm going to "keep on, keeping on" in speaking out in behalf of not-for-profit traditional public schools, where I had worked for 35 years of my life.  My goal was to spend a career in education in which I could help uplift whole communities as a public servant, paid by public taxes, only, in order to serve students well.

Astropig
Astropig

@MaryElizabethSings @AvgGeorgian


Yes, thanks <Avg Georgian, you've proved conclusively that Delk has a Linked In account.


He's a lawyer. He does legal work. I'm not sure why that should set you off so much. DeKalb County probably spends more in two days on frivolous law assistance than this guy makes in a year. That money could be used to improve their schools,but it's being paid to lawyers.

CatherineCollingwood
CatherineCollingwood

Reality check: $8,000 per year will not help a poor family swing $40,000 a year in tuition and fees.  It's just a way for those on the right to "feel good" about taking money out of public schools instead of working to fix them.

Batgirl2
Batgirl2

@CatherineCollingwood Not only will poor families not be able to afford the remaining tuition, private schools are very unlikely to accept poor kids unless they have some great talent.