Friday, February 12, 2016
DeKalb School Superintendent Dr. Green Responds to Legislation To Reduce DeKalb School Funding
Representative Tom Taylor (Dunwoody) has introduced legislation in the GA House (House Bill 969) which would reduce the funding to DeKalb Schools by about $56 million:http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/legislation-targets-dekalb-school-funding/nqNhp/.
This legislation was discussed in this earlier article http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/legislation-would-cut-dekalb-school-funding/nqB9f/.
The measure does not apply to any other school district other than DeKalb and it offers no property tax relief. Many believe, as I do, that this legislation is a retaliatory move against the school district (i.e. our children's education) for Dr. Green's decision not to participate in the Doraville TAD: http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/news-and-events/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2015/12/Sup.-Statement-Doraville-TAD.-12-15-15FINAL.pdf.
Sen. Fran Millar, R-Atlanta, said he’d like the DeKalb school system to be more responsive to issues like a proposal to support the redevelopment of the torn-down General Motors factory in Doraville. DeKalb Superintendent Steve Green has said he won’t participate financially in the mixed-use project.
You can read Dr. Green's response to Maureen Downey of the AJC: http://getschooled.blog.myajc.com/2016/02/11/dekalb-schools-fire-back-at-legislation-cutting-its-funding-by-56-million-politics-over-pupils/
The decision not to participate in the Doraville TAD is a decision that I, and many others, support. Despite "assurances" from a school board member, a DeKalb BOC member, local and state legislators that TAD will be beneficial to the school district, I have seen no specific data that supports this, just "pie in the sky" numbers. The TAD may be a great deal for Doraville and DeKalb County, but it should not involve school district funds.
To this point, everything that I have seen and heard leads me to believe Dr. Green is nothing, if not, honorable in his attempts to bring about the needed change within DeKalb schools. He has an enormous task and to be distracted by this game-playing by politicians takes away his focus on the education of our children. I hope that the continued interference by Senator Fran Millar (Austin ES "issue" and his involvement in the reduction of funding legislation) and Rep. Taylor does not bring negative consequences to our schools in Dunwoody.
I support the Independent School District legislation that Rep. Taylor has authored. However, it might be best if another legislator takes over the responsibility for fighting this battle. I believe this stunt makes Taylor "damaged goods" and could hurt the continuing battle for ISD's.
While I believe at some point this funding legislation is the right thing to do (when the school district is on a solid footing, financially and academically), doing the right thing for the wrong reasons is never right. Even at that time, there should be a "phased-in" type of approach in order to cause the least amount of distress to the school district, i.e. the children.
at 8:35 AM