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Monday, April 19, 2010

Fulton parents seek to remove six of seven board members.

By Gracie Bonds Staples
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Fulton County parents, disappointed over recent decisions to end programs in their children’s schools, have begun efforts to remove six of seven school board members.

“They have chosen to dismantle key programs that are of value to the public,” said Bob Sieling, a parent of two district students. “We chose to dismantle the board. That’s our right.”

Allison Toller, spokeswoman for the Fulton schools, said on Saturday the board is not aware of "any effort of this nature" and would not comment further.

Sieling gathered signatures on a recall petition on Saturday at a meeting attended by more than 60 parents, who despite a 6-1 school board vote last month to approve recommended budget cuts by Superintendent Cindy Loe, are still hoping the board will reinstate the district’s popular elementary band and orchestra program.

The parents met for two hours at the Roswell Recreation Center to hatch out a game plan to make their case once more to the board when it meets Thursday at the Dunwoody Springs Charter Elementary School.

Loe recommended additional cuts last week to shore up the system's $120 million budget shortfall. Loe also recommended the board raise the millage rate by one mill, which would bring in an estimated $28 million more in revenue.

The board will consider the newest recommendations at its meeting on Thursday. However, the district is moving ahead with its plan to convert the elementary school band program into a fee-based after-school program and has asked local contractors to submit proposals to run the after-school program.

John Benham, a nationally known music consultant who has fought to save school arts programs in 47 states, including Georgia, was hired by some Fulton parents to help make their case to keep the program.

To do that, Benham said he needs additional data that the district has refused to give.

He told parents Saturday the only way for them to save the program is to turn out at Thursday’s board meeting, ask for the data he needs to finish a study of the program, and urge the board to rescind its decision until the study is complete.

Benham said board members “could turn a deaf ear but I doubt it.”

Meanwhile, Sieling circulated a petition asking for a recall of board President Linda Bryant and members Linda Schultz and Gail Dean.

He said parents also intend to mount challenges against members Katie Reeves, Catherine Maddox and Julia Bernath in the next election.

Ashley Widener, who cast the lone vote against the band proposal, would not be challenged, Sieling said.

Recall is a procedure that allows citizens to remove a public official before the end of a term of office. It is used most frequently at the local level.

According to Fulton school board attorney Glenn Brock, the group would need the signatures of 30 percent of people who were eligible to vote in the past election (about 14,000) for each board seat. The group must also have a valid legal reason to recall the board members.

Sieling says he has collected more than 100 signatures.

“The board is in a tough position, but rather than focusing efforts on dismantling programs for our children, they need to focus on the Legislature and fight for our children,” he said.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where is the link to the petition!?

Anonymous said...

Recalls must show malfeasance (misconduct) in office. Presenting a budget is within their legal duties. Vote them out!

Anonymous said...

I don't want to lose band and orchestra either. However, the funds are not there to support it. Those who are signing the petition, what would you choose to eliminate instead? How would you balance the budget if you were on the board?

Tim Enloe said...

I was shocked when I found out that parents were actually having to pay extra for their kids to be in band.

Unlike the majority of you, I actually went to school here from Alpharetta Elementary to graduating at the real MHS.

With exception of my parents paying a teacher for outside lessons, they never paid the school for my being in band ever.

Obviously what has happened is the school continued to blow more and more money on things that simply were not needed.

I mean, how many of you went to a HS that cost 100 million dollars?

They could have saved millions and, yes, even the band program as well if the board had been fiscally conservative.

For example, they could have knocked down the old MHS and rebuilt where the instituation had stood for over 100 years, but didn't.

Worse even is that Fulton County had some great teachers when I was a kid and I actually have family now teaching in the same system.

These teachers are the ones who are truly getting a raw deal and not being paid what they are worth so that kids can have jumbo trons and places to park even though the school bus goes right by their house.

Give me a good teacher with a chalk board over an average teacher with fancy everything any day of the week.

They could also have saved by building larger buildings on the same parcel. You can still have the same class size requirements (30 students per teacher, I believe is the goal)but have ten classes of history 101 at the same facility.

Not only is this approach saving the taxpayers money, it is also helping to increase community pride for that school instead of splitting allegiances.

Botton line is that Tesch, Reeves, Loe and the rest of them should be brought up on charges for misappropriation of funds and betraying public trust.

Get back to the basics of hiring good teachers to help our future flourish instead of building obnoxious behemoths that start to crumble within two years that were never needed in the first place.

Tim Enloe
Accessmilton.com
770 653 0552

Reality said...

There he goes, spouting off inaccuracies again!

Either the first graduating class of Milton was stupid since it apparently took them 40+ years to graduate or the school hasn't been there for 100 years.

Good try though Tim, I'm sure you had some folks going there for a
minute or two.

Is there really anything wrong with the school system treating band like any other after school program? You know, the ones that cost money? Don't hear anyone complaining about buying scout uniforms, cleats, lacrosse sticks, or football pads do you?

People need to stop expecting things to be given for free, it's an unfair world. Why should the school pay for things that benefit a small percentage of the students?

Anonymous said...

Sell the land they are sitting on, that they paid too much money for, is the very first thing that should be done. That $14 million for 100 + acres in Milton was a huge waste of money. Now they have no money to even build a middle school. It was reported that a little over half of the land only buidable, so they had to move the school to Bethany. Had they researched the property before they bought it, and not done a back room deal with Wernick, the BOE would have enough money to fund band and orchestra for 2 or more years or more! How many years do you think $14 Million could support of band and orchestra, or some teachers salaries?? Hold them accountable! Recall them, and AUDIT them! Let's really take a look at where our money has gone, and I mean GONE, Outta here!

Tim Enloe said...

"Reality" - you have to be the dumbest blogger I have ever come across. Congrats.

Let's discect your failed attack on me, shall we?

"Either the first graduating class of Milton was stupid since it apparently took them 40+ years to graduate or the school hasn't been there for 100 years."

- I am talking about the old location where I and the majority of Milton alumni went. Not the new location where seven families got kicked out of their homes due to the FCBOE's lack of planning and foresight. You know, the campus located in Alpharetta that is not good enough for the north fulton kids but good enough for the pregnant inner city kids?

"Is there really anything wrong with the school system treating band like any other after school program?"

Notice you didn't address the fact that I was in band in the public school system and no additional monies were needed. Funny how you skirt that FACT.

"You know, the ones that cost money?"

Explain to me why, when the system was run properly, that the FCBOE had the money for the band program, but now doesn't? It is simple - they were responsible with the taxpayers money back then. They didn't spend it on frivilous stuff like they have over the past ten years.

"Don't hear anyone complaining about buying scout uniforms"

Scout uniforms have nothing to do with the public school system unless this is yet another change from my day.

"cleats, lacrosse sticks,or football pads do you?"

The above accessories are like like purchasing a band instrument.
Just like pen / pencil / paper / book pack / for class.
I owned my instrument in the day as they were part of the make up of the program. They are an accessory to the agenda.

Note that those examples are simply part of the equipment for the program; not money to fund the program itself.

"People need to stop expecting things to be given for free, it's an unfair world. Why should the school pay for things that benefit a small percentage of the students?"

Explain to me why music / band was a class just like history when I attended, but now it is different?

Fact is you are far less knowledgeable about the history of the FCBOE, it's programs, and misuse of taxpayer funds that I am. I lived it; you obviously didn't.

I would love to debate you on video; It would allow you to have your say and points heard along with my own.

Then again, I doubt that will ever happen. The more attacks against the me and the FACTS that I share on Accessmilton.com, the more I realize that there are many cowards in this city that love to throw rocks from a moving car.

All the best -

Tim Enloe
Accessmilton.com
770 653 0552

Travis Allen said...

Tim, the first class of Milton High School did graduate in the early 50's or late 40's so this jerk...I think you'll allow me to call him that...was correct on that point, even if completely off on other accounts.

Anonymous said...

Travis, no hot dog this time.

From the book, Alpharetta, Milton County ~the Early Years~ by Connie Mashburn, Published by Donning 2008.

On the night of May 16,1922, Clyde Andrews, Dewey Burnett, and Kate Walker became the first students to receive Milton graduation certificates. Dr. M.L.Britton, the state school superintendent, spoke at the event. (page 40)

You may have been thinking about when grade 12 was added.

Anonymous said...

Where is the link to the petition!!

Travis Allen said...

Okay, so I was incorrect, own the book but haven't read it yet.

Still not 100 years.

Tim Enloe said...

All:

As soon as I find the petition, I will post it here.

I too have been in search of it!

All the best -

Tim Enloe
Accessmilton.com
770 653 0552

Karl H said...

So I suspect 100 years = hyperbole....

and Tim - you might have a better chance of finally landing that video debate with someone if you don't start the response with "you have to be the dumbest blogger I have ever come across." :-)

Tim Enloe said...

Karl:

Well said.

My apologies to all.

Tim Enloe
Accessmilton.com
770 653 0552

Anonymous said...

News flash! Tesch announced his retirement today (4-20).

The BOE does not provide funds for sports equipment. Most funds come from footbal & basketball gates plus support of booster clubs. BOE pays some part of supplement for coaches.

State of Georgia has never funded music in the elementary schools. Music is funded through local BOE budget.

Sign all the petitions you care too; it's a good way to vent, but will not remove BOE members unless their actions rise to the level of some legal misconduct. Why not offer for a BOE position in the next election?

Anonymous said...

Before you start claiming that the BoE has misused funds, have you actually looked at the revenue numbers coming in from the State level or the Fulton County tax digest? The INCOME of the system is down about $120 MILLION dollars. This has nothing to do with poor budgeting, planning, or misuse. This has to do with the entire country being in a recession and money just not being there. The BoE had to make some very difficult decisions. This was one. If you feel that the BoE is misappropriating funds, start going to community and board meetings and advocate your position. Band and orchestra is not completely out of the system, just elementary school. The middle and high school programs are still in place. In the future, before you accuse someone of misconduct, make sure you have your facts straight.

Tim Enloe said...

You obviously don’t know me very well. Therefore, I will do my best to be patient and kind. I do not speak about things unless I
know my facts. I have been there. Have you?

You state: “The INCOME of the system is down about $120 MILLION dollars. This has nothing to do with poor budgeting, planning, or misuse.”

Incorrect. Have you ever heard of saving for a rainy day? Putting money in the sofa etc? Over the last ten years, the FCBOE has spent money like every day was Christmas. They have never thought about ways to save money. They have always anticipated they would continue to get 100s of millions. Therefore, they made sure that every HS got a Jumbotron!

Let’s put things into perspective.

I went to the original Milton High. Did you?

I was there as they knocked down the old and built the new. No big deal.

Yet, Katie Reeves, Ron Tesch and the rest of their spend free klan claimed the old location wasn’t fit for students. Yet, when all was said and done and after
100 million dollars of tax payer money was wasted on the obnoxious behemoth on Freemanville, the old location suddenly came fit for students even though no moneys were spent for improvements. It is now used for the pregnant inner city kids. Used books anyone?

I know a lot about this because my mother along with other long time
residents were almost removed from their properties due to the FCBOE’s lack of planning and foresight.

I have video of the FCBOE promoting lies and half truths regarding their pathetic justification of relocating and building if you’d like to see it. In the long run, however, we did dodge a bullet thanks to the EPA, but unfortunately, seven other families on Freemanville Road did not.

I was at those meetings as families were in tears hearing that they were being forced out. Reminds me of “The Trail Of Tears.” Ever heard of it?

The FCBOE could have saved million$ by knocking down the old location and rebuilding there, but NO – they had to spend like lottery winners!

Did you also know that after this waste was opened, the FCBOE was investigated due to losing over 1 million dollars on this project?

The FCBOE also has two High Schools in Johns Creek less that one mile from one another. Talk about lighting a match to cash!

Next, were you aware of the CBS Atlanta investigation about the FCBOE spending $1.5 million more dollars on school supplies than necessary? To check it out, click here=>http://www.cbsatlanta.com/news/22304836/detail.html#

I could go on and on with other examples, but rest assured, they are there if needed.

Even without the economy in trouble, the FCBOE needs to be overhauled and YES Katie Reeves, Principle Ron Tesch, and the rest of the board needs to be removed from office due to the misappropriation of taxpayer funds and betraying the public trust.

Finally, isn't it interesting that the FCBOE is considering raising the mileage rate even though our economy is ill? Everyone else is adjusting and tightening their belts; yet the FCBOE doesn't have to? Pathetic.

Tim Enloe
Accessmilton.com
770 653 0552

Anonymous said...

Tim's telling it like it is.

Can you imagine what a Milton County Board of Education would be like?

Anonymous said...

Katie, Tim signs his name to his comments, why don't you put your name to yours.

It's okay, really, we know it's you.

Anonymous said...

Katie, Tim signs his name to his comments, why don't you sign yours?

It's okay, really, we know it's you.

Anonymous said...

Attending Board meetings and bringing this up at those meetings will accomplish what? Have you ever been to one of Katie's meetings? She knows it all, is the master of spin, and no matter what your point of view, talks down to you as if you are an idiot, especially if you get her back up against the wall. She can spin her way out of it quicker than slick. Advocating your position at one of these meetings accomplishes zero. Been there done that. Can make your point to people who refuse to listen or be criticized, they play defense and that is it when accused. The videos Enloe posted are proof of how they handle being confronted. Run and hide in the bathroom.