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Parents might not agree with choice of school calendars

Posted: April 18, 2012 - 12:00am

Editor:

I think your opinion about the school calendar might be a little out of touch with the parents and employees of the Columbia County school system. I have not found one parent who received the choices for a start date for the school year. Attendance is a part of Adequate Yearly Progress; therefore, parents no longer have the luxury of taking their children out of school for a family event without being sent to Juvenile Court Judge Doug Flanagan for excessive absences. It doesn’t matter if the child is doing well in school, just that they have unexcused absences. So it might matter to the parents when the school year starts.

While most households consist of two parents working outside the home, it would be nice if the educational system does not lose sight that the family unit is the strong foundation that is given to the students who attend their schools. Without downtime, it can become stressful on the family unit.

Back to instruction time. I believe your piece could have been more productive on the subject of increased class sizes and the reduction in teachers and paraprofessionals in the system. In a March 22 article in The Augusta Chronicle about schools performing poorly, Columbia County had two out of the seven schools listed. Last year we had to wait for summer school graduates to see if Evans High School was a passing or a failing school. All the signs are there that we still keep going in the same direction. We keep administrative costs high while chipping away at our classrooms and our teachers. I found it appalling that, according to the Web site that lists school system employees’ salaries, our superintendent has gone up in pay every year from 2008-11, even in years when teachers and school employees were furloughed.

If you are so concerned with the educational value of our school system, why don’t you do an investigative piece on administrative costs of our county and see where the money is? I can assure you, it is not with the teachers or the students.

As Superintendent Charles Nagle said at one of the board meetings concerning increased class sizes, “This is getting the most bang for the buck.” He also stated “that our county pays less than any other county in the state per student for education.” What am I missing? Aren’t we in the business of educating children?

Why isn’t anyone asking if we are getting the most bang for our buck at the top level? If there is no money for books, why is our superintendent making $190,000 a year plus travel? Do you realize that the deputy superintendent and the associate/assistant superintendents make a combined income of $472,000. That is more than half a million dollars for five employees. Throw in the county controller, who also makes more than $100,000, and you have almost $1 million for six people. Why aren’t you writing about that?

This is why I hope the citizens of Columbia County vote for charter schools in November. This will give the parents, teachers and business leaders a voice in the schools their children attend, without being bullied by a school system that does not get involved with micromanaging the employees, the parents or the students. If charter schools are not what you want, then please vote for board members who do some information-gathering so they are able to make informed decisions instead of decisions based on what is spoon-fed to them by the administrative staff of the school system.

As Gaudi stated, “Courage, endurance, fearlessness, and above all self-sacrifice are the qualities required of a true leader.” Where is the self-sacrifice of our leaders? Why are the school employees, teachers, students and parents doing all the sacrificing? We should ask this question when we vote for the people who will represent us at the federal, state and local levels. If they put themselves before us, they don’t deserve our vote.

Sissy Hobbs

Martinez

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Comments (5)

christyanne76

Absences

You won't just find yourself before the Judge for excessive absences in regards to vacations. My son had trigeminal neuralgia...face swelled up...excruciating pain. When Columbia County's "finest" came to the home about his absences (which the school was aware of via doctor's notes) I was told the officer did not care what the problem was...it was "excessive". Not to even mention that the school will allow the children to call you when they "just don't feel good" (ie: want to come home) they will call repeatedly to your job, both the child and the office staff, until you pick them up...next thing you know...truancy officers are at your home.

Craig Spinks

Sissy,

Our school board attorney received $201K in FY2011. But we got off lightly. He charged the RCBOE $608K in the same fiscal year.

Craig

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

Craig Spinks

Sissy,

Our school board attorney received $201K in FY2011. But we got off lightly. He charged the RCBOE $608K in the same fiscal year.

Craig

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

Spelunkerman

Charter Schools are FUBAR

Why do parents think they know more about educating children than educators? That's like stating I know more about cardiothoracic surgery than a surgeon.
Charter Schools are a bad idea. They take moneys from an already overburdened system and redistribute them to those who think they are in a better position to make educational decisions. Look at the unbiased research and you will find Charter Schools DO NOT perform better, actually at the same level or worse.
Voters need to do their homework and truly understand the ramifications of the charter school. We moved to Columbia County for the school system, which has provided an exceptional education experience for my children.
Ms. Hobbs, leaders make more money than those who are not in leadership roles, do you know why? Leaders typically work 60+ hours per week, are on call 24 hours per day, and have to listen to all of the complaining subhordinates spew. Leaders learn the nuances of their industry, gather information, and make decisions that are in the best interest of the whole instead of the few. Leaders excel at the given industry they have dedicated their lives to. Leaders forgo time with spouses, children, and family to obtain higher degrees. Do leaders deserve a higher salary, you darn right they do.

Riverman1

Salary of Columbia County Superintendent

Now from everything I've seen Charles Nagle is a nice guy and a pretty good administrator. This is meant to be slightly humorous, but I could run the CC School System from a cell phone with a low battery on my boat fishing in the river. The super demographics of the county make for good schools....and that's the truth.

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