LETTER: School board election could not be more important

Published 4:54 pm Tuesday, April 21, 2020

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To Our Troup County Neighbors,

The choice of who we elect to the School Board on June 9 could not be more important.

Recovering from COVID-19 economic and social trauma will require steady, aligned leadership.  This year we must choose between two groups of candidates as different as night and day.

Choice 1: Existing board members up for reelection — Joe Franklin, Brandon Brooks and Cathy Hunt — are leading transformation of a poorly performing system into one moving rapidly forward.

Choice 2: TRACER men whose highest priority appears to be exempting themselves and all seniors from paying their fair share of school taxes at the expense of our schools and community.  To advance their cause, this group has communicated many inaccurate and misleading facts.  Here’s the real story.

School Rating:  TCCS (grade C) increased its score twice as much as the state average last year.  Only 39 of 209 Georgia systems rated A or B.

Financial reporting and accountability: 

  • No state laws have been violated by our 16.1% reserve fund which better prepares us to withstand the inevitable state budget deficit to come.   
  • Decisions are being made with full transparency and fiscal accountability.  Actual cost of LHS and THS gyms is $14.5 million each for badly needed upgrades and assets which will be available for use as community crisis shelters.
  • Two remediation programs — Read 180 and System 44 — were fully implemented system wide for well over 2,000 students with positive results (and a portion of the 1.6 million funded by a private grant.)

Discipline and teacher turnover: System has improved dramatically in school culture and teacher morale.  Teachers are returning and not in short supply.

Tax levels for seniors: Compared to nearby progressive counties (Muscogee, Carroll, Coweta and Heard), our rates are competitive. Per Tax Assessors office, no seniors lost their home last year due to inability to pay property taxes.

Pending litigation Suit: filed by a commercial construction contractor after not being selected in a standard competitive bidding process. No resolution at this time.

Accountability in personnel decisions: All current personnel management issues are confidential, being addressed timely and will be resolved before the end of the school term.

We hope you grasp the importance of this election.  Please join us in supporting incumbents Joe Franklin, Cathy Hunt and Brandon Brooks as well as Ferrell Blair, candidate for Kirk Hancock’s seat.

Bob Goehring, Speer & Debbie Burdette,

Deedee Williams, Bill & Mary Stankiewicz, Curtis Brown, Jr., Kay Durand, Ellen & Charlie

Shellabarger, Albert & Roseanna Prado