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Some Cobb School Board Members Have Lied to Us AGAIN!

Based on revelations in a letter sent to the East Cobber and other Patches, my opinion is that some Cobb County school board members are piling lies on top of more lies.

One day this week, I sat at my computer, perusing the local news and catching up on local activities, when an article caught my attention: “Wake-Up Call: Cobb County School Board Vote to Change School Calendar Reveals Stealthy Political Forces at Work.”

As a parent of two children in Cobb County, I read the article with a sense of dread. After all, so far I have not seen anything reassuring from the new school board members; so I sat thinking, “Now what?”

“What?” is a elegantly crafted article exposing that our new board members have ties to Georgians Need Summers, which is supported and potentially sponsored by a Texas special interest group. Texas??? I thought these people represented East Cobb???  

No, they don’t represent us -- they represent Tina Bruno and her desire to have shorter school years and longer summers.  They represent a minority, special interest group from another state, and they do not care what their own constituents think. They lied during their campaigns, they lied during the school board meetings, and they lied to the Grand Jury. They called us names, act rude to the people of Cobb County, and refuse to answer simple questions.

All four board members made promises to listen to us. If you look at Scott Sweeney, Tim Stultz, and Kathleen Angelucci’s current websites, they all say that they will collaborate with the public, form a partnership with the community to help make Cobb schools better, spend our money wisely, and promote accountability and transparency within the school board.

And all of these promises, these statements of intent, are lies.

Nowhere on these websites do any of them mention changing the current school calendar. Nowhere that I found do they say they want to get rid of the balanced calendar, or that they support the traditional calendar. I wonder, did these people purposely without their views from the Internet, to limit opposition on that point?

As for accountability, none of them has a single factual reason to support the traditional calendar. It costs more money to run a traditional calendar. It promotes student and teacher absenteeism. It lowers scores on standardized testing. It reduces student and teacher morale. So why are we using the traditional calendar?  

The public opinion poll in February turned out to be a lie. Stultz and Sweeney insisted that we have a public opinion poll on the choice of school calendar - they insisted over the objections of David Banks and Lynnda Crowder-Eagle. But when the poll showed support for the balanced calendar, Stultz called the poll “flawed.” Does he really  think we don’t know what’s going on? It was never about getting the community’s opinion - it was about them trying to justify a decision that they already made.  

But what bothers me the most is that Allison Bartlett, Sweeney, Angelucci, and Stultz have all come out with supposed “reasons” that they voted for the traditional calendar. It’s better for the students. It’s better for the economy. It’s better for Six Flags and White Water. It’s cheaper. It raises test scores. It’s too expensive to cool the schools in August. The kids will dehydrate on the bus ride home.

But all of those reasons were also lies.

So what do we do now?  I don’t know.

Bartlett will be out this fall, but we are stuck with Sweeney, Angelucci, and Stultz for the next three years. I know that it is theoretically possible to recall a board member. I looked into the process. You only need 100 signatures to start a recall, but you need one third of the people who voted for a candidate to sign a recall petition. For Bartlett, that puts the recall number over 10,000 people. The recall process sets the bar quite high, and there has never been a successful recall.  

Until then, we need to spread the word to other counties in the area, and hopefully prevent another school board turning into a long-distance, special interest political empire.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kathryn A. Patterson May 23, 2011 at 12:28 AM
You are quite welcome, Jerri. And yes, as this school year winds down, it is apparent to most people except our school board that the balanced calendar offers several benefits.
John M Lane September 19, 2011 at 02:02 AM
David Banks offered a compromise calendar keeping all of the benefits of the Balanced calendar with a later start date of August 10th and the 4 board members going against our will voted it down! I agree Lynn that the issue is now the 4 board members. David Banks is my board member too. I feel like we now have taxation without representation in regards to board members that I did not vote for making school a less enjoyable experience for my kids. I really like the week long breaks because it made life easier for doctor and dentist appts!
Patrick Cooper September 19, 2011 at 06:14 PM
I've written articles, letters to the board and letters to SACS. In each, while I addressed the calendar, I made it a point to address how this boards actions were not only not in the best interests of the stakeholders, but represented a bigger threat to our community and demonstrated the failings of our current political system of special interests. We all have our special needs and wants, but when we are willing to sacrifice the best interests of the community for the petty interests of a few, we begin to fail as a society. There are many who are frustrated by what has happened, and while we should continue to work to find a way to correct the mistake, it is even more important that we all look more closely at all candidates and what is happening to our political system. We must each be more accountable and demand more accountability from our elected officials. We can't blindly elect based on party or promises, but instead we must elect based on past actions. I think the political tolerance is at such a low, that the answer to recalling one or more of the new board members may be to speak to the need so many have to fix our broken system. A well stated opinion of the actions taken by these members and their obvious links to special interests may just be the motivation to get our community to act. Move beyond the calendar to show not only their failure to represent the desires of their constituents, but also to show how their actions have wasted our time and resources!
Nicole September 20, 2011 at 01:45 PM
I wrote a letter to all board members regarding the calendar and only two responded. One stated thanks for your concerns with the calendar but it is too late to make a change. The other response was from Mr. Banks saying thank you for your support. The interesting thing to me was along with my concern about changing a calendar which had been in place for over a year I also mentioned other issues I have noticed with my children's school. Not one word was said by either regarding these issues. The main issue I had with the calendar changing had to do with my children doing better in school the year of the balanced calendar and the fact I had made vacation plans to reward my children for a better school year. Because of the sudden change we were unable to take the planned vacation since I was unable to change vacation days I had in place for over 6 months. Regardless of that what about the main thing in my opinion....why are the students not being taught properly? Why are teachers being forced to constantly test our children? I would prefer the teachers were not given so many extra duties and could actually find time to teach the children. Why are so many students having trouble with high school math? Why are parents being forced to teach their children or find tutors to teach our children instead of the teachers having time to teach? I know teaching is not an easy job. I considered being a teacher. Problem is there is too much politics and too little teaching.
Cindy October 21, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I agree 100% with you Kathryn. When this all started, after the elections and talk about ditching the balanced calendar began, I sent Mr. Stultz 4 emails. One was from my CCSD mail address, explaining to him how the last minute change would hurt employees who had already scheduled vacations and doctors appointments that could be done with the calendar we had been given for three years. Three were from my personal email address, letting him know that as a lifelong Cobb County resident, an employee of CCSD, and a person who both works and votes in his area, I found it very underhanded that he would come in and make a change to something as important as the calendar, when all indications were no one wanted it changed at that time. He did not reply to even one of my emails. Not so much as an auto reply that said thank you for your interest. In my mind, that is one more indication that he answers to someone other than the voters and employees of his area. I would be more than willing to sign anything that would start a recall of Mr. Stultz. Even if that does not happen, I will make my thoughts known on election day, as will everyone that I have personally spoken to about the current board.

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