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Debate: Rogers Backs State Charter Schools, Beach Against State Authority

While Brandon Beach said he supports local control of schools through local school boards, Chip Rogers backed restoration of the state charter commission and any parental control.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first of several stories from the state Senate District 21 candidates' debate sponsored by the North Fulton & Friends Tea Party, and held at the Crooked Creek HOA Clubhouse on July 10. Each will be accompanied by video with more complete remarks by the two men.

The Republican candidates for state Senate District 21 made it clear on where they stand on in Georgia. said he was for parental control in almost any form, while Brandon Beach doesn't want some state commission to make decisions on local schools.

"Not only do I support charter schools, I support educational freedom in every form," Rogers said.

"Now the question is very simple," he said. "Who makes the decision on what is best for your child? It's either the government, or the parent. I will side with the parent, not once, not twice, not 10 times, but every single time."

Beach more directly answered the question posed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jim Galloway, one of the moderators. The two Republicans were  asked if they supported .

"I'm not against charter schools. What I am against is the state running them," Beach said. "I want the local entities to run the charter schools. And I want the principals, the teachers and the local school districts to make that decision. We don't need to make it at the state level with this commission created at the state."

Beach agreed with Rogers that the parents are closer to their children than anybody, but they are also closer to a local school board member than they are to a bureaucrat in Atlanta.

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Reading & Listening July 13, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Wow, I missed a party last night! Steely, I just wanted to throw this in: Marlow did not say she'd look everywhere but the teachers. I attended the debate and remember the question posed to the candidates. Ms. Cromer mentioned that furloughs were the best option (versus layoffs) as they can change from year to year. Ms. Marlow stated that teachers need to be in the classrooms. I agree. However, there was NO mention of 'looking everywhere but the teachers for $$.' There is a simple solution to keeping teachers in the classroom year-round: salary cuts across the board. I believe this was the original question, and neither candidate confirmed - nor denied - that salary cuts are an option. However, Ms. Cromer was clear that the preferred, and better alternative, were furloughs. Ms. Marlow did not. Which leads me to believe... salary cuts could certainly be 'the new black' if certain BOE candidates are elected.
Frank Jones July 13, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Steely, you keep using different numbers and I've pointed you to the correct numbers many times. But here it is again: http://portal.cherokee.k12.ga.us/departments/pr/OGP/BUDGET%20AND%20FINANCIAL%20DOCUMENTS/Executive%20Summary%20-%20Tentative%20Budget%202012-13.pdf (See page 12). When posting a comment and making your case, it is better to go to the source document whenever possible instead of relying upon an article written by someone else. That way you'll have a better understanding of what the facts are. In this case, the article stated that the budget is $518.74 million. While that is technically correct in that CCSD expects to have that much in total funds to manage during the year, the budgeted expenses are only $422.9 million. FWIW, the school system is required by law to keep reserves and that is why they can't and aren't spending the full $518 million. Further, when you look at just the General Fund, the cut from 2011-2012 to 2012-2013 school years is 4.2% ($303.1 m vs $290.4 m) and we're expecting even more students in 2012-2013 compared to the prior year. The increase in students actually makes the cut greater.
Jim Beam July 13, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Frank, you need to take your complaint up with Rodney Thrash of the Patch. According to you, his article that I linked is factually incorrect. Is that what you are saying? And if the budget expects $518M...why can't it make $423M work?! I'm using your numbers, Frank. If the budgeted expenses are $423M but the CCSD expects almost $100M more to come in...why the need to furlough teachers? And why again did we need another ADMIN building when we're currently furloughing teachers? Why does the Board value a new ADMIN building (via the recently passed ESPLOST) over not furloughing teachers? It's that sort of extravagant spending that must cease. When you & I are in fiscal holes, we stop digging. Dr. P and the current Board instead get another shovel, pass another SPLOST and build another UNNEEDED ADMIN BUILDING. Why not instead pass a "Teacher-SPLOST" or something to that effect? Why the need for another ADMIN Building? What's wrong with the current one? Not enough interior decorators on the payroll? Sorry teachers- Dr. P needs new wallpaper. Enjoy your furlough!
Ed July 13, 2012 at 02:48 PM
4Education - Fulton Science Academy was a local district approved Charter School...not a state commissioned school. The District and the State both rejected Fulton Science Academy when it came time to renew it's charter. So, your use of it as an example of placing blame soley on the State is inaccurate.
Holly J July 13, 2012 at 02:54 PM
ESPLOST funds cannot be used for salaries- only capital outlay and technology. It's not like the BOE took money away from teachers, unlike the General Assembly. And, the Admin buildings in Canton are have been around since God was a boy. They are hardly posh palaces even now with the renovations.

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