Future of 4 Fayette schools now depends on BoE vote

Most elected bodies would consider 225 people showing up for a meeting to be a large crowd.

That many citizens showed up Feb. 25 for a public hearing conducted by the Fayette County Board of Education on potential school closures, and the meeting venue — the 900-seat Sams Auditorium — seemed nearly empty.

As with previous meetings attended by as many as 900 citizens, the Monday night meeting was populated with residents asking that board members find alternatives to closing up to four public schools. The school closure conversation is expected to be decided at a March 4 called meeting.

Up for potential closure are Fayetteville Intermediate School, Tyrone Elementary School, Brooks Elementary School and Fayette Middle School.

A number of the citizens during the meeting reiterated many of the objections to the closures that have been made since the initial conversation began in mid-2011. And many of those centered on what would be the predicted destruction of the Tyrone and Brooks communities, predictions of falling property values and the expectation that businesses would leave the area.

While there were several who advocated for keeping FIS open, the majority spoke on keeping the schools in Brooks and Tyrone open.

Several of the speakers at the meeting asked that when the closure vote comes, the schools be voted on individually rather than as a group of four.

As in other meetings, some residents said the school board should look at cutting a number of “dead weight” school system employees as a way to offset the closures.

In all, the school board has stated that a total of approximately $15 million in cuts is needed to offset falling revenues, to adopt a balanced budget in June and to avoid deficit spending that would essentially put the Ga. Dept. of Education in charge of Fayette’s public schools.

Of that amount, school closures would save approximately $3.2 million. The remainder of the $15 million in cuts will come in the form of between 200 and 300 school system employees losing their jobs at the end of the school year in June.

The issue of school closures will likely come to a close on March 4 when the school board will hold a called meeting at Sams Auditorium at 7 p.m. Interim Superintendent Dan Colwell said Tuesday he anticipates that the board will take a vote on the closures.

The called meeting will likely have few other agenda items, Colwell said.

As is customary, called meetings do not include public comments.

angeldawn80
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Ok follks...simmer down...

As the mother of said "child" I would like to point out that that child does read all of these comments and they should be kept appropriate. You can fight amongst each other if you please but don't do it in a way that will make our community look bad. We've had enough of that lately. Let's try to set a good example.

(oh...and the hallelujah comment was mine, not hers....I'm glad that the vote got moved up so that it could be decided once and for all without anyone else's feelings getting hurt.)

Spyglass
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Excellent points

Thanks for pointing this out.

heatjam
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schools are closed

The FCBOE has voted to close all 4 schools at the called meeting tonight.

angeldawn80
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no public comments

Hallelujah!!!!!!!

RT Tugger
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Some of us appreciate public comment

The atmosphere of the two public hearings on school closures has been mischaracterized. The fact is, at both hearings, most of the parents, taxpayers, and local public officials spoke well and spoke politely. Many of them obviously took the time to do considerable research. They asked thoughtful questions and made genuine offers to work with the BOE to find alternatives to school closures. The people who were out of line were the exception, not the rule, at these hearings. I appreciate the opportunity for public comment, particularly on an issue with as much potential impact as school closings.

Davids mom
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Democracy in action

The meetings were informative; the participants were respectful - and the children are well served. We will be watching carefully the actual implementation of this move. Thank you BOE and Samantha!!

Joe Kawfi
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Samantha

You were probably taught in your government school that the U.S. is a democracy. It is not a democracy. The U.S. is a Constitutional Republic.
The U.S. was never designed to be a democracy and our founding fathers hated the very idea of democracy.

Pay no attention to the liberal barking moonbat that wrote the "Democracy in Action" post.

You see Samantha, democrats enjoy the idea of a democracy because it promotes the concept of mob rule. It's interesting to note that just 200 years ago it was considered to be an insult to call someone a “democrat” It meant “One who caters to the mindless whims of the masses.”

There is, however, a historical writing that sets forth the idea of mandatory government-controlled education. It’s called The Communist Manifesto.

Spyglass
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"Probably". The key word

You know what they say about assuming.

TheRealityCheck
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Joe Kawfi -

Why do you address a child while obviously throwing an insult at DM? What DM said was it was democracy in action. This IS a democracy. If it were not so, the FCBOE wouldn't have needed to vote. Why don't you go to North Korea, Iran, or Saudia Arabia to live for a couple of years. You will come back with a renewed sense of what a Democracy is and what it is not.

You obviously don't agree with the vote and that's ok, neither do I. I don't think any of the schools should have closed. But the Board had to act - and there will me more cuts to come.

You are rude to sling insults the way you did, and just wrong to do so while addressing a child. Have you no shame?

Spyglass
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We elected representatives to vote, in this case a School Board

In a Constitutional and Lawful manner,

Who knows how the County as a whole would have voted...

Thankfully we are far from a Democracy.

MajorMike
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Spyglass - democracy

I think we are are actually closer to a Socialist Dictatorship in this country than we are to a Democracy.That said, you are still correct in that:"We elected representatives to vote, in this case a School Board in a Constitutional and Lawful manner".

“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

This response is attributed to BENJAMIN FRANKLIN—at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation—in the notes of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland’s delegates to the Convention.

McHenry’s notes were first published in The American Historical Review, vol. 11, 1906, and the anecdote on p. 618 reads: “A lady asked Dr. Franklin Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy. A republic replied the Doctor if you can keep it.” When McHenry’s notes were included in The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, ed. Max Farrand, vol. 3, appendix A, p. 85 (1911, reprinted 1934), a footnote stated that the date this anecdote was written is uncertain.

RKS
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Thank you, Reality Check.
TheRealityCheck wrote:

Why do you address a child while obviously throwing an insult at DM? What DM said was it was democracy in action. This IS a democracy. If it were not so, the FCBOE wouldn't have needed to vote. Why don't you go to North Korea, Iran, or Saudia Arabia to live for a couple of years. You will come back with a renewed sense of what a Democracy is and what it is not.

You obviously don't agree with the vote and that's ok, neither do I. I don't think any of the schools should have closed. But the Board had to act - and there will me more cuts to come.

You are rude to sling insults the way you did, and just wrong to do so while addressing a child. Have you no shame?

I think Joe really enjoys trying to bully DM. Not sure what he calls the "vote" to close the schools if it wasn't a "democracy" as in "majority rules", then what was it? I am sure he will come back with an answer, soon.

Joe Kawfi
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RKS & Check

I'm just tryin' to help the kid out. Poor thing has been exposed to education at the hands of government employees her whole life and deserves a chance.

In the mean time, why don't you two mind your own business and go to the gym and pump each other or something. My comments were not addressed to you so you should keep your noses out of it.

Davids mom
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Joe - Just Curious

Who gets the credit for your superior education and ability to articulate your views?