Fayette BoE to close Brooks, Tyrone, 2 other schools

Fayette County Board of Education member Leonard Presberg (center) reacts to Chair Marion Key’s call for a vote to close one of four schools. Board member Mary Kay Bacallao (L), who voted against all closures, looks on. Photo/Maggie Zerkus.

Still to come: Personnel cuts of more than 200 people — including 100 parapros — to close $15 million budget gap

The first of a series of two historic cuts to the Fayette County School System came Monday night at Sams Auditorium in Fayetteville.
 
After two recent public hearings, numerous discussions and a wealth of public comments spanning the better part of two years, the Fayette County Board of Education on split votes moved to close three elementary schools and one middle school at the end of the current school year.
 
At the end of June, Brooks Elementary, Fayetteville Intermediate School (FIS), Tyrone Elementary School and Fayette Middle School will cease to operate. For Brooks, the closure will mark the first time since 1919 the south Fayette community has not had an operating public school.
 
The closures are expected to save approximately $3.2 million of the $15 million in cuts needed to comply with state law and adopt a balanced budget in June.
 
The balance of those cuts will translate into 225 or more school system employees losing their jobs at the end of June.
 
The vote Monday night had school board members Mary Kay Bacallao and Barry Marchman voting to keep Brooks Elementary open. Bacallao lives near Brooks, while Marchman lives in Tyrone.
 
Voting to close the school were board members Bob Todd and Leonard Presberg and Chairman Marion Key.
 
The votes to close FIS, Tyrone and Fayette Middle, all taken separately, came on 4-1 votes with Bacallao in opposition to all the closures.
 
Each of the votes was preceded by a number of comments from board members explaining their rationale for the votes they were about to cast.
 
Todd and Key, as they had on previous occasions, noted the soul-searching and anxiety that comes with the idea of closing any schools. Beyond being a move unlike any other in Fayette County history, the decision to close a school is one that is based on economic realities and is one that no one wants to make, they said. 
 
Board member Leonard Presberg echoed those sentiments in his comments, saying his responsibility is to the school system as a whole and adding that the board must make decisions based on the information they have rather than on what they wished the information would be.
 
Board member Barry Marchman in his comments prior to the vote on the closure of Brooks said there was a stronger case for leaving Brooks open even though it is a smaller school with fewer students. He spoke of unintended consequences that could accompany the closure such as tax issues or those relating to economic development on the county’s south side. Marchman said Brooks is a unique community in Fayette County and the absence of a school located there could prevent the area from growing.
 
Marchman voted to close  FIS, Fayette Middle and Tyrone.
 
It was perhaps noteworthy that the audience in Sams Auditorium Monday night totaled approximately 350 people, more than attended the most recent public hearing on the closures but far fewer than the 900 people that attended the first public hearing.
 
And unlike public reaction at some of the previous hearings and at a number of school board meetings during the past year the audience was comparatively subdued, with most exiting the auditorium once the votes were taken and the school board had retired to executive session.
 
The meeting Monday night also came with no public comments. The absence of public comments at called meetings is customary. And except for a few rounds of applause during the closure comments by Bacallao and Marchman, the audience largely sat silent as the event they hoped would never occur unfolded before their eyes.
 
For some of the residents of Tyrone and Brooks, their attendance at board meetings began in the summer of 2011. And having attended many of the school board meetings since that time, those parents had advocated for leaving their schools open by using a nearly inexhaustible list of reasons and rationales for the board to consider.  
 
Prior to the votes Deputy Superintendent Sam Sweat reported on recent meetings with planning department staff from Fayetteville, Fayette County and Peachtree City and with local business leaders and the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce.
 
Sweat said school system representatives were told by city and county planning staff that though there is a current up-tick in residential building permits the outlook is only for slow growth over time.
 
A part of the school system’s financial woes come from falling property values in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors that have seen Fayette lose approximately 20 percent of its value in the past three years. That is significant for the school system because it receives approximately two-thirds of the property tax dollars generated in Fayette County. In addition, the school system relies on property tax dollars for approximately half of its operating revenue.
 
Sweat said the meeting with the chamber and business leaders was one that solicited their opinion of the possible school closures. He said the majority at the end of the discussion said they supported the school board in making hard decisions, adding that they want to meet quarterly with school system representatives.
 
Sweat said the business leaders were also concerned about the potential for losing up to 100 parapros as part of the cost-cutting in personnel to save nearly $12 million once the school board begins the conversations that will lead to the most massive personnel cuts in Fayette’s history.
 
And Sweat noted the comments of Fayette County Development Authority CEO Matt Forshee at the meeting. Forshee said that the entry of the Pinewood Studio Group in north central Fayette would result in a slow growth process over time, Sweat reported.
 
Sweat noted that some residents during the public hearings had suggested that the arrival of Pinewood would generate a degree of significant growth in the short-term.
 
A statement issued Tuesday by school system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach strove to put the historic school closure meeting in perspective.
 
“Closing schools is the last thing anyone wants to do, but the school system is facing at least a $15 million shortfall for next year. One step toward reducing costs is to right-size facilities to align with the student population. Other budgetary cuts will be presented in the coming weeks. Although challenging, these cuts are necessary for the school system to be fiscally responsible and meet its obligation to provide an excellent educational program for all students. The Fayette County Public School System is committed to maintaining the same standards of excellence that has made it one of the top performing school systems in the state and nation,” Berry-Dreisbach said.
 
Pertaining to the change in attendance zones due to the closures, Berry-Dreisbach said the proposed school attendance maps are posted on the school system’s website, www.fcboe.org. Adjustments to the previous maps were made following public input and the adjusted maps were presented to the board at the called session.
 
The board will take a final vote on the attendance maps at its regular monthly business meeting on March 18, Berry-Dreisbach said. 
 
By far the largest of the historic cuts facing the school board is yet to come due to the need to cut approximately $15 million from the 2013-2014 budget that begins in July.
 
The board in coming weeks will have to decide on the extent of the cuts in personnel that could include up to 10 percent of the school system’s nearly 3,000 employees.
 
And even though previous boards cut nearly 300 other employees along with other expenses over the past four years, those cuts were not sufficient to offset the need to make even more drastic cuts this year.
TheRealityCheck
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Its because of the anonymity...

People tend to show there dark side when they can say anything they want, be as nasty as they want while hiding behind a screen name and not showing their real names. Civility has fallen in the streets when it comes to posting online. You would be very surprised that some people who make the nasty ugly comments are your neighbors, your friends, your grocers, church members...etc.

If you really want to know how people feel, give them an avatar and the promise of anonymity.

hope18
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Sad

I would like to take this time to say I have read everyone post on here and it sad to see how everyone is fussing and fighting over this school closing. The first thing is about our kids and our wonder teacher and no it don’t matter if you are living in a title 1 school area. What we need to do as parents is to replace the board and why I say that is One they are the who mess up and over spend the money. Two: I know first-hand like River how are you going to build a school and put band new kitchen equipment which nobody cook in there because the special need kids have to order there from Fayette Middle. Three: There is land for sell by the new school Inman for two million dollar which in my opinion can sell for less. So if someone disagrees with me please do your research and see for yourself have much money the board wasted? And don’t forget no one on the board is taking a pay cut. So please stop fussing and fighting let find someone who can help our kid and save our wonder teacher and school. I vote to replace the board. The cuts are not over yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

G35 Dude
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hope18-Sad post/Board Member pay

You must be new here. Number 1 this is not the board that spent us into the situation that we're in. Number 2 This is not the board that built Rivers. Number 3 Members of the board made between $1,500 and $6,600 in 2012 as per Open Georgia org. Not much to cut.

skittles44
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Board Member pay

How much does a board member get paid to serve?

skittles44
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They don't do it for $$$$

People on this forum act like the board members make 100k a year to do the job and that, as citizens, they own them. Most school board members are citizens who are looking to make a difference in the community. They certainly don't do it for the pay of between $1500 and $6000 annually. While we may not agree with the decisions the board makes from time to time, it is difficult for me to be overly critical of a person who spends A LOT of time giving back to the community with very little compensation. For all those complainers out there, why don't you go and run to be on the board. Being a board member is a huge job, and while we may disagree on many of the decisions made, let's give our new board member time to get their feet wet before we drag them through the mud.

G35 Dude
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skittles-Not about money

You are correct that this is a thankless job that these people do for little compensation. (I would not do it) But I do believe that they need feedback from the community. If we disagree with a decision that they make it is our duty to let them know as best we can. It's too bad that many people don't know how to provide feedback in any other manner than negative.

skittles44
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Agree w/ you

Providing feedback is one thing, smearing an individual because of a vote they made is different. I agree, the board should be held accountable for decision and votes casted, but let's have a civil conversation and try to offer feedback that is constructive. Not implying that you are the one doing that, just making the point that we should be offering feedback and not attacking the person.

hope18
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Sad

I would like to take this time to say I have read everyone post on here and it sad to see how everyone is fussing and fighting over this school closing. The first thing is about our kids and our wonder teacher and no it don’t matter if you are living in a title 1 school area. What we need to do as parents is to replace the board and why I say that is One they are the who mess up and over spend the money. Two: I know first-hand like River how are you going to build a school and put band new kitchen equipment which nobody cook in there because the special need kids have to order there from Fayette Middle. Three: There is land for sell by the new school Inman for two million dollar which in my opinion can sell for less. So if someone disagrees with me please do your research and see for yourself have much money the board wasted? And don’t forget no one on the board is taking a pay cut. So please stop fussing and fighting let find someone who can help our kid and save our wonder teacher and school. I vote to replace the board. The cuts are not over yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hope18
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I would like to take this

I would like to take this time to say I have read everyone post on here and it sad to see how everyone is fussing and fighting over this school closing. The first thing is about our kids and our wonder teacher and no it don’t matter if you are living in a title 1 school area. What we need to do as parents is to replace the board and why I say that is One they are the who mess up and over spend the money. Two: I know first-hand like River how are you going to build a school and put band new kitchen equipment which nobody cook in there because the special need kids have to order there from Fayette Middle. Three: There is land for sell by the new school Inman for two million dollar which in my opinion can sell for less. So if someone disagrees with me please do your research and see for yourself have much money the board wasted? And don’t forget no one on the board is taking a pay cut. So please stop fussing and fighting let find someone who can help our kid and save our wonder teacher and school. I vote to replace the board. The cuts are not over yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I Heart Fayette
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Real Estate

I sincerely hope that no Realtors have the poor judgment to answer that question. Although I am sure it's done, it is unethical for a Realtor to disparage a school. BTW-title 1 schools earn money and resources that make the school better, and many of our schools are close to qualifying as it is.

wildcat
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@ I Heart Fayette

I know that title 1 schools have 35% student population at, or below, the poverty level.

I know that they use their money to buy resources for said students.

I know that all title 1 schools are listed on the fcboe website.

I know that potential buyers read about the schools before deciding where to purchase.

My question....how is this going to impact property values, I guess, will go unanswered as you have stated that it is unethical for a real estate agent to address that question. Thank you.

Also, where do you get your data for stating that many of our FC schools are close to qualifying for title 1 status? I went to the Gov Office of Student Achievement (most current data I could find: 2010-2011) and it appeared (at that time) that many of our schools were far from qualifying. Please post a website for your data. Thanks in advance.

wildcat
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question

Please, any real estate people reading this.....will Inman lose title 1 status now that non-title 1 kids are moving in? If not, what happens to real estate values of the former BES families? Will BMMS become a title 1 school? What will happen to real estate values there? I don't know anything about real estate but I will guess that parents don't seek out a title 1 school area when home shopping. This concerns me. Does anyone have any real answers? I am not interested in hearing about title 1 schools, etc. I simply want to know if title 1 schools are a selling point or something that is kept far from the spot light....the bottom line please (and I pray that it is not an issue). Thanks in advance.

skittles44
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Simple answer

Having your home in a title 1 school zone is not good on any level. It is title 1 for a reason. I've experienced both school settings and IMO the teachers spend more time babysitting the students in title 1 schools and cannot focus on truly teaching the students who are there to learn. As a parent, I wouldn't want my child in a title 1 school because I feel as though the educational environment is not conducive to learning when dealing with the students from all sorts of socio-economic status and demographics. Title 1 = lower property values. I'm not a real estate expert and if someone knows more please feel free to jump in, but I trying to think objectively like a parent.

I Heart Fayette
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Objectively?

Objectively?

skittles44
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Yes, Objectively

How can one come up with the conclusion that living in a Title 1 school school zone is good for property values. Like I said, I'm not a realtor, but can you refute the comments I made above and give me a different perspective on how this can positively impact property values?

Aztecgirl
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Oh

My bad.....

Aztecgirl
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Why are you offended Samantha?

"I was offended when, at the meeting, speeches were given in favor of Brooks and Tyrone but FMS and FIS barely got two sentences each."

What offends you about that? The folks from Tyrone and Brooks care deeply about their communities so they did lots of research and created lots of speeches defending their home schools. If FMS and FIS didn't get but "two" speeches each, then that's those community members fault. They should have written their own speeches and rallied for those schools. It was an open forum, everyone had a fair chance to speak.. No need to knock the good folks from TES and Brooks for defending their own. Just sayin'

heatjam
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Aztecgirl
Aztecgirl wrote:

"I was offended when, at the meeting, speeches were given in favor of Brooks and Tyrone but FMS and FIS barely got two sentences each."

What offends you about that? The folks from Tyrone and Brooks care deeply about their communities so they did lots of research and created lots of speeches defending their home schools. If FMS and FIS didn't get but "two" speeches each, then that's those community members fault. They should have written their own speeches and rallied for those schools. It was an open forum, everyone had a fair chance to speak.. No need to knock the good folks from TES and Brooks for defending their own. Just sayin'

I think that what Samantha was referring to was the speeches at Monday's meeting by Marchman and Bacallao when they voted on the individual school closings.

skittles44
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Delusional to think we will maintain an excellent school system.

If you believe our school system is going to somehow rise to the top after this mess, you are living in a delusional world. When you cut personnel, pay, and benefits for all employees, you will no longer attract the best and brightest to teach the students. With class sizes going up and less state funding coming in, get ready for larger class sizes and less effective teachers. It is no secret that we currently have a decent teacher to student ratio throughout the county. When teachers are asked to do more, with less resources, it just doesn't add up to a better learning environment for students. It is sad to me that this mess will have an impact on the students in our county.
I understand we are facing dire financial times, but you simply can't expect to maintain Fayette's excellent education system when you don't attract teachers with decent pay and benefits.

Spyglass
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Especially the ones

That post something 3 times... :)

skittles44
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Preview and Save???

Maybe if The Citizen had a "submit" button instead of a save and preview button, the users would actually know that their post was sent.

Mary Kay Bacallao
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My letter to Samantha

Dear Samantha,
I am very happy for you that you will be going to a new school. You are very sweet and I appreciate how much you love your teachers. I also have a 12 year old daughter in Fayette County schools. She loves her teachers too. My daughter was not affected by the school closures. As you know, I voted against all the school closures. I am glad that you are happy and I appreciate your positive outlook. There are students, parents, and teachers who are about to go through some changes, and many of them really wanted to keep their schools open. I care about them too. I listened to them plead with the school board to keep their schools open. As a former elementary school teacher (9 years) and a parent of 4 children, I understood what they were going through. I thought that there was a way to make these smaller schools more cost effective and keep them open. My votes were based on what in my humble opinion; I thought would be the best for all the students in the county. Some people disagreed with me, and I was outvoted. Although I am happy for you, I really feel for those who were not happy with the decisions. We have many more important decisions to make so we can balance the budget. All my decisions will be based on what is best for students, teachers and parents. Some people may disagree with the votes I make, and that is OK. We really all want the same thing, great teachers, students, and schools. Let’s give these students, teachers, and parents some time to adjust to the new changes and keep an open heart to the new friends, teachers, and parents at each school.
Thank you for caring about our schools,
Mary Kay Bacallao

PTC Observer
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Ms. Bacallao

I assume that as part of your curriculum to become an elementary school teacher Accounting 101 wasn't required?

Let's make it simple.

Revenue (Taxes) must be > expenses in order to have a viable school system.

Let me know if you have questions.

Husband and Fat...
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Ms. Bacallao

Like many others, I find your post to Samantha condesending and as an educator you should know better than to talk down to student.

You stated that "I thought that there was a way to make these smaller schools more cost effective and keep them open." Could you please provide your rational behind this statement? Prove us wrong. Many people have followed this closely and no one has been able to show the people a workable budget that permits these schools to stay open. Did you have a plan or only a dream?

Your entire political campaign revolved around keeping the schools opened, yet following your election, the ideas presented to keep these schools open were not adequate to support the promises made during elections. No one expected any single person on the board to be the savior but we want a leader that can substantiate why they voted a certain way and right now, the only thing we have to go on is your wish and your campaign promise not to vote for the closures.

skittles44
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Ridiculous

The fact that she took the time to post anything, tells me her heart is in the right place. There are some people that you can never please. Sounds like the post from the user above is one those people. Ms. Bacallao, thank you for taking your personal time to serve the county and please don't be discouraged by negative remarks by people who just try to stir the pot. These people have far too much time on their hands and will find something wrong with anything and everything. Thanks, Ms. Bacallao, for taking the time to correspond with the citizens of the county.

wildcat
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Intentions/Beardon

Hence the reason Beardon is gone????? He didn't want to close schools either, right? Of course, we will never know the "real" reason. It's a secret.

I guess good intentions aren't enough. I like Mrs. Bacallao and thought she had some good ideas. But what would I know after 19 years in the field?

Husband and Fat...
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What good ideas did she have?

What good ideas did she have? Be specific with the ideas and the savings values.

Would any help with a $15 million dollar reduction?

wildcat
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@ H & F

Thank you for asking. What ideas I thought were good were:

summer shut down - What is the point; the buildings are open for 4 days a week and closed for 1 hour each day for lunch; how many people actually go into the building wanting/needing something? I would wager not that many.

closing welcome center- What did we do before the welcome center?

Inst coaches teaching - Who are these people? Is there one in each school?

ISS staffing by paras -Most teachers go to ISS and teach their kids during their planning period. The coaches in ISS can't know everything. It's too much and it is unreasonable to expect them to be experts in math, chem, f. lang, etc. Should part of the punishment of ISS include teaching yourself? Maybe. However most teachers care and end up using their planning time to keep the ISS kids current. So why not put paras in? Most teachers are going to the ISS room anyway.

Right size staffing- Isn't that what has been going on at Rivers since it opened?

I don't know how much money it would save and I know that personnel would HAVE to be cut. From what I've been reading in the blogs for the past 4/5 years the general public is saying that we (govt workers?) need to "get over ourselves" and start living in the real world where people are let go at the drop of a hat. I can live with that. Most of the FC employees I know can live with that. We live in a scary time and most employees know they are dispensable.

One thing to guard against...quoting one of my favorite people...we need to make sure that we don't let go of all the Indians and have nothing but a bunch of chiefs.

How much will it save? IDK. But I do know that if you watch your pennies your dollars will sometimes take care of themselves.

Now to head outside and ennjoy this beautiful day!

Husband and Fat...
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Skittles

I hope you enjoyed the days weather as much as my family. Now that they are tucked into bed, I am ready to reply.

Our past BOE tried for many years to keep the schools open. We are now past the stage of any budget errors as we have very little rainy day fund to withstand large unexpected expenses.

While I agree, we need to be sure we have more Indians than chiefs, the welcome center should only be open maybe one day a week for new families to register their kids, most of these costs will not make a large enough dent into the cuts that have to be made, in addition to being sustainable.

Personally, I hate to see so many parapros being cut, especially for the younger classes. I know how much they are needed.

So, the board had to start with the largest cuts that will result in sustainable results. They will then hopefully cut the frills we have enjoyed for so many years and utilize the great teachers that we have who I am sure will step to the plate and continue to provide our kids as they have done in the past. FC is great because we have good teachers and we have parents who are involved and care.

The school leadership has provided the board with a menu of items along with the savings expected next to each item. They just have to whittle it down until the budget is less than the projected income our tax digest is expected to produce. Remember, even with the recent good fortune it will be another 2 years before we see any true growth.

I believe that Ms. Bacallao cares about our schools. But when one votes to keep a school open, the taxpayers expect that the plan they have proposed would work. Hers did not. I wrote a few weeks back that she could easily get out of the mess she created herself during her campaign not to close schools by simply explaining that she and her fellow board members exhausted themselves trying to make the finances work by keeping the schools open, but at the end of the day, the previous boards decisions did not permit the county to keep the school open. A simple and true answer. She lost my confidence and many others like me, because it appears she voted based on her campaign promise, instead of financial logic from the spreadsheets everyone was using.

Imagine you've depleted your household savings following a job loss. You now have to choose between selling your house and downsizing or losing it altogether. One would certainly downsize rather than allowing the bank (or state) takeover.

G35 Dude
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skittles-Good Intentions are not enough

I’m sure that Ms. Bacallao is a very nice lady. However, she chose to pursue a public position that is paid for with tax dollars. So in effect she works for the people of Fayette County. That means that we have a right to provide feedback as to how we think she is performing her duties. If she wants to get elected again she needs to pay attention. Now I realize that you can’t please everybody. In fact when I held the position of manager at the company that I’m now retired from I had a philosophy. I believed that 25% of the people will give you almost blind support. 25% will give you almost blind opposition. Not a lot you can do to influence these folks so you accept them for what they are and move on. It’s the remaining 50% that you concentrate on. If Ms. Bacallao can read these posts and learn from them without being overwhelmed by the negative, she may become a very successful school board member.

My problem with her performance so far is that she does not seem to have a good handle on reality. I base this on 2 things so far. One she was the only board member that voted to keep all schools open. I don’t understand her logic here. And yes I did visit her website and checked out her spreadsheet with her plan to keep schools open. Her ideas only totaled 6.5 million savings. Far short of the needed 15 million. Since I don’t understand the logic I assume that it wasn’t logic but emotion that drove this vote. And second while her attempt to respond to Samantha was with good intentions, she apparently didn’t bother to read what the young lady wrote before responding. Samantha had stated that she was upset that her school was closing but she understood why. So Ms. Bacallao opens her letter with this statement:

Quote:

I am very happy for you that you will be going to a new school.

Just being willing to do the job does not make you the right person for it.

Husband and Fat...
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Skittles - life does not always bring rainbows

No one questioned the woman's heart. No one in FC wanted to see the schools close, especially the community schools in Brooks and Tyrone. However finances dictated these closures.

And just to be clear, while Ms. Bacallao puts in a lot more hours than we will ever know, she does receive a salary for the position she elected to pursue. There are many people in the community who volunteer their time for various causes. I serve with groups that are important to me, scouts, youth sports, and a civic group while my wife volunteers at our children's schools. It's my duty as an involved citizen to understand the logic behind our elected's decision making.

I have yet to see how Ms. Bacallao's research substantiated her vote not to close the schools. The state dictates that the board must balance the budget. For the past few years we gave cut costs and used up our savings to balance the budget. That's called deficit spending. I'm pretty sure your family works within a budget and doesn't purchase things you can't afford.

What's ridiculous is an elected official voting to keep schools open without a viable plan.

I don't know about you, but I think we need elected officials to make the difficult decisions with logic, not hope or wishes, and certainly without political agendas. I certainly don't think that's a ridiculous expectation.

angeldawn80
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My letter to Ms. Bacallao

Dear Ms. Bacallao,
I never said that I was "happy" about the schools closing. I was ready to fight anybody and everybody to keep my school open. However, after doing the research and getting the facts, I realized that it would be both foolish and selfish if I did so. The budget had to balance and schools had to close. You have to understand, I had letters from students, parents, teachers...I had even started a Facebook page to SAVE Fayette Middle. I was going to take all of it to the board meeting. However, in my mind, it wouldn't have been right. Then I sat and listened to all of these people get up and say how their school was more important to the county than the others. I had and still do have a problem with anybody who could do that. I still say it is selfish. I say this as a student who IS being effected and is NOT happy with what HAD to happen. I still support the board and I will still be at all of the meetings to support and be a voice for the students who are going through the changes as we speak and so know what is like to struggle.

I am sorry if my comment offended you. However, I was offended when, at the meeting, speeches were given in favor of Brooks and Tyrone but FMS and FIS barely got two sentences each. I have to wonder if Brooks and Tyrone had not been on the chopping block, if you would have made the same decision. You said that you haven't had any problem sleeping at night. I don't feel the same. I have done my best to keep my emotions out of this regardless of how painful it is. Sometimes bad things happen to good people and it sucks. But I'm tired of people in the community acting like their kids or their schools are better than me and mine. I may just be a kid but even I know that is just not right.

Again, I am sorry if I have offended you with what I have said but I was told to say what I felt. I'm not a politician. I don't always know how to say things without being straight forward. For two years I have been in the best school in the county and it is the last one that should have been closed. BLACK and GOLD 4Ever!!!!

Thank you for taking time to respond to my words.
Samantha Frazier

skittles44
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Offended?

The parents from Tyrone and Brooks came out in droves to let the board know their feelings. If the parents from the Fayetteville schools didn't show up, I'm not sure how that is offensive on any level. I could see you being angry that the parents from the Fayetteville schools who didn't bother to show up and voice their opinion. Bravo to the parents of Tyrone and Brooks who spoke up.

heatjam
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skittles44
skittles44 wrote:

The parents from Tyrone and Brooks came out in droves to let the board know their feelings. If the parents from the Fayetteville schools didn't show up, I'm not sure how that is offensive on any level. I could see you being angry that the parents from the Fayetteville schools who didn't bother to show up and voice their opinion. Bravo to the parents of Tyrone and Brooks who spoke up.

I think that Samantha was referring to the speeches by Marchman and Bacallao, not what the parents were saying.

NUK_1
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The parents came out in droves to repeat themselves

Who needs to hear the exact same sentiments voiced by numerous people over and over and over, one after the other, with nothing to add except "me too?" That's a clear reason why this country isn't a democracy and thank God.

I attended one BOE meeting on this and a couple on the WFB and if you people think that showing up in numbers and everyone repeating THE SAME EXACT STUFF the other ten people in front of you who already spoke makes some kind of difference, you need to get a CLUE. You have something to say different? Great! You want to recite the same exact talking points 10 others before you said? Who the hell cares? Seriously. Start thinking and speaking for yourself instead of thinking that the herd mentality means something. All it does is prolong meetings and drag everything down having to listen to the same crap over and over.

PTC Avenger
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LOL Struggle?

Know what it's like to struggle? My God, your school is closing, there are FAR more traumatic things that can happen to people. As you (and anyone who can do basic math) know, it HAD to happen. Now get over it.

heatjam
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Way to go Samantha!!

It seems that you, at your young age, were able to set aside emotions, and look at the situation logically and completely. Many of the parents are afraid for their child to have to change schools, as they are probably afraid of change themselves. I, myself, do not like change. I really question how Ms.Bacallao could, right away, say that she would definitely vote to keep all of the schools open. I don't know if she was so singly focused that she only looked at/studied ideas coming from that perspective, or was she starting off her tenure on the board pandering to the citizens in her district, which will be important to her if the county goes to district voting. Personally I am regretting the fact that I voted for her in the election, against the advice of some of my dearest friends. At least Terri Smith appeared to look at all sides of an issue...I don't think that Ms. Bacallao does...I hope I am wrong.

Good luck in all that you set out to do. Don't ever be afraid to speak up for what you feel is right, even if it might offend someone. Be true to yourself and that will get you far.

G35 Dude
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angeldawn80
Quote:

I'm not a politician.

I can tell. You're way to sensible and selfless. I wish you the best going forward!

angeldawn80
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on a side note

for everyone to hear, I want to say thank you to my mother for letting me do this and saying....uh...you might not want to say it just like that...remember that not everyone talks like you...no Sam...do not put that...would you want that said to you...and all the other things like that....

Spyglass
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What was your plan to get the budget into line?

Obviously you were against closing the schools.

NUK_1
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Samantha isn't 4 years old

Your post looked like you were talking to someone who couldn't understand basic English. I think Samantha has already shown she definitely grasps the complexities and difficulties around the BOE budgetary crisis, and you can address her in the manner you would an intelligent and mature person instead of a bunch of choppy, shortened sentences that sounded like they were directed to someone in pre-school.

Starting to really regret voting for u also, even if you were/are an improvement over Terrible.

TheRealityCheck
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Gosh Nuk...

You're being a little toxic.

NUK_1
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RealityCheck: Yes I am

Just call me The Toxic Avenger! :)

I don't see any reason for an AP teacher of all people to post some rambling excuse that I thought was "dumbed down" to a kid who waded into this snakepit as a 7th grader first with letters to the editor and even here that showed a lot of sense and wisdom, two traits that Mary Kay sure hasn't since winning office.

Husband and Fat...
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I'm surprised as an educator

I'm surprised as an educator how she talked down to this student. I Really want to know what cost effective way we could have initiated to save the school. The majority of her suggestions produced very little. Where is the logic? Until she produces a spreadsheet with real figures, it's only a wish.

Gerrie van Zyl
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Onward and upward....

Great show of leadership making very difficult decisions.

This decision shows the BoE's commitment to minimize as far as possible the impact on the instructional staff. It would have been far easier to keep all the schools and to fire an additional 50 teachers.

They made the difficult - but correct choice.

Now we can begin the process to build the very best school system in the state. The BOE and the teachers are going to need the support of parents and the community. I truly hope that we can pour as much energy into building a great school system as many poured into the decision process.

Now the real work starts - let's keep in mind that we owe it to the 20,000 beneficiaries to rally behind the Sup Dan Colwell and his team as they build the best school system in GA for our kids.

Gerrie

angeldawn80
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Thank you

As the mother of a 7th grader at FMS, I would like to thank the board members who voted last night. I hate the fact that the schools have to close. It was a horrible decision to have to make and the fact that you were able to make it anyway shows true heart and caring for the county as a whole. You should be proud of yourself for making the tough choice when it had to be made. I hate that she is going to loose her school and so does she but she has been more than vocal in her support of the board regardless of the consequences to herself. Who am I to do any different?

Thank you!

rmoc
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closure of brooks

As sad as I am to see Brooks Elementary close I am relieved that many of the children will be sent to Peeples which is much closer than SHM.