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Fayette, we have a list

Three weeks ahead of the E-SPLOST referendum, the Fayette County School System has unveiled a spending list of how between $95 million and $107 million in sales tax collections will be allocated beginning in 2014.

If voters on Nov. 6 approve the continuation of the 1-percent E-SPLOST sales tax, the funds would be used like this (based on collections of $95 million):

• 39 percent for curriculum, instruction and technology.

• 37 percent for maintenance, renovations and modifications — but NO artificial turf for stadiums.

• Slightly under 14 percent for things like school buses, classroom and administrative furniture, and surveillance cameras.

• Slightly under 11 percent to pay down bond debt.

The Fayette County Board of Education recently approved the ballot measure that carries a maximum ceiling of $107 million over a 5-year collection period.

It is estimated that the one-cent sales tax renewal will generate up to $95 million over its five-year lifespan, according to school system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach.

The school system in breaking down the uses for the collections based those expenditures on the $95 million figure.

A breakdown of the intended uses shows $10 million going toward paying down the bond debt and lowering the bond property millage rate.

Berry-Dreisbach said the bond millage rate has decreased every year since tax collections started, resulting in reduced property taxes of $434 on a $250,000 home. For a chart showing the decrease, visit the school system’s website, www.fcboe.org

Berry-Dreisbach said the largest portion of the collections, totaling $37 million, will be spent on curriculum, instruction and technology.

While other priority areas have detailed lists of projects, this category is more general, citing areas such as interactive classroom equipment, digital textbooks, printers and copiers for classrooms and schools.

Once a project is specified, it is difficult to change, even if it suddenly becomes obsolete or is no longer needed. Technology is a good example, Berry-Dreisbach said.

“New advances in technology have provided instructional opportunities that were not envisioned when the 2008 E-SPLOST was approved,” said Berry-Dreisbach.

“The tax proceeds enabled the school system to start the ‘Bring Your Own Technology’ (BYOT) program this year at all middle and high schools, and, if the E-SPLOST is maintained, at elementary schools by next year. Wi-Fi capabilities allow students to use their electronic devices in class at the direction of their teachers, making learning more relevant and engaging.

“BYOT was not specifically listed in the first E-SPLOST, but this nationally proven program has provided students with a valuable learning tool that otherwise would not have been possible,” she said.

A total of $35 million has been set aside for maintenance, renovations and modifications. This does not include artificial turf at stadiums, Berry-Dreisbach said, adding that citizens can visit the school system’s website to see the list of projects.

The last area, safety and support, will receive $13 million for items such as school buses, classroom and administrative furniture, and surveillance cameras, said Berry-Dreisbach.

“The Fayette County Board of Education thanks the county’s voters for approving the 2008 E-SPLOST referendum,” said Berry-Dreisbach. “The school system was able to provide students with updated computer equipment that meets national standards, and instructional materials and programs that would not have been possible without E-SPLOST.

“Without the extension of the current E-SPLOST, the school system will not be able to continue to upgrade its technology infrastructure and purchase textbooks, learning materials, and school buses as needed.

“Repairs and refurbishments to existing facilities will be either deferred or paid for from operational funds where necessary. There will be many lost opportunities for Fayette County students,” said Berry-Dreisbach.



If "electronic devises" at the teachers directions can be used,,,Why GO to school to begin with?? talk about saving money.....
Silly me, we all deep down KNOW the reason, otherwise these kids would be in schools that ALREADY use this medium

[quote]If "electronic devises" at the teachers directions can be used,,,Why GO to school to begin with?? talk about saving money..[/quote]

I bet someone said that about the brush and quill and pencils and pens when the typewriter came out! As our current Congress exhibits, humans need to develop the ability to have face to face conversations/debates in order to civilly discuss issues and solve problems. My grandparents and parents often said the TV (improper use of it) shut down 'family time', where children learned how to politely discuss issues. We need 'face to face' opportunities that schools provide (even with skype!) Classrooms in our country are sharing projects with classrooms in Sweden, Germany, Kenya, Japan, China, etc. I still believe the foundation for a good education begins at the mothers (or fathers) knee. But the future belongs to those who can access information, analyze it, and use it creatively to advance human kind. It will take those 'electronic devises' to keep our children in the number one position where they belong ! 10-20 years ago, I was impressed with the number of students on college campuses that had their own laptops/ etc. which they used for notetaking , etc. in class. Just finished visiting several college campuses in the mid-west - and lo and behold, EVERYONE has an Ipad or similar electronic devise. One student told me that three of his textbooks were downloaded on the devise! This is a new world!! Students have information at their fingertips - and are fully prepared to debate ANYTHING!! I have no idea the cost of Ipad type instruments versus textbooks - but I hope teachers, administrators, and BOE members are looking into this. Even 'online' courses are implementing 'discussion groups, etc.' for there is a need for human interaction to fully digest and comprehend the written word (or theory).

Hope ya had a pleasant vacation ,
I'm NOT suggesting "E" schooling only but I really do believe there is and should be a ... "all of the above" approach. (and I am NO WAY smart enough to figure this out logistically) but maybe a 3 day AT school week, yet open the school 5 days a week, kids, "A B C D E" come to school Mon Tue Wed, kids F G H I J come to school Weds Thurs Fri...and once a month they ALL show up for a week. This reduces "class size" it allows for more individual instruction, AND it allows for social interaction ....

like I said just an idea.....

Great idea! When overcrowded classrooms/lack of classroom seats became a problem in some large urban areas, the vear-round -school was implemented. Looked great on paper - but played havoc on families who had kids on different schedules. Some creative use of both, like you suggest, while keeping kids on campus and family schedules in tact should be possible in areas like Fayette County. Teachers throughout the country are being trained to use these devices effectively at all grade levels. The schools that I have visited in FC have wi-fi. I have been in classrooms in PTC and Fayetteville where teachers are creatively using many of these devices to stimulate and expand learning.

Great trip! Retirement allows us to take our time instead of zipping around via the airlines. This is a great country - and the citizens are unbelievably friendly to 'strangers'. It's so-called 'classy' to travel abroad, but nothing like the good 'ole US!

Its great to see the list, with funds laid out and accounted for.

No astro turf, and a BOE holding themselves accountable with a plan.

If the ESPLOST does NOT renew, beginning in 2015 ESPLOST funds used for technology, textbooks, capital expenditures such as building maintenance, will have to be re-allocated back into the operating budget to cover these costs. Currently 90% of the FBOE operating budget pays for salaries and benefits. Without the ESPLOST, cuts will have to come from further reduction in labor resulting in larger class sizes.

Since 2003, under the STATE OF GEORGIA emergency/austerity formula for state tax reimbursements to school systems, Fayette has lost $75 million in state funding. This is why 173 oout of 179 school systems/counties have ESPLOSTS now.

For 5 years, beginning in 2105, FCBOE is holding themselves accountable to a budget plan....thanks to the editor of the Citizen who identified the issue last week.

Thank you FCBOE and thank you Cal Beverly .... Fayette, has an ESPLOST expenditure plan.

Now please vote YES to renew the ESPLOST....plan and all!

I will say it again, I will not agree to an ESPLOST extension. I cannot endorse ESPLOST when I see no clear indication of improved fiduciary responsibility on the part of the BOE. Absent that indication, I will continue to vote NO.



Clearly with our new board members, there are strong financial skill sets, and with the state and county cuts, and 90% of the operating budget spent on salaries, the ESplost funds are needed as most stakeholders know. That is why every current board member and the board candidates running on Nov 6 support the ESplost. There is simply no place to cut.

Hopefully, citizens with children in the schools will turn out and vote YES.

Thank you for your input.

Stearman or Waco?,,,or even Better Pitts lol

On your comment to Mr Sussberg, Amen ! and you can count on 3 more NO votes
from at least one family over here off Sandy Creek Rd (and as I understand it from direct neighbors) there'll be several more NO's in this area of the County.

I truly believe Fiscal Conservatives are DONE with the Post Dated Blank Check to Government

G35 Dude's picture

1. How much help can an ESPLOST be if it can't be used for salaries and salaries are 90% of the budget?

2. What is your source for that information? (Salaries = 90% of budget)

Of course the "Law" is judged by those that choose what a word means or the Law Writers intended, rather than the ACTUAL WORDS, so leads me to a question

A "Salary" is paid to "non hourly" employees, Bonus's are not part of a Salary, etc etc. Folks WORDS have meaning especially in Law

In the Article "Fayette, We have a list"
a breakdown of percentages lays out :
37% to xxx
>14% to xxx
>11% to xxx

Um I know I was Privately School Educated but I believe even Government School math would conclude this only totals 62% of the 107 Million
ummm how is the remaining 38% ($40,066,000) spent?

Try openga.gov

90% is because the ESplost covers most other items freeing up the budget to focus on salaries and benefits.

G35 Dude's picture

[quote]90% is because the ESplost covers most other items freeing up the budget to focus on salaries and benefits.[/quote]

So you're actually saying that salaries make up 90% of the budget that is not currently covered by the ESPLOST?


and without the ESPLOST renewal starting in 2015, when when the current ESplost expires, funds will need to be allocated to cover more items that ESPLOST paid for.

How about a/c on buses since probably have to run even longer routes and it is hot more than cold here in GA. We are probably only county without. The kids are on the bus sometimes between 30-50 min on a route. Hard on drivers and kids!

I think my kids can live with open windows. I am pretty sure they won't melt.

I ask because I REALLY don't know
Do Fayette Co school buses have seat belts and Car seats (for those kids under 44" tall?)

G35 Dude's picture

Only the drivers have seat belts on the big buses. Some of the special needs (short buses) have seat belts and/or harness' for the kids. No car seats that I know of.

it won't hurt the little ones.

And as far as seat belts go, I doubt they are equipped. Who is going to be responsible for them wearing them?

Maybe we could issue them crash helmets too..

too funny, Hey I only ask and if they DON'T then I have a few questions..
1) Why do we allow OUR government to break "the law" that WE could loose OUR children over)
2) How is it parents, teachers administrators, resource officers the BoE
claim "they're concerned about student safety"? I mean I'm told all the time how me wearing a seat belt is "for my safety"
3) Aren't School Buses use for AFTER SCHOOL activities? so the idea that "well they don't travel "at speed" is a BS excuse I see School buses on Friday night on the Interstate well above the Minimum posted speed
4) Not having seat belts on a School Bus IS no way around this HYPOCRITICAL
Government Logic and WE citizens are FOOLS for allowing this

Not enough room here.

"Read up on school buses" No, as I REALLY don't care, Seeing as how NO WAY NO HOW would I subject my child to a School Bus, thus the matter to my family is irrelevant, (except to the point, that school buses operate OUTSIDE of the Law I have to follow,,,so much for Equal Protection,,again)
If Mr and Mrs Government School Advocate have no problem turning their beloved child over to a Bureaucracy for it's education then who am I to question HOW they send their offspring to that entity?

My problem rest SOLELY with the idea that if I haul X amount of kids to a Private School THEY MUST be restrained, an dif under 44" tall MUST be in a car seat ... dude and dudettes THAT is ummm called Discrimination and lordy knows ya can't do that.......well at least not in the Land of the Freedom of Choice..............

you don't have to wear a seat belt either. So the law is applied equally.

Same rule for Vans that carry over a certain amount of passengers.

I'm not sure why you are so bothered by this.

I have NO doubt of why YOU aren't "bothered by this"

I have loved ones that ride school buses daily.

Oh yeah, I wear my seat belt in my private vehicle too.

Be good, I am done here with your games. Your issues are obvious.

I can only HOPE and PRAY your loved ones remain safe (Honestly)as do you.

Here's my personal problem with Seat Belt Laws, (Helmet Laws)While you and others may have my best interest in mind when passing these laws, MY INTEREST are none of YOUR business, in fact by making these laws you may in fact be endangering MY life. How's that you ask? simple to answer, ANY law gives police and or Law EnFORCEment the "permission" to use DEADLY force to make me comply... Jay Walking, means Barney Fife can use his gun and 1 Bullet to MAKE me conform, and IF I don't react as HE thinks I should,,, I'm only one a 5 pound trigger pull away from being dead,,and there is NO "redo" on that action..
YEs, Seat Belts save lives, no denying that, but at 46 trips around the sun
I DEMAND the RIGHT to choose,,especially considering YOU and others have deemed 66 Children in a Vehicle with a seating system (tested to 25g's)VS the "G " force testing of a 1968 Cessna 150 seat system (tested to 40g's)

Bottom Line, I just wonder how many of "you" seat belt supporters would be willing to point YOUR gun at my head when I exercise MY right to Choose NOT to wear one??? my guess is that Gun Pointing line would be awfully short,


If so Thanks but No thanks,

MY Question remains, whether you're sober or not,
Why do you seat belt law supporters believe y'all have a Right
by proxy to threaten me and mine with Deadly Force because
we CHOOSE to not buckle up ?

Too much govt involvement--I DROVE a 48 pax school bus when I was 17/18 yrs old and there were ZERO seat belts on the bus--I didn't have one either! Never any accidents and I never had any behavior problems. Some of my riders had to walk down a long path from the house to the road and they all knew what time to be at the road--if they weren't there or even if I saw them leaving the house as I arrived,I'd leave them! Then the parents had to bring them to school--usually only happened once or twice and both parents & kids got the message. My, how our society has changed.

G35 Dude's picture

Actually Q if a child rides a school bus to school they are 13 times safer than if transported by private automobile, according to government statics. The seat belt law is waived on a school bus because of the size of the vehicle and the seat design.


G35, I can if you'd like provide Stats that WILL show traveling via Aircraft
is THE safest means of transportation ,,, ooops but ya know what ,,,EVERY SEAT and or Passenger MUST have said safety harness secured,,,,

Bottom line, Those of you that claim "School Buses" don't need seat belts,
are the SAME fools that claim YOU know best about MY CHOICE in MY CHOICE of transportation as to whether I need restraint...

IF a seat belt in a Yugo can save a life, or a Seat Belt in a Mercedes AMG 850 can save a life, or a seat belt in a J3 Cub is required or a passenger in an A 380-800 or B747-800 or G 650 HAS to be Belted, why then do YOU claim a child in a piss poor built school bus does NOT need one?

Dude, what is it YOU have against our kids???? why do you NOT want them as safe as they can be???
For the love of God . please tell me it aint about saving a dollar,,,,,

G35 Dude's picture

[quote]IF a seat belt in a Yugo can save a life, or a Seat Belt in a Mercedes AMG 850 can save a life, or a seat belt in a J3 Cub is required or a passenger in an A 380-800 or B747-800 or G 650 HAS to be Belted, why then do YOU claim a child in a piss poor built school bus does NOT need one?

Dude, what is it YOU have against our kids???? why do you NOT want them as safe as they can be???
For the love of God . please tell me it aint about saving a dollar,,,,,[/quote]

Not sure what I said to invoke that kind of response. But I will ask if you took the time to read the article that I provided a link to? If so what part do you have a problem with and what data do you have to back up your position?

What Link??
and NO I read no link
What Link??

Dude, I THOUGHT something was amiss ...as "you're response" was out of character,,, as it were

Dondol's picture

Quallacherokee, did forget your Meds or something. For somebody that "Seeing as how NO WAY NO HOW would I subject my child to a School Bus, thus the matter to my family is irrelevant," you sure are pissing and moaning alot about something that
you don't plan on using. But we sure do appreciate you worrying about our kids, thanks.

It seems to have gone over their head

I think people are too spoiled by Air Conditioning..We did not have AC when I was a kid at home or at school..Maybe if there was more fresh air kids would not be so sick..

yea we do put windows down but in 100 degree weather just blows hot air. It is easy to say driving with your a/c on! Try driving on top of engine 300 degrees. The little ones as you say shouldn't have to be on there for 30 or more min. but are and with that kind of heat they come out toasted.

No seat belts please! Unless you want us to choose which kids get off first in case of emergency. No parents can teach them to sit properly and accidents on bus is less likely than in a car.

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