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Date Posted: 05:59:43 11/14/09 Sat
Author: Larry
Subject: Two out of three ain’t bad
In reply to: Donald F. Valtman 's message, "Think it through -- Part 2:" on 11:26:09 11/12/09 Thu

(A) the state QBE funds (whatever the amount) are GCPSS's PROPERTY to do with as the BoE pleases

[note: not to split legal hair, but the word “property” has a legal definition which includes certain legal rights, including the use of deadly force to protect it, unrelated to this case. Therefore my reply, which is ironically shorter than this explanation of it, treats this statement as meaning GCPS has the sole authority to spend QBE funds.]

Correct. Local school boards have the exclusive legal authority to spend state QBE funds earned by students in their jurisdiction. Georgia Constitution Article VIII, Section V, Paragraph I grants this authority and prohibits the creation of additional school systems.

(B) there is NO requirement nor should any Gwinnett parent realistically believe that GCPSS distributes a proportionate amount of state QBE funds to each of its schools and that each school spends an EQUAL amount of their QBE stipend on each enrolled student REGARDLESS of the student's economic status and/or academic performance

Correct. LEAs are not required to use QBE funding formulae in their budgets. People believe what they want, but I’d be surprised if there’s much difference the two because FTE factors attempt to reflect real world costs. Also, academic performance is only an issue to the extent that kids requiring SpEd are funded at a much higher rate than kids without this requirement.

(C) any contention that reassigning state QBE funds -- as the 'Commission' has done with GCPSS's share -- deprives GCPSS's best and brightest students of more money that supposedly will improve their academic performance, is just so much bull----!

Here’s where I need more information.

Based solely on your recent posts, local school systems should demonstrate the need and justify spending before receiving full state funding. What’s missing is any requirement of commission schools to justify the full state funding they receive or the additional amount, currently 50 per cent more than QBE calculations, granted to them by the Charter Commission. Currently, your position reads as if an appointed board should have the unbridled authority to reassign any amount – or all – of state funding from any public school system to schools that they themselves approved.

I’ll wait for clarification on this point before commenting.

Let’s keep in mind this is a state level issue, not a Gwinnett or Alvin issue. There are only two commission schools in Georgia and both are defendants in legal actions brought by the five school systems that now receive less state funding for kids they educate than every other school system in the state. If the Charter Commission approves any of the 30 some apps they currently have, there is every reason to believe other school systems will file identical lawsuits against every commission school that receives state funding for kids who do not attend the commission school.

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