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Date Posted: 11:09:41 03/16/10 Tue
Author: Donald F. Valtman
Subject: BoE oversight of GCPSS operations:

This Thursday, the BoE is to take its annual "detailed" look-see at GCPSS finances. Most of its 'oversight' will be based on STAFF/CONSULTANT PROVIDED reports and data, but individual BoE members also are to meet with reps from their district's school Teacher Advisory Councils. In that teacher jobs now are on the chopping-block and media reporters/PTA groupies either don't know or are not allowed to ask 'hard' questions, here's a sampling of some relevant questions teacher reps may want to ask their respective BoE members:

o WHY and HOW did GCPSS go from a 'seemingly rosy financial situation' to a '$100 Million deficit situation' overnight?

o Ask for some stats showing academic achievement by student groupings on standardized tests over a 5 or 10 year period. In cases where there has been NO improvement, explain why.

o Why is GCPSS unable or unwilling to provide a GUARANTEE (as another Georgia public school system has) that if a GCPSS graduate requires collegiate remedial training in a core subject, GCPSS will provide such retraining at no additional cost to the student or his parents?

o What are current GCPSS staff/consultant 5 year-out FORECASTS for a) K-12 student enrollments, b) associated teacher staffing levels, c) set-asides to cover employee pensions, debt-service obligations, etc., d) total operating budgets, and (e) total operating revenues from all sources to support forecasted operating budgets and set-asides.

o If 5 year-out forecasted revenues are inadequate to support forecasted budgets, what corrective action(s) is the BoE planning to take and why?

These and other serious questions forward-thinking reps already are contemplating will (1) give parents a heads-up as to what they can expect in terms of future quality and cost of an academic public education at GCPSS, and (2) enable GCPSS teachers and other employee groups to ascertain if the BoE/its administrators truly have/do any advance planning or just operate GCPSS by the seat-of-their-pants! Equally important, such questions will give all employees a preview of what the future holds for them at GCPSS.

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