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Date Posted: 12:23:03 05/07/10 Fri
Author: Donald F. Valtman
Subject: Re: What's up?
In reply to: Donald F. Valtman 's message, "Re: What's up?" on 13:58:40 05/01/10 Sat

'Furloughing' teachers and filing lawsuits seem to be prime BoE/Wilbanks budget related activities. Instead of REDUCING the quality of academic educations provided County students, shouldn't GCPSS be pursuing alternative activities?

Here's a cost reduction suggestion that would have NO adverse effects whatsoever on the quality of student academic education -- QUIT PAYING the debt service (to whomever) on its 2 Lease-Purchase (L-P) deals which have remaining lives of approximately 15 years. Anticipating that naysayers would contend GCPSS just can't do this, here's some rebuttal to their most common reasons:

> GCPSS's CREDIT RATING WOULD GO-DOWN-THE-TUBES: So what if it did? GCPSS shouldn't be borrowing any money to build ANYTHING -- beyond what was promised Gwinnett voters to approve the 2007-12 SPLOST -- to accomodate MORE K-12 students! Why? Because there AIN'T going to be MORE K-12 students in future school years! And, if a quality public school system is supposed to be a plus in attracting new business to the County, then GCPSS's mission #1 should be providing kids with a quality academic education -- NOT worrying about how cheaply it can borrow money, participating in a County-wide jobs program, etc.

> INVESTORS COULD 'REPOSSESS' GCPSS FACILITIES: Very, very unlikely! Why? Because, in most cases, GCPSS has so mixed-up funding -- used SPLOST funds to buy land and used L-P funds for adding to or building new schools on that land -- that legal mumbo-jumbo would tie-up repossessions for a long, long time. Equally important would be (a) the negative PR investors would receive if they repossessed a public school, and (b) what would they do with a repossessed building designed for educating kids and/or to whom would they market such a building that may require major redesign and associated costs? The only L-P funded GCPSS building that might be marketable in as-is condition would be the BoE Headquarters. And, if that building were repossessed, it wouldn't make a row-of-beans difference in the quality of student education if BoE members/GCPSS administrators had to relocate to and work in plebeian replacement quarters.

> IT JUST 'WOULDN'T BE RIGHT' TO STIFF THE GWINNETT COUNTY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (GCDA) OR INVESTORS: Why? The GCDA and bond investors generally are a sophisticated bunch that recognize and accept risk-reward conditions. Nations, states, counties, etc., routinely default on debt, consider filing for bankruptcy, issue IOUs, etc. So what's wrong with GCPSS owning up to the fact that it has spent recklessly and defaulting on all related L-P deal debt payments? If GCPSS can stiff County public school taxpayers by willingly forfeiting $20 Million in future property taxes to participate in Gwinnett CIDs, GCPSS could issue 'haircut' IOUs (payable in 15-20 years from issue) to GCDA/investors to 'honor its commitment' to current L-P agreements. I personallyh would consider retaining to-be-furloughed teachers in exchange for stiffing GCDA/investors to be a good and justifiable trade-off!

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