Click here to read the actual proposed referendum. Every category reads "Includes, but not limited to"... Now that is vague and opens up the flood gates for additions and special projects (akin to the gorgeous Palace reno snuck in SPLOST III, which incidentally has another year to go).
Furthermore, as we have stated on the blog in the past, most of us do not plan to support another SPLOST tax unless and until we get highly qualified, trustworthy, ethical leadership in place. We think it is best to wait a year and make a much more structured plan – one that is educationally driven (form follows function, right?) Make a sound education plan and then let that drive the numbers and types of buildings necessary to complete the task – educating children.
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Coralwood School
Sent: Wed, June 1, 2011 8:45:37 PM
Subject: Urgent: Coralwood School Needs Your Help!
Coralwood School needs your help! For the last 5 years, members of the Board of Education and the Superintendent and the Superintendent's staff (both Lewis and Tyson) have pledged funding to Coralwood for a renovation and additional classrooms that will allow us to better serve the needs of our children. In fact, the County has already funded architectural drawings for this expansion at a cost of nearly $400,000. This project would provide dedicated music and art rooms, a sensory room, therapy space, 8 additional classrooms, renovated bathrooms, a dedicated computer lab and expanded library. Thousands of volunteer-hours have been dedicated to this plan and it is ready to go! Over the last year, members of the Board of Education, Ramona Tyson and Barbara Coleman have all given us their personal promise to see our project through. Now they are reneging on that promise.
This is what we need you to do. Please email the following TODAY and every day through Monday, June 6 (the day of the vote) to Board of Education members, the Interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson; Barbara Colman, Chief Operating Officer; and Dan Drake, Demographer responsible for data collection and reporting.
Subject: CORALWOOD SCHOOL
1. Coralwood School is an inclusion program that serves children from all over the county and EVERY Board of Education member has children of voting constituents at this school.
2. Our community has worked tirelessly these last 5 years to create an award-winning, model program and have self-funded initiatives to improve the program and facilities, but now we need DCSS to step up to improve our facilities, as promised, so that we can adequately meet the needs of our students.
3. DCSS has already spent, as part of its commitment to the Coralwood expansion, almost $400,000.00 in architectural drawings. Without following through with the complete project, this money spent is evidence of further waste and lack of accountability to tax payers. We demand wise decision-making and fiscal responsibility from DCSS and the BoE.
4. We dispute our utilization number. We are, in fact, at capacity based on the disabilities of children we serve. Our classroom sizes are mandated by law based on our inclusion model and the severity of the disabilities of children placed in the classroom.
5. We dispute the argument that Coralwood has a higher expense per pupil. Federal Special Education funds, not local dollars, cover those additional expenses as required under IDEA to meet the educational needs of disabled students.
6. DCSS is legally required to meet the IEP goals of our students. This is not and has not been the case in providing adequate therapies. Our children have received inadequate services in inadequate space for years in violation of IDEA.
7. You are rushing through this process and not giving the public adequate time to digest and respond to the information, much less considering prior commitments you have made to the children of Coralwood School.
8. Our community will not support SPLOST IV, and will actively campaign against it, unless the funds are made available for the Coralwood project as pledged.
Thank you for fulfilling your commitment to Coralwood School.
Please make this a priority TODAY and every day through Monday, June 6 before it’s too late! The Board will be voting on SPLOST IV projects Monday, June 6. Ask your neighbors and family members to also email this message on behalf of Coralwood School.