The citizen comments are about to begin.
The leader of the bus drivers is complaining that bus drivers are in distress - lowered pay, increase in insurance premiums, dropped retirement contributions. She demanded a meeting with board reps. She was pretty angry.
Hightower parent: the school is overcrowded. Need more buses. Need water offered at lunch in addition to milk and juice.
Teacher/parent: complimenting DCSS. Daughter is in the IB program at Tucker. Very happy with it. Earned 15 college credits. Is now at Kennesaw State.
Viola Davis: Investigated a school but was told that she should only be concerned with her own child's school. Produced an Open Records Request. Wants the board to reconsider the cell tower agreement with T-Mobile.
Parent from MLK HS - IB Program. Cell tower is due to be installed at MLK -- a flawed decision in a flawed process. Haphazard notification.
Teacher at SW DeKalb - skeptical of new program with lesson plans. He feels he is a professional and can write his own lesson plans. US test prep works. Please continue to fund it. Let me do what I do best.
Lisa Morgan: (ODE rep and Kindergarten teacher) Good things: National Assn of black storytellers holding national conference this week. Tony E and MLK will host storytellers Thurs, Allgood hosting on Friday. Concern: Furlough days. Third Friday of Dec, teachers walk out of classroom and in high school, won't see same students on Jan 4 - when all reenter the building. Teachers need that prep day that was taken away. Does the system truly expect teachers to give a final on the last day and be prepared the next school day for the new group?
Parent: We need another Theme Middle School in the south end of the county. Champion has a wait list of over 500 students. Options are too limited. People are moving or sending children across the county. They would rather their child ride the bus for hours a day than send their child to their home school. 36 of 86 DCSS ESs met AYP. 100% of theme schools met AYP. Board must be proactive and work with parents.
Parent - Wynbrook, Stephenson MS, and Champion, our hope for 6th grade. I was at the round table at Stephenson. Board has funded schools elsewhere, Stephenson needs funding. We need another theme school near Avondale. Avondale HS is only partly used for DSA, could use the rest for theme, or Peachcrest or Glen Haven (both closed). Consider bringing uniforms to all ESs. Parents want quality choice schools in the area - we don't have that at this time.
Marquis Frazier - product of DCSS (Sequoyah, MLK 2005). College at GA State. Works at United Way. TWAM (Together We Accomplish More) - a group he created. College students to speak to high schools about how to prepare for college. Left a video for the board's consideration.
Marsha Tolbert: Proud parent at DSA. Listed DSA's accomplishments so far this year. Nov 10, open Neil Simon's "Rumors". Is thrilled that the county wants to support and expand the program. But questions SPLOST IV plans. There is no theatre for the program. No plans for where to house programs. New site only has parking for staff of a middle school. Need parking for students/staff of a high school along with audience. Building a theatre would cost more than the SPLOST IV allocation for DSA. Where will the money come from? What's the timeline? Very glad you share the vision but want to see the plan.
Sandy Purkett: The Great Redan High School, The Pilot Program and the Blue Thunder Band. 25 students: Alabama A&M, all fees waived. Heavy vote Yes for SPLOST. Better facilities discourage dropouts. The superintendent has "put out everything possible to make sure things are being watched." (?)
Paul Miller; I know you don't want to hear from me - it makes me sick to have to talk to you again about cell towers. I am a physical therapist, I see cancer victims every day having endured bone marrow transplants. Polled his neighbors and not a single one was aware that the board planned to build cell towers on school property. Principal lied. Put flyers in pre-K backpacks. PTA said they didn't know, but couldn't take a stand. NO positives except money.
Cheryl Miller: Learned a lot about cell towers and RF radiation. I don't understand what cell towers have to do with education or why this burden has been put on us - had to deal with it over the summer break when we should have been enjoying family time. We got Brockett taken off the list, but lot of people still don't know cell towers are going to be built at their school. The board needs to do a much better job of communicating with communities.
www.getthecelloutatl.org -- The same issues they have heard about regarding radiation and cell towers are the concerns they will hear about with wireless in the classrooms. That why we will Vote NO on SPLOST.
Jeff Right: Homeowner in Briarlake community. My plan was to live in DeKalb county 10-20 years until I heard that a cell tower was being built. Critical inconsistency in logic to remove three schools but leave others. Cumulative accumulation of radiation is dangerous - esp to children. No safe threshold. This is a deal breaker. Will you measure the radiation? Let the county worry about cell coverage and let the board worry about education.
Tammy Macafie: On a committee seeking to establish another theme school to accommodate the over 400 on the waiting list.
David Schutten: SPLOST IV advocate. We have $2 billion worth of needs (Still?!)
Kalid Mahamod Ali Farakhan: Wants surplus supplies given to homeschoolers. Called each board member by name (shades of Romper Room) What do Caucasions know about educating African-Americans? As long as my brothers and sisters get BMWs and Mercedes, they will look the other way... yada yada...
Willie Pringle: I have a problem with SPLOST. Schools are failing our children. We have some good schools, but the money we have spent in legal fees, unaccounted for - where is the money? I see you asking for another SPLOST when I see teachers, custodians, bus drivers not getting money, but those at the top continue to get pay raises. Cell towers: I told you not to support, but you did. I told you to vote no but you didn't listen. We have a right to know where our tax dollars go. SPLOST IV should not go. Millions still unaccounted for in III. Six years - no audit. What's wrong?