ECCC PTA 2015 Education Forum Follow-up

 

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ECCC PTA Education Forum Follow-up

On December 8, 2015, the ECCC PTA hosted an Education Forum to discuss the proposed recommendations presented by the Georgia Educational Reform Commission and how those recommendations will impact Cobb County.  Claire Suggs of the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute presented the basic details of the proposals and a copy of her presentation can be found here.  Links to additional information are below.  Ms. Suggs was joined by Cobb County Board of Education Members, Mr. Scott Sweeney and Mr. David Banks.

Since then, in his State of the State Address, Governor Nathan Deal asked the legislature to review the Education Reform Commission proposals and has indicated that he will appoint a Teacher Advisory Committee.  The Governor stated his intent to address the Education Reform Commission proposals in the 2017 legislative session and state budget.  To see the Governor’s January 13, 2016 State of the State Address, click here.

 General Comments

*     A high-quality education is critical for our children, so that they may compete successfully in an exponentially competitive economy, so that our communities, businesses and State will thrive, and so that Georgia will be the best place to live and work.

*      More and more jobs will require some higher education – including knowledge of STEM and computer literacy.  Currently only 42% of Georgian’s have a post-education degree.

 *     As parents and school community members, we realize that our elected officials at the state and county level consider providing a high-quality education as the highest priority.  We all want our students to succeed.  Let’s work together to accomplish that.

Issues Raised

*     Will the proposed student based education funding formula provide sufficient funding for a high-quality public education – now and in the future?  The proposed education formula is predicted to increase Cobb’s education by an estimated $6.9 million.  This is a welcome increase.  However, under the current education formula (the Quality Based Education or QBE) without austerity cuts the estimated additional amount Cobb would receive is close to $28 million. (This is if the QBE were fully funded.)

*      Will the proposed education funding formula bring class sizes smaller?  Parents and teachers have shared with us that they believe that larger class sizes make education delivery more difficult and have a negative impact on the learning environment.  (See Parent & Teacher Survey on Class Sizes below.)

*    Will the proposed changes to teacher’s pay provide a salary structure that keeps highly qualified educators in Georgia schools — now and in the future?  We have the highest respect for our teachers and educators. They are critical for our students’ education.  We want the best teachers and we want them to feel valued and treated well.

*     It is our sincerest hope that parents, teachers, administrators, community members, elected officials and business leaders will work together to assess education challenges in Cobb County and in Georgia – and that we can together identify the best solutions.

*    What can you do?  Become informed and share your opinions with our elected officials.  See below links for background information, talking points, a list of elected officials who represent Cobb schools, and elected official contact information.

 

How to Contact Cobb County Elected Officials

List of Cobb County Elected Officials by School

Contact Information for Cobb County Elected Officials

GA PTA Talking Points (from October, scroll to bottom)

 

Links to Information Resources

GPEE Education Reform Review — from 11/10/15 Walton HS PTSA Education Forum

Education Reform Fact Sheet

GBPI Reports on Education Funding Proposal and Transportation

Education Reform Commission

Education Reform Commission Funding Model Overview

Education Reform Commission Subcommittee Recommendations

Education Reform Commission Funding Model Spreadsheet

GBPI Report on Education Reform Commission

CCSD Budget Page

Cobb Board of Education Legislative Priorities

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