Full-time moms running for Post 1 board of education seat
by Rebecca Johnston
July 18, 2012 01:43 AM | 5342 views | 14 14 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Political newcomer Kyla Cromer is running in the Republican Primary July 31 for the newly created Post 1 seat on the Cherokee County Board of Education. Cromer says she is the most qualified because of her educational and leadership background, and that she is not a one-issue candidate and has no hidden agenda, making her right for the job. <br>Cherokee Tribune/Greg Cuson
Political newcomer Kyla Cromer is running in the Republican Primary July 31 for the newly created Post 1 seat on the Cherokee County Board of Education. Cromer says she is the most qualified because of her educational and leadership background, and that she is not a one-issue candidate and has no hidden agenda, making her right for the job.
Cherokee Tribune/Greg Cuson
slideshow
Political newcomer Kelly Marlow is running in the Republican Primary July 31 for the newly created Post 1 seat on the Cherokee County Board of Education. Marlow says she believes building a world-class educational system is not a ‘go-it-alone’ exercise of the government, but rather a true partnership between parents, teachers, administrators, and the wider community.<br>Cherokee Tribune/Greg Cuson
Political newcomer Kelly Marlow is running in the Republican Primary July 31 for the newly created Post 1 seat on the Cherokee County Board of Education. Marlow says she believes building a world-class educational system is not a ‘go-it-alone’ exercise of the government, but rather a true partnership between parents, teachers, administrators, and the wider community.
Cherokee Tribune/Greg Cuson
slideshow
CANTON — Two full-time moms active in their children’s schools are facing off in the Republican Primary July 31 for the newly created Post 1 seat on the Cherokee County Board of Education.

Political newcomers Kyla Cromer, 48, and Kelly Marlow, 45, may be new to campaigning, but are both old hands at being involved on the education scene.

Cromer, who taught for nine years, worked as a director of education for Sylvan Learning Center and volunteered as a PTA president and chairperson, calls herself a consensus builder and listener who possesses the knowledge to help Cherokee County schools.

Marlow, a proponent of Cherokee Charter Academy, has volunteered as room mom, PTA board member and PTO leader and calls herself a lifetime advocate for children. Before she became a mother, she worked as a professional in the health care industry and later as a preschool and substitute teacher.

Cromer, who is married and has two children, says the most pressing issue facing the local school system is the budget and shortfall in funding.

“Because of decreased revenue from both local and state resources and a continued increase in student population, the schools are being asked to do more with less,” Cromer said. “If elected, I would make fiscally responsible decisions for all students, teachers and parents.”

Marlow, married for 15 years and the mother of 9-year-old twins, said she believes the single biggest weakness in the school system is communication.

“With a budget in excess of $500 million, we must find ways to engage the community at large in a more robust conversation,” Marlow said. “No longer should it be acceptable that the only time we hear from the citizens is during a three minute, one-way comment at a monthly school board meeting. As the next school board member in the Cherokee County School District, I intend to hold regular town hall meetings and I will make it my mission to meet with parents, taxpayers, community leaders and lawmakers who both support and oppose the initiatives of the district.”

Marlow said on House Resolution 1162 that she applauds the state legislature for responding to the taxpaying citizens of Cherokee County bu approving a bipartisan resolution that gives the power to the voters.

The resolution sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) allows for the voters in November to decide to give the state the right to create charter schools.

“The decision to allow for a basic right of appeal is fundamental. Do the innovative parents and educators in our community deserve less than the common criminal?” Marlow said. “As an added bonus, the Legislature made sure that the language of HR1162 states explicitly that no local funds will be used to support these public schools over the objection of local boards. It’s simple. Parents want options and teachers want jobs.”

Cromer says the resolution is not really about school choice or charter schools.

“It is about changing the state’s Constitution to allow an appointed board to approve special schools that have been denied by the local school board,” Cromer said. “Any time power shifts away from the local elected body to a non-elected state body, control is taken away. The ability to appeal a local school board’s decision to the state school board already exists; therefore, implementation of this amendment would waste taxpayer’s money by creating another level of state bureaucracy.”
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RobbyT
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July 19, 2012
Educ8 -- You need to check yourself before trying to school others. Ga Dept of Ed funding to Cherokee appears to increase over time because enrollment increased, but the state is not giving Cherokee County its fair share OR fully funding education as required by state law AND the state is making "austerity cuts" to the funding on top of that. Before the state starts creating new laws and new charter schools, it should follow existing laws and fully fund existing schools. The idea that opening more state charter schools gives more money to local schools is laughable! As the state opens more state charter schools, there's less state money for all schools because each gets a smaller piece of the pie. To make matters worse, the state is cost shifting and putting a greater burden every year on local school systems and local taxpayers to pay for everything from school bus transportation to health insurance for employees.
Cherokee Voter
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July 18, 2012
I have been to several debates here in Cherokee County and I have to say that Ms. Cromer, who has a degree in education and has worked as a teacher, has my vote. Ms. Marlow, who has a degree in psychology, has never worked as a teacher. She's a parent like the rest of us...PERIOD!
Cherokee Parent
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July 19, 2012
I believe Ms. Cromer is a parent too. She is also a lifetime gov't employee with no idea of how to manage a budget.

I will be voting for the fiscal conservative Marlow rather than the 'we need more funding' Cromer.
PropertyTaxPayer
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July 18, 2012
Cromer's quote that "If elected, I would make fiscally responsible decisions for all students, teachers and parents.” is amusing. During the CCRP debate, the only consistent point she made was her complete INability to do much of anything to reign in spending.

"We Can't" is the mantra of Kyla Cromer, as anyone at the debate can attest.

Cromer's repeated insistence of her inabilities to restrain the current Board's half-billion-dollar budget were enlightening and appreciated. Hopefully, District 1 voters are tired of furloughing teachers while subsidizing the superintendent's chauffeur. Cromer sees such an expense as a necessity, along with the need for interior decorators at the unneeded new ADMIN building.

It's unfortunate Cromer doesn't have the courage to run as the tax&spend liberal Democrat she actually is. Must be an Ohio thing, like her decision to purchase all her campaign materials out-of-state, thus not contributing to the very Ed-SPLOST tax increase she so adamantly fought for.

Jeff-Donnelly
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July 18, 2012
I'm trying to be an informed voter and research the candidates. I watched all of the videos from the debate and didn't hear Kyla Cromer say anything like what you claim. I checked on whether the superintendent has a chauffer and he doesn't. I checked on whether the school system has interior decorators and it doesn't. I checked on whether a new administration building is in a construction plan for the school system and it isn't. I read Kelly Marlow's camapign disclosure and she spent money with a Cartersville company which also wouldn't contribute to the SPLOST, so I don't understand the issue you make about Kyla Cromer. I checked out Kyla Cromer's website and read all the articles about her on-line that I could find and found nothing about her being a liberal. It's unfortunate you would make up lies to help Kelly Marlow's campaign. I'm all for school choice, but not for lying.
TiredofCherokeefight
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July 18, 2012
Of course HR1162 will impact local funding. The state will just cut their contribution to the local system. The money might not come out of local funds, but it will come out.
Educ8
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July 18, 2012
Kelly Marlow is a strong supporter of public education and demonstrated herself as a servant in the community.

Regarding the Constitutional ballot initiative, I'm shocked that those who say they support Cherokee County district schools would be against the measure. It would mean that all local funds (even the property taxes of Cherokee Charter students' families) would still support the Cherokee District schools. So, Cherokee students will have additional public school options through the Charter school AND the local school district will have more per student resources in local funds. It's a win-win for everyone!
Brenda_Reddy
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July 18, 2012
Riiiight. Kelly Marlow is no supporter of public education except Cherokee Charter Academy. Here's one example: “They wouldn’t give us the charter school, so I’m not giving them their SPLOST,” Marlow said. The quote is from the AJC 8/26/11 article "Cherokee unrest flares over charter vote." I especially enjoy the irony of Marlow's campaign photo of herself in front of a county school bus since buses are purchased with SPLOST funds. And I'm shocked by anyone who makes the illogical argument that 1162 won't end up costing all public schools (including existing charter schools like CCA) money! The state has one pot of money for public education, and when you approve more school systems (which is what you do when you create state charters), there's less money for every school. Don't start in on "the money follows the child" -- that argument doesn't hold water for anyone who knows about budgets and running a business. More school systems means more overhead and less savings through economies of scale. Gov. Deal "found" state (not federal) money last school year and this coming school year for the special charters including CCA, but he can't keep that up or find more if more state charters are open. It's actually a lose-lose for everyone.
Educ8
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July 18, 2012
Brenda-

You may want to check your facts and math related to funding. For any Cherokee County parent that pays local property taxes and then chooses another form of education (private, homeschool, public charter) other than the local school district, then their local property tax dollars still go to the local school district and are used for the local school district students. Instead of being upset at Cherokee county parents who choose a different form of education for their child, you should appreciate them because their choice means more local funds for per district students. At a time when lower property values reduces the amount of local revenue, these parents' decisions help lessen the financial blow.

If you check the Georgia Dept. of Education's website regarding the State's funding for the Cherokee County school district, then you'll see a different picture than the one you paint. In 2005, Cherokee County received $105 million. Since that time, it dramatically increased. In 2013, Cherokee County district will receive a total state funding amount of more than $148 million.

The biggest impact on public education funding has been the economic downturn and decreasing property values...not the increasing public education options for students.
More Edcuc8ed
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July 18, 2012
As school districts are funded on a per pupil basis, Educ8, of course the district received more money in 2011 than in 2005. There were thousands more students! Also, the bulk of increased funding on a per pupil basis came in the form of teacher pay raises by Perdue (and approved happily by the legislature) during the good times of 2005-2007. There was no additional money for textbooks, transportation, technology, nurses or anything else. While you are on the DOE website, check the teacher salary ranges for the same time period, you will see it is true.
Michael Sinco
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July 18, 2012
Very good article, Cherokee Tribune. My only comment to Ms. Marlow is that, as a teacher, I don't object to HR 1162 because I am trying to protect my job; I do it because I don't want to see local control taken away from bureaucrats from Atlanta. We elect a local school board to decide these matters. Local/parent/voter/citizen control is the way to go.
PropertyTaxPayer
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August 09, 2012
But Michael...an elected local school board == GOVERNMENT making the decision, not the parent.

Having some board of elected officials (the very def. of the word 'government') making decisions is the exact antithesis of Parental Control.

I honestly don't know why you people fear parental control so much and why you think parents should have this choice stolen from them by a local board of gov't officials, one of whom is a WWF wrestler.
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