I am a teacher in the Cherokee County School District; a property owner in the county; and very soon, I will have a kid in the system. I have plenty of skin in the game.
There are ample things on which Kelly Marlow and I agree. I believe in the right to question government officials and the need for transparency. I am skeptical of the government and am a penny pincher that always is looking for ways to cut the budget. I think that we need to allow the private sector to do more while we shrink back governmental social services.
However, I do disagree with Ms. Marlow on several things dealing with our school district. Over the last five years, the school district has cut past the bone with a reduction of 25 percent of their operating budget. This has caused class sizes to rapidly increase (in some cases by 50 percent).
Many people have lost their jobs; services have been cut back; programs have been altered. Fees have been raised on parents; buses are more crowded; and books have been recycled. Some of these cuts have been healthy, but we have gone well past that point. Right now, the educational system in Cherokee is on the precipice.
Are we a county that values education? Do we believe that a quality education system leads to economic growth/a better workforce/higher home values/lower crime? Can we fuel growth/economic success if we are a county with a great education system? Can we achieve this for free?
Ms. Marlow stepped over the line when she sent a letter to SACS asking for an investigation of our school system because of her personal disagreements (with other board members and staff). Ms. Marlow was not elected to serve her own political agenda, but the 42,000 students in Cherokee County (in all schools).
Instead of uplifting and promoting the system, she has caused it to be uttered in the same breath with Clayton and DeKalb. Nothing good can come of it.
There is a solution to her problems that can end the bickering on the School Board. She can resign. By doing that, she can still question the system without endangering the 3,000 seniors on pace to graduate from Cherokee County schools next year.
Do it for the kids.