Marlow should be one answering questions
August 01, 2013 10:24 PM | 2602 views | 8 8 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Kelly Marlow achieved more than she ever intended during her current tenure “representing” District 1 on the Cherokee County Board of Education.

Singlehandedly, or perhaps with a little support and direction from her tea party compatriots, she exposed the deficiencies of the “suspicious assault” approach to addressing public education and the misguided “shoot first and understand your target later” strategy demonstrated by her request for investigation of the CBOE by AdvanceED/SACs followed by her combative display during the budget discussions of the school board meeting held July 24.

Citizens countywide now understand just how adeptly the CBOE has navigated the financial challenges imposed on it in an extremely inhospitable and fiscally charged environment as painstakingly enumerated during the meeting by Superintendent Dr. Frank Petruzielo.

The Cherokee Board of Education managed to successfully return the school calendar to 180 days from 173 for the 2013-2014 school year despite severe cuts in the Cherokee County School District budget withheld at the federal, state and local levels of government: $1.2 million in Federal Sequestration cuts; $24.8 million in Georgia’s austerity cuts; and Cherokee’s woefully diminished property tax digest by 25 percent (2008-2012).

Meticulously, Dr. P. explained how value and savings is being squeezed out of every dollar in the interest of providing a top-notch education for CCSD students under incredibly fragile economic conditions, even going so far as to outsource the 2013-2014 custodial staff to Aramark, a significant savings in health insurance alone.

Even one of Cherokee’s top real estate agents along with the Cherokee Office of Economic Development recently emphasized that CCSD’s high quality education is a key draw for investment, homebuyers and businesses (as reported in the Woodstock-Townelake Patch, June 26).

Allowing the “Don’t Tread on Me” sensibility of the tea party to dominate this county where public education is concerned will only serve to marginalize our students’ educational future and drive business, residential sales and development toward our Cobb, north Fulton, and Forsyth county neighbors and further choke the tax base and property values here.

A question for the District 1 CBOE member is, “What’s your plan for providing a superior education for CCSD students?”

Lisa Murad

Hickory Flat

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Cherokee mom
August 02, 2013
Another question for Ms. Marlow - What really happened the night of June 13th? Your side seems to want to brush that whole incident under the rug. I want to hear directly from you. Not from your lawyer, Not from Robert Trim or Barbara Knowles.

Yes we live in a country where you are innocent until proven guilty. However, I found your attorney's reaction to that mess very interesting. He was outraged that you were charged with a felony but never said he was outraged that the police would charge you with filing a false claim. He never disputed the "tape" that the police supposedly have to prove you are guilty. Which leaves many of us to draw only one conclusion. So if indeed you have nothing to hide, why don't you share the truth of that evening with us?
Legal Advice
August 02, 2013
Cherokee mom, if you're ever charged with a crime, my free legal advice is this: Wait until your trial before you "share the truth" of the alleged crime.

I seriously doubt Marlowe's legal team would be stupid enough to let her "share the truth" with us before the trial. Similarly, I've not seen any "truth-sharing" from the superintendent. I'd guess his legal team is telling him to keep his mouth shut too.

Noone charged with a crime ever, ever, ever "shares any truths" before the trial. So get a grip, Cherokee mom - and don't hold your breath waiting for something that legally stupid to occur here.
August 02, 2013
If Frankie P was able to successfully return the calendar year to 180 days this year after cutting the budget to $496,000,000, why wasn't he able to do so last year, when the budget was $517,000,000?

It's nonsensical.

What's also amazing...and how many of Frankie P's supporters shed tears of bliss for the man while completely ignoring the $300,000,000 DEBT this man's policies have heaped upon us.

If we don't spend another dime that we don't have (an impossibility for our fiscally-incompetent superintendent and thoroughly kowtowing BOE), we won't pay off this debt until 2030, at the EARLIEST. Don't count on the equally-incompetent Janet Read nor any of the other board members to stop any more future spending from Der Superintendent. They're all terrified of the man.

So before we go putting wreaths on Frankie P and worrying about some mythical accreditation threats (which clearly aren't, as SACS said this week they aren't going to investigate), let's keep in mind that Frankie P and his Board of Short-sighted Cowards have heaped a good $300,000,000 bill onto the county's taxpayers....and our children.

Scram, Frank,
Heather Powell
August 02, 2013
The debt has been incurred to catch up to the runaway student enrollment growth we have had since at least the mid 90's. Have you ever looked at the number of schools we had that were critically overcrowded? Would you rather we started turning students away from their local public schools? Gone to 1/2 day kindergarten; gone to a year round rotation where teachers teach all year long-rotating kids 2/3 at a time? As a Cherokee property owner I have no problem at all paying an extra 1% sales tax to pay down the debt. I moved here in 96 and have been nothing but happy with the school system. As a CCSD employee since 1997 I have no complaints at all with the job Dr. P has done.

Acme Fence Company
August 02, 2013
Nonsensical is a good name. SACS has asked for a response, so they are investigating. Your budget figures quote the "all funds" total which includes capital outlay-- which fluctuates from year to year depending on school construction. Look at General Fund/Operating to understand the actual cost of operating the school district. The VOTERS approved the bond sales to help the system catch up and move half the school population out of trailers and into real school buildings and the plan was developed by a citizen committee.
Patrick Thompson
August 03, 2013
Nonsense, have you studied how much budget the Cherokee public school system has been reduced over the past 5 years. The budget has been managed well in the face of increasing student enrollment, race to the top demands, decreasing Federal funds, decreasing State support, and maintaining a high quality education for all of our students? Have you ever bought a house or a car with all your money upfront? Imagine budgeting for a large school system where all the variables change on a semi-annual basis.
Dave R
August 04, 2013
"Short-sided cowards" are those who sit and criticize without bringing solutions. We needed schools built, HVAC systems upgraded and facilities updated. That isn't free. GREAT JOB DR P!! Thanks for actually caring about our kids instead of your own political agenda like Nonsensical here.

Perfect name by the way. Shines through out your comments.
August 05, 2013
So..."Spend! Spend! Spend! Spend!" is basically the district answer. Party like the economy is 2006!

Typical of the gov't mindset and very indicative of why our country is in such fiscal trouble.

There's ALWAYS an excuse to spend money - especially when it's taxpayer $$$.

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