Friday, February 15, 2013

A Message from State Rep Tom Taylor



Fellow Citizens,

Many of you, especially those with children in DeKalb public schools have contacted me asking how you can participate in what is currently happening with our school system. The fact that SACS has placed the entire DeKalb School system on academic probation, which is only one step from loss of accreditation, is very serious.  For more on this, please read my op-ed in the Dunwoody Crier here:



I recommend that if you feel so inclined, please write a personal letter to Governor Deal and/or the Georgia State Board of Education.  Emails are fine, but a personal letter, hand delivered by my office to the Governor or the State BOE guarantees that your thoughts and opinions land where they need to go.

My Chief of Staff Page Olson will be collecting letters at her home now through next Tuesday, February 19th.  She lives at 1148 Redfield Ridge in Dunwoody.  She'll have a box at the top of her driveway for your to deposit you letter. Make sure that it is marked to go to either Governor Deal, the State BOE or both.  I'll hand deliver to both offices on Wednesday morning the 20th.

You are all encouraged to come down to the Sloppy Floyd building, 20th floor (across from the Capitol) next Thursday, February 21st at 8am to witness the hearing between our DeKalb BOE and the State Board.  You will need a photo ID to get in.  If you can't be there in person, watch it streamed live on the Department of Education website:


Contact my office at any time should you have questions.
Respectfully,

Tom Taylor
State Representative, District 79
Office 404.656.0152

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So what needs to go into your letter?  That's up to you.  Some ideas:

Discuss importance of allowing  individual schools to get accreditation instead of entire district

Governor encourage legislators to support a Bill that would amend the State Constitution to allow the creation of new school districts

Remove the school board

Keep the school board as long as Governor can appoint the new permanent Superintendent

Ask if Dunwoody can remove itself from DeKalb County and be the state's first city/county, and it shall be called Nathan Deal County

Suggest the Dunkin Donuts at Mt Vernon and Chamblee Dunwoody Rd be forced to put in a circular parking deck to accommodate more than two cars in its drive-thru

On a more serious note, do you Dunwoody residents know how much you pay for schools?

Let's take a $300,000 home in Dunwoody.  A $300,000 home in Dunwoody will pay approximately $4100 in taxes. How much of that is Jimmy the Red Shirt and the Save Dunwoody crowd complaining about in regards to city spending?  About 9% of their taxes.  And a good chunk of that 9% is for storm water and street light fees then police and road maintenance.  Discretionary spending by the city is about 1.5% of your total tax bill. 

The DeKalb School system gets 62% of the taxes you pay.  $2600 of $4,100 of taxes paid on a $300,000 home goes to a horrible school system.  (DeKalb County takes about 23% of your tax bill).  

I really would like to see Jimmy and Sac and the Save posse and the Friends posse organize and focus on schools.

Nice to see one of our elected officials having a bit of a game plan. Writing a letter to the State Board or Governor is a good idea.  On the contrary, asking people to write letters to the AJC and The Crier about the schools is a waste of ink.  You think Jay Cunningham cares what is written in the Dunwoody or Atlanta papers?



1 comment:

Kerry de Vallette said...

Rick - glad to see you are opening up to comments. Thanks for drawing attention to this issue. Let's hope people pick up a pen to voice their concern and frustration.