As we established in our post, Are we about to be fooled again?, the new board is not all that different from the old board. We can’t find where they have trimmed the fat, consolidated programs, removed waste, reduced class size or improved learning in any way.Worst of all, they have done nothing to balance resources and spending.
In fact, they turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the inequities that abound around DeKalb. They continue to over-appropriate SPLOST funding to favorite schools like SW DeKalb, DSA and Coralwood, yet the highly gerrymandered district known as Cross Keys still has not enjoyed near the level of construction rehab as other DeKalb high schools – especially when compared to Chamblee. Chamblee of course, needed a renovation desperately – as did Cross Keys. However, Chamblee got the golden treatment – complete with football practice fields, an arts building, an auditorium and career tech. Cross Keys, a few miles down the road and light years away with their mostly immigrant student body, was given a sponge bath. They were awarded a merge with the High School of Technology North, for which most of the reno dollars were spent. Worst of all, even after our report a few years ago about homeless men actually living in the woods on the grounds of Cross Keys, those grounds, including the track and field areas – remain in deplorable and dangerous condition.
How would you like to take a practice run on this track?
DeKalb spent hundreds of thousands upgrading all of the tracks – except Cross Keys. They allocated SPLOST funding for an auditorium for every high school – except Cross Keys. They allocated funding for a career tech program in every high school – except Cross Keys, which instead was merged with the HSTN – a countywide program.
Check out the contrast of the facilities other schools around the county enjoy >>
The new board continues to live under the Cone of Silence where inequity is concerned around the county. There are several other schools in need of renovating, that have had little attention — we think, because their ‘communities’ are not as vocal as others. Now isn’t that pitiful? Regardless of who sits on the board, the superintendent’s chair, or the SPLOST oversight committee, they still run the list of priorities according to the decibel rate of the squeaky wheels.
Nothing much has changed in reality. The only way to fix it is to take it all apart and build it back from Ground Zero. Focus on classroom funding on up. Mandate a low class size. Fund teachers for those classrooms. Build and consolidate programs into equitable facilities with full usage. Fund necessary and affordable programs only. Offer simple transportation – not the multi-million dollar countywide transportation currently funded.
It’s not rocket science, but it does take cookies away from those who are used to having the cookies they want – even if it means taking cookies from another child’s plate. Is there a board that can handle the task?
We have created an Excel doc that shows the capacity vs enrollment numbers for all schools — download and have a look here >> https://dekalbschoolwatch.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/2013-14-capacity-enrollment-school-by-school.xlsx