After some examples of things on which I agreed or disagreed with Ashley Paulk, the VDT, the Chamber of Commerce, and VLCIA, I mentioned that after an SCLC meeting Rusty Griffin told me that nobody who was not for unification would be accepted on the CUEE board.
I praised the upcoming Thursday meeting about education, but pointed out that commitee would not report back before the proposed unification vote, and the CUEE board still had only one member from the county outside Valdosta, so:
This is not diversification, this is not representative of the people, this a small pressure group, and nothing personal against you, a small pressure group that is trying to decide for the rest of us.Once again, why I’m opposed to CUEE’s unification scheme:
If we’re going to have school unification, I don’t want to do it because I hear someone say “I believe”. I want to hear their plan for how they will improve education throughout the city of Valdosta and the county of Lowndes. And there is no plan.CUEE’s own research says unification won’t save money and it won’t improve education.
I made a point that of all the metropolitan areas in Georgia, of which there are about a dozen, not one has a unified school system throughout the entire area. I think that was misunderstood.
I didn’t say throughout the county: I said throughout the area. For example, the largest metropolitan area in the state, Atlanta, has at least five school districts (one for Atlanta and one for each of its counties), and probably more, since I stopped counting at five.
For another example, if CUEE’s unification plan gets on the ballot and passes, the Valdosta MSA will still not have a unified school district throughout the entire MSA because Brooks, Lanier, and Echols counties will still have their own school systems.
This is relevant to my last point, which was that the fastest growing local county (by far) between 2000 and 2010 was Lanier. School unification would provoke bright flight to Lanier and to private schools, just like school desegregation provoked white flight from Valdosta to Lowndes and to private schools.
Here’s the video:
This is not representative of the people —John S. Quarterman on CUEE @ LCDP 2 May 2011
Debate between proponents of school system unification (CUEE) and opponents,
at Lowndes County Democratic Party (LCDP), Gretchen Quarterman chair,
Videos by George Rhynes, Jim Parker, John S. Quarterman, and Gretchen Quarterman
for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange, Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 2 May 2011.