This is not representative of the people —John S. Quarterman on CUEE @ LCDP 2 May 2011

I didn’t intend to say anything Monday, but since Rev. Bennett named me in his introduction I thought it necessary to stand up and make it clear that I do not support CUEE’s plan for school system unification.

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.


3 thoughts on “This is not representative of the people —John S. Quarterman on CUEE @ LCDP 2 May 2011

  1. matthew richard

    what do members of the vsu graduate faculty of education have to say about this issue? for example, has anybody asked dr. schmertzing about consolidation?

  2. Leigh Touchton

    Tonight I went to the VBOE meeting and delivered the offical NAACP letter stating our branch’s opposition to consolidation. I asked Chairman Warren Lee if he would discuss with VBOE attorney Gary Moser and let me know whether they are “allowed” to take a position on this. The reason I asked this is because one of my friends says that Dr. Cason told her that “they are not allowed” to take a position on this. To my mind, employees might not be able to take a position, but elected officials representing voters ought to clearly state their position on an issue as important as school consolidation.
    After the meeting was over (it was a short meeting) I spoke to Board member Vanessa Flucas and she refused to commit to a position, she brushed me off and told me to speak to Chairman Lee. I asked Chairman Lee directly and he said he would discuss with Gary Moser, the VBOE attorney, and get back to me.
    Then I asked Chairman Lee if the VBOE would please hold public meetings so they could hear from their parents what they thought about consolidation. He said something to the effect of he did not think that was appropriate because the parents had already elected him and the Board to represent them. ????? I hope I misunderstood. I told him that I had heard that some Board members were elected with intention to support consolidation but that I hadn’t heard anything about that from any of them when they were running. He said he didn’t know anything about that.
    I’ll let LAKE know if the VBOE members ever take a public stand on school consolidation.

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