We’re here to save our schools —Sam Allen, FVCS, 7 July 2011

Sam Allen, former chair of the Valdosta school board and head of Friends of Valdosta City Schools (FVCS) held a press conference to announce opposition after CUEE announced 9,000 petitions for a referendum to combine the Valdosta and Lowndes County school systems.. Why so late with the opposition?

Sam Allen explained:

“We were scared. We were intimidated because we had heard about all these consultants coming down, and all these studies being done. So we just thought that we would just sit back and watch and this thing would eventually go away like a bad dream. But folks I want you to know it’s not going away like a bad dream. It’s becoming a nightmare.

Now we stand before you with one purpose in mind: do not sign any petitions. … If it comes to a vote, we want you to vote no.”

Guess they’re not scared any more.

He added:

“If I could be told it would benefit our children. … But everybody who is on the opposite side can not guarantee you that we will have a better system for our children. Why? Because no one on the other side is a board of education member for either Lowndes or Valdosta.”
Standing to Sam Allen’s right were two Valdosta school board members: Annie Fisher and Vanassa Flucas.

Sam Allen asked:

“We hold our public officials accountable. Can you hold CUEE accountable?”
The crowd answered that:
In the crowd picture, Jade “Talks Heat Up” Bulecza of WALB stands next to Dontaye “Showdown” Carter of WCTV. Both published reports.

Here’s the video:

We’re here to save our schools —Sam Allen, FVCS, 7 July 2011
No school consolidation,
Press Conference, Friends of Valdosta City Schools (FVCS),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 7 July 2011.
Videos by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.


8 thoughts on “We’re here to save our schools —Sam Allen, FVCS, 7 July 2011

  1. Jessica B. Hughes

    I don’t see why everyone is treating consolidation like it’s the end of the world as we know it.

  2. Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange

    The problem is it wouldn’t be the beginning of anything useful, and meanwhile it’s absorbing a huge amount of effort that could be going into something productive. As for what a lot of people think it would end, see the CUEE topic in this blog. -jsq

  3. Karen Noll

    To date CUEE has lead the discussion and they have no role in making the solutions happen if consolidation should go through. CUEE consists of folks very minimally involved in the city schools at this time. Why is this group so ‘interested in Valdosta City Schools’? Until this issue is clarified CUEE’s motives will forever be questioned.
    At the same time, if this issue is on the ballot we (parents, teachers, BOEs…)must begin the true discussion of facts and become informed on the issue that we may be called to vote on in November. So, here we are.
    CUEE has spent thousands (more than 100 grand) to get this on the ballot:
    Presumably, the goal was to provided a better educated work force (to attract business):
    1) Valdosta enjoys a very high ranking in Forbes list of locations attractive to business, so what’s the big fuss about the city schools?,
    2) CUEE’s 100 grand would be better spent on creating a high school focusing on a vocational-technical education.
    3) Studies reveal that consolidation at the elementary level is not a cost saver but at the high school level it can be. Consolidating at the high school level could allow the districts to pool resources to serve the students and families better.
    Finally,creating a vocationally trained work force ready for Wiregrass Technical would provide an excellent workforce to attract business and be a valid way to spend their thousands to consolidate the HIGH SCHOOLS.
    Since CUEE started the discussion, as soon as they are able to come clean on their motives. They can take down the billboards and clear off! The voting city residents has a job to do; decide what is best for our students and our community!!

  4. Jessica B. Hughes

    As a city voter, I don’t see how consolidation is bad. Based on the comments on the VDT site, the only real arguments against it are race and football. Maybe I need more information, but as it stands, I’m for it.

  5. Jessica B. Hughes

    Georgia is near rock bottom in education, even with Atlanta teachers in the midst of a huge cheating scandal. Neither one of our school systems has really done anything other than segregate, as far as I can tell.

  6. Jessica B. Hughes

    Honestly, I have read a lot about saving money, increasing standards, that sort of thing, but I honestly don’t know if that is really true. All of the shouting about race and football and the Chamber of Commerce has really colored my perspective, I think. I’m super tired of people shouting and becoming hysterical – across the political board. Whatever happened to calm, sensible, dialogue and debate? Instead of hearing the school boards and CUEE try to drown each other out, I’d really be interested in hearing what the teachers within the school systems think, and if they feel like consolidation would be beneficial.

  7. Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange

    Consolidation won’t save money and won’t improve education: CUEE’s own report on the Chamber’s web says it won’t, and CUEE’s own expert from Chattanooga says if you’re for it because you think it will save money, don’t vote for it.
    I don’t know what shouting you’re referring to; if you mean rant and rave, that’s always shouting, thus the name.
    Here is a calm, sensible, dialog about CUEE at the Lowndes County Democratic Party meeting of 2 May 2011:
    The school boards have mostly been deafeningly silent. If you know of any substantive posts by either school board on this issue, please let me know, I’d like to post them.
    You may wonder why CUEE doesn’t have teachers on its own board, and the only school board members I’ve seen involved in this debate are two Valdosta ones who appeared at the Friends of Valdosta City Schools PR event.
    I’d be interested in your opinion after you watch the 2 May 2011 debate.

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