Why the Chamber Supports Unification —Tom Gooding, Chairman, VLCoC

My opinion is appended. -jsq
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2011 11:17:00 -0400 (EDT)
From: Tom Gooding <chamber@valdostachamber.com>
Subject: Why the Chamber Supports Unification

Dear Chamber Members:

Some ask why the Chamber supports school system unification, instead of focusing on poverty. The answer is very simple: The Chamber’s mission is to build a strong and healthy community, resulting in job opportunities for our citizens, which addresses poverty. Improving public education is the single most important thing we can do to build a strong community, grow jobs, and reduce poverty.

Valdosta’s business community consistently ranks

“lack of an educated, qualified workforce” at or near the top of their biggest challenges in growing their businesses. Our community has a large high school drop-out rate, affecting the quality of our workforce. Residents without a high school diploma have limited job prospects and little disposable income to spend in our businesses. Lack of education leads to poverty. It is a vicious circle.

We have two separate school systems whose educational outcomes are merely average in one of the lowest ranked states in the country. The Chamber believes that “being average” hurts our community. We must combine our resources and our efforts and work together – as a community – to transform two average school systems into one great public school system.

Working separately-even with extraordinary effort by our educators-our school systems have experienced limited success. We believe that unification will provide the platform upon which our community can transform public education – and help us grow jobs, reduce poverty and increase our quality of life.

Tom Gooding
Chairman of the Board
Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

I’m not going to bother to refute this one point by point, because there are no points in it that actually argue for school consolidation, except the magical thinking that somehow “unification” will solve all problems, despite all the evidence amassed that it won’t.


2 thoughts on “Why the Chamber Supports Unification —Tom Gooding, Chairman, VLCoC

  1. Jim Parker

    So true, John. There was no meat in the whole letter. The last line sums it up, “We BELIEVE…” yada, yada, yada. Faith based thinking might fly in religious institutions, but in the education of our children, we have a pretty good handle on what is needed. Deferring to those trained and with years of experience in the education of our children, who have brought countless facts to the discussion, none of which the Chamber can or has bothered to refute, I will go along with both Boards of Education and vote NO to consolidation.
    I did note that Mr Gooding offered to “combine our resources and our efforts and work together as a community to transform two average school systems…” Since he used the first person plural “our,” I can only conclude he was including himself, the Chamber and its members, along with the Boards of Education and citizens of the county. How wonderful! This is what is needed. Mr Gooding is offering the expertise, time, and financial resources of its Chamber to help educate all the children of our community. How great is that?
    How about as a first step the Chamber pledge an equivalent amount of money it and its members have spent on CUEE to the Boards of Education yearly, to be used as the teachers see fit?

  2. Barbara Stratton

    The chamber has played on the catch phrase “For the good of the children” which they repeat over & over like a mantra chant midst their empty rhetoric. Chattanooga/Hamilton Co. is now a hot bed of UN Agenda 21 initiatives & it all began with school consolidation. The local chairman hired the same consultant, Steve Prigohzy, to facilitate their consolidation efforts here. Mr. Prigohzy has a history of multiple tripple diget salaries & it will be interesting to see what CUEE paid him when they finally publish their financial report. Whether you are liberal or conservative UN Agenda 21 is the most dangerous movement in our country & we need to fight it coming into Lowndes Co. It will come through the chambers because they are affiliated with & obligated to the UN since the UN is the International Chamber of Commerce. This is much more than school consolidation. This is a gateway entrance of forces we will not be able to control. Chattanooga/Hamilton Co. is now involved in a 16 district unification of government movement that is the beginning of interstate district consolidation. Consolidation results in bigger bureaucracy,less citizen input, & greater government control. The promises are great, but the end results are total loss of individual freedom & property rights. If you think local & state politicians will protect you please be aware most of them don’t even know what UN Agenda 21 really is & they don’t want to research because they are bedazzled with all the promised grant monies & prestige appointments. It will be up to the people to research & defend freedom & private property rights. If the school consolidation gateway is opened the crony capitalism will flood in under the green blanket cover of sustainability fueled by deceptive grant grabs.

Comments are closed.