Category Archives: VCC 2011-10-06

School consolidation as disaster capitalism

School consolidation would set up an artificial fiscal disaster that could force the “unified” public school system to turn to private foundations for funding, at the price of control of public education by private entities. This is disaster capitalism, or the shock doctrine, right here in Valdosta and Lowndes County.

What’s the Shock Doctrine? It’s been around for a long time, but Naomi Klein researched it for her book of the same name. It’s

“the rapid-fire corporate reengineering of societies still reeling from shock”
She was writing mostly about wars, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters. Locally here we haven’t had any of those. But we may be about to create a disaster, a shock, at the ballot box in November, if voters fall for the school “unification” snake oil.

What’s the next step after CUEE has accidentally revealed that Continue reading

Valdosta City Council voted to oppose school consolidation

Mayor Sonny Vickers said he thought it was important for children and grandchildren and proper for the City Council to take a stand against school consolidation, and City Manager Larry Hanson read the statement (transcript appended).

City Council District 1 - James Wright
James Wright
District 1

City Council District 3 - Hoke Hampton
Hoke Hampton
District 3

City Council District 4 - Alvin Payton Jr.
Alvin Payton
District 4

City Council At Large - Ben Norton
Ben Norton
At Large

Didn’t Have
to Vote:
Valdosta Mayor - Sonny Vickers
Sonny Vickers
City Council District 6 - Robert Yost
Robert Yost
District 6

City Council District 5 - Tim Carroll
Tim Carroll
District 5

City Council District 2 - Deidra A. White
Deidra White
District 2
After very brief discussion, the vote was 4 for (James Wright of District 1, Hoke Hampton of District 3, Alvin Payton of District 4, and Ben Norton At Large) and 2 against (Robert Yost of District 6 and Tim Carroll of District 5).

That means Ben Norton changed his vote since since their last non-binding vote related to school consolidation. (Nonbinding because they didn’t have any authority to decide whether the referendum went on the ballot or not.) Council Deidra White of District 2 was absent throughout the meeting, which I find rather odd since she seemed quite aware when I spoke to her the previous day that this vote was going to occur. Back in August she voted against putting the referendum on the ballot. Yes, I know the motion was not exactly the same, so the votes are not exactly comparable. In any case, this time there was no tie and thus no need for the (new) mayor to break a tie.

Here’s the video:

Valdosta City Council voted to oppose school consolidationo
education, consolidation, resolution,
Regular Session, Valdosta City Council (VCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 6 October 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

Here’s the statement transcribed as accurately as I could from the video: Continue reading

School Consolidation Statement tonight at Valdosta City Council

There are a bunch of changes to the Comprehensive Plan and the Land Development Regulations (LDR) that people ought to pay attention to, scheduled for tonight’s Valdosta City Council (VCC) meeting. But the one many people are going to see is this one:
6.a) Consideration of a Position Statement on School Consolidation.
Some people are confused, because VCC has no formal authority over any school system. They didn’t have any formal authority to decide whether to put the school referendum on the ballot, either. According to the Lowndes County Board of Elections, once Continue reading