Tag Archives: Amy Carter

Crazy Qualifying Season Finally Completed

Update 31 March 2014: Withdrawals of Thomas Sims and Don Thieme from Lowndes County Commission District 3 and of Crawford Powell from House 174. See also school board election.

Additional entries in County Commission Districts 3 and 5, plus a swap and a withdrawal, continued the musical chairs in local qualifying. Plus three out of four County Commission seats up for election will actually be decided in May, not November. And one state House seat and the state Senate race are hotly contested.

The three County Commission seats that will be decided May 20th are: Continue reading

Secret meeting of Lowndes County Commission and state reps @ LCC 2013-12-20

Dexter Sharper (District 177) The VDT report doesn’t say when or where, and doesn’t say whether Dexter Sharper (District 177) wasn’t invited or chose not to attend.

There’s nothing about this meeting in the online agendas or calendar, even though that calendar lists Pictures with Santa at the Historical Courthouse (12/19/2013).

There is this undated public notice with no agenda:

Paige Dukes, Lowndes County Clerk The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners will meet with members of Lowndes County’s Legislative Delegation on Friday, December 20, 2013, at 4:00 p.m. in the Commissioner’s Conference Room located on the 3rd floor of the Judicial-Administrative Complex, 327 North Ashley Street, Valdosta, Georgia.

K. Paige Dukes, County Clerk

pdukes@lowndescounty.com 229-671-2400

Tim Golden (District 8) Matthew Woody wrote for the VDT 22 December 2013, Commissioners host local delegation, oddly omitting the when and where and much of the why from the traditional who, what, when, where, and why of journalism.

Amy Carter (District 175) The Lowndes County Commission hosted Continue reading

Tim Golden and Amy Carter at Chamber Legislative Lunch @ VLCoC 2013-12-04

The event posting (noon today at Wiregrass Tech) doesn’t say, but I’m told state Senator Tim Golden (District 8) and state Rep. Amy Carter (R 175) will be there.

Continue reading
Event Name: State Legislative Lunch
Event Type(s): Chamber Calendar
Community Calendar
MetroOne
Description: A luncheon featuring a program presented by State Legislators on issues on top for the upcoming State Legislative Session. Tickets are $15 for Chamber members and $20 for non-members. Seating is limited!

Legislative Luncheon at Wiregrass Tech by Chamber and Rotaries @ VLCoC 2012-12-05

No questions and no mention of Moody AFB at the Legislative Luncheon at the Legislative Luncheon at Wiregrass Technical College Wednesday by the Chamber of Commerce and the three Rotary Clubs. State Sen. Tim Golden R-08, and State Rep. Ellis Black R-174 plus incoming State Rep. Dexter Sharper D-177 spoke (Reps. Amy Carter R-175 and Jason Shaw R-176 were not present). But they didn’t answer any questions. The organizers didn’t even take questions on cards from the 75 or so people in the room. It’s nice they’re going around to all the organizations and talking to them, but it might be more helpful if they listened to the concerns of their constituents all at once. Lowndes County Commissioners Joyce Evans and Richard Raines were there, but they did not speak, and none of the state legislative delegation said anything about Moody Air Force Base encroachment, unlike Houston County where their state rep. helped organize “$7.5 million to help resolve the encroachment issue affecting Robins Air Force Base.”

Ron Borders on behalf of the Chamber’s Governmental Affairs Council (GAC) did invite people to a Members to the Heard session Monday 7 January 2012 at Valdosta City Hall Annex Multi-Purpose Room. Waiting a month to provide feedback to legislators through the Chamber does seem a tad indirect. Overall, it would be nice if the legislators would at least actually listen to (even if they don’t want to answer) questions and concerns from citizens without those citizens having go go through some filtering system (ie chamber legislative affairs or county commissioner). With a room full of 75 or more people, wouldn’t it be refreshing for elected officials to say “We can’t necessarily answer all your questions today, but we would like to know what they are. Please come to the microphone and ask your question or state your concern”. Citizens Wishing to be Heard in the County Commission meetings is not really the same as having a session dedicated to listening to citizens’ concerns.

The Chamber’s pre-announcment of this meeting said:

The Chamber’s Government Affairs Council will present its top business issues to elected officials.

Yet though the GAC the previous day in a contentious meeting voted to oppose encroachment on Moody Air Force Base, he said not a word about that at the Legislative Luncheon.

In his keynote, Sen. Tim Golden said Continue reading

Challengers made statehouse incumbents work in south Georgia

Hardly-funded insurgents led by Haley Shank put a scare into turncoat south Georgia statehouse incumbents. What would happen with well-funded candidates?

As we’ve already seen, in new district 177 Dexter Sharper (D) won 2 to 1 over opponent J. Glenn Gregory (R). (All election data in this post is from GA Secretary of State.)

Conversely, Jason Shaw (R-176) ran unopposed, perhaps because he is the least offensive of the incumbents (he voted against HB 1162 that put the Atlanta-power-grab “charter school” amendment on the ballot, although he did vote for HB 797 that will funnel more of your local tax dollars to charter schools imposed by Atlanta even if your school board doesn’t want them).

Other south Georgia statehouse incumbents, all Republicans, had challengers, all Democrats. All the challengers opposed Amendment 1. Haley Shank did best, in District 173 against Darlene K. Taylor, 8,324 to 12,048 (40.86% to 59.14%).

Next was Continue reading

The power of going solar —John S. Quarterman

Solar panels on farm workshop --John S. Quarterman My op-ed in the VDT today. Remember to vote today or Tuesday. -jsq

This spring, the University at Buffalo turned on 750 kilowatts of solar electricity. Rutgers U., in New Jersey, installed 1.4 megawatts in 2009 and started on 8 MW this summer. Down here with a lot more sun, how about solar panels on VSU parking lots?

There’s plenty of private solar financing available. Also in New Jersey, a company installed 6 MW of solar on high school land and leased the power to the school supplying most of its needs win-win. You can go see a solar farm already working fine here, 200 kilowatts at Mud Creek Wastewater Plant. Why not do the same


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at Lowndes High School, where all the world on I-75 could see, attracting business to our community?

Why not?

Continue reading

K12 CEO Packard: $5M in 2011, up 36%

Does your school superintendent get paid $5 million a year? Ronald J. Packard, CEO of K12 Inc., the second biggest donor to the pro-charter school amendment campaign, does. Is that where you want your tax dollars to go?

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Executive Profile, Ronald J. Packard CFA, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director, K12, Inc. K12 CEO Packard made $551,539 in salary in 2011, but was awarded other compensation totaling $5,002,933. Which is even richer than the approximately $3,266,387 total compensation private prison company CCA’s CEO Damon Hininger got in 2010, which, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, apparently only went up to 3,696,798 in 2011.

According to Emma Brown for the Washington Post 9 December 2011, K12 Inc. chief executive Ron Packard paid $5 million compensation package in 2011,

That’s nearly twice the $2.67 million Packard earned in 2010. It includes $551,000 in cash, $4.2 million in stock awards and about $290,000 in other compensation.

Packard’s pay reflects a new employment agreement negotiated in September 2010 and good until 2014. The company had $522 million in revenue in 2011, up nearly 36 percent percent from the year before.

“We determined that these awards were necessary and appropriate to retain Mr. Packard as our Chief Executive Officer and in recognition of Mr. Packard’s leadership and performance over the term of his employment with the Company,” the filing said.

Do we want our tax revenue going to retain K12 Inc.’s CEO? What if we retain our local schools instead? After all, it’s dubious that charter schools would be any better Continue reading

Walton Family Foundation granted $1.05 million towards GA charter schools in 2011

The total amount of Walton family affiliate money backing the Georgia charter school referendum is far larger than Alice Walton’s $250,000.

In the Walton Family Foundation’s list of 2011 Education Reform Grants, there are two Georgia organizations:

Georgia Charter Schools Association Inc. 700,000
Georgia Family Education and Research Council, Inc. 350,000

GCSA has made the news quite a bit lately, and its name makes its purpose pretty clear. According to the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), GCSA is a NACSA member. You remember NACSA, the organization that Zaid Jilani discovered was an ALEC member, and that bailed out of ALEC two days later. That was in May 2012, after the Georgia legislature passed the bill putting the charter school referendum on the ballot.

Georgia Family Education and Research Council, Inc. (GFERC) is slightly less obvious. According Continue reading

Class action lawsuit against second largest donor to GA charter school referendum

K12 Inc. of Virginia has a class action lawsuit against it, as well as allegations of lack of effectiveness of its courses. K12 is the second biggest contributor to the Georgia charter school referendum which would privatize Georgia’s public schools. Shades of CCA desperately offering 48 states to privatize their prisons! And we know there’s a connection: ALEC helps push both private prisons and privatization of public schools. We didn’t fall for ALEC’s privatized prisons: let’s not fall for ALEC’s privatized schools.

Emma Brown wrote for the Washington Post 31 January 2012, Shareholder lawsuit accuses K12 Inc. of misleading investors,

A shareholder in Virginia-based K12 Inc. has filed a lawsuit against K12 Inc. CEO and Founder Ronald J. Packard, named in class action lawsuit the virtual-schools operator in federal court, alleging that the firm violated securities law by making false statements to investors about students’ poor performance on standardized tests.

The class-action complaint, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, also accuses K12 of boosting its enrollment and revenues through “deceptive recruiting” practices.

Herndon-based K12 is the country’s largest operator of full-time public virtual schools, a growing sector in which students as young as five learn at home via computer.

The lawsuit comes after a spate of national news stories — including in The Washington Post — raised questions about the effectiveness of virtual schools, K12’s in particular. The firm’s stock has since plummeted.

There’s more in the article, and in the actual Harry T. Hawks, K12 Inc. executive vice president and chief financial officer, named in class action lawsuit Class action suit against K12 Inc. Named in the suit are Ronald J. Packard (K12 Inc’s CEO and Founder) and Harry T. Hawks, executive vice president and chief financial officer, both pictured here.

-jsq

Outside money fueling charter school amendment referendum

Why does Alice Walton want, to the tune of $250,000, for Atlanta to be able to force charter schools on local areas that don't want them?

Wayne Washington wrote for the AJC 14 September 2012, Outside money pours into Georgia for charter amendment fight,

Out-of-state money is fueling the campaign of a group trying to convince Georgia voters to change the state constitution so more charter schools can be approved.

Families for Better Public Schools has raised $486,750, campaign disclosure forms show. About 96 percent of that money has come from donors outside of Georgia.

Donors include Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton, politically well-connected law firms and for-profit companies that are operating charter schools in Georgia.

Here's the Georgia campaign finance report for Families for Better Public Schools, which shows Alice Walton of Bentonville AR in for $250,000, K12 Inc. of Herndon VA in for $100,000, Charter Schools USA of Ft. Lauderdale FL in for $50,000, also J.C. Huizenga and National Heritage Academies, both of Grand Rapids MI, each in for $25,000. That's $450,000 from those five biggest donors, all out of state.

What about opposition money; where's it coming from?

A coalition of groups opposing the amendment, Vote Smart, has raised $80,951, mostly from traditional school officials like teachers, principals and superintendents who say more charter schools and more state money for them would threaten the funding of already cash-strapped traditional public schools.

So we have big out-of-state money funding demolishing our public schools, and public school people spending some of what little money they have defending them. I know which side I choose. Which side are you on?

Do we want to turn our public schools into private corporate fiefdoms? If not, vote No on the charter school amendment in November.

-jsq