Why Employers Support School Unification
By Greg Justice
Director of Manufacturing
Regal Marine Industries, Inc.
Look it up, states that rank among the highest in terms of
quality of life and economic growth rank among the highest in terms of
quality of education. Is this because these states have higher levels
of education, or did they become attractive places to live because they
have a focused approach to improving the quality of education? And does
the same reasoning hold true for different nations?
It would seem we’re about to find out. In one generation, the U.S. has
fallen from No. 1 to No. 9 in the number of people graduating with
college degrees. We’re mediocre in education when compared to the other
34 industrialized nations. A 2009 study from the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development shows the U.S. ranked 14th in
reading, 17th in science, and 25th in math – all lagging behind other
leading industrialized countries.
It is hard to relate these statistics to our local schools,
Dr. Troy Davis spelled out where we are financially in the school systems,
and what consolidation would do to that: it would raise taxes and reduce services.
He took CUEE’s own figures for how much more consolidation would require
to be spent per each Valdosta City school student, and demonstrated that
not only would that require raising taxes for both Valdosta and Lowndes
County residents to near the state-capped maximum of 21 mils, but even
then there is no way enough tax revenue would be generated to pay for all
the things CUEE proposes to do after consolidation, and probably not even
enough taxes to continue employing all the teachers currently employed
by the two school systems. Oh, plus consolidation would lose state and
federal grant money by increasing the composite school system size, so the
local taxpayers would have to make up that slack, too.
Georgia’s pardons board rejected a last-ditch clemency plea from death
row inmate Troy Davis on Tuesday despite high-profile support from figures
including the pope and
a former FBI director for the claim that he was
wrongly convicted of killing a police officer in 1989.
Davis is scheduled to die Wednesday by injection for the killing of
off-duty Savannah officer Mark MacPhail, who was slain while rushing to
help a homeless man being attacked. It is the fourth time in four years
that Davis’ execution has been scheduled by Georgia officials.
Steve Hayes, spokesman for the Board of Pardons and Paroles, said