Bartlett plans to explain vote on 9th-grade center
by Lindsay Field
lfield@mdjonline.com
May 03, 2012 12:12 AM | 4024 views | 25 25 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KENNESAW — Cobb school board member Alison Bartlett has scheduled a public forum Saturday night at Harrison High School to explain her controversial vote to delay building a ninth-grade center at that school.

The meeting will be in the theater of the high school at 6:30 p.m. Harrison High School is at 4500 Due West Rd., in Kennesaw.

“I’ve received emails from the Harrison community and in order to respond, I feel like a public forum is the best format in explaining my vote,” she said.

On March 22, Bartlett, along with board members David Morgan, Kathleen Angelucci and Tim Stultz, all voted against Cobb Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa’s recommendation to approve the $14.5 million construction as is, and for the entire project to be broken out into individual renovations and construction. Their vote resulted in harsh criticism from the Harrison community.

Bartlett said she wanted to amend the recommendation because it came in over budget and because enrollment at Harrison had fallen by nearly 600 students since 2007.

Bartlett said she’s received about 160 emails about the Harrison vote since then, but she said nearly half of those were about the need for a new track.

Heather Ryan, who announced last week that she would be running against Bartlett in part because of the Harrison vote, said she and other parents from the Harrison community plan to attend the forum.

“There will be a group of us there,” she said. “We have emails blasts that are going out through Harrison and all of our feeder schools, all the way down through elementary (to tell people about it).”

When asked if she would ask questions during the forum or just listen, Ryan said she wasn’t sure yet. She also could not say approximately how many from her email group would be able to attend.

Still, board member Lynnda Eagle and the school board chairman, Scott Sweeney, have called a re-vote on the issue at next Wednesday’s school board meeting.

The district has already spent nearly $500,000 for architectural and design fees on the Harrison project.

Eagle currently represents Harrison, and has for the past four years, but according to the new reapportionment map, Bartlett will now represent the school. The map was approved the last day of the session in March and signed by Gov. Nathan Deal.

The map shifts all seven Cobb board posts in some form or fashion, specifically reorganizing Bartlett’s area, which formerly covered Osborne High, to now represent McEachern, Harrison and Hillgrove high schools. Eagle will now represent Allatoona, North Cobb and Kennesaw Mountain high schools.
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Plain and simple....
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May 04, 2012
In a perfect world, where money is plentiful, I say go ahead...BUILD. But folks, wake up! We live in a county that abhors tax increases and the reality is once these projects are built with SPLOST funds how in the world do we take care of them? I am no fan of Bartlett, nor Eagle for that matter, but she does bring up a good point.

Just this week, the Cobb County government said the tax digest will drop another 4% over last years rate. This means even lower revenues. Couple that with the 40 million dollars we borrowed to stay afloat this year and we have trouble. With or without SPLOST funds, we can no longer afford to build and maintain anything until our budget issues have been resolved.

I hate the idea of overcrowding and I would love to see every school in the county outfitted with the latest and best equipment, but for now, this just will not happen. The choices are simple, a tax increase or re-zone school zones. I would suggest no one is West Cobb would want either of these.
School Advocate
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May 04, 2012
Not so plain nor simple - Students must be "supported" educationally whether in trailers or buildings - Maybe Bartlett and company would like to consider shutting down the 9th grade academies at Osborne, South and North Cobb and bring back the trailers ! And trailers is not the only concerns addressed by 9th Grade Centers ! If they stop the 9th grade academy at Harrison, then what happens to money that has already been raised by the 1% sales tax. Keep in mind the voters approved an academy, the Facilities Citizens Committee aproved, the Facilities Department approved, the Board approved the job being bid out, the superintendent recommended approval and NOW a single person, Bartlett has "connived" with 3 others to stop the SPLOSH Promise with flawed logic related to an operational future budget issue ?
Plain and simple....
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May 04, 2012
"School Advocate" - You tell me when you start the crusade to raise the property taxes in Cobb County and I will change my mind about the building projects. FYI, all the SPLOST money does is pay for the cost of the project, not the on-going maintenence or repairs of the project on down the road. That comes out of the general fund which is what keeps running out of money. BTW, as I mentoned earlier, I am no fan of Ms. Bartlett, however, three other people voted against the project. Mr. Stultz made some good points about the money, as did Ms. Bartlett. Ms. Angelucci, while showing some concern over the money, did exactly what Mr. Morgan did, and that is vote against Ms. Eagle....and that is called political payback. For the record, I think NO other building projects should be approved unitl our financial house is in order. This time it just happens to be at Harrison. It could have very well been some school in South Cobb. Enough is enough.

Also, since you are worried about the "1%" of tax money already collected, in case you missed it, your school board used it a few weeks ago to try to save the budget...i.e. it is gone. As in "not there", as in "spent." If you are really an advocate for our schools and our children, I would much rather see you focus on the time our children will spend in school next year, or class sizes, or academic standards....not the viability of trailer space.
Angelucci continues
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May 07, 2012
to provide no leadership, but instead uses her office as a means of personal payback. She epitomizes the disfunction of this board. That and the vague non-nonsensical ramblings of Stulz demanding that everyone else but himself provide solutions to problems which he does not grasp.

Congrats to the calendar crowd. You have provided us with a clueless board to help "lead" the school system through these tight days.

It really is not the time for petty vendettas and silly overarching statements.
anonymous
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May 03, 2012
With the upcoming change of areas served by board members, can CCSD also change some principals. Many need an "airing out". Look at the scores - if they aren't improving (or worse, dropping) - it is time for a change of scenery for the students, business partners and staff of those schools. Are you listening Hinojosa?
Cobb Taxpayer
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May 04, 2012
Dropping student performance over several years is "reason enough" to promote the principal to Glover Street Status - Check out how many Glover Street ex- principals lead their schools in improved student performance - Atlanta Public Schools give gave bonus incentives and Cobb promotes to central office - Hinojsa does not have a clue _ Does he still spend a full day each week visiting schools - who is he listening to ?
To Ms. Euston
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May 03, 2012
Following your logic; Should you as the chair of the F&T Committee be supportive of the F&T Committee's decision to proceed with the projects?

anonymous
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May 03, 2012
For Heather Ryan to say she is running simply to get a 9th grade center at Harrison is really shallow.
anonymous
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May 04, 2012
"Heather Ryan, who announced last week that she would be running against Bartlett in part because of the Harrison vote, said she and other parents from the Harrison community plan to attend the forum."

Did you miss the "in part"? I'm willing to give a good listen to Ms. Ryan and happy that we'll have a choice. As a Harrison districted parent I WANT someone who will fight for our district. Ms. Bartlett is fighting AGAINST us!
Comes Around
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May 03, 2012
Middle schools are entrenched failures. We should go to a K to 6th, 7th to 9th Jr. high, and 10 thru 12th high school. All school levels would work better with that grouping but it would have enemies within administration and some sports groups. All that aside, Mrs. Bartlet is an enemy to the CCSD because of her tunnel vision, lack of creativity, and because he is a non practitioner of what she preaches to her constituents and fellow board members. She's always talking about how her cohorts should be conducting their business then taking actions that are the exact

opposite. Maybe the back stabbing would end with

her departure.

Cobb Resident
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May 03, 2012
This meeting is nothing more than Bartlett trying cover herself before an election. She knows she's in deep trouble getting any votes out of these folks but will darn sure try.

And for those actually going, please let us know of the campaing promises that will surely be throw out to the crowd.
@ K. Euston
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May 03, 2012
During your April 2012 meeting, your F&T Committee recommended that the projects at Harrison HS proceed.
anonymous
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May 03, 2012
Bartlett knows the reason enrollment has dropped at Harrison is because Allatoona High School opened during the 2008-2009 school year. Allatoona High School’s enrollment increased by 234 students this year compared to last year, is near capacity, and has no trailers.

Bartlett needs to explain why Harrison is still 207 students over capacity while having 11 trailers and then needs to detail her solution to this issue.

Bartlett can’t ship the students to Hillgrove (over capacity by 139), or Kennesaw Mountain (at capacity with 3 trailers).

Bartlett needs to remember that a major goal of the SPLOST initiative was to get students out of trailers and into classrooms.

Bartlett needs to support the majority vote of the board that determined the location of the West Cobb 9th grade center at Harrison.

#Euston
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May 06, 2012
So the chairperson of the committee speaks out against the committee's vote! nice. what a leader.
K. Euston
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May 03, 2012
As chair of the F&T Committee,I commend the Board for delaying the project. The trends show a decrease in student enrollment in that area. Also, the voters need to remember the SPLOST Notebook called for a 9th Grade Center in West Cobb. The exact location was not in the notebook when voters went to the polls to cast their ballot for SPLOST III. The Board is being fiscally responsboile with the tax payers money by delaying. I am disappointed this topic is back on the agenda after the board made a clear ruling last month with a vote of 4-3.
ol' retired doc
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May 03, 2012
A "clear ruling" with a one vote margin? Typical Cobb nonsense!
Hoya Fan
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May 03, 2012
Hope to hear from you Saturday night with some supportive data - I assume you have all of the before and after data for Osborne, South and North Cobb 9th Grade Centers ?
Cobb Resident
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May 03, 2012
So K. Euston, you're cool with the $500M they basically wasted in soft costs for a project they shut down?

And to actually say that 'the board is being fiscally responsible' is laughable after wasting a half million bucks of tax payer money.
Doubting Thomas
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May 03, 2012
I am curious whether the poster named above is truly the F&T Chairperson, Kimberley Euston. The spelling errors and lack of depth of the arguments regarding enrollment and the specific location of a West Cobb Ninth Grade Center lead me to believe there is someone else posing as Ms. Euston.
anonymous
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May 03, 2012
Alright, so if you really want to follow the letter of the notebook that was approved by the voters and you don't want it at Harrison and it has to be in West Cobb - where? Tell us - where???? Crickets chirp.
Mad Mom
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May 03, 2012
to K. Euston - If you were a true leader and chair - you would be disappointed that the Board did not follow your committee's recommendation to proceed.

The decrease in enrollment as I see it is 2-fold:

1. The kids who were grandfathered to stay at Harrison while they are actually in Allatoona district are graduating year by year.

2. The down swing in the real estate industry in the economy. People aren't moving out and people aren't moving in. HOWEVER - this will not last forever. Be proactive, CCSB and ANTICIPATE this.
anonymous
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May 03, 2012
The original notebook exists. CCSD has it. Why not provide it? Originally, the 9th grade center was supposed to go at West Cobb School #1, which was Hillgrove.

Can the MDJ ask for the notebook? Can the MDJ get the minutes from the F/T meetings that discussed the project, and approved the notebook? The data exists, please produce it, CCSD. Bartlett is correct to delay the project. Not abandon it, but delay it. We have schools that are fire hazards. Please spend the money for safety first.
you can't spell
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May 04, 2012
besides being a horrible Chair, you can't spell. The word is responsible not responsboile. This blog even does spell check for you. You're Committee voted for it. You should support the decision always. It's terrible leadership to undermine your own committee. Once the decision is made you support it no matter what. The only way that you can not support the decision is to put it back on the agenda and have someone change their vote, just as the board is considering. You have NO idea how to lead a committee. Your are extremely selfish. Chairs should not blog these things or speak out against their committee's decision in public. Very unprofessional
Not Doubting
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May 04, 2012
I don't doubt it is her. She is unfit for this role.
Cobb Taxpayer
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May 03, 2012
I attended the BOE meeting when she attempted to explained her NO vote on the Harrison 9th Grade Center - She needs to come up something really creative and factual this time - but she is on 1 of the NO votes - Would be nice to hear the other 3 Board Members explain themselves ? Rather short notice for a Saturday night, but I will rearrange my calendar.
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