I recently read the article regarding the complaint filed by the Cobb Taxpayer Association’s Lance Lamberton. He stated that the Cobb County School District used public funds to advocate on behalf of the Education SPLOST. As someone who was personally involved in helping to pass this needed continuation of funding, I would like to respond. I believe some of Mr. Lamberton’s errors occurred simply by his lack of strong involvement with our K-12 public schools.
I don’t know of any school which sends out its own newsletter. The newsletters you see coming from schools are from the PTAs, Foundations and/or Booster Clubs. These communications are clearly marked and are only sent to the email addresses the PTA (or other organization) has a right to use (the PTA members or those who signed up for information).
I think Mr. Lamberton’s case goes out the window the second one opens the newsletters he mentions: Mt. Bethel, Dickerson and Walton. They all state clearly on the top that they are publications of the PTAs. In addition, access to read them online is granted only through the PTA website. It took me all of three minutes to find all this information.
In addition, I personally received the robo-call Mr. Lamberton referenced. I remember it clearly due to my involvement in this issue. It was indeed from the Cobb School District. However, it informed citizens of the vote taking place and encouraged people to “go out and vote.” No preference on the issue was taken.
I worked alongside the PTA to push for passage of the Ed-SPLOST. One of the unsung heroes who was involved in helping this passage was Anne Davidson, the East Cobb Council PTA Legislative Chair. My personal experience is that the law was constantly repeated to myself and others. Every instance of advocacy was held up to the light to see if it passed this bar. More than once, I saw Ms. Davidson stop something before it started if there was a chance that it used school resources. She knew the law and followed it precisely.
And Karen Hallacy, state PTA Legislative Chair, even stopped a parent at an event from saying “We must vote Yes.” Before the sentence was fully out of her mouth, Karen jumped in and cut her off, informing her that we were on school property.