Essentially this meeting was a slightly abbreviated version of the budget presentation made to the school board with community “questions”. There were some new aspects presented which appeared to have the purpose of addressing recent concerns from the public. Granted, these aspects may have originated at the county commission presentation (which I [Carson] was unable to attend due to the timing of the meeting conflicting with school) instead of the community meeting, but I am unsure. Either way, these new items put the budget into somewhat of a new perspective. The other part of the meeting was comprised of community thoughts and questions, although the former was considerably more common.
People in Attendance
Although there were less than thirty people in attendance (including the presenters and yours truly there to run tech) many of those people were notable community figures. They included but were not limited to:
This presentation truly was the best way to get your mind around the budget as it was long enough to contain the key details, but not too long to get bored. That said, I’m pretty sure the community came expecting to merely speak their thoughts and then go home, so it’s probable that it seemed a bit long to most people. New aspects of the presentation included:
Community comments ranged from comments to rants to legitimate questions. Here are some of the notable highlights:
Overall this meeting was rather informative, as well as entertaining. There were two teachers present, one student present (yours truly), and I believe four parents present (including Dr. Harwood and one of the teachers). The rest were community members. The way I see it, this budget increase is providing livable wages to teachers, futures to students, and the materials and classes so many students need to reach their dreams. I come from a very privileged school, a school where teachers care about their students, but I’ve stopped many times to imagine what my school would be like without these teachers. If the teachers that have influenced my life so much had decided to teach 10 minutes further away in North Georgia where they can make an extra 5,000 dollars per year and teach in nicer schools, I don’t know where I would be. If I saw that my community had the opportunity to improve my life and 44,500 other students’ lives and didn’t because they didn't want an adjusted tax rate after 15 years without one I would feel ashamed to live in this county, where money is more valuable than students: where money is more valuable than the future.