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GCPS leaders talk new hires, vent over funding levels

SUWANEE -- Officials with Gwinnett County Public Schools have hired 175 teachers for the upcoming school year and could hire another 250 before the first day of school.

It's a decrease from the previous year's hire of 541 teachers.

Frances Davis, the district's chief human resources officer, told leaders during a board of education meeting Thursday that a lack of teachers to keep up with the population growth of Gwinnett County Public School students could make 2012-13 "the most difficult year ever."

"Our schools are hurting," Davis said. "I can't tell you this won't cut into the core business of what we do."

A conversation about the strains of doing more with less led into a somewhat heated dialogue over what Board Member Robert McClure said was a major lack of funding from the state.

Specifically, he said, funding from equalization and qualified basic education earnings have failed to keep up with local need.

"This was not part of our strategic plan ... it's wasn't our idea," McClure said. "It's totally a lack of financial resources."

McClure added that he was irritated by "those (at the state level) who voted to cut allocations to school districts, but have complained about the failures of public education."

Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks echoed McClure's remarks, denouncing "the state's plan to defund, privatize and dismantle public education."

He added that those teachers the district can afford to hire for the 2012-13 school year "will be well qualified."

Of the 175 teachers already hired, 70 are new hires, 102 are part-year rehires and three are retiree rehires.

Part-year hires are those who started last year after the first day of school.

Comments

Ashley 1 year, 10 months ago

Georgia has to decide if we are going to fund education or become a third world country? It would probably take a major home grown industry to leave to make people wake up. Remember in the 1980's when northern companies moved here all the time? Now no one comes to Georgia.

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richtfan 1 year, 10 months ago

Ashley, we have poured BILLIONS into the school system, and what have the results yielded? Lower test scores, bloated budgets, whining bureaucrats and the blame game going around all over. Taxpayers are forced to pay property taxes to support the system, and they deserve and demand superior performance. That's called a "return on investment". Why should schools be exempted from standards?

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Ashley 1 year, 9 months ago

We have not poured Billions into the system. Teachers get paid less every year and get more kids crammed into the classroom. Public education is not perfect and GCPS are full of fat cats in the front office, but Georgia has done nothing but cut money since 2005.

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Award88 1 year, 10 months ago

Here's an idea, cut the bloated BOE administration. Idea number 2, introduce free market principles, namely school choice. Btw, @Ashley, the average student to teacher ratio was larger in the 1980s than it is now.

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martinfeigen 1 year, 10 months ago

If the BOE could get their heads out of the sand and realize they will NEVER hit the funding levels from 5 years ago they could move forward positively. They think that all these new schools they opened don't affect the student teacher levels. They bloat the staffs at the schools with people who are not in the classroom, and that money comes from teachers. They pull staff members out of school every few days for meetings instead of utilizing the computers they have and connect on line. They could cut one assistant principal and one counselor from every school and hire 500 more teachers today, with no noticeable difference. People in education need to work more efficiently like the rest of us!

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BuzzG 1 year, 10 months ago

Sell the county owned stadium. Sell the county owned golf course. Give the money to the school system. Problem solved.

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teelee 1 year, 10 months ago

Are you kidding me? End year round school and save millions.

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SickandTired 1 year, 10 months ago

J.Alvin Wilbanks needs to take a pay cut too! He's the most well paid shop teacher I have ever met. And he can't even prounounce SPLOST!!! The GCPS BOE needs a major overhaul. BOE members like Mary Kay Murphy, Dr. McClure, Dan "I don't pay my child support and I got arrested for it" Seckinger, and Louise Radloff all need to go.

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JohnR 1 year, 10 months ago

Here's a novel idea. Don't raise taxes, don't cut teachers pay, don't increase class size, and don't have furlow days. Charge tuition for each child to offset the operational shortfall. I'm sure there are no parents that would resist this suggestion because they want the best education for their children. At the sametime look for operational efficiencies and hold people accountable.

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news2me 1 year, 10 months ago

We have a very large Hispanic population in Gwinnett that are here for a free "World Class" education that can not and WILL NOT pay tuition. Their entitlement to a free education would be met with calls of Racism, etc. Let's not forget many students that reside in other counties, especially Dekalb, that are stealing from GCPS. The GCPS bus drivers, janitorial, and cafeteria workers that can send their kids and grandkids to any GCPS they wish. Where do I stop?

I would have no problem paying extras in tuition for my student to attend their neighborhood schools, but I would demand that cheaters and the entitled not be allowed to attend my schools. I also feel the property taxes I pay should be taken into consideration and those that pay less and have more children should be required to pay a higher tuition.

Great idea, but it won't work. "Rights" will be violated ad naseum. SMH

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dentaldawg83 1 year, 10 months ago

thin out the over-bloated nonteacher bureacracy, hire more teachers...I mean, how many admin personnel do we really need?

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WantingFacts 1 year, 10 months ago

Could they hire 2 more teachers if Gwinnett County Public Schools quit paying the salaries of 2 Gwinnett Chamber employees? Why is GCPS still paying the salaries of Gwinnett Chamber employees when they are cutting teachers? Do the Chamber employees contribute more to Gwinnett County Public School students than teachers?

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teelee 1 year, 10 months ago

If Dekalb County can save 30 million dollars by cutting 10 days of school, then Gwinnett County should let the kids be off June, July and August. The little darlings could go back to school the day after Labor day like I did, and my parents did back in the 20th Century. Yes end this year round school stuff, how much does it cost to cool these buildings when it is 95' in August. It worked for us, we became a world super power, went to the Moon and mastered the Atom all when our kids had the Summers off and they could enjoy camping, family trips and reunions. The Liberals and the federal government have destroyed the whole system. No wonder our theme parks are struggling to stay open when kids are going back to school near the first of August. Use some common sense people!

Yes the handsome little devil in the front row would be me.

Yes the handsome little devil in the front row would be me. by teelee

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richtfan 1 year, 10 months ago

mr. mcclure needs to understand that when tax dollars are taken by force (property taxes) for school operation, the parents and the community expect and demand and deserve superior results. That is NOT what we've gotten as a county. There have been some schools that have done great, yes. But there are others that have done just the bare minimum. I know, for a fact, that Gwinnett spends more on their central office staff than Cobb, which is nearly the same size as Gwinnett. Why is that? Why can't we be as efficient as Cobb is with regard to our non-classroom staffing? One other thing Mr. McClure---you bemoan funding. Charter schools have proven, over and over, that they get more out of less than regular schools. It is only right and good that there be more charter schools opened and supported. The school system has a lock and a monopoly on educating our children, and the results have been lackluster for decades. People expect results, and that's not what they've gotten from the system that you represent.

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LoganvilleResident 1 year, 10 months ago

Do you check your facts before you just spout stuff off? I'm guessing no since you're wrong.

Cobb county has about 104,000 students. Gwinnett has 160,000 students. How is that two school systems comparable in size? You are talking about a difference of over 55,000 students.

Secondly, Gwinnett County has provided consistently good education to the children of the county for years. It is one of the reasons that Gwinnett grew so quickly.

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ssilover1 1 year, 9 months ago

You must not pay attention to the results. GCPS gets incredible results...outdoes most districts in the US with comparable demographics. Sad you can't read.

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ssilover1 1 year, 9 months ago

I KNOW you can't read when you write "Cobb is nearly the same size as Gwinnett." YOu have just shot your credibility to torment and back.

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TheQuestionofWho 1 year, 9 months ago

There is an entire generation of new, highly-qualified educators who are waiting to work! However, there are fossilized teachers with over thirty years of teaching experience who are being paid at the absolute top of the pay scale, collecting a pension from retiring during the retirement boom, and collecting social security. These double and triple dippers are getting over at the expense of new teachers who are overburdened in debt from doing the work that it takes to be "highly qualified". If school districts were to force out the double and triple dippers or make them go part-time/temporary,they could pay two new teachers what one outdated teacher who is out-of-touch with millenial students was barely working for. Think about it...I'm right.

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