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Wilbanks speaks out against November referendum

SNELLVILLE -- The school district's highest ranked appointed official spoke out Tuesday evening to a local crowd, encouraging them to "consider the future of public education" and vote against November referendum.

Wilbanks said the measure -- which would amend the Georgia constitution to give the state power to approve charter schools -- "will transfer control from your local school board to a group of people in Atlanta."

Added Wilbanks: "Never have I felt more concerned for the survival of public education than now ... if we fail to act quickly, we could lose something very precious in our state and nation."

The superintendent urged hundreds in attendance during an area board meeting at South Gwinnett High School to go to the polls and vote "no" on the measure.

Campaigns for the amendment, he said, "will be funded by the corporations who will make a hefty profit off of it."

After a victory by Republican lawmakers March 19, the Georgia Senate passed a constitutional amendment that would give the state power to establish charter schools over the objection of local school districts. It passed the Senate 40-16 and passed the House in Feburary by 123-48.

In previous interviews, Ivy Preparatory Academy Founder and Executive Director Nina Gilbert has maintained that the senate's approval was "a step in the right direction toward creating collaborative relationships between charter schools and traditional public schools."

In January, the Gwinnett County Board of Education voted to deny a charter extension of Ivy Prep Academy's Gwinnett campus as well as a proposed new location in the county.

Comments

NewsReader 2 years, 4 months ago

"...will transfer control from your local school board to a group of people in Atlanta..."

Gotta love that...How deep did you have to dig to produce that one Mr. Wilbanks? That is about as far reaching as it gets. I would say it's a good thing that these traveling circuses that the BOE conduct attract very few people. The only thing Wilbanks is ultimately concerned about is the tax payer funded gravy train he's riding on.

"...Never have I felt more concerned for the survival of public education than now ... if we fail to act quickly, we could lose something very precious in our state and nation..."

Well of course you're going to lose "something very precious". You might even have to give up your ivory tower of an office for a more modest conventional desk and chair like normal people have to work from.

Let's get it done so that Jan can crawl back under the rock from which he resides.

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reallynow 2 years, 4 months ago

Alvin the Chipmunk has more credibility and integrity than Alvin Wilbanks! So if this amendment passes, Gwinnett County Schools are in for some tough times? Would having two or three good charter schools in Gwinnett not be a good thing for a lot of parents and their children? Alvin Wilbanks thinks not. He accepted Ivy Prep, funded them at half price, and when that didn't kill them, he refused to renew their charter after one year!

How much longer will the African American, Latino, and other ethnic-rich people of Gwinnett have to suffer at the hands of Alvin Wilbanks and the all-white, rubber stamp board of Gwinnett board of education?

Is this man who got away with property gate a believable source of information about this matter? I, for one, don't believe him about anything! Wilbanks said, "campaigns for the amendment will be funded by the corporations who will make a hefty profit from it.". Really, did those trying to get more school choice in Gwinnett sit down with almighty Alvin and give him the detailed plan? That is blatantly untrue. But what is true is that Wilbanks makes $400,000 plus annually from the taxpayers and continued to get raises even while teachers were being furloughed and being told the district could not afford raises. During the Sam period, and for years before, this is the same Super who profited and helped his friends make millions on crazy land purchasing schemes which, according to the AJC, cost millions of dollars more than necessary.

Who is the real threat here? I think the one who thinks the public is gullible enough to believe a self-serving, untruthful, profiteer who makes his fortune at the expense of refusing to give parent what they need and teachers what they deserve.

Alvin the Chipmunk would do better by us!

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NewsReader 2 years, 4 months ago

reallynow, it would really behoove you not to alienate the white folks who have your back on this one. This is not a race issue whether you want it to be or not. Let's stick to the issue, and that is, allowing the people to decide where their children go to school and the money to follow.

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dentaldawg83 2 years, 4 months ago

well, Reallynow, since you played the race card here, I will be supporting Mr Wilbanks and will vote no to this november.

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ssilover1 2 years, 4 months ago

You are so wrong and disrespectful. Obviously you have no idea how taxpayer money flows from the county for our students and right out the door to charters if this passes. AND you can't see how this has the potential to flow more money to private schools. Actually if the public knew how much state money is going to private schools already they would be furious.

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Mack711 2 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like Mr. Wilbanks may lose some of his power in order to operate the syatem. He may be concerned about the funds needed to pay for his and his friends over priced salary. He does not want anyone to compete with the system that is now in place. Granted it is a good system but most want a choice,and they should have a choice.

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Gwinnettsince1991 2 years, 4 months ago

And Mr. Potter wanted everyone to live in Pottersville instead of Bailey Park.

Really it comes down to control and ego; and not about educating our children in the way, we, as parents feel most comfortable with. Its about one way, his way.

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kevin 2 years, 4 months ago

charter schools is the only way the taxpayer is going to get rid of the poor teachers and overloaded support staff. The supervisors are too scared too try to fire people. They are only worried about their jobs and the trouble their own supervisors will give them for even trying. The whole system is corrupt except for a few. Ask Wilbanks what is the supervisor to teacher ratio in Gwinnett County.

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swtbabygirl37 2 years, 4 months ago

its below what is mandated by state law..this much i do know

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LarryMajor 2 years, 4 months ago

No need to ask anyone; just look at the budgets.

GCPS total administration expense (both education and business) is 9.4 percent. Ivy Prep’s administration expense is a crushing 32 percent.

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swtbabygirl37 2 years, 4 months ago

Wow folks I do have to give props to Mr. Wilbanks. While other counties have closed schools and cut pay Gwinnett County has done niether of those. If it's not broke don't fix it. Yes, there are issues with the school systems but they are alot of things right. Gwinnett is a great school system.

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Jan 2 years, 4 months ago

As usual. If you have no facts, start a personnel attack. If you want to present an argument for charter schools, then find something to support your premise that for profit companies can do a better job. Of course, since the facts does not support such an idea, the only resort for those that want charters is an assault on the character of anyone that brings reason to the discussion. I find arguments such as "over priced salaries" very hypocritical when those claiming it want to shift education in a way that will give even higher salaries to some while shrinking teacher salaries. We already have a problem attracting the best teachers in a country where most states pay better than Georgia and some states have almost double the pay of teachers in Georgia. My rock supports the facts so I do not require it to hide from those ignorant of the facts.

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BufordGuy 2 years, 4 months ago

I will vote opposite of Mr. Willbanks position, no matter what that position is.

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ssilover1 2 years, 4 months ago

Thinking like that is exactly why our country is in a mess.

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Say_that_again 2 years, 4 months ago

I really get a kick out of such intellectual conversation! I realize that some of you may not enjoy it as much because of the code so let me translate: NewsReader:says he thinks we should pay people outside of the county to make decisions about how our children are educated. People that do not have to answer to the voters of this county. He believes that the only ivory towers should be occupied by investors in charter schools but our public administrators should make do with a broom closet. reallynow chimes in with demeaning remarks and some erroneous belief that Ivy Prep is the only charter school in the county. In fact, there are 5 charter schools in Gwinnett. Then more smears, including false accusations of racism.He also seems to believe that Wilbanks has thge authority to spend money that the county doesn't have on such things as teacher raises. Apparently reallynow believes the BOE should have imposed higher taxes to fund such raises. Mack711 chimes in with support for some corporate heads, probably located in other states, collecting the big salaries. Doesn't recognize that the CEO of a private company the size of GCPS would expect a bonus larger than Wilbank's salary. Then Gwinnettsince1991 thinks education is all about ego. seems to have some misguided notion that a charter is going to listen to his opinion and tailor the curriculum and methods as he dictates. The misguided kevin wants to fire overloaded support staff and poor teachers. Doesn't seem to realize that the work must be done so the load would fall on over loaded class teachers, with larger class loads since he wants to fire some of those too. Fact is, GCPS have a teacher evaluation program and do identify and fire poor teachers. Then BufordGuy demonstrates his brilliant solution!

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