FactChecker

FactChecker 2 years, 9 months ago on Lobbyists spend thousands in charter school debate

Two problems with your argument. First, the $43.14 per person counts those that have elected to avoid accepting perks from lobbyist or lobbyists don't offer them perks because they know it will not influence votes. Second, the legislature should air both sides of an issue equally, if they have to be bribed to listen to your sides reasoning, then they will put more weight to that side. Second, the total gifts from lobbyist averages $2500 per lawmaker this year. Check out Dick Yarbrough's column on the opinion page and you will see that House Speaker David Ralston has accepted over $1800.00 in perks from lobbyists in the first two months this year. Extrapolating, this implies over $10,000 for the year for him. If a educator accepted gifts from students worth a fraction of this, we would be calling for their resignation.

0

FactChecker 2 years, 9 months ago on Lobbyists spend thousands in charter school debate

I thank the GDP for publishing this article. It helps highlight how lobbyist are attempting to influence our representatives with gifts. We should also recognize the importance of this (and any other) legislation that could alter our constitution. It is easier to add to the constitution than to take away from the constitution so everyone should have a full understanding of the issues before making a decision. I do not wish to make a stand for either side; however, I think a clarification is necessary. Some might read the first paragraph to mean that the court decision struck down the formation of charter schools. This is not the case. Charter schools can still operate and new charter schools can be formed. The courts said that a public board of education cannot be forced to fund a charter school while having no control over how it operates. The Georgia Charter Schools Commission, formed by a 2008 law was disbanded for its sole purpose was to circumvent local control and establish charters with local BOEs forced to help fund them.

0

FactChecker 2 years, 9 months ago on Ga. Senate could hear school voucher bill

Actually, we do have stats that demonstrate a need to alter our concept of charter schools. Only 17% of charter schools can demonstrate an improvement over similar public schools while 37% actually perform worse than their public counterpart. We should recognize that charters can be divided into sub categories of those that are operated by public school systems, hence conform to standards and policies of local BOE. Then we have corporate charters. Gwinnett county BOE operates several charters like New Life Academy of Excellence which can demonstrate significant improved performance. In fact, I found numerous public operated charters that exceed their non charter counterparts. I was unable to find stats that support this anecdotal evidence that public school system charters outperform private charters but it is something that should be compiled before passing an amendment to the state constitution that uses money from local taxpayers to support schools where they have no input into the operation. One thing is certain, the name "charter" does not make it a better school and local public school systems should not be forced to pay for schools when they have no control over the proper operation of these schools.

0

FactChecker 2 years, 9 months ago on PARKER: Rush muddies the waters, should apologize to student

It was not my intent to get into an argument as to the exact meaning of words and narrowing the meaning the words does not alleviate the facts derived from the session. If you wish to be pick at nuances, then the hearing called by the Republicans was not about religious freedom but about the Health Care bill and a futile attempt to attack it through the hypocrisy of a few men that seemed to lack any understanding that people should be free to discuss their health issues with the doctors without religious extremest being allowed to dictate treatment choices.

0

FactChecker 2 years, 9 months ago on PARKER: Rush muddies the waters, should apologize to student

I am amazed at the lack of research: 1. Sandra Fluke was testifying to other uses of birth control pills, see ACC12_SEC13Booster comments above for more details on her testimony. 2. The cost of covering pregnancy is greater than covering birth control. 3. Over 90% of Catholic women that are sexually active have used birth control. 4. If a Catholic organization pays someone a salary, the church has no right to restrict any legal expenditure of that salary, including birth control. Insurance is just a part of the salary so they should not be allowed to restrict coverage. 5. If you allow Catholic organizations to limit coverage to items for which they have no moral objections, then you must extend the same moral conscience considerations to organizations of other religions. 6. Bishop William Murphy, head of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, and chair of the U. S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, gave the essence of the church's position in a letter to members of Congress, dated July 17, an excerpt of which was cited in an editorial in the National Catholic Reporter, "The right to health care" (9/18/09): "... The bishops' conference believes health care reform should be truly universal and it should be genuinely affordable". And he made no mention of limiting coverage of birth control. (more on Catholic support of national health care at http://ncronline.org/blogs/essays-theology/what-church-teaches-health-care-reform)

0

FactChecker 2 years, 10 months ago on Ga. Senate committee passes charter amendment

Sorry, BuzzG, teachers unions have absolutely nothing to do with the fight against charter school funding being forced onto local tax payers. State education dollars already follow students. Even religious oriented private schools get state educational funds. Georgia law does not allow teachers to belong to a union. The courts ruling only addressed the issue that taxes assessed for local public schools could not be usurped for charter schools that do not have the approval of the local public school system. The state can choose to fully fund these schools without any constitutional amendment. Please explain how a school that is not required to hire only certified teachers or follow other educational standards can be expected to exceed the performance of public schools. Testing proves that the average charter has been unable to accomplish this. In Georgia, some of the top performing charter schools are actually run by the public school system.

0

FactChecker 2 years, 10 months ago on Lilburn man booked after bullet strikes neighbor's home

How did he get a gun? Oh, that's right, Republicans don't think we should have reasonable gun control! Regulate gun shows and it will reduce guns in the hands of people like this.

0

FactChecker 2 years, 10 months ago on Business has county's largest solar array

 Kevin, I appreciate your breakdown; however, my assumption would be that they are talking about average single dwelling homes that are total electric. I have searched and not found average annual power bill for Gwinnett total electric homes. I have researched solar homes and have found that a new 1500 square foot home can put in a solar system that will generate sufficient power in our region for about $20,000. Now to your criticism about cloudy days. It should be noted that electric generating companies are most concerned about the times of peak power usage. These are the hot, sunny days of summer. During these times, the panels will be pumping massive amounts of energy to curtail the loads on conventional generators. True, during cloudy days, power output is lower but so is demand. No one is proposing solar panels as the sole means of power generation but a balance between solar, wind, hydroelectric and generators should be the goal.
  Mori said "...will achieve full payback within about 5 years, ...". This would work out to an annual wholesale cost of $7000 per home. Definitely figuring large homes than usually found in Gwinnett.
0

FactChecker 2 years, 12 months ago on POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Woodall reflects on first year in Congress; Dunn publishes novel

The majority of Republicans have signed a "no increase in tax" pledge. If they continue to insist that it must be followed tot he letter, then the extremely unfair "FairTax" must be dead since it significantly raises taxes on the majority of middle class families.

0

FactChecker 2 years, 12 months ago on Back in campaign mode, presidential hopefuls focus

All opinion and insults without any facts to back them up. Though I agree with the opinion "...same old, came[sic] old, telling us what we want to hear as they go from state to state", can you give facts to back it or your other accusations up? Can you do it without random idiotic insults? For instance, you could show that Ron Paul demonstrated intelligence by earning a Doctor in Medicine degree from Duke; but then you would have to admit that Barack Obama also demonstrated intelligence by graduating from Harvard Law and earning the position of editor of Harvard Law Review thus destroying the opinion you expressed.

0