School system spends our tax money wisely

Tue, 09/09/2008 - 2:41pm
By: Letters to the ...

Given all the recent letters regarding the Fayette County Board of Education, I hope to bring some facts to the conversation.

I believe our Board of Education, Dr. DeCotis, Mr. Sweat, our teachers, our parents, and our students deserve a great deal of credit for their recent performance that seems to go unnoticed in your publication.

Our current seniors scored second in the recent SAT results (they were tied with Cherokee County). But when you consider over 79 percent of our kids took the test versus 69 percent in Fulton, 61 percent in Cherokee and 47 percent in Coweta (based on the number of SAT takers over the FY 2007 Grade 11 population), you get a sense of how much our kids really achieved.

None of our schools is on the AYP needs improvement list. Fulton County had the highest SAT scores but 15 (16 percent) of their schools are on the AYP list, including four high schools. Coweta has 10 schools or 37 percent of their schools on AYP and Cherokee have three or 9 percent. In fact Fayette is the only school system its size or larger to have ZERO schools on the infamous list.

Better yet, based on state Department of Education data for the last fiscal year, FCBOE has done this without spending the most money. Using data from Fulton, Fayette, Cherokee, Cobb, Henry, Clayton, Gwinnett, DeKalb, Spalding, and Coweta school boards, we have done quite well.

Cost of instruction per pupil (FTE) — $5,908 (5th out of the 10 above). Cost of pupil services (FTE) — $223 (4/10). Cost of general administration (FTE) — $321 (6/10). Cost of school administration (FTE) — $537 (5/10). Cost of transportation (FTE) — $361 (7/10). Maintenance and operations (FTE) — $651 (5/10). Cost per school facility — $6,757,193 (5/10).

Given the discussions in this paper regarding the reckless behavior of our board, I was surprised to find these cost drivers to be squarely in the middle of the pack.

Based on our performance that is quite a return on investment that our board, administration, teachers, parents, and students have given the taxpayers of Fayette County. Congratulations to all of you!

Neil Sullivan

Peachtree City, Ga.

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JAFO 72's picture
Submitted by JAFO 72 on Fri, 09/12/2008 - 11:21am.

Finally, someone has included statistical data to back-up the outstanding job that the FCBOE is doing. This is an excellent comeback to the earlier post regarding Fulton County, and how they seem to trump every other county. Facts speak louder than knee jerk reactions. Our students are getting more out of their education and have a fighting chance for the future. Thanks again Neil.

“Every time you vote Democrat God kills a kitten.”

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