We are presenting this information to URGE you to support the Cherokee County Board of Education and our district in speaking out to our local legislative representatives in the Georgia General Assembly along with our Governor, Nathan Deal, who seek to continue to cut our school funding. These cuts have affected our children already. Our schools are experiencing even larger classroom sizes, diminished learning opportunities, and reduced time in specials, such as Art and Music.
DID YOU KNOW?
Our district incurred state budget cuts in excess of $118 million over the past 8 years! In 2004, the state cut the Cherokee County School budget by $5.2 million.
The cuts continue to get worse…
-2010-2011 - we lost $25.3 million
-This year, our schools are losing $26.6 million and are slated to lose another $26.6 million again for 2012-13.
-When the State approved the opening of the Cherokee Charter Academy (CCA) in August, they provided over $10 million to the CCA and the rest of the state-funded charter schools, despite the Georgia Supreme Court ruling it unconstitutional, which resulted in an additional loss of approximately $3.1 million to our district.
-Our district had to absorb this additional shortage through larger class sizes, displaced teachers, and further reductions in elective classes for our children.
IN ADDITION TO THE CUTS,
-Our State has a Fair Share policy that requires school districts to pay no more than a maximum of 20% of their "Fair Share" formula to assist lower income districts in the state of Georgia. However, for the past 3 years, our Fair Share amount has exceeded the 20% formula. This past year, we paid an additional $2.8 million over the 20% required by the state. Why are our legislators not upholding the 20% threshold? Imagine how much $2.8 million could help our schools! And no one can tell us where that money went.
With the continued budget cuts which have led to our increased class sizes and loss of special classes, parents have become increasingly concerned about the future of our children and our district. As such, we believe our best solution is to voice our concerns to our elected state representatives in hopes that they will act upon our concerns when setting and passing future budgets.
We are asking YOU to be a part of our voice. Get involved and share your concern with these representatives. We know that there is strength in numbers and the elected officials must be persuaded to act on our behalf. Go to our Get Involved page for a sample letter and a list of representatives and their contact information.