Live From the School Board Meeting
We are covering the Cherokee County Board of Education live.
The Cherokee County Board of Education is meeting at 7 p.m., and Woodstock-Towne Lake editor Lindsey Davidson is covering it live for the Cherokee Patches on Twitter (@TowneLakePatch). On the agenda for the evening is a whole slew of recognitions from science fair to reading bowl winners. The board will also vote to move forward with the appropriate policy and legal steps for the education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax vote set to be on the November ballot. This is said to be another necessary step to ensure the SPLOST Renewal Issue is in place. We'll compile all of the tweets here within a few minutes of their posting, allowing you to catch up and comment on all the action.
8:09 p.m. And now we are adjourned!
8:08 p.m. The board is talking about training and vacation plans.
8:02 p.m. Post 2 board member Mike Chapman makes a motion to approve the referendum to move forward with the SPLOST. The board approves.
8:02 p.m. Petruzielo says he feels the commissioners are waiting on the school board to approve the SPLOST referendum before they move forward with the Sunday alcohol sales.
8 p.m. Post 4 board member Janet Read agrees that if the Sunday alcohol sales measure is on the ballot, the crowd of votes would be much better.
7:58 p.m. Post 7 school board member Kim Cochran says this is a consumption tax. If this tax fails, we are looking at a huge increase. We really need this to be approved.
7:56 p.m. There are three times the SPLOST can be voted on, but the recommendation from Petruzielo and the board is to have it on the November ballot.
7:56 p.m. Tonight, the board isn't making hard decisions on the SPLOST. Members are going to be using the next three months of work sessions to do that.
7:53 p.m. Borrowing costs and interest rates are favorable now, Petruzielo says.
7:51 p.m. Petruzielo is not in favor of having the education SPLOST on the same ballot as the transportation SPLOST, which comes up in 2012.
7:49 p.m. If the SPLOST failed, with that expiration, taxpayers would have to pay for the bills. There would not be a vote; it would be an automatic tax increase.
7:48 p.m. But it requires at least one year till another vote can go before the public.
7:47 p.m. If the SPLOST failed in 2011, there would at least be time to come back and vote again.
7:46 p.m. He also says he thinks it would help to get more voters with another special issue on the ballot, alluding to the Sunday alcohol sales.
7:44 p.m. Petruzielo says 60 percent to 80 percent of SPLOST votes pass in the state of Georgia. He says Cherokee passes with a wider margin.
7:43 p.m. The state only provides 10 percent of the money the county needs to build the schools, the needed technology, etc. That's why the SPLOST is needed.
7:42 p.m. Moving on: The board attorney is now talking about the education SPLOST.
7:41 p.m. Because the parent was pleading for the board to hear what the parents had to say about the students potentially leaving, Petruzielo suggests talking to the individual principals.
7:41 p.m. "We have rules set in place for certain reasons." He says they are for safety reasons.
7:40 p.m. "That doesn't disturb us in any way. We think we have excellent schools and have a lot to offer," Superintendent Frank Petruzielo says.
7:39 p.m. "It took us three months to get one parent to volunteer for the PTA."
7:37 p.m. Here are some of the new issues: water bottles being allowed, pencils being sharpened, parents being accosted when they enter the school and not being welcomed when they enter the school.
7:36 p.m. "My current verbal count is 70 requesting to leave Canton Elementary," a reference to the number wanting to go to the new charter school.
7:35 p.m. A parent from Canton Elementary is talking on behalf of the parents.
7:29 p.m. Spelling Bee winners: third place, Alexandra Hofstetter of Clayton Elementary; second, Jamila Otieno of Boston Elementary; first, Anthony Solano of Liberty Elementary. (You can see a video from the Spelling Bee here: http://patch.com/A-d6Ft.)
7:14 p.m. ALL 11 projects placed either first, second or third at the state fair. Go, Cherokee!
7:12 p.m. Now comes the Science and Engineering Fair winners: 11 first-place regional projects from Cherokee went to the 63rd
7:10 p.m. The board is recognizing all the 2011 Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl winners. You can see a list of winners at http://patch.com/A-hlFg.
7:06 p.m. (Remember earlier we told you WHS assistant principal Vanessa Suarez accepted the Cherokee Charter Academy founding principal position.)
7:04 p.m. Kelly Strickland will step in as the Woodstock High School assistant principal.
7:03 p.m. @ATLangela There are a lot of recognitions tonight, so a lot of students and their families are here.
7 p.m. From Angela (@ATLangela): "Is it normally that packed? Is there a big issue up for discussion tonight?"
7 p.m. People are still coming in, and it's after 7 p.m. (that rhymed).
6:57 p.m. The Cherokee school board meeting is about to start, and again, it is a packed house. The walls are lined with no sitting room.