When thinking about the topic of public education, the first thing that comes to mind is the recent decision for budget cuts in the Fulton County Board of Education. The budget cuts and new arrangement of classes, and the school year in general, are set to take place during the 2010-2011 school year. This year teachers are already not going to be paid for three fewer days of the year. This coming summer students and faculty will get to enjoy two more weeks off of school, which creates a full three month summer. However, the down side to this new situation is that a couple days off for winter vacation will be taken and replaced by school. Half days next school year will also be a thing of the past. I agree that they are most definitely a waste of a school day and they will not by any means be missed by me. Instead of half days, students will have more teacher work days off of school. Half days required too many school busses running and therefore an increase in gasoline costs. I believe it is a shame that teachers are getting paid less and less when the need for more education is increasing drastically. Johns Creek, Georgia has some of the best public schools in the state and in the nation. It is really awful that the teachers from this area have to suffer the same budget cuts as teachers that do not teach at the same level of intelligence: in Lagrange, Georgia for example. (Nice use of a colon right there I would have to say.) The public education system in Fulton County should not have spent so much money on unnecessary items: such as Promethean board or the Northview “Titantron” scoreboard. At Johns Creek, there are more smart boards in the school then there are filled classrooms. For my SAT class, we were in an abandoned classroom and there was a smart board! I find this astonishing and disappointing. The county should have saved their money and waited until the schools actually needed something.
On a different note, I believe in an area like the one we currently live in, it is unnecessary to send your children to a private school, unless they need individual help or something of the sort. With outstanding teachers and all the best technology, a private school has a lot of competition in this area. However, the one thing that public schools do not offer that a private school may is religion. As Sarah discussed in her opinion editorial last week, religion is still evident in most public schools. Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is one club that is present in almost every public school and is advertised widely through posters and flyers. I am fairly certain, however, at Johns Creek there is no Jewish Student Union (JSU) or atheist organization.
Next year, the number of kids attending private school in the Johns Creek area may actually increase. With the rise in class size scheduled for next year, more parents may want their children in a school with more individual attention.