Georgia: The new Mississippi

Atlanta’s downtown connector is about to get another coat of asphalt. Why?

The resurfacing of the northbound lanes should correct the problem of water seeping through the roadway that led to patches of black ice this past winter.

“Crews will cut very thin horizontal grooves in the asphalt to drain any seeping water,” DOT spokeswoman Crystal Paulk-Buchanan said. “Then, crews will put the final layer of asphalt over this section.”

Yeah, that black ice is a real problem — much graver than our failing schools.

Here is the bottom line. If the changes in state and local revenues that are already occurring are allowed to continue, Georgia’s schools will have to increase the number of students per teacher by at least 15 percent from FY 2009 to FY 2012 or decrease the salaries of their employees by the same extent. If teacher salaries remain the same, there will have to be a decrease of at least 14,000 teaching positions across the state.

Meanwhile, top Georgia lawmakers are living large on the taxpayer’s dime.

Overall, lawmakers billed the state for nearly $3.6 million in so-called per diem payments from Jan. 1, 2008, through March 19, 2010, at the same time the state budget was being slashed by $3 billion, teachers and employees were furloughed and state troopers were taken off the roads.

All we need now is a proclamation commemorating Confederate History Month. Done!

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8 comments

  1. Jack Straw · April 14, 2010

    There are more people living in slavery today than at any other point in human history, according to Thomas Sowell. Whereas the West, led by Great Britain, confronted the evil and abolished it in their realms, in the rest of the world, and particularly Africa and the Middle East, no such epiphany has occurred. Blog about that, and tell me how you are going to rectify it.

  2. atlmalcontent · April 14, 2010

    I’m getting a little tired of people coming onto my blog telling me what to blog about. Start your own blog if you’re so concerned.

    As for the slavery issue, I’m a native Southerner many generations back. I had forefathers who fought in the Civil War yet I possess not an ounce of pride in the Confederacy.

  3. Jack Straw · April 14, 2010

    Haha I only do it to mess with you. I have neither the time nor the creativity to blog. I don’t have any “pride” in the Confederacy, but I think that remembering and studying our history is always worthwhile. We learn as much, perhaps more, from our failures than from our successes.

    Your original topic was our poor schools. We spend more than any other developed country, yet still get substandard results. How come? If money was the issue, our schools would be the best in the world. What do you think the problem is? Because it sure as hell isn’t a lack of funding.

  4. atlmalcontent · April 14, 2010

    Spending less isn’t going to help, especially when you examine the crumbling schools in our inner cities. Lack of funds is far from the only problem — you’ll probably agree with me that the teacher’s union has been an albatross — but spending more certainly isn’t going to hurt.

  5. Jack Straw · April 14, 2010

    Well, the best teachers are not motivated solely by money. The really good ones I had were usually inspired to share a passion for a particular subject. But the best teacher in the world can’t teach students who aren’t there.

    I agree that the teacher’s unions are a huge problem, but a lot of money is wasted on administration – school districts are rife with patronage, cronyism and no-work positions. Although a conservative, I actually believe that the right to an education is sacred.

    I live in Chatham County. Our public schools are truly abysmal. But the budget this past year was 484 million dollars. Right at a half-billion! A startling number of these “educators” are barely literate. A friend of mine is counsel for the local union and I have seen some of their written work. It is the blind leading the blind.

    I am self-employed and I bitch a lot this time of year. In all seriousness, I save my money all year and then give it to Uncle Sam come April. If withholding were abolished, and everyone had to pay directly, the enormity of the government’s appetite for our money would be more obvious and people would, at a minimum, demand more accountability for how our taxes are spent.

  6. charlesad · April 14, 2010

    Maybe we spend a lot on schools but teachers are not well paid. If engineers made $40,000 a year we’d probably have really crappy computers. Speaking of the General Assembly, no worries about that new stadium, Mr. Blank. And never mind those no-new-taxes pledges a bunch of those yayhoos signed. We got your hotel tax coming right up. Now THAT is an unwise use of public funds. Economic benefits? Economists who’ve studied it say public subsidies for pro sports franchises do not pay off. I’m sure Mr. Blank’s “consultants” will tell a different story. I guess without a new football stadium, we won’t be a “world class” city, Arthur says. Never mind a truly world class symphony hall for which the state refused to pony up one dime. I’m guessing there aren’t a lot of symphony devotees under the gold dome. But it’s only fair. How can Arthur’s team be expected to play in that decrepit 18-year-old dome?

  7. charlesad · April 14, 2010

    Here’s my favorite part of the Confederate History month proclamation:

    “Among those who served the Confederacy were many Jews who saw action in the Confederate armed forces as well as in governmental service.”

    Yeah, those flaggers just love their Jewish brothers.

  8. atlpaddy · April 14, 2010

    Are they callin’ Stonewall Jackson a Hebrew?!

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