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The Millage rate
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Dear Editor: Many of our local citizens are beginning to hear about how our local Board of Education has been operating on a millage rate ceiling that exceeds the 20 mill cap imposed on almost all other Georgia counties.

The local citizens who have done the difficult research and compiled the information have performed a significant contribution to this community. The question in essence is are we spending more and getting the payback we are entitled to as taxpayers? Or is the administration of our local BOE spending our dollars in a manner that is not prudent and in accordance with the performance of other similar schools systems.

However, in any senior management position, the ones who cause the future changes, whether in quality of production or sheer output, have to know precisely what the outcomes are or risk "sinking the boat" with poor or incomplete assessments. Managers must know the possible outcomes and properly direct the new efforts to achieve the desired goals.

Having said that, I hope that if any legislation is offered by our local delegation, that it be done in a proper manner. There is no doubt that a rollback is long over due, and we need to address that issue now. But an abrupt return to 20 mills could possibly damage our local BOE. Therefore, I suggest that a rollback of our millage rate be spread out over a properly calculated number of years.

The hard work of getting this issue to the public by local "Joe's" just like you could actually do more harm than good if the planning on the back end is not anticipated and directed now in the conversations.

I feel that the local BOE would be more willing to discuss any changes if they knew they could ensure an orderly transition back to the 20 mill benchmark.

We have excellent communicators like Mr. Darrell Huckaby, a local teacher, who can articulate the fine differences between the opposing groups. In fact Mr. Huckaby could offer his services at the upcoming county wide public meeting on August 9th in order to ensure the public can get a teacher's perspective on the colossal pending changes. We are talking about possibly $13 million in annual adjustments to the school funding. He could help calm teachers and parents. In fact it is imperative that teachers like Mr. Huckaby join in on the discussions at this public meeting; after all it will be their futures at stake.

If the rollback is to become a reality, it will take more informed and engaged local citizens. The long-term changes for our county will be excellent, but there will be hard years in the period of readjusting to the new limits on spending.

I have proposed that Dr. King create a citizens' advisory board to have each group work closely together to study the issue and formulate a plan to incorporate a timetable to handle the possible changes that are ahead of us.
Teachers and parents your opportunity awaits you on August 9th. Don't be late to your own party.

Don Meyer
Rockdale County