State school board members hold hearings in DeKalb

Hampton

Class size, school funding and testing were some of the topics when a dozen people attended a hearing Dec. 9 with a state school board member.

Barbara Hampton, who represents the Sixth Congressional District, held a forum at Tucker High School to receive comments from residents and stakeholders regarding public education in the state.

“Class size is driving a lot of feedback from a lot of folks everywhere,” Hampton said in response to a question. “Class size is a local decision. There are state guidelines but local systems have been seeking waivers to those guidelines and the primary reason they have been citing is because of funding. It has been one way to solve a budget issue.”

Kirk Lunde, a Tucker resident, said he is “disappointed in our [county] board of education for…setting the limits they did, but they had freedom and they did what they felt was right because the state board of education said, ‘Do whatever you want.’

“Giving school districts a fill-in-the-blank-form to use was irresponsible or not keeping the best interests of the students first,” Lunde said.

Responding to another question, Hampton said many people wonder why the state government has not fully restored funding to schools now that the economy is improving.

“Until the state economy grows to 4 percent, dollars can’t be released out of the rainy day fund,” she said. “Any surplus goes into the rainy day fund and you can’t tap the rainy day fund until you get over 4 percent.”

State school board member Lisa Kinnemore, who represents the Fourth Congressional District, will hold a hearing Monday, Dec. 16, 7-8 p.m. at Cedar Grove High School, 2360 River Road, Ellenwood.

For more information, on the upcoming hearing contact Brenda Turner at (404) 657-7410.

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