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Board of Education District 3 race heats up

HCPOA Board Member writes Letter To Editor regarding BOE transparency, accountability, etc.



[the above Letter to the Editor, in text form]:

 

BOE transparency, accountability, spending, and results


I’m on the Board of Hart County Property Owners Association (HCPOA), responding to Kim Pierce’s replies to last week’s District 3 Board of Education (BOE) election article.


Kim ignored HCPOA statement that the BOE “spends too much money with too little results,” instead answering the misstated millage question and taking credit for the decline in millage from 2018 to 2023. The millage rate is an irrelevant plug, dividing Hart County total spending by appraised property values for a rate applied to each property to calculate individual property taxes. The millage rate has declined as property values have increased significantly, but not enough to offset BOE increasing spending. Following are the actual BOE Total Expenditures from 2018 thru 2023 from the Georgia Department of Audits & Accounts: [see graphic showing increases in Hart County Schools Total Expenditures of nearly 11% to over 22% per year compared to 2018, 4 of last 5 fiscal years.]


Although millage rates declined from 2018 to 2023, as property values increased significantly, BOE total expenditures increased 22.4% from 2018 to 2023, resulting in increased property taxes.


USNews & World Report ranks Hart County #315 in Georgia and #12,790 nationally, with a mathematics proficiency of 15% vs Georgia’s 30%; while our reading and science proficiency % basically equal the Georgia average. The BOE appears to make graduation rate the sole metric over all other academic metrics. I want every child in Hart County to graduate, but math, reading, science and academic proficiency must be the priority and top metrics for our Superintendent.


At [the recent] GOP forum, when Kim was asked superintendent’s salary, she said she didn’t know --even though BOE just approved her pay increase. Per https://open.ga.gov/, Carter's salary was $172,064.14 before the most recent increase, which BOE defends as competitively required, even though she was not hired competitively.


Matt Denton

Hart County, GA

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