Former DeKalb school board member Nancy Jester is expected to kick off her campaign for Georgia school superintendent at 3:30 p.m. today at Brook Run Park in Dunwoody.
Jester, who represented Dunwoody and Brookhaven in District 1 for the DeKalb County Board of Education, said on her website she is joining the race to become the state’s top education administrator.
Jester left the DeKalb school board in March after she and four other school board members were suspended by Gov. Nathan Deal. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placed the DeKalb County School System on accreditation probation and claimed the school board was interfering with day-to- day school operations.
Jester, who was often critical of the school system, said she chose not to fight the suspension to allow the governor to select her replacement on the school board.
“I am proud of the work I did to expose the deceptive budgeting practices and bring a parent’s perspective to the board,” Jester wrote on her blog.
Since leaving the school board, Jester has maintained an education blog, and hosts regular education-based meetings in the metro Atlanta area.
For more information, go to www.nancyjester.com
Your Washington Desk:
Your Braves Desk:
From the Atlanta Braves:
Atlanta Braves’ new stadium site near the I-285 and I-75 intersection in Cobb County. The stadium site is in blue. The red overlays denotes the property lines for the stadium site dedicated to parking and other areas.
Your Braves Desk:
From the Atlanta Braves NEW website: www.homeofthebraves.com
A new home. A new beginning. A new opportunity.
For nearly 50 years, the Braves have called Atlanta home. We have begun the process to build a new stadium with hopes that the Braves will open the doors to a new world-class ballpark by Opening Day 2017, and we will begin the latest chapter in our history. Our new home will feature entertainment options, green space and a place to go 365 days a year. Though we will be in a new ballpark, we will continue to be your Atlanta Braves.
The Atlanta Braves have announced the beginning of a process to build a new stadium which will open in time for the first pitch of the 2017 season. The new location is a short distance from downtown Atlanta near the northwest intersection of I-75 and I-285 in Cobb County. We have secured a large tract of property at this location and will now work with Cobb County leaders to bring a world-class stadium to this location. We are extremely excited that our address will still be Atlanta and so will the name across our jersey.
This decision to move was not easy, and we have mixed emotions about leaving a ballpark that holds so many great memories. However, knowing that our lease will expire in 2016, we have devoted our time trying to secure the best option for our fans, our team and our organization. We believe this new site will be the best location for our fans and our organization for the next 30 years.
This project will be a true public-private partnership. The economic benefits from the new stadium will ripple throughout the region. From the construction process, which will support more than 5,227 jobs and generate $235 million in payroll, to the ongoing benefits the new stadium will be an economic engine for Metro Atlanta.
The reason for moving is simple. The current location has certain issues that are insurmountable and will only become more problematic over the years. These fundamental issues involve how you, our fans, access Turner Field. There is a lack of consistent mass transportation, a lack of sufficient parking and a lack of direct access to interstates. Furthermore, the Braves do not have control over the development of our immediate surroundings.
Our new location will give us the opportunity to develop the surrounding area of the new ballpark, transforming it into a mixed use, 365-day destination and creating an enhanced atmosphere for our fans during Braves games. There also will be significantly increased access to the site, enhanced parking opportunities, and, generally, easier access to and from major roadways with a variety of other transportation options.
What won’t be changing is our commitment to excellence, whether it’s putting a championship-caliber team on the field or ensuring the best ballpark experience for our passionate and dedicated fans. This new ballpark will be the new center of Braves Country and we are excited to bring a new era of Braves baseball to you.
Throughout this process we’ll be updating this website with new details about the new Home of the Braves as they become available.
Click here for a message from team president John Schuerholz.
Your Braves Desk:
The Atlanta Braves are expected to announce today the team plans to relocate to Cobb County with a new stadium being ready for the 2017 season. They will be leaving Turner Field after their 20 year agreement expires at the end of the 2016 season..
The new stadium will be built near the intersection of I-75 and 285. The current site is under contract and set to close in early 2014.
Veterans Tribute in Dunwoody at 10 AM
The City of Dunwoody will pay tribute to our veterans today at 10 AM at Brook Run Park’s Veterans Memorial, 4770 North Peachtree Rd. Dunwoody, GA. Dunwoody City Council Member John Heneghan also has a list of local businesses who are thanking veterans today.
Nancy Jester for State School Superintendent
Self-described “Mom with a Calculator” Nancy Jester will announce her campaign for the Republican nomination for State School Superintendent at 3:30 PM today at Brook Run Park Playground in Dunwoody, Ga.
Walter Jones of Morris News Service writes about Nancy Jester entering the race for Superintendent:
Republican Nancy Jester, a former actuarial consultant and one-time DeKalb County school board member, will join Matt Shultz, Richard Woods and Fritz Johnson in the GOP primary.
Jester will make improving the financial operation of the Department of Education and local school boards a priority if elected. She’ll also seek reductions in state funding or state control for chronically underperforming schools.
“If schools are failing, there needs to be consequences,” she said Friday in an interview with Morris News.
Jester also spoke with Martha Zoller and Tim Bryant on WGAU this morning at 8:15. We’ll post information from her discussion with Zoller and Bryant when it’s posted online later.
Greg Williams interviewed Nancy Jester on GregsListLive about her campaign.
1. Why are you running for State Superintendent?
I am running for State School Superintendent to improve the educational lives of Georgia’s children and provide prudent oversight for the taxpayers of our state.
2. Jason Carter, a newly announced Democrat candidate for Governor, is running on a “education platform” and has claimed that Republicans have cut $1 billion from the education department. Can you comment on that claim?
It is not the case that Republicans have cut $1 billion.
The fact is that Georgia, with the exception of three years since 1996 (04,09,10), has increased its spending every year on k-12 education. The recycled argument that Republicans have cut education spending is based on bureaucratic rhetoric.
Sadly, many of those same bureaucrats have spent our tax dollars on bloated central offices and not the classrooms.
According to a study by Georgia College’s Dr. Ben Scafidi, Georgia has had a 41% increase in students from 1992-2009 but spending on administrators and other non-teaching staff has grown by 74%.
Had Georgia kept the growth rate of spending on administrators to the same rate as student enrollment increases, Georgia teachers could have earned over $7,700 more compensation annually. This trend is why my plan to improve education in Georgia calls for “more classroom and less bureaucracy”.
A working mom in Dunwoody wrote, “I plan to be there [at the announcement] with my two youngest. Nancy earned my respect and support when she started her campaign for DeKalb County school board District 1 and my family will continue to support her in this campaign as well.”
Kerry4Dunwoody wrote, “I’m Just Sayin’ – go Nancy go !”
FictionFact recently reviewed Jester’s statement that “Georgia spends in the top 10 nationally on education, yet, most of our education metrics hover in the bottom five.” and while finding that everything Jester said was literally true, it didn’t fit their agenda, so they rated it “Half True.”
“Our state spends in the top 10 nationally on education, yet, most of our education metrics hover in the bottom five. We have to admit that we need a change in leadership on educational issues in Georgia,” Jester said. “… Georgia has a long road ahead but Common Core is not a path to prosperity.”
We wanted to determine whether Jester was correct on the state’s education finances and student achievement, so we hit the books for answers.
Jester, who is considering a run for state school superintendent, told us she got her information from 2010 census reports.
We reviewed the Census Bureau’s public education finance report for that year, which included public school spending data by state. Using the aggregate spending figure — including money from federal, state and local sources — Jester was correct. Georgia spent the 10th most on education in fiscal 2010, at $15.7 billion. California, New York, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan spent more than Georgia.
A census researcher also led us to the 2011 education finance report for more recent figures. Again, on aggregate spending, Georgia ranked 10th, with the same states from the previous year rounding out the other top positions.
So does Jester’s claim earn a passing grade?
She is correct that Georgia spends in the top 10 nationally for public K-12 spending. But Georgia is also in the top 10 nationally for the number of K-12 students in the state, so a high level of spending is expected. It is also important to note that Georgia’s ranking drops significantly, to the bottom third of all states, for per-pupil spending.
National results of college readiness exams and graduation rates ranked Georgia among the bottom in most reports. Georgia did rank in the top 10 states nationally in a survey touted by state education officials. But even in that report, Georgia scored low marks in key areas, including student achievement.
Jester’s statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details about education funding that could give the reader a different impression.
So, do you see what they did there? They found that her statements are correct, but later in the column, wrote “partially correct.” Sleight of hand at best, dishonesty by PolitiFact at best.
But they do make one point that’s worth examining. Politi
FictionFact writes that “Georgia’s ranking drops significantly, to the bottom third of all states, for per-pupil spending.” Is that true? Here’s Nancy Jester’s analysis and response:
The main reason I did not discuss per pupil spending is there are significant differences in the wage structures for education professionals and their benefits between states. The largest components of costs in K-12 education are salaries and benefits so adjusting each state relative to each other would be necessary for an accurate comparison.
I downloaded the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most current Occupational Employment Statistics to gather salary/wage data for each state. I isolated those occupational profile codes specific to K-12 education in each state. I averaged these wages to determine an average salary. I then compared this average salary to Georgia’s average salary. As you would expect, some states have significantly higher salaries than Georgia. These states are often those that we think of as having a higher cost of living. For example, adjusted against Georgia’s salaries, New York’s educational salaries are 31% higher; Massachusetts are 17% higher.
After developing a measure between Georgia and every other state, I used this to adjust each state’s per pupil spending relative to Georgia’s and then ranked the states’ adjusted per pupil spending. The result is that Georgia’s per pupil spending is in the middle of the pack. We rank 25th in per pupil spending on instruction and 28th in total per pupil spending.
I’ll leave you with this. Every state that borders Georgia has a higher graduation rate. And, every state that borders Georgia spends less per pupil than Georgia. You can go west to Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas and you will find that they too, also have a higher graduation rate and all but Louisiana spend less per pupil than Georgia.
FictionFact apparently shares the agenda of liberal Democrat Jason Carter, who is running for Governor on the assumption that all we have to do to improve education is throw more money at it. But that’s what Georgia has been doing for at least two decades, and it’s not working.
Jester received the support of Georgia Senator Josh McKoon, (R-Columbus), who said:
“Nancy Jester brings the knowledge, experience and tenacity necessary to take on the awesome task of serving as our next State Superintendent of Education. During her service as a member of the DeKalb County Board of Education, Nancy asked the tough questions that revealed the gross mismanagement which even now is resulting in positive change for children in DeKalb County. As an actuarial consultant Nancy has the experience and knowledge to drill down into our state education bureaucracy and make it work for our kids. As a mom she has a passion that in my view is unrivaled to see that we achieve the goal of access to quality education so every child in Georgia can realize their potential. That is why I am proud today to endorse her candidacy for State Superintendent of Education and look forward to working with her to dramatically improve K-12 education in our state.”
Liberty is a large, female 52-pound Doberman Pinscher, who is about five years old. She currently lives in a foster home with a tiny Miniature Pinscher, who is her best friend. She prefers smaller dogs for friends and housemates. Liberty is housetrained, fully-vetted, and very friendly and loving. She is available for adoption from Atlanta Doberman Pinscher Rescue. Drum not included.
Freedom is a Pit Bull/Labrador mix who is house-trained and good with other dogs and kids, though he prefers a slow, calm introduction to other dogs. He is available from L.E.A.S.H. Squad, Inc., which is located in Warrensville, SC and serves the greater Augusta, Ga. area.
Hero is a nine-month old Boxer/Pointer mix who is 45 pounds of lovable goofball. He gets along well with everyone, including other dogs. He is house-trained and fully-vetted and is currently in a private foster home, available for adoption, and is listed as a courtesy by Doggie Harmony in Atlanta, Ga.
Veterans and Dogs
The present War on Terror has produced a newly-recognized epidemic among our returning veterans, many of whom suffer from Post Traumatic Shock Disorder or from brain injuries, that require learning new ways of coping with their lives as civilians. Mrs. GaPundit wrote this PSA about how you can help the dogs who help our veterans return to civilian life. Any of the following groups is worth giving your prayers, service, and financial assistance to.
Patriot Paws The mission of Patriot PAWS is to train and provide service dogs of the highest quality at no cost to disabled American veterans and others with mobile disabilities in order to help restore their physical and emotional independence. Patriot PAWS intends to build partnerships with the state and community organizations to help develop and support this goal.
“A young lady once told me that I’m her hero. I was taken aback by her words, and upon reflection, concluded that I’m no hero, that heroes are those who have served our country and sacrificed so much for all of us. What I am is a truly blessed person who, with the help of my staff, volunteers and inmate trainers, is able to give back to these true heroes to make their lives just a little bit better. We owe them far more than we can ever repay, but we’re doing what we can, four paws at a time.”
The following are a list of some services provided to assist disabled veterans in accomplishing daily tasks that would otherwise be difficult or impossible:
Deployed American service members may often have very little time to find a foster or adoptive home for their pets when they are deployed, and spouses may have their hands full with children, and work. Dogs On Deployment arranges foster care for dogs whose owners are deployed service members. By opening your home to a service member’s pet, you will prevent them from ending up in a shelter, remove the stress and anxiety of worrying about their best friend for the service member, and provide ensure they have their loving pet to come home to. Visit the Dogs on Deployment website to learn more or click here to donate.
K9sforWarriors rescues dogs from shelters and trains them to assist veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or brain injuries.
K9s for Warriors is based in Florida, and also serve Southeast Georgia.
If you’ll indulge me, here’s a shoutout from Mrs. GaPundit for Operation Homefront.
Often the welfare of their family back home is an additional stressor for our deployed military members. Operation Homefront provides assistance to stateside family of service members, including emergency food, utilities, car repair & financial assistance. Car repair is huge; if the stateside spouse can keep his or her car working, then they can keep their job. To join Operation Homefront in their mission of supporting military families, visit their website, or donate online.
ATLANTA | Two more candidates will announce next week they are joining the race for state superintendent of schools: one a Republican, the other the first Democrat to announce.
Republican Nancy Jester, a former actuarial consultant and one-time DeKalb County school board member, will join Matt Shultz, Richard Woods and Fitz Johnson in the GOP primary. Continue reading