published Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Who consulted taxpayers?

If anybody needed another reason to get Washington out of public education, the ludicrous, federally funded contract for 11 days of consulting services at Clifton Hills Elementary School should suffice.

The Hamilton County Department of Education plans to spend almost $28,000 to have an educator from Cumming, Ga., do some literacy work with K-5 teachers at the school. A small portion of that fee will go toward travel and lodging. The rest will go straight in the pocket of the trainer for roughly two weeks of work.

To make matters worse, the money will come from federal Title I funds set aside for schools where many students are from poor families.

But the total cost will be even higher than the hefty price tag. The school will have to pay substitute teachers for days when full-time teachers at Clifton Hills are pulled out of their classrooms to participate in the training.

The eye-popping contract appropriately generated debate at a school board meeting, though the back and forth availed nothing.

"Twenty-seven thousand dollars -- that's more than some people in this community make in a year. And that's in 11 days," board member Greg Martin correctly noted -- before going ahead and voting for the contract.

In fact, only budget hawk Rhonda Thurman voted against the spending.

"I'm a lot more worried about the education of the students than I am with the education of the teachers," Thurman said. "We get paid to educate students, not to educate teachers."

But hey, when Uncle Sam is picking up the tab, why not go ahead and splurge, even when it makes no sense?

In a further sign that the local school board's priorities are somewhat askew, the pricey consulting contract was originally placed on the board meeting's so-called "consent agenda" -- which is supposed to be reserved for items that are not considered controversial.

Martin had to pull the item from the consent agenda to open discussion about what works out to be a $2,500-per-day fee for the consultant.

It is hard to say which is worse: that someone knew such a contract was controversial and therefore might have tried to slip it past the board on the consent agenda -- or that breakneck government spending is so commonplace that it truly might not have occurred to some on the board that the contract was even worthy of discussion.

Take your pick.

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anniebelle said...

In a new bs ad by Rmoney featuring the New Hampshire Union Leader’s John DiStato today reports that in 1999 the business in question, Gilchrist Metal, “received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds issued by the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority ‘to set up a second manufacturing plant and purchase equipment to produce high definition television broadcasting equipment’…” In addition, in 2011, Gilchrist Metal “received two U.S. Navy sub-contracts totaling about $83,000 and a smaller, $5,600 Coast Guard contract in 2008…”
The businessman, Jack Gilchrist, also acknowledged that in the 1980s the company received a U.S. Small Business Administration loan totaling “somewhere south of” $500,000, and matching funds from the federally-funded New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center.

July 24, 2012 at 6:21 a.m.
gjuster said...

Wht does that have to do with the opinion piece?

July 24, 2012 at 8:30 a.m.
charivara said...

This editorial complains about the rather paltry sum, by government standards, spent on making teachers better educators. “Budget hawk” (read: Don’t Fund Education) Thurman’s quote is priceless. Apparently she believes students can be best educated by uneducated teachers! What is she doing on the School Board? But I digress.... This editorial writer cynically attempts to make it appear he is truly concerned about the poor families who benefit from Title I funds. Have your ever read his supporting higher taxes on the wealthy to provide a better education for those poor families? Have you ever read of his disapproval of the millions earned through defrauding, cheating, and lying by rogue bankers? He sure is against taxing them more on their ill-gotten gains. $2,500 is what rolls into their bank accounts during the time they spend emptying their bladders and this editorial writer complains that this much money will be spent educating teachers. A good rule of thumb: believe the opposite of what this editorial writer tells you and you’ll be a whole lot closer to the truth.

July 24, 2012 at 10:51 a.m.
aae1049 said...

There is more contract fraud and taxes for cronies at the HCDE, than any other government organization. There is a trend of gold lined contracts for administrators that retire and return as consultants.

Whether it is wasting Title I funds or local property taxes, it is all wrong. People should be very angry that Title I funds are being scammed for over inflated consultants, and resources not getting to the educational needs of children. To me, this contract is the same as stealing from children. I for one, would like to see these funds actually benefit children to the maximum extent possible.

Sadly, the contract passed, and it should have been stopped. Yes, Thurman who does not impress me in so many ways, does have extraordinary abilities in identifying waste and fraud in contracting. People that take resources from children by over charging for services need to be stopped.

The rest of the School Board Members are panzies for letting this highly inflated contract pass. They need some "Big Girl Panties."

July 24, 2012 at 11:22 a.m.
annisisbell said...

When you have to educate the educators that pretty much says it all.

What role does affirmative action play in having uneducated and unfit educators forced upon us?

The United States used to have the best schools in the world. Now no amount of money will fix them.

Why don't we go back to the values and conditions that our schools used to have? We know what works for Anglo Saxon and Christian people. Why do we have to lose it to accommodate foreigners and non Nordic people?

Isn't the condition of our schools and country today evidence that diversity does not work? That diversity is destroying our great and vital institutions and our civilization itself?

Hospitals and schools will close as a result of being overwhelmed with foreigners who cannot pay. Why do we bring in millions of people who are a drag upon us? It doesn't make sense.

July 24, 2012 at 11:38 a.m.
anniebelle said...

gjuster, sorry, posted on the wrong forum, I'll be more careful next time. Thanks for noticing.

July 24, 2012 at 2:02 p.m.
charivara said...

aae1049: Even if there is some contract fraud and taxes for cronies (how about some examples of the extent and cost of it), I’ll bet it’s peanuts compared to the financial fraud and sweetheart tax codes bankers have perpetrated on the middle class. Workers should be very angry that the profits they help create are being scammed by overpaid and undertaxed CEOs and that those resources are not going to the educational needs of children. Don’t let editorials like this keep you from focusing on the real problem. This editorial writer is trying to distract you by feigning outrage about $25,000 paid to an educational consultant so you won’t notice that people like him support the system by which millions go to tax breaks and low taxes for those who need them least.

annisisbell: Your continuing parodies of bigoted and ignorant thought are great. You’ve captured the essence of what it means to be a Nazi. And pretending to believe that professionals stop going to classes once they’ve earned their degrees. Priceless! And blaming school and hospital closings on those who cannot pay while ignoring those who will not. Brilliant! Your wit is something I look forward to whenever I read the comments to TFP editorials and columns. Keep it up, I’m sure you are making those fascists squirm.

July 24, 2012 at 2:45 p.m.
aae1049 said...


It is you that is distracted. The average citizen pays more in local property and sales taxes than federal taxes annually. The most important decisions that effect local families and children are made locally from educaiton to all municipal services you receive. Examining banks on a national level will not ensure that funds budgeted and allocated to children actually reach children, so hello left field.

People that look to Washington for solutions are looking over the problem. Education, garbage service, utilities are all local decisions funded predominately from local and state revenues. So, if you want to impact education, ensure that the funds allocated for children actually reach children to the maximum extent possible.

There is no minor case of hijacking funds that should be gong to children in high risk Title one schools. Further, the overall taking from children is huge.

As a member of the East TCCY, you have no idea of the magnitude of resources that are allocated for children, that are hijacked and diverted from children by greed and cronies in fraudulent contracts.

I will not be joining you in saying this is just $25,000 move on. Last time I heard that, $15 million walked out of property tax base.

July 24, 2012 at 3:17 p.m.
annisisbell said...

Excuse me charivara. When you attack Nazis are you not stirring hatred of Germans??? What's the deal, hate is not wrong but you just have to hate the right people?

Haven't German and all Nordic people been scapegoated enough? Why not use our slaughter of Iraqis as an example to illustrate your meaning? Then tell us who is behind the wars in the middle east. Hint, its not Germans or any other Nordic people, we're just being used as cannon fodder and forced to borrow money from China to pay for it all. Thank you.

Furthermore, if I'm not allowed to comment upon our unprotected borders while our children are off defending israel's borders, what am I allowed to debate?

In addition, can you explain how hordes of illegals coming to this country is no concern of mine? Can you explain who pays for all the hordes who come here since most of them are of the welfare class rather than the productive and professional classes?

Tell us the real reason hospitals are closing and schools are so bad off no amount of money can fix them. Explain to me why more money is demanded because blacks and Hispanics can't keep up in our schools. Why did Atlanta and other black populated areas get caught in grade-fixing scandals when they tried to fulfill the requirements of No Child Left Behind? What was all that about if not race? What is racism, telling the truth about other races?

Besides which, who has the final word over who immigrates into this country since its clear the founding stock has no say? Please inform me, you seem like such a knowledgeable and bright fellow. You up there among the "you're racist but I'm not" goody goody White people.

Just wait til we pass laws in the South that drive out minorities and they end up in White Liberal blue state country. We'll see how long those states survive before liberals flee the bankruptcy and violence in the biggest case of White flight ever.

They'll get a good doze of what you and they are sentencing future generations of White people to for as long as America is able to survive its future without White people. Its amazing that you think I have no right to discuss the issue of race. If its not a problem why can't we talk about it?

July 24, 2012 at 3:36 p.m.
annisisbell said...

Ha, we must have multi culturalism but its foundation rests upon the rules that say we're only allowed to say positive things about non Whites.

Yeah that's a formula I see working for the next hundred years. Good sound logic. Just don't complain White people and you'll learn that diversity is our strength! What a hoot.

July 24, 2012 at 3:42 p.m.
328Kwebsite said...

It's so intellectually disappointing to read these editorials.

I take it that we were going to make world-class scientists out of educators on our own, but an elementary school gig for the federales got in the way. Is that it?

The home of the monkey trial is right over the hill. If some people had their way, any Math not covered in the Bible wouldn't be taught in school. Please, I beg you: stop being stupid.

As an educated person who has been unemployed in Chattanooga since returning from Iraq in 2008, I can only say that I have absolutely had it with the stupidity. I am totally disgusted. Please. Read a book. Write a book. Actually open a book.

Do anything besides taking a crap on teachers and smart people.

While I was away at war, you idiots destroyed a once vibrant city. Look around. Stores closed everywhere. Entire industries shut down. And now what?

Complaining about training. Complaining about teaching kids how to learn to read!

Rhonda Thurmon: I will personally pay for your library card if I see you on TV demonstrating that you can read a book at all. Please, do anything that looks like thinking. We beg you.

"Slaves learned to read"? Maybe Rhonda Thurmon can learn to think before she speaks. We'd all like to see that dog trick on live TV.

No one expects you guys to invent an accelerometer that hooks up to an iPhone. However, if you could do anything that looks like not trashing smart people to promote stupidity, we would all bless you for it. Please, stop being stupid. Stop encouraging stupid. Stop taking a crap on teachers, the library or anything else that looks like it's not stupid.

We beg you. Read a book. And thank a teacher instead.

This newspaper used to directly support and fund educational activities. How much is the Free Press spending on that this year? Let me guess: you got trumped by $27,000. Is that why you are complaining?

If the newspaper wants to donate an equivalent amount to endow teacher education, then we'll see where your opinion is. Until then, you're operating a failing business in a failing industry. You suck at what you do because you have chosen to ruin your own company. The newspaper used to be a news organization. Now look at you. Criticizing people who teach children to read!

Complaining about the cost of teaching kids to read? Look at what illiterate stupidity has done to your own business. Stop ruining our city by promoting stupidity.

Promote a @#$%^&* lifetime of tutorials instead!

Support teachers who help kids learn to read. Our entire city needs it. Our county needs it. Our state needs it. And, yes, I need it. I need to know that kids are learning to read in this city in the best way we can teach them because, like many people, I am sick to death with seeing this anti-intellectual stupidity wrecking so much of everything.

Get us some @#$%^& hope for the future. Teach the kids to read.

July 24, 2012 at 4:31 p.m.
annisisbell said...

You went to Iraq? I hope israel's borders are now safe. I'm sorry the city went to pot while you were gone. That might make people think that our troops should be here defending our borders.

In America the purpose of free speech is so citizens can put their ideas out there. Then the public is free to debate and discuss in hopes of illuminating the issue.

Attacking someone for his idea isn't proper debating. I see no evidence that these educators are intellectuals. Intellectuals would be qualified to teach and not need lessons.

I saw only that the educator from Georgia will "do some literacy work" with local educators. Where did you get it that any of these people are intellectuals. Intellectuals would be finding a cure for cancer, doing surgery or rocket science or running the State Department.

Do some literacy work tells me that there are a bunch of blacks and hispanics who can't read. That could be a problem that Georgia might have some experience with and no amount of money is considered too much if we can do miracles and keep blacks from rioting.

July 24, 2012 at 5:05 p.m.

382k, Really? Intellectually disappointing? What part of the editorial was so disappointing? The part where the editor thinks $28,000 is a riddiculous fee? I love the part of your rant where you talk about math not in the bible being banned and then immediately accusing people of never reading a book. Here's a hint, the bible is a book.

Your post was intellectually disappointing.

I for one thank the editor for pointing out the wasteful spending of the Hamilton County dept. of education.

July 24, 2012 at 5:24 p.m.
aae1049 said...

The TFP is infamous for failing to report pervasive bid and contract fraud and corruption. Corruption mean rules were broken to ensure that contracts land in the lap of Bubu. Little Chicago, we got a problem in this regard. Nay Nay, keep discussing contract and bond issue, issues.

July 24, 2012 at 5:55 p.m.
lightkeeper said...

@ annisisbell, I've noticed on every editorial comment page, you make little nasty racial statements many times which is unecessary and really has nothing to do with the editorial subject. Its stupid prejudice hillbilly inbred bithes like you that cause innocent children to pick up such terrible behaviors and ideals and grow up to be assh%ls like you. In other words go f!k yourself!

July 25, 2012 at 12:32 a.m.
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