I am not saying that it is a bad idea, but Chattanooga is probably not a good comparison. They got kind of lucky because the municipal electric company happened to already have the infrastructure in place. Essentially they were able to piggyback off of that system. I don't know if Peachtree City has that same luxury or not. Either way, it's an interesting idea. — Keith Yancey
Absolutely not. I can only assume the $3.2 million "seed money" for equipment and administration will come from tax revenue. [The] Council is assuming they will recoup the cost of the system and become profitable through attracting a high number of subscribers. There is no guarantee they will recoup the costs. The council announced that they are considering a SPLOST for maintenance and repair of the cart path system and other transportation needs. Rather than put millions into a risky venture, put the broadband money into the cart path system and forget the broadband for the time being. — James Graw
Yes. Chattanooga has had great success doing this. More municipalities should do it. — Charles Mitchell
— Jill Howard Church for the AJC
The Fulton County school system has a pilot program where top teachers can earn $20,000 stipends for working in its lowest-performing schools. No other system in Georgia offers these kind of incentives tied to merit to induce the best teachers to work in the neediest schools. The stipends award more money to teachers who elicit high test scores and other measurable achievement by their students.
School systems across Georgia are closely watching to see if Fulton’s model is successful, amid talks at the state level about changing teachers’ compensation.
The district is part of a small but growing group of U.S. school systems bucking the long-standing educator pay system based on academic degrees and years of experience.
Fulton leaders, however, say they’re finding it a challenge to get qualified teachers into lower-performing schools. Although 375 were eligible to participate, only 32 applied, according to Eddie Breaux, a human resources staff director for Fulton schools. He said some of the teachers who did not apply said they believed teachers and principals would not support them. Many did not want to make longer commutes.
What do you think? Should the state follow Fulton’s model and entice the best educators to teach at the lowest-performing schools? Send comments to email@example.com. They may be publised in print or online in next week’s editions of the AJC.