Two former educators competing for Cobb’s Post 7 board seat

Two former educators will compete for the Cobb County’s Post 7 school board seat next month.

Alison Bartlett, the incumbent and a former Cobb math teacher, will face Brad Wheeler, a former Cobb school administrator and teacher.

But the candidates say their profession is where the similarities end.

“My opponent and I have significantly different approaches to solving our problems.” Wheeler said.

“The biggest difference between me and him is experience,” Bartlett said. “I’ve been active as a parent volunteer. I’ve been active in advocating for things that the district needs on both the county and state level.”

A redrawing of Cobb County’s district map has turned Post 7, traditionally Democratic, into a majority Republican area.

Wheeler is a 57 year-old retired administrator who is married and has two children, one who graduated from Hillgrove High School and another who attends Lost Mountain Middle School.

Bartlett, 50, is married and has children who attend Hillgrove High School, Lovinggood Middle School and Cheatham Hill Elementary School. “I care about my community and I care about the schools which are the heart of the community,” he said.

Wheeler said he will bring fiscal responsibility to the board if elected. “I want the money directed toward the classroom and not non-essentials.” he said. “Cobb continues to cut teacher salaries but yet they still have hundreds of thousands of dollars of money to spend on conferences.”“

Wheeler supports a balanced school year calendar, which has an earlier start date and more frequent vacations.

Bartlett said the balanced calendar starts too early in the school year. A more traditional calendar will save on utility costs, she said.

Bartlett is campaigning against an amendment on next month’s ballot that would guarantee the state’s power to authorize charter schools and create a commission that could consider charter school applications.

“I don’t understand how they can fund this new state agency that’s not elected without it impacting the funding of public education,” Bartlett said.

As a board member, she said she helped get Cobb fully accredited and hired a new superintendent.

She said the district’s next big challenge will be remaining fiscally responsible.

“Next year is going to be a harsh reality for the district,” she said.