Keep strangers out of our school system

You may have recently received a campaign leaflet titled “Critical Race Theory is in Coweta Schools”.

This pamphlet was funded by the New York State-based organization Project PAC of 1776 and is littered with absolutely misleading statements with challengers and the holder’s endorsement of its content.

It is sad to think that these people would stoop so low to be elected to such an extremely important position as a member of the Coweta County School Board.

This is radically unprofessional behavior and should not have happened.

The current members of the School Board have done an excellent job of governing our school system. That is, with the exception of Linda Menk who is considered more of a disruptor and who, through her actions, cost taxpayers and the school system just over $200,000 in legal fees during the artificial turf issue than she and her associates raised against the board and the school superintendent.

An independent investigation cleared the board and superintendent of any wrongdoing. I addressed the board at one of their meetings and shared with the board how proud I was of their accomplishments and that in the end the system will be vindicated.

However, I approached Ms. Menk saying that what she had done was wrong and that she should step away from the board. She was not taken aback by my suggestion as I expected.

Despite the disruption Ms. Menk is causing to the board, allow me to share some factual accomplishments that this board, its teachers and staff have made:

Fact 1: The school system went through a COGNIA accreditation process in 2021. The results have been outstanding. The school system received an education quality index of 364 out of 400. This COGNIA team shared that the score of 364 is the highest score ever given by this team.

Typical of the accreditation process, the team makes recommendations to the school system. However, in this case, no recommendation was made. They were totally impressed with what is happening in our school system. Credit goes to the entire school system – a team effort.

Fact 2: Test scores are above the state average and are consistently in the top 10-20% of public school systems. Our system is consistently well above the national average SAT and ACT scores.

Fact 3: The quality of the annual school system book audit is often recognized as exemplary by the auditor. Audits are performed by a third-party accounting firm that is technically proficient in school system audits.

Our school system audits are clean and generally without any recommended improvements. The school system benefits from a strong financial staff led by Keith Chapman, one of the best in the business!

Fact 4: The tax rate per mile was maintained for the years 2005 to 2020 and lowered for 2021 and 2022. Our school system has the lowest property tax rate in the region, with the exception of one another neighboring county of Coweta County.

Fact 5: Our school system has no secured debt. We have a strong and financially managed school system.

We should applaud the current members of our school board (with the exception of Ms. Menk) and re-elect the board members who are currently running for re-election. They did a terrific job. Our current Principal, Evan Horton, does an outstanding job and we are blessed to have him in this position.

Thus, the issue will be addressed in the voting booth. Do you want the challengers who endorsed and condoned a bogus flyer sent to Coweta County residents to totally mislead the electorate sitting on our school board?

Would you want this level of unprofessionalism trying to guide our school system?

I encourage you to re-elect three of the incumbents (Beth Barnett, Amy Dees and Larry Robertson). Replace Linda Menk with Rob DuBose, an excellent choice to replace her. He will be an excellent board member. His children are enrolled in our school system. He is very intelligent and will be aware of his role as a board member. He will further the cause of an even better school system if the opportunity arises.

Don Phillips


Jeremy S. McLain