Why I am running to serve as your next school board member:
- I support the continued use of Ed-SPLOST to help fund and keep our school system nationally ranked. With over 113,000 students and 112 schools in our school system, it just makes fiscal sense to continue allowing those who work and visit Cobb to help fund our students’ education. Ed-SPLOST allows the cost of improving our school system to be a shared cost, not just paid for on the backs of property owners. Clearly, a strong school system keeps our community a desirable place to live, play and work. In addition, a strong school system keeps our property values high and encourages continued economic growth. The reality that many companies consider when moving their employees to Cobb addresses the question ‘how are the schools? As your next school board member, I believe the answer should always be great and improving!
- I believe the current senior tax exemption must stay in place. The current law allows our extended families to financially remain in Cobb County, without a huge tax burden. Many of these senior homeowners act as a support to our schools, care for younger children, are regularly engaged as grandparents and/or offer sage advice to the next generation. We simply cannot afford to lose this precious commodity.
- I believe in working together with fellow board members in the best interest of all Cobb students while strongly advocating for the needs of Northeast Cobb’s citizens in Post 5. As your next school board member, my unique background in working with a large number of stakeholders and groups, will enable me to hit the ground running on day one. Bottom line: Good policy is developed by listening, taking all points of view into consideration and realizing one size does not fit all.
- I believe our children deserve a technology-free recess, outdoor education, and hands-on learning. As a former educator, I see great value in implementing a countywide policy requiring 20 minutes of technology-free recess each day for all elementary school students. Learning to communicate with peers, exercising and simply being outside has the additional benefit of reducing stress and helps with classroom instruction. As a parent of young children, I believe we should “allow our kids to be kids” for part of the day.
- As your next school board member, I do not believe considering increases in the board salaries should be a primary concern. In fact, the compensation paid to Cobb School board members ranks among the highest in the Atlanta area. Unlike our current board member, I will not vote to give higher pay to the board for what should be a community service.
- I will always walk humbly in my service to the school system by actively engaging in all board meetings, paying attention to and considering all points of view, seeking to be a strong member of the school board, without bias. I will use my educational background, project management skills and deep understanding of implementing multimillion-dollar budgets to lead our school system into a healthy future.
- As a servant-leader, I will be a vigilant steward of the school district’s annual budget. As your next school board member, I will vote to protect our AAA bond rating and maintain a strong fiscal position. My depth of experience in formulating and reviewing annual multi-million dollar budgets will enable me to evaluate how every dollar is spent. I believe there should be enough money left in reserves for ‘emergency’ expenses, allowing Cobb to continue delivering a world class education in the event of another economic downturn. Our future fiscal position should not depend on increasing taxes or requiring Cobb to issue future bonds due to poor planning. Instead, I believe, Cobb’s budget should be constructed to maintain the current millage rate, while protecting our taxpayer’s money.
- I will continue to strongly support the view that our schools should educate our children; not engage in chasing the latest educational fads, nor teach to the test. We must always keep the focus on the classroom instruction and provide our students with the best tools they will need to succeed in tomorrow’s world. Our policies should always support a safe and caring environment for our children and be respectful of our teachers. As your next board member, I will vigorously push back against any polices which are contrary to these core beliefs.
I will be available to listen to your concerns. Call me at 770-421-5961 with any concerns you might have. My email address is Matt@HarperForCobbSchools.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
Paid for by Harper for Cobb Schools