Ullery, who represents Floyd County Schools on State Superintendent John Barge’s Parent Advisory Council,
will head the 4 p.m. meeting at Lindale First Baptist Church Christian Life Center, 9 Grove Ave.
During the meeting, she’ll seek to help community members understand the reasons behind events like the Floyd County Reduction in Force plan that cut 119 school system positions for next school year. Ullery said she will urge taxpayers to provoke changes in the minds of state lawmakers.
Ullery said it’s useless to direct feelings of frustration toward Floyd County Schools Superintendent Jeff McDaniel or Barge.
“It’s not McDaniel’s fault. It’s not Barge’s fault. It’s (Gov. Nathan) Deal’s fault,” she said. “He’s the one who says, ‘Where can we cut from?’”
The state has reduced funding for Floyd County Schools by $50 million over the past decade.
“It’s not local, it’s on a state level,” she said. “Dr. McDaniel’s hands are tied. John Barge’s hands are tied, but it’s up to the parents to speak up. It’s their job to pick up that phone and grab that paper and write and speak out that enough is enough.”
Ullery compared the education budget to a pie and said Deal looks at it as a whole but doesn’t consider the different yet equally important aspects of the funds as a whole.
“What he doesn’t take into account though is that there’s (school) transportation, there’s nutrition, there’s everything that you can think of when it comes to education and when he says that, let’s cut from there, he sees it as a whole instead of what’s going to be specifically impacted.”
Ullery, who is serving her second term as the Floyd County Schools representative, said she attends meetings three times a year in Atlanta.
“They’ll tell us things that are happening in our school, things that are going on, they’ll ask for our input on the parents’ side, what we think, what we’d like to talk about or see done.
During PAC meeting with Barge, she said, the parents on the council learned of the hefty cuts to the state education budget.
“We asked what we could do, and we were urged to go back to our communities and get as many parents as possible to rally together, to be concerned about this because it’s going to affect our children,” she said.
Ullery said at Thursday’s meeting, she’ll impress upon parent’s that now’s the time to contact legislators and demand that no more funds be taken from education.
Other PAC representatives may be at the event as well, Ullery said.
Ullery said taxpayers should unite to prevent future RIFs and cuts from happening.
“If you let people tear you apart instead of standing together, you’ll make nothing different,” she said. “We tell (legislators) ‘Look, we don’t care who you are. Our kids who go to these schools are important to us. We pay taxes, we work hard, and if we say we want our money to go toward education, that’s what we want. Our voices count.”
For more information about Thursday’s meeting, call Ullery at email@example.com.