Monday, January 30, 2006

Keep Drivers Education

Have I written about how some of the members of the Knox County School Board don't have walking around sense? Meet three board members that don't think that Drivers Education is crucial to the community. As you can see by their own statements there is a serious disconnect between what happens in the community and the thought process of these people.

We have had three tragic teenage car fatalities in Farragut in less than two years.

Would you take a moment and give these people a call?

Cindy Buttry (Karns High) (H) 584-6155
"In my opinion, driver's ed is a joke. I'd rather have astronomy as an elective than driver's ed."

Indya Kincannon (Fulton High) (H) 546-7098

"I think learning about driver safety is important, but you could do that in a five- or six-week component of wellness or (physical education)."

Dan Murphy (West High) (H) 523-0511(O) 974-1752

"My feeling is, if you're going to have driver's ed, it's the responsibility of the parents who are going to realize the private benefit to pay the market price to achieve that benefit."

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How clueless can they be? It doesn't matter if you have kids in high school. If you drive anywhere in this county you benefit from having trained teenage drivers. This is one of the very few benefits those whose children have grown up and moved away get from their tax dollars to the school board.

I am so tired of Indya Kinncannon.

I cannot believe they made those comments aloud. I am so disappointed in Dr. Murphy.
Actually Beth,
A recent federal study showed that those municipalities with driver's ed had worse driving statistics than the others.

Personally, I don't always agree w/ Ms. Kincannon but hers is always a thoughtful response.

How much are we willing to fund with increased tax $'s? There simply isn't the money in the system. The cost of funding an area that has so much suburban sprawl is tremendous. I love Farragut but it isn't fair for taxes to up for all of Knox County just because you and I chose to live it? We should be paying impact fees for the mess we have caused.

You, of course, do realize that we are only 1 of 2 major cities in TN to fund driver's ed...right?

We need more well educated, caring and thoughtful people like Ms. Kincannon in government not less!
Kincannon would prefer to bus everyone's children so a new school can be built downtown. Isn't that what the whole rezone inward scam is about?

I don't think the "rezone inward" is a scam. It is more like a fantasy. I don't know about any discussion about a new school for downtown. Are there any school age children there?

More people prefer the suburban lifestyle. There is a new urban movement but it is very small compared to the suburban explosion.

All of these people that write about sprawl think that people should make their decisions about where they live and should consider the benefit of urban living. If the sprawl is vertical rather than horizontal it isn't sprawl it is planned development?

The people that want the three car garage and the one third acre lot do not want to live in a loft condo on Gay Street. The people that live in the condo on Gay street wouldn't be caught dead living in Fox Den.

If you really want to address sprawl you have to use impact fees.
I can't speak to statistics, but although my dad was a terriffic driving teacher, I learned things in Driver's Ed that I didn't learn from my father. I learned things from my father that I didn't learn from Driver's Ed.

Emulating my own experience, I paid the fees for my oldest to take Driver Ed at school, but also made a point of teaching her all I could -- on the interstate, in the dark, in the rain and snow -- to make sure she's ready to be out on her own when the day comes.

One option for the school board is to raise the fees (again) to make the course as nearly self-supporting as possible. Sure, the budget still has to cover the kids on free and reduced lunch, but aren't those the very kids who aren't likely to get much in the way of driving instruction at home?

Do we really want more untrained drivers sharing the roads with our own kids? I don't.
Hi Beth & FR,
Embellishment doesn't really help your cause. A downtown school could draw from Sequoyah Hills, Old North Knoxville, Fourth & Gill, Island Home, etc. These neighborhoods have more than enough students to support a school which would allow the rezoning inward to occur without long distance busing.

FR, you seem to imply that this a black and white issue (Farragut v. Gay St. Lofts). This actually couldn't be further from the truth.

The simple fact is that a new school will cause more sprawl thereby making the proposed "solution" the cause of even greater problems.

This really isn't that difficult to follow folks.

Who is India Kincannon?
I have only met Ms. Kincannon once but found her to be an extremely warm and dedicated individual. A non-ET native, she brings outside experience to Knox County along with an IVY League education. She won as an underdog against a well known opponent who was supported by many old school politicos in Knox County.
Embellishment doesn't really help your cause. A downtown school could draw from Sequoyah Hills, Old North Knoxville, Fourth & Gill, Island Home, etc. These neighborhoods have more than enough students to support a school which would allow the rezoning inward to occur without long distance busing.

Which schools have the greatest overcrowding? Farragut, Karns, and Bearden. For the rezoning inward idea to work there has to be some schools to rezone inward to.

There are no schools to handle the overcrowding so a new school would have to be built.

So are you people that support the rezoning inward plan suggesting that the County build the school away from where the need is and bus the students inward just so downtown can get a new school it does not need?

Would one of you explain this please? That seems very selfish and impractical not to mention very unsafe for the students that would be bused such long distances.
I can see Gene's point; if a new school were built to serve the neighborhoods he mentions, the populations of West, Fulton, and S-D would be reduced thereby allowing the rezoning inward. Looking at Central HS for example, 1/3 of the kids that are zoned there are as close to Fulton, etc. etc.

This is really making great sense now.
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