Banks Blasts Teachers' Endorsement

The incumbent East Cobb school board member said he "will not be held hostage" by the Cobb County Association of Educators, which supports his opponent.

A week after his primary opponent by the leading teachers' group in the county, Cobb Board of Education member David Banks has lashed out at both. 

Banks, who is seeking a second term to the Post 5 seat in East and Northeast Cobb, was highly critical of the Cobb County Association Association of Educators for its support of Lisa Hanson in the July 31 Republican primary. 

"The one thing that is very apparent and should be of utmost concern to all Post 5 voters is the fact that teacher union support is totally predicated on absolute adherence to their agenda," Banks said in his e-mail newsletter distributed on Monday.

"I support and have strongly supported Cobb teachers when that support was in the best interest of student education, but I will not be held hostage by any union simply to garner their endorsement."

Banks did not detail what the CCAE's "agenda" was. 

He also accused Hanson, a parent in the Lassiter High School district, of being "supported and financed by the same group that supported the anti-Balanced calendar candidates in 2010."

Banks was a stalwart foe of the school board's vote , starting with the 2011-12 year, a year after following the balanced calendar he preferred. 

He tried several times to get the board to reconsider its decision, without success.

CCAE president Connie Jackson told East Cobb Patch that while her group agreed with Banks on the calendar issue, it took issue with his efforts to "spend down to the reserves" to balance the budget. 

"We're more conservative than he is" on that issue, according to Jackson, who said the CCAE believes Hanson "has more realistic ideas in general" and was impressed with "her willingness to learn."

Hanson has been critical of Banks for his support for the in Cobb schools that was strongly opposed by the CCAE. She also questioned decisions to spend reserve funds and raise property taxes.

Stephanie Henry, a parent in the and districts, is the other candidate in for the Post 5 seat, which includes portions of the Pope, Lassiter, Sprayberry and Wheeler high school districts. 

In his e-newsletter, Banks reprinted a comment from a July 5 column in The Marietta Daily Journal that mentioned Hanson's endorsement by the CCAE, which is affiliated with the National Education Association but is not a union with collective bargaining authority. 

The anonymous MDJ reader alleged that the "NEA is an inhibitor to quality education and any endorsement of a candidate to the School Board by an organization that is aligned with that organization should be highly suspect."

Banks finished his e-newsletter by saying that "the best endorsement from Teachers is their vote for me on July 31st."

Jane W. July 11, 2012 at 01:51 PM
All members of the Cobb County Association of Educators are required to pay an extra $168 yearly to also belong to the National Education Association. Do a Google search on "NEA" and "donations" and you'll see the NEA is little more than a cash-cow for Democrats—and for every liberal-left pressure group in the news! Furthermore, the NEA endorses only Democrats for president or governor here in Georgia. Never Republicans or independents.
Jack S July 11, 2012 at 02:19 PM
OH please give it a rest already. He accused Hanson ....of being "supported and financed by the same group that supported the anti-Balanced calendar candidates in 2010." This is nothing but the cry of a drowning candidate grabbing at straws.Like many, I am so tired of hearing this hack trying to be bigger than he is and constantly whining that its not fair. At least Hanson has the ethics and values that Banks will never have. Every attempt by Banks to readdress the calendar issue, after it was voted down, was violation of the ethics policy he signed when he took office: "Express opinions BEFORE votes are cast, but after the board vote, abide by and support all majority decisions of the board". Yeah, that never happened. He STILL brings the calendar up in almost every one of his news letters. I think Banks time would be better served if it were spent with his grandchildren.
Jack S July 11, 2012 at 02:47 PM
I think can we all agree that the NEA is a Union without having to google it. Obviously, CCAE thought Lisa Hanson was the better of the two front running candidates for the job. Your Monty-Python's-Holy-Grail-esque logic that she is a liberal or left leaning Republican because she is supported by CCAE is far from the truth; especially if you haven't visited her website (ElectLisaHanson.com) or spoken with her.
Jack S July 11, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Funny how Banks was endorsed by CCAE back in 2008. So, was he a liberal then? What is your real agenda here?
Jane W. July 11, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Well, Jack S, I'm left wondering why the same CCAE, which through its membership funds the National Education Association's liberal Democrat politics—would be endorsing anyone OTHER than the candidate most likely to accommodate the liberal Democrat agenda. Again, readers are encouraged to do the Google search above and familiarize themselves with just were those CCAE/GAE/NEA dues dollars actually end up!
Bobby July 11, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Am I the only one who finds it interesting that David Banks not only received the CCAE endorsement but also confirmed their stamp of approval when he cashed a campaign donation check? I just visited electlisahanson.com and saw that another teacher's group also endorsed Mrs. Hanson, what will be David's complaint about this group? In addition, I am beginning to hear rumors that Mr. Banks may have recently used his position on the Board of Education in an unethical manner; investigating both of his opponent's children. If this is true, Mr. Banks better brace himself for a lawsuit and a violation of the privacy rights of these kids. This goes far beyond politics/campaigning and is disgusting!
Jane W. July 11, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Bobby, I hear that you beat your wife. Any truth in that? Just wondering.
Wendy Parker (Editor) July 11, 2012 at 07:37 PM
I know how much everyone here cares about the issue, but please try to keep the discussion from getting personal.
Frank July 11, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Banks - Once a bully, always a bully! He: * Beats up on CCAE yet hypocritically has no problem cashing their check, * Beats up on the district's CFO Mike Addison while simultaneously making up his own numbers concerning the district's reserves * Frequently shows up without invitation at school meetings or even in student classrooms * It's known he bullied meeting participants at Lassiter HS while they were discussing naming of school facilities When Banks throws up a soft, slow curve, it's time to swing for the fence. As stated in this article Banks said "I support and have strongly supported Cobb teachers when that support was in the best interest of student education..." He must have forgotten about the April 10, 2010 Board Meeting where the minutes reveal that Banks supported the Reduction in Force (RIF) resulting in a reduction of more than 730 district positions. Banks also prides himself on being conservative yet has consistently offered up tax increase proposals. It's pretty funny when Connie Jackson with the CCAE state "We're more conservative than he is." Ya'll need to get together, have some sweet tea and figure out who is to the left of whom here. Heard during a sermon - "When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." It's time to drop the tool Mr. Banks and voters should assist you with that endeavor July 31st by supporting another candidate.
Jack S July 12, 2012 at 04:46 AM
Bobby, misuse of his position would not be the only unethical violation. but good point.
JudyJ July 12, 2012 at 05:11 AM
I for one believe that David Banks is telling the truth and that he is an honorable man. He has served the School Board well, standing up for his constituents in a way that others would not. They had their personal agendas and much to gain. The more you try to convince me otherwise, the more I want to rally David Banks on. He is a hero to stand up for the Balanced Calendar. He tried to keep it alive because he knew how the majority of the parents, teachers and students felt about it. How dare you say condensending things about him. Those of you who do obviously have overlooked all the good things he has done and in a last ditch effort want to endorse someone else. My cry to the people in Post 5 is to re-elect this man who stands up for right, regardless of the consequences. He listens and in the best interest of students and educators, does what he thinks is best. I respect him and will vote for him on July 31st!!!
Bobby July 12, 2012 at 05:30 PM
What is 'right ' about going to his opponents' kids schools (past and present) to conduct an illegal interview with teachers and school administrators regarding these students? Please do not take my word for it, look on Banks' last newsletter and see what he wrote.
Dan H. July 12, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Bobby, your comments remind me of when Obama stated “The Private Sector is Doing Fine” hoping the public will swallow the rhetoric hook line and sinker without checking the validity of his claim. Lisa Hanson made a very specific claim in her campaign that one of the reasons she was endorsed by a Teachers Union was HER being “active in the schools her child attended”. Very admirable if true but very disingenuous if false. Any candidate has every right to either validate or refute claims made by opponents. To make the accusation that Mr. Banks conducted “interviews” with teachers and school administrators’ regarding “students” is preposterous and your statement “Just look at his newsletter” is fallacious. Nowhere in his newsletter is there any mention of students. This issue has nothing to do with “students” only with HER claim that SHE was “active in the schools her child attended”. Now you and she want to make an issue out of someone wanting to substantiate her campaign claim. Mr. Banks did not raise this issue, SHE did with her campaign claim, so before you make unfounded and unsubstantiated accusations about "illegal interviews" and whom or what school organizations he may or may not have spoken with about only HER school activity, don’t try to pull an Obama tactic on us to swallow your inflammatory rhetoric.
Bobby July 13, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Dan, Here is an exact copy of Mr. Banks' email regarding his opponents children, "I personally contacted the schools where their children had either attended or were presently attending." No matter how you try to frame it up, there is simply no way to explain away that a 73 year old man is going to children's current and previous schools and asking questions. These are his exact words (not mine or anyone else) in a newsletter he totally controls. In a court of law he would be guilty and I hope the general public will find him guilty of abusing his position as a board member. On all levels, it is just inappropriate at best and he needs to resign his position today (or tomorrow when he wakes up to what he has done.) p.s. why don't you send an email to both of Banks opponents and find out how involved they have been, I bet we both might be surprised. Large schools like Pope and Lassiter do not exist without involved parents.
Dan H. July 13, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Bobby, guilty of what in a court of law? I read what Mr. Banks said in response to Ms. Hanson’s stated claim she was endorsed because of her activity with schools her child had attended. Mr. Banks, Ms. Henry or Ms. Hanson has every right to look into ANY claims made by their opponents. In this particular case Mr. Banks stated he checked out Ms. Hanson's public claim of HER "activity" at certain schools. Simply, was SHE active at those schools as she claimed or not? Your statement that he "illegally interviewed" school staff about her child’s activity is nothing more than a fabrication to impugn Mr. Banks. There is no doubt if the shoe were on the other foot, Ms. Hanson would have checked it out to see if it was truthful. From the tone of your reply you would have obviously excused it if it were Ms. Hanson checking out Mr. Banks. You need to tone your venomous rhetoric down and understand that the political arena is full of false or misleading claims meant to enhance or embellish a candidates "credentials" and any candidate would be well served to substantiate their opponents claims. So, when claims were made by candidate Hanson that HER involvement "activity" at the schools HER child attended was the predicate for an endorsement, their opponents have every right to validate that claim. We agree that parental involvement in schools is essential for a school to succeed. What is unfortunate is the fact that a number of parents shirk that responsibility
Bobby July 13, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Per your point, I did go back and re-read the information about Henry, Hanson and Banks. In the endorsement from the teacher's group, it never said they were endorsing Ms. Hanson due to her "activity" in the schools. Rather they speak about her commitment to public education. Guilty of violating a student's privacy (1974 Individual and Privacy Act). Bottom line: We both know that Mr. Banks needs to leave the school board. Although I am sure he is a fine great grandfather, the education of our children should be entrusted into the hands of parents. We simply can not have our SAC's accreditation threatened again by Mr. Banks. It is very easy for this 73 year old man to play games with his constant bickering since he does not have any 'skin' in the game as a taxpayer (He has used senior citizens tax exemption for 13 years) nor as a parent.
Dan H. July 13, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Bobby, two points, first I don't see where a "Students" privacy rights were violated and secondly you are saying that only parents should serve on the School Boards since Grandparents have no stake in their grandchildren’s education. Maybe you should check your facts concerning how many "Grandparents" either raise or have grandchildren living under their roof. And it is also nice to know that in your opinion that anyone over the age of 62, who has a senior citizens exemption and doesn't pay the school property tax, has no 'skin' in the game and should butt out. Following that logic I suppose that the 49% of Americans that don't pay any Federal Income Tax don't have any 'skin' in the game and should also butt out? You’re also trying to attribute the SAC's investigation to Banks, how convoluted can you get. You may be entitled to your own opinion but you're not entitled to your own facts. It was the actions of the incoming Board members and their "conspiracy" to undermine open meetings and transparency laws that sparked that investigation. Your posts also have a theme of contempt for the elderly and senior citizens since you continually refer to Mr. Banks as an old man, a great grandfather and the Senior Citizen Exemption. I know many grandfathers and grandmothers who are just a concerned and involved in their grandchildren’s education as their parents, so that dog won’t hunt either.
Dan H. July 13, 2012 at 03:24 PM
The statement Connie Jackson, President of the CCAE, made in the Patch that her group took issue with Banks efforts to save teacher positions, eliminate furlough days and reduce classroom size by using more Reserve Funds was ludicrous. It reminds me of the firemen who let the house burn down because they didn’t want the reservoir level to drop. If I were a CCAE member I would question not only her leadership but her responsibility to protect CCAE members. Reserve Funds are like a reservoir of cash, used for unanticipated expenses or revenue shortfalls; it’s a rainy day fund. You certainly don’t need a meteorologist to tell you it’s raining when you have teacher furloughs, (cuts in their pay) additional increases in classroom size and the elimination of 350 teaching positions. When the Cobb County School District had $100 million dollars of Reserve Funds just sitting in the bank, doing nothing, and the President of Teachers Union makes a statement that her group takes issue with spending down Reserve Funds, it’s time to get another Chief in the firehouse. Jackson’s silence during the budget hearings was deafening and it was nothing more than an abdication of responsibility to speak out on behalf of the membership. Connie Jackson, you should be ashamed for turning your back on the dues paying members of your organization.
Bobby July 13, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Talk with any teacher in Cobb and you will realize the first 13 words of your blog is not based on reality. Per Mr. Banks' age, where was I wrong? 1. He is a senior citizen 2. He has not paid school taxes in 13 years due to number 1 (and I 100% support that tax break) 3. He is a grandfather. Based on this thread, I am going to stop blogging and spend my time helping one of the other two candidates. see you at the polls.
Jack S July 13, 2012 at 07:05 PM
A lot of anger going on here. I'll take a few minutes away from my work to support Bobby, and then throw some more gas on this fire. Judy: Claiming that Banks is honorable and truthful is an oxymoron. If you want your kids to start earlier in the year, have extra days off from school, and feel cheated that a newly elected Board overturned a calendar that NEVER should have passed in the first place, consider it righting a wrong. You wouldn't keep driving East on 285 out of pride or ego, all the way around to the airport because couldn't get over to go West, would you? Please know that the Balanced calendar issue was conceived during the previous Boards and behind closed doors; Banks was this sessions drummer boy and the puppet; for Crooks and Abraham (or the CCAE since he cashed their checks). Furthermore, to use words like honor, truth or even professionalism in reference to Banks cheapens those that do have those characteristics. Each board member is required to sign a code of ethics of which parts include "work with other board members in a spirit of harmony and cooperation in spite of differences" and "after the board votes, abide by and support all majority decisions". Constantly bringing up the calendar in every board meeting and in his newsletter and falsely accusing board members of collusion in the press, is nothing but violations of his ethics statement. Please don't reference Survey Monkey unless you know something more about statistics that I don't.
Jack S July 14, 2012 at 02:14 AM
I think I meant to say, if you know more about statistics than I do.
JudyJ July 14, 2012 at 05:09 AM
Bobby glad to hear you are gong to stop making outrageous and ugly remarks about Mr. Banks. You need to be out there rallying for your candidate because when it's said and done, I hope to see David Banks back on the school board for the next 4 years. The people that he has represented so well will go to the polls and not forget his efforts and his stand on what "we the people" want.


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