School & District Management

Fallout From ’Snow Days’

By Linda Jacobson — October 18, 2005 1 min read

The office of Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue is disputing accusations that the reason he asked schools to close for two early “snow days” on Sept. 26 and 27 was to save enough fuel to harvest the state’s crops this fall.

8perdues

According to an Oct. 6 article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, lobbyists for Georgia’s oil and gas industry “met with top administration aides” just hours before the governor announced the request at a Friday-afternoon press conference Sept. 23.

Their conversation, the newspaper reported, included the suggestion that farmers were worried about their harvest, and that closing schools for two days would save 225,000 gallons of gas a day. Gov. Perdue cited the same figures when he made his request, which noted possible supply disruptions from the then-approaching Hurricane Rita. (“Rita Closes Many Texas, Louisiana Schools,” Oct. 5, 2005.)

But Dan McLagan, the governor’s spokesman, said last week that there was no such meeting. He said members of the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, which is in charge of fuel storage in the state, had been having ongoing conference calls with oil and gas representatives, school districts, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other groups that were concerned about the supply of diesel fuel following Hurricane Katrina.

Some school districts, he added, were already expecting to run out of fuel by Wednesday, Sept. 28.

State schools Superintendent Kathy Cox publicly supported the governor’s decision, even though she voiced sympathy with parents who had to scramble to find arrangements for their children when all but three of Georgia’s 180 school districts heeded the governor’s call to close.

But Ms. Cox—who, like Mr. Perdue, is a Republican—is being criticized for standing by the governor. “When Gov. Sonny Perdue debated closing public schools to save gasoline, the most vociferous voice in protest should have belonged to Kathy Cox,” wrote an editorial writer in the Journal-Constitution on Oct. 10. “Instead, hers was among the most restrained.”

Dana Tofig, a spokesman for the state education department, said, “She had to trust that he was doing the best for the state.”

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the October 19, 2005 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Building Leadership Excellence Through Instructional Coaching
Join this webinar for a discussion on instructional coaching and ways you can link your implement or build on your program.
Content provided by Whetstone Education/SchoolMint
Teaching Webinar Tips for Better Hybrid Learning: Ask the Experts What Works
Register and ask your questions about hybrid learning to our expert panel.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Families & the Community Webinar
Family Engagement for Student Success With Dr. Karen Mapp
Register for this free webinar to learn how to empower and engage families for student success featuring Karen L. Mapp.
Content provided by Panorama Education & PowerMyLearning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

DevOps Engineer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
User Experience Analyst
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
Senior Business Analyst - 12 Month Contract
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
Senior Director Marketing
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Camelot Education

Read Next

School & District Management The Key to School-Based COVID-19 Testing: Cooperation of Parents and Communities
As schools launch broad testing to track cases of COVID-19, the success of their efforts relies on addressing the concerns of all concerned.
7 min read
Katie Ramirez, left, watches as her mother, Claudia Campos, swabs the mouth of her sister, Hailey, for a COVID-19 test at a testing site in Los Angeles on Dec. 9, 2020.
Katie Ramirez, left, watches as her mother, Claudia Campos, swabs the mouth of her sister, Hailey, for a COVID-19 test at a testing site in Los Angeles.
Jae C. Hong/AP
School & District Management Interactive A Year of COVID-19: What It Looked Like for Schools
This timeline offers a look at how a full year of living and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded.
Education Week Staff
13 min read
Elementary 1 teacher Melissa Vozar sits outside of Suder Elementary in Chicago to teach a virtual class on Jan. 11, 2021. The Chicago Teachers Union said that its members voted to defy an order to return to the classroom before they are vaccinated against the coronavirus, setting up a showdown with district officials who have said such a move would amount to an illegal strike.
Elementary 1 teacher Melissa Vozar sits outside of Suder Elementary in Chicago to teach a virtual class on Jan. 11, 2021. The Chicago Teachers Union said that its members voted to defy an order to return to the classroom before they are vaccinated against the coronavirus, setting up a showdown with district officials who have said such a move would amount to an illegal strike.
Anthony Vazquez/Chicago Sun-Times via AP
School & District Management Most Principals, District Leaders Predict Their Schools Will Be Fully In-Person This Fall
EdWeek Research Center surveys track the growing trend to get more students back in school buildings as soon as possible.
5 min read
Assistant Principal Janette Van Gelderen, left, welcomes students at Newhall Elementary in Santa Clarita, Calif on Feb. 25, 2021. California's public schools could get $6.6 billion from the state Legislature if they return to in-person instruction by the end of March, according to a new agreement announced Monday, March 1, 2021, between Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state's legislative leaders.
Assistant Principal Janette Van Gelderen, left, welcomes students at Newhall Elementary in Santa Clarita, Calif., last month. California's public schools could get $6.6 billion from the state if they return to in-person instruction by the end of March.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
School & District Management Opinion Will the Hybrid School Concept Continue After COVID-19?
In an effort to move from triage to transformation, schools should look at how they continue the hybrid model after the COVID-19 vaccine.
7 min read
Hybrid FCG
Shutterstock