Wednesday, February 11, 2009

DeKalb County Schools System as Mr. Potato Head?



Posted originally by Kim Gokce at Community Radar (be sure to sign up for his community reporting service!)

Parents in DeKalb County School System (DCSS) have been carrying on a conversation about things DCSS over at the excellent blog, DeKalb County School Watch. In one of the threads, we began discussing the published salary reports for DCSS that are available at the State of Georgia "Transparency in Government" web site. A lot of parents were surprised and outraged to see many hundreds of employees earning north of $100k. My cursory look at this led me to believe that salaries for individual titles are in line with those paid in Fulton County, for example. So, the question for me is not how much money one person makes but rather are the two systems relatively balanced in terms of Central Office vs. School resource $$$.

Today, I sat down with Ella Smith to impose on her for her knowledge of DeKalb and Fulton job titles. We reviewed each of the over 300 titles (DeKalb accounted for 181 of these). After classifying each title as a title directly related to either an "in school" resource or to central services/admin resource, I ran the percentage of "Central Office Salary" / "Total Salary" for both DCSS and Fulton County School System (FCSS). We included things like Information Services and Transportation and Maintenance personnel (not school custodians) in the "Central Office" figures. Before sharing the numbers, I want to be clear that this a "best effort" and in no way should be interpreted as a necessarily 100% accurate picture. The source data itself is
questionable.

For example, Ella found 1 discrepancy in the Fulton file which incorrectly reported a principal as a substitute teacher with a salary $80k below the range it should have been. Also, I noticed in both files (but particularly the Fulton file) many cases of what look to be potentially corrupt data values (truncated or duplicate titles, blank salaries, etc.) Government-provided bad data? Never!
Ok. With all the disclaimers and snarks out of the way, here is what I found in the available data.

DCSS Total Salaries 2008: $682,709,025.22
DCSS Admin/"Central Office" Salaries 2008:
$170,590,619.93
Ratio 2008: 24.987%


FCSS Total Salaries 2008 $552,969,891.22
FCSS Admin/"Central Office" Salaries 2008:
$56,194,268.83
Ratio 2008: 10.162%


DeKalb is nearly 2.5 times more "top-heavy" than Fulton? What?! I nearly fainted. Please, someone tell me these data files are not to be trusted - that this is an absurd deviation. I was so floored by these numbers I repeated my own quality checks against my processing of the data.

I checked total salaries in the source files and in my transformation of this data and they match. I spot checked titles between the provided data and my data and they match. So, if there is an error, it is farther up-stream in the State of Georgia or County reporting process that created these data files. It is also possible that there are some other assumptions hidden in the source data of which I am ignorant (I'm generous).

Putting aside all these questions for the moment ... HOLY MR. POTATO-HEAD DCSS! I do not know what else to say ... no wonder you can't seem to get the system up and running again - your head is so big your chin is dragging on the ground! If anything close to these numbers hold up, we could postulate that DCSS ran with the "efficiency" of Fulton County in terms of central
office salary costs versus in-school salary costs ... there's nearly $100 million in the difference. Budget short-fall? What budget shortfall? Don't cut our schools when there is this apparent outrage in salary costs at the center of it all.

--------------
Many, many thanks to Kim Gokce and Ella Smith for compiling this data into a coherent article and especially to Kim who wrote this article and even provided the graphic. Many thanks also to all of the rest of the bloggers here at DCSW who downloaded the Excel file from the State and worked so hard to crunch these numbers - this was definitely a team effort. Mostly - thanks to "themommy" who came up with our group project idea in the first place!

49 comments:

themommy said...

Glad to see this again, because the agenda for a called meeting just landing in my email box. The meeting is tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 12 at 10 AM.

Here are the agenda items.

D. DISCUSSION ITEM
1. Re-Cap Budget Developments for FY 2010 Budget PreparationPresented by: Mr. Marcus Turk, Chief Financial Officer
2. DeKalb County School System GoalsA. 2007-2010 GoalsB. Superintendent’s 2009-2010 Incentive & Performance Goals
3. Superintendent’s Prioritized Goals
4. Board’s Proposed Initiatives & Concerns (Preliminary)
5. Consolidated Priorities for 2009

Do you want to get emails from the Board Secretary about meetings, etc?

Send your email address to:
MARGARET_C_FRANCOIS@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us
and ask to be placed on the distribution list.

Soccer Dad said...

There is NO excuse for the salaries in DCSS central office. None.

And none of the 30+ DCSS central office employees making OVER $120,000.00 a year should receive another paycheck until EVERY leaking school roof is REPLACED.

Open+Transparent said...

Ditto to what Soccer Dad posted.
There is no excuse.

And the higher the salary, the higher the cost of pension and benefits. Time for a 403b/401k for all non-teachers and principals.

jodynroy said...

I just read the budget austerity cuts overview and it said "eliminate 2% of jobs over $100K' - I bet those were vacant anyway.
This info really is mind blowing - to see how top heavy and bloated the admin offices are. yet the quality coming out of there is so "government work" It's really sad that the "culture of excellence" is all talk for so many of these people (not all, there are some good and dedicated ppl, just not all ready to give 100%, much less 90%
Thanks Cere for posting again.
CAN ANYONE TELL ME ABOUT TONIGHT's MEETING AT CROSS KEYS? I can't find any background on the merger, what's happening, etc.
thanks

Anonymous said...

Crawford Lewis will never cut administration. Over his decades as an administrator, he helped build it up to 25% of personnel costs. It needs to be ten percent (preferably 8 or 9%). But he is not the person to do it.

pscexb said...

Congrats to Kim and Ella for the analysis they performed on the salary data. I am still concerned as the results seem somewhat 'skewed'. Some of the classifications are questionable which could result in possible misunderstandings.

I decided go to the state DOE website for revenue and expenditure data. My understanding is this is official and enable a better apples to apples comparison.

Following are a couple of links that I used:

School System Financial Reports

http://app3.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fin_pack_revenue.entry_form

DCSS 2008 Expenditures

http://app3.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fin_pack_revenue.display_proc

DCSS 2008 Revenues

http://app3.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fin_pack_revenue.display_proc

Time permitting, I will go back and capture this data in a spreadsheet for several years along with that for neighboring school systems. I believe there is a direct correlation between our higher FTE costs and our Title 1 population. Also factor in our large physical plant inventory and you have higher numbers. More to come later.....

Kim->CommunityRadar.com said...

@pscexb: "I believe there is a direct correlation between our higher FTE costs and our Title 1 population."

This is a good example of underlying assumptions that may be hidden in the data ... but pscexb, 250% worth? We'll see but I think we need more assumptions than that to cover that nut.

"Also factor in our large physical plant inventory and you have higher numbers. More to come later.....""

This should not matter in a ratio. Unless you're referring to physical plant that is not related to school grounds. In that case, I would argue that your point may actually make the matter worse. That is, DeKalb has a disproportionally large non-school physical plant relative to its school physical plant and thereby related salaries, too.

Don't get me wrong, I'm the person who recommended heavy caution against folks taking the "Transparency" numbers as gospel. But 250%?! That's an awful lot of dough to explain away.

I'll ask the DCSS finance folks for their take on these numbers because I would hate to see us all spend blood, sweat and tears over this if they can explain the context for the gap.

For now, I remain cautiously skeptical :)

Kim->CommunityRadar.com said...

@pscexb: I took a look at the 2008 expenditure figures from GA BOE you referenced (I can't help myself ) ...

Here's a straight copy'n'paste with my cynical commentary in []:

Per FTE Instruction
Fulton       DeKalb   +/- (%)
6628.94     6262.28   -5.53%
[We spend less teaching]

Per FTE Pupil Services
Fulton       DeKalb   +/- (%)
326.81     368.95   12.89%
[We have more special circumstances]

Per FTE Staff Services
Fulton       DeKalb   +/- (%)
443.31     748.58   68.86%
[We spare nothing on staff]

Per FTE General Administration
Fulton       DeKalb   +/- (%)
483.71     480.01   -0.76%
[We got a great deal on copy paper]

Per FTE School Administration
Fulton       DeKalb   +/- (%)
574.43     663.83   15.56%
[No Fulton school can out-administer our worst school!]

Per FTE Transportation
Fulton       DeKalb   +/- (%)
461.72     515.86   11.73%
[Our kids travel more miles with fewer bus brawls]

Per FTE Maintenance & Operations
Fulton       DeKalb   +/- (%)
827.2     856.77   3.57%
[Our schools are twice as old, half as well maintained; so we spend 3% more]

Per FTE Total Expenditure
Fulton       DeKalb   +/- (%)
9746.13     9896.29   1.54%
[We squeeze more waste into the same per pupil expenditure than any accredited metro system]

All joking aside, I don't see how these ratios of expenditures per pupil tell a more positive story. The best one could say is "We need to spend 7.5% more per student in instruction to match Fulton." The worst we could say about these numbers is "We spend 69% more on our staff than Fulton" ... not good.

This re-enforces the 1st premise offered on this blog that DCSS is spending too few dollars in the schools and too much elsewhere.

On a per student basis, on a salary basis, and I would bet on virtually any other basis we'd dream up to examine, the outcome is the same - DCSS has not been a good enough steward of our dollars or of all of our children.

Cerebration said...

"Also factor in our large physical plant inventory and you have higher numbers. More to come later.....""

Remember - we have several buildings that have been unused by the school system for years that we "lease" to private individuals for (I'm told) $1 per year. I'd like to know who got these gift leases and when those leases are up. (Some are 5 year leases.) The leasee is supposed to be maintaining the building they lease - are they? Tell us the addresses and let us have a look.

Could these buildings generate the $30 million we need?

Cerebration said...

I'll repost some relevant comments from our former post here --

Ella said...
On another note, I went to the school board meeting tonight and one thing bothered me. They discussed interships positions in Ms. Popes office and Mr. Womack put up a motion that there be some type of lottery or fair way for the interns to be selected and one of the other school board members (Roberts) was upset and made comments that she always referred her students in her district to this intership as to they needed the money for school. Mr. McChesney also was for a fair way to choice the candidates for the intern positions. I immediately saw a red flag go up. Why are board intern positions. I immediately saw a red flag go up. Why are board members referring students to the intership program to work in Ms. Popes office? Would this not be possible micro-managing or at least giving the students they refer prefential treatment over other students who apply but maybe are not applying with a school board member pushing for that student to get a job as an intern. I think their should be a process to give students an opportunity to be an intern but there should be criteria in selecting these students to make sure the process is fair and transparent and not a way to help friends of school board members get jobs for their children in the summer. It was mentioned that some students need money to pay for school in the fall. I have a son in college and he also needs,expense money to spend in the school year by having a job in the summer. I do not know many college students who do not have to work for spending money in the summer. The process to become an intern should be fair, and transparent without school board members making referrals or recommendations of any kind. Thank you Mr. Womack for trying to make sure this was a fair and equal opportunity for every student in Dekalb County.

Cerebration said...

One Fed Up Insider said...

pscexb - From speaking from knowledge, why Henderson, Shamrock, and Sequoyah are in such great need is that when those schools were turned from a high school to a middle school in 96. The surrounding high schools came and took everything that they wanted and left the junk at those schools. Those schools did not get the middle school packages that new schools get today, because they were not "new". Take a look at CMS and PCMS, even though they were a school and became a "NEW" school building, they recieved the itmes they had before hand and then some. They got extra. I am so sorry but that is just not fair. Henderson, Shamrock, and Sequoyah are just trying to play catch up but they are so far behind they can't.

Cerebration said...

So, in sorting as instructed by PSC, there were 208 people making over $100k, 160 people made in the $90's, 386 people made in the 80's, 927 people made in the 70's, 1696 made in the 60's, 2211 made in the 50's, 2791 in the 40's, 2194 in the 30's (starting to see lots of custodians here), 2702 in the 20's (almost all consisting of parapro's, custodians, bus drivers food service workers and clerks) 1892 made in the teens, and amazingly - 2705 people made under $10k - throwing off the average considerably. In fact, 1351 made less than $5,000. This group consist mostly of substitutes and others - the last 2 people each earning a whopping $15 in 2008.

Cerebration said...

Anonymous said...Holy Mackeral!!!

Crawford Lewis $251,687.60
Patricia Reid $194,850.00
Marcus Turk $162,798.00
Gloria Talley $162,648.00
Frankie Callway (Dpt Ast Super) $162,200.82
Bob Moseley (Dpt Ast Super) $151,563.70
Jamie Wilson (HR Director) $141,741.85
Ramona Tyson (Dpt Ast Super) $131,104.82
Wendolyn Norris-Bouie (Dpt Ast Super) $131,104.82
Felicia Mitchell (Dpt Ast Super) $123,594.82
Wanda Gilliard (Dpt Ast Super) $122,382.00
Timothy Freeman (Dpt Ast Super) $122,232.00
Ralph Simpson (Dpt Ast Super) $120,558.00
Sheryl Croft (Dpt Ast Super) $120,558.00
Horace Dunson (Dpt Ast Super) $120,558.00
Terry Segovis (Dpt Ast Super) $120,558.00
Marilyn Steele (Dpt Ast Super) $120,408.00
Evelyn Hall (Instructional Supervisor) $120,155.64
Charlie Henderson (Planning) $117,630.00
Anthony Eitel (Dpt Ast Super)$116,196.00
Clarence Ellis (Finance) $116,136.00
Audria Berry (Dpt Ast Super)$114,774.00
Toney Blackmon (Transportation) $113,094.00
Michael Hall (Transportation) $112,994.00
David Gillory (Transportation) $113,106.00
Philandrea Gillory (Information) $113,094.00
John Gillmore (Student Services) $112,956.00
Ronald Sebree (Athletic Director) $112,601.00
Deboarh White ("Miscellaneous Activities") $111,970.01
Anthony Hunter (Tech Director) $113.094.00
Ronnie Kithcens $110,896.00
Malinda DiSalvo (Finance) $110,196.00

And there are many many many more where these came from.....

Cerebration said...

And of course, I must repost one of my all-time favorite exchanges --

Dunwoody Mom said...
Oh, my goodness. There is actually a job title of "Miscellaneous Activities" that makes a salary of $90,000. Are you kidding me?

to which No Duh said...

As a stay at home mom, I'm positive I have the qualifications to be a "Director of Miscellaneous Activities."

I'll do it for $75K.

Cerebration said...

themommy said...
back on February 4, 2009 8:34 PM

Ok-- you all are doing great on my little project. Interesting stuff.. lots of "data" to mine. One thing, I randomly selected two instructional specialists to figure out what they do. One is an elementary PE teacher and the other is a middle school PE
teacher.

Cerebration said...

For job description and salary comparisons for similar jobs at the STATE - go to

http://www.spa.ga.gov/jobApplicants/gmsapp.asp

Examples --

State of Georgia Job Description

Job Title: Communications Administrator
Job Code: 60916
Last Update: 7/1/2007
Salary Plan: Statewide Salary Plan (SWD)
Pay Grade: 021 Salary Minimum: $62,923.28/yr
Market Midpoint: $86,467.59/yr
Salary Maximum: $110,011.91/yr

State of Georgia Job Description

Job Title: Public Relations Director
Job Code: 60944
Last Update: 7/1/2007
Salary Plan: Statewide Salary Plan (SWD)
Pay Grade: 017 Salary Minimum: $43,063.23/yr
Market Midpoint: $59,293.27/yr
Salary Maximum: $75,523.31/yr

State of Georgia Job Description

Job Title: Receptionist
Job Code: 60105
Last Update: 7/1/2007
Salary Plan: Statewide Salary Plan (SWD)
Pay Grade: 008 Salary Minimum: $18,549.39/yr
Market Midpoint: $25,015.65/yr
Salary Maximum: $31,481.91/yr

State of Georgia Job Description

Job Title: Safe Routes to School Coord
Job Code: 61058
Last Update: 7/1/2007
Salary Plan: Statewide Salary Plan (SWD)
Pay Grade: 014 Salary Minimum: $32,418.30/yr
Market Midpoint: $44,571.27/yr
Salary Maximum: $56,724.24/yr

State of Georgia Job Description

Job Title: Transportation Program Spec
Job Code: 61082
Last Update: 7/1/2007
Salary Plan: Statewide Salary Plan (SWD)
Pay Grade: 016 Salary Minimum: $39,038.32/yr
Market Midpoint: $53,728.30/yr
Salary Maximum: $68,418.29/yr

State of Georgia Job Description

Job Title: Video Film Associate Producer
Job Code: 60311
Last Update: 7/1/2007
Salary Plan: Statewide Salary Plan (SWD)
Pay Grade: 012 Salary Minimum: $26,672.14/yr
Market Midpoint: $36,744.55/yr
Salary Maximum: $46,816.96/yr

jodynroy said...

The thing that really gets me (probably b/c I've been self employed or worked in non-profit most of my life) is the benefits. compared to the private sector, school system benefits and perks count for probably 25% more of the salary. Not what it costs us (probably more) but what they get - incredible insurance, 403B, vacation and comp time (and if they don't take it, it accrues, and they can retire really early and keep collecting a f/t paycheck, which is why we lose so many principals mid-year). And, let's not forget car allowances for the higher-ups.
But, unlike a typical salaried professional, most of these people are GONE by 4:00 every day - it's impossible to get an administrator on the phone after school hours.
Yes, there are always exceptions, but for the most part, we've got too much bloat at the top (which is why they can all leave at 4:00)

Kim->CommunityRadar.com said...

This topic is circulating on the Georgia on My Mind site's "Georgia Carnival" at:

Georgia blog carnival - edition #52

The mention comes under the paragraph, "Current Issues."

Cerebration said...

Great job getting the word out there Kim!

Kim->CommunityRadar.com said...

At the suggestion of Marshall Orson, I grabbed Atlanta Public Schools (APS) salaries figures to add to the comparison. He felt that DCSS and FCSS was not as fair of a compare as DCSS and APS.

Didn't help the picture, I'm afraid ...

I'm updating at the source document here for those that want more info: Main Article

Cerebration said...

Check out the latest general operations costs -- Notice how much costs have increased under Dr. Lewis' leadership, yet enrollment has continued to decrease.

2006 - $777.38 Million
2007 - $820.18 Million
2008 - $867.12 Million
2009 - $894.14 Million

Enrollment

2005/06 - 102,330
2006/07 - 101,853
2007/08 - 100,526
2008/09 - 99,893
2009/10 - 97,800

.
Be sure to attend the DCSS Budget Meeting next Wednesday, April 22 at William Bradley Bryant Center (WBBC) on Lawrenceville Hwy at I-285.

Cerebration said...

More Costs Data --

Instruction - Salaries & Benefits

2004-05 - $449,731,945
2005/06 - $483,326,883
2006/07 - $534,554,082
2007/08 - $550,015,882 (budget)
2008/09 - $553,745,090 (approved budget)

Instructional Staff Services

2004/05 - $14,991,512
2005/06 - $16,258,660
2006/07 - $18,259,790
2007/08 - $17,811,750 (budget)
2008/09 - $17,819,373 (approved budget)

School Administration

2004/05 - $53,520,750
2005/06 - $56,705,573
2006/07 - $62,384,553
2007/08 - $64,385,241 (budget)
2008/09 - $70,198,544 (approved budget)

Enrollment (Decreases)

2005/06 - 102,330
2006/07 - 101,853
2007/08 - 100,526
2008/09 - 99,893
2009/10 - 97,800

Go to
http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/superintendent/budget/index.html.

Download the budget books.
Compare costs.
Demand accountability.

Anonymous said...

Debra White's true title is Assistant Area Superintendent for Region III (Clarkston) rather than miscellaneous.

Cerebration said...

Thanks for the clarification. The data online has her listed as "misc" -- with a salary of $111,970 and expenses of $1,861.52 last year. She is #60 on the list of top salaries.

In fact there are 207 people making over $100k, and an additional 100+ making over $95k.

Not bad I guess, for over 13,000 employees (including part time, subs, etc) But comparing DCSS to other school systems, we fund many more positions at the top - and don't spend as much in the classroom. That's the point of this post and the research by Kim and Ella.

Cerebration said...

hey psc, I took some time to check data at the very informative State website you gave us the link to

http://app3.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fin_pack_revenue.entry_form

Interesting bottom line numbers (2008 per FTE total expenditure)

Clayton $8145. ($396 Gen Admin/$443 School Admin)
Gwinnett $8338. ($467 Gen Admin/$576 School Admin)
Cobb $8816. ($284 Gen Admin/$506 School Admin)
Fulton $9746. ($483 Gen Admin/$574 School Admin)
DeKalb $9896. ($480 Gen Admin/$663 School Admin)
Atlanta $13,710 ($2791 Gen Admin/$580 School Admin)
Decatur $13,443 ($760 Gen Admin/$1157 School Admin)

Especially interesting to note - back in 2004, we only spent $7827 per FTE ($250 Gen Admin/$540 school Admin) and in 2005, we spent $7914 per FTE, but the admin cost per FTE dropped to $243 Gen Admin/$550 school admin)

Wow, how we've blossomed under Dr. Lewis' leadership. No wonder he is having to make so many cuts - it will be hard to just get back to where we were.

But what the heck - Atlanta PS spends over $2,700 per FTE on General Administration -- and their super was named Best of the Year! (I would wage a guess that her massive staff helped her look good.)

Kim Gokce said...

I suspected there was not enough rigor in how this data is gathered, classified, and then reported to the state. From job titles errors to flat out omissions, I really question the validity of the data. It is still a good exercise to crawl through it, though. Who knows, if we actually use the data, perhaps those involved will more carefully report it in the future.

On a completely un-related note, APS and Decatur are giving places like Woodward and Marist a run for the parents money ...

Jason said...

Speaking of the $100k club, is Uladia Taylor still on staff in purchasing? Seems like she is more famous for her side businesses running a real estate auction house and freelance auctioneering. Seems like that is also a profitable occupation but where does she find the time for both? My apologies if she is no longer collecting from dcss, I was looking at the 2008 salaries.

Anonymous said...

Kim, I wonder what you mean by this statement: "On a completely un-related note, APS and Decatur are giving places like Woodward and Marist a run for the parents money ...?"

I don't think APS or Decatur have made any significant improvements in middle or high schools. Grady is definitely the crown jewel of APS, but it is only one school. I have always wondered about SAT and ACT scores from the private schools but I did not think they published them.

Cerebration said...

I'm assuming she is still there - according to the most recently posted data (2008) -

TAYLOR,ULADIA
FINANCE/BUSINESS PERSONNEL
$102,312.00 (salary) $907.64 (travel/exp)

If you are ever wondering about pay scales, the state provides that information online -

http://www.open.georgia.gov/.

Kim Gokce said...

@Anon: "Kim, I wonder what you mean by this statement: "On a completely un-related note, APS and Decatur are giving places like Woodward and Marist a run for the parents money ...?"

This is really late in response but I never noticed the question ... what I intended to get across was the "cost" per student. The amounts per pupil in Decatur and Atlanta Public are approaching the level of tuition as some of the highest reputation private schools around. Just thought that was interesting and a good point of reference ... it raises in my mind a general question about whether a "system" could ever educate our children as efficiently as an actual school.

This question troubles me deeply because I wonder if public education is always to be constrained in performance due to the amount of energy and resources devoted to running "the system" versus simply running a school.

My point is that in addition to all the other advantages many successful privates schools have (voluntary enrollment, competitive entrance, parental consent for discipline/code of conduct, etc.) they may also benefit greatly from not being part of "a system."

I realize schools like Woodward do have satellite schools like their Woodward North elementary but running one or two campuses is a far cry from managing "a system" like DCSS.

Is there any way to have a DCSS High School and its cluster be run quasi-independently from the central office? Perhaps the most successful ones do ... just musing.

Cerebration said...

Yes!! There are MANY of us who would advocate for breaking the system into smaller systems - and giving actual power and budgets to the smaller systems. We are already set up - in two ways - in areas served by Area Superintendents or in the Regions designed by the committee who was asked to formulate regional design plans. So far - Dr Lewis maintains a tight rein on the whole system... I cannot see that area supers have much power whatsoever.

atl said...

It appears you are including principal's salaries in your Administration cost analysis. If so, that makes an apples to apples comparison of DeKalb Administrative costs to other school systems very difficult. DeKalb County Schools has more schools than any other system in the state of Georgia. Each one of those schools has a principal, information systems support, transportation support, etc. The sheer number of so many schools boosts the number and cost of administration. Consolidating schools is a very difficult measure politically speaking. Parent groups then become involved wanting to keep their school open, etc. Reducing the number of schools could go a long way in administrative cost reduction.

Cerebration said...

If principals are included, they are included for all counties in the comparison. If DeKalb has more principals, then of course, they will spend more on principals. However, there are many schools that can easily be consolidated to whittle down this number - and they are implementing some of these consolidations, for instance Heritage School (with only about 45 students and it's own principal) is being consolidated with M Harris - however, more can be done. For example, Avondale HS is absorbing DSA, but each will have it's own principal. Avondale only has 700 students and DSA only has 285.

Additionally, we have many "special" schools with their own staffs - DeKalb Alternative (213 students), DK Early College (215 students), PATH Academy (281 students), Transition Academy (108 students), DK Truancy (40 students), Destiny Academy (99 students), Gateway to College (100 students), Wadsworth Magnet (187 students), Avondale MS (527 students w/capacity for 1134), McNair MS (805 students w/capacity for 1368), and Cross Keys (engineered to have only 859 w/capacity for 1239) which is scheduled to merge with the HS of Technology North (will they retain their own principal after the merge ala DSA?). Many other schools are severely under-capacity and could be combined with others. DeKalb chooses not to do that. It costs a lot more money.

In addition - we could save millions by eliminating the block and returning the requirement for a diploma to 23 credits instead of 24. (The block schedule now offers students 32 credits over 4 years - way over the top!)

Kim Gokce said...

For the figures I reported, principal salaries are attributed to the school overhead, not "Admin."

Kim Gokce said...

For those who are curious how all titles were attributed for this analysis, here is the entire list I used for DCSS (in two part posts):

PART I:

2 SPECIAL EDUCATION INTERRELATED school
3 ADAPTED PHYS ED TEACHER school
4 AFTER-SCHOOL school
5 AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM WORKER admin
6 ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL DIRECTOR school
7 ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL admin
8 ATHLETICS DIRECTOR admin
9 ATHLETICS PERSONNEL school
10 AUDIOLOGIST admin
11 AUDITOR admin
12 BOOKKEEPER admin
13 BUS DRIVER admin
14 BUSINESS SERV SECRETARY/CLERK admin
15 CENTRAL SUPPORT admin
16 CENTRAL SUPPORT CLERK admin
17 CONSTRUCTION MANAGER admin
18 CUSTODIAL PERSONNEL school
19 DEPUTY/ASSOC/ASSISTANT SUPT admin
20 DIAGNOSTICIAN admin
21 DIRECTOR OF CHILD SERVE admin
22 DIRECTOR OF CURRICULUM/INSTR admin
23 DIRECTOR OF GLRS admin
24 DIRECTOR OF MEDIA SERVICES admin
25 DIRECTOR OF PSYCHO-ED PROG admin
26 DIRECTOR OF SCHOOL SAFETY admin
27 DIRECTOR OF STUDENT SERVICES admin
28 EARLY INTERVENTION admin
29 EARLY INTERVENTION PRIMARY admin
30 EARLY INTERVENTION PRIMARY TEACHER school
31 EARLY INTERVENTION TEACHER school
32 EIP 4TH AND 5TH GRADE TEACHER school
33 ELEMENTARY COUNSELOR school
34 ENTERPRISE TECHNICIAN admin
35 ESOL TEACHER school
36 EXTRA-CURRICULAR school
37 EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES school
38 FAMILY SERVICES admin
39 FAMILY SERVICES COORDINATOR admin
40 FINANCE/BUSINESS PERSONNEL admin
41 FINANCE/BUSINESS SERVICE MGR admin
42 FOOD SERVICE ADMINISTRATOR admin
43 GENERAL ADMIN admin
44 GENERAL ADMIN SECRETARY/CL admin
45 GENERAL ADMIN SECRETARY/CLERK admin
46 GIFTED school
47 GIFTED ELEMENTARY school
48 GIFTED ELEMENTARY TEACHER P-5 school
49 GIFTED HIGH school
50 GRADE 1 TEACHER school
51 GRADE 12 TEACHER school
52 GRADE 2 TEACHER school
53 GRADE 3 TEACHER school
54 GRADE 4 TEACHER school
55 GRADE 5 TEACHER school
56 GRADE 6 TEACHER school
57 GRADE 7 TEACHER school
58 GRADES 6-8 TEACHER school
59 GRADES 9-12 TEACHER school
60 GRADES K-5 TEACHER school
61 GRADUATION SPECIALIST school
62 HEARING OFFICER admin
63 HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELOR school
64 HOSPITAL/HOMEBOUND INSTRUCTOR school
65 HUMAN RESOURCES PERSONNEL admin
66 INFORMATION SERV admin
67 INFORMATION SERV PERSONNEL admin
68 INFORMATION SERVICES admin
69 INFORMATION SERVICES CLERK admin
70 INSTRUCTIONAL SPECIALIST P- admin
71 INSTRUCTIONAL SPECIALIST P-8 admin
72 INSTRUCTIONAL SUPERVISOR admin
73 INTERPRETER admin
74 IS PERSONNEL - FINANCE AND BUSINESS admin
75 IS PERSONNEL - FOOD SERVICE admin
76 IS PERSONNEL - GENERAL ADMIN admin
77 IS PERSONNEL - INSTRUCTION SERV admin
78 IS PERSONNEL - MAINTENANCE admin
79 IS PERSONNEL - OTHER SUPPORT admin
80 IS PERSONNEL - SUPPORT admin
81 IS PERSONNEL - SUPPORT SERV admin
82 IS PERSONNEL - TRANSPORTATION admin
83 KINDERGARTEN TEACHER school
84 LEGAL PERSONNEL admin
85 LIBRARIAN/MEDIA SPECIALIST school
86 LIBRARY/MEDIA school
87 LIBRARY/MEDIA SECRETARY/CL school
88 LIBRARY/MEDIA SECRETARY/CLERK school
89 LITERACY COACH school
90 LOTTERY PRE-SCHOOL school

Kim Gokce said...

Title assignments continued:

PART II

91 LOTTERY PRE-SCHOOL TEACHER school
92 MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL admin
93 MEMBER, BOARD OF EDUCATION admin
94 MIDDLE SCHOOL COUNSELOR school
95 MIDDLE SCHOOL EXPLOR school
96 MIDDLE SCHOOL EXPLOR TEACHER school
97 MILITARY SCIENCE school
98 MILITARY SCIENCE TEACHER school
99 MISCELLANEOUS ACTIVITIES admin
100 NURSING ASSISTANT / HEALTH TECH school
101 OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST school
102 ORIENT/MOBILITY SPECIALIST school
103 OTHER INSTRUCTIONA school
104 OTHER INSTRUCTIONAL PROVIDER school
105 OTHER TRANSPORTATI admin
106 OTHER TRANSPORTATION admin
107 PARAPRO PERSONNEL - school
108 PARAPRO PERSONNEL - PRE-K school
109 PARAPROFESSIONAL/TEACHE school
110 PARAPROFESSIONAL/TEACHER AIDE school
111 PARENT COORDINATOR admin
112 PERSONNEL/HUMAN RESOURCES DIR admin
113 PHYSICAL THERAPIST school
114 PLANNING/EVALUATION PERSONNEL admin
115 PLANT OPERATIONS admin
116 PLANT OPERATIONS DIRECTOR/MGR admin
117 PLANT OPERATIONS SEC/CLERK admin
118 PRESCHOOL SPECIAL ED school
119 PRESCHOOL SPECIAL ED TEACHER school
120 PRINCIPAL school
121 PSYCH-ED PARAPRO/TEACHER AIDE school
122 PSYCHO-ED SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST school
123 PSYCHO-ED SCHOOL SEC/CLERK school
124 PSYCHO-ED SPEC ED SPECIALIST school
125 PSYCHO-EDUCATIONAL school
126 PSYCHO-EDUCATIONAL TEACHER school
127 PUBLIC RELATIONS PERSONNEL admin
128 RECREATIONAL THERAPIST school
129 RESEARCH PERSONNEL admin
130 RVI TEACHER school
131 SCHOOL FOOD SERVICE school
132 SCHOOL FOOD SERVICE MANAGER school
133 SCHOOL FOOD SERVICE WORKER school
134 SCHOOL NURSE school
135 SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST school
136 SCHOOL SECRETARY/CL school
137 SCHOOL SECRETARY/CLERK school
138 SCHOOL SOCIAL school
139 SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKER school
140 SECRETARY school
141 SECURITY PERSONNEL/SE school
142 SECURITY PERSONNEL/SECURITY school
143 SECURITY PERSONNEL/SECURITY OFFICER school
144 SOCIAL WORKER ASSISTANT school
145 SPECIAL ED PARAPRO/AIDE school
146 SPECIAL EDUCATION school
147 SPECIAL EDUCATION COUNSELOR school
148 SPECIAL EDUCATION DIRECTOR admin
149 SPECIAL EDUCATION NURSE school
150 SPECIAL EDUCATION PARAPROFESSIONAL - AGES 3 school
151 SPECIAL EDUCATION PARAPROFESSIONAL - AGES 3 TO 5 school
152 SPECIAL EDUCATION SECRETARY/CLERK admin
153 SPECIAL EDUCATION SPECIALIST admin
154 SPEECH-LANGUAGE school
155 SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST school
156 STAFF DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST admin
157 STUDENT CLERK/AIDE school
158 SUBSTITUTE TEACHER school
159 SUPERINTENDENT admin
160 SUPERINTENDENT SECRETARY admin
161 SUPPORT SERV SECRETARY/CLERK admin
162 TEACHER OF AUTISTIC STUDENTS school
163 TEACHER OF EMOTIONAL/BEHAVIORAL school
164 TEACHER OF HEARING IMPAIRED STUDENT school
165 TEACHER OF MILD INTELLECTUAL school
166 TEACHER OF MODERATE school
167 TEACHER OF MODERATE INTELLECTUAL school
168 TEACHER OF ORTHOPEDIC IMPAIRED school
169 TEACHER OF OTHER HEALTH IMPAIRED school
170 TEACHER OF SEVERE INTELLECTUAL school
171 TEACHER OF SPECIFIC LEARNING school
172 TEACHER OF VISUALLY IMPAIRED school
173 TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR admin
174 TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST school
175 TRANSPORTATION DIRECTOR/MGR admin
176 TRANSPORTATION MECHANIC admin
177 TRANSPORTATION SEC/CLERK admin
178 VOCATIONAL admin
179 VOCATIONAL DIRECTOR admin
180 WAREHOUSEMAN admin
181 YOUTH APPRENTICESHIP DIRECTOR admin

Kim Gokce said...

Let me reiterate what I "iterated" in my original article ... I welcome anyone's input on these classifications because I claim no special knowledge. On the contrary, they were best guesses based on what I knew at the time.

For example, I now know that the title, "BOOKKEEPER," probably refers to in-school admin resources and arguable needs to be moved. Will these re-classifications change the basic view? Not sure but my gut tells me we'd have to have a whole lot of mis-classifications to make up the enormous divide.

Transportation is likely a big one with the number of bus drivers but even in this case it's less than $10 million out of a total of $682,709,025.22 ... this move of bus drivers to the overhead of the schools would reduce the ratio from 24% to 21% ... still over 2 times the Fulton figures.

I'm all for refining these numbers for accuracy but it does seem that the order of magnitude will only change marginally.

Ella Smith said...

The block schedule is costing way too much and it also is costing us as it does not give us the same amount of time in the classroom. It affects the achievement scores. Block needs to go. The schools in the county without block schedule are the schools with the highest scores.

atl said...

Even if principals are not included in the Admin figures, the above average number of schools still skew the data. More bus drivers (and therefore transportation planners and supervisors), more technical support personnel (and therefore more expensive network personnel, infrastructure maintenance personnel, and supervisors), etc. are required for the above average number of schools that DeKalb currently has. Rezoning and reducing the number of schools would lay the groundwork for reducing the administrative services that are required. Now whether DeKalb will reduce the number of administrative personnel after that consolidation is done is another matter entirely. But at least the argument for excessive non-teaching personnel will be much less compelling. Another suggestion that would go a long way would be that a more substantial percentage of education dollars must be spent in direct classroom instruction. The state legislature and Purdue passed a law recommending that school systems spend a certain percent of educational dollars in direct classroom instruction in order to qualify for state funding, however they refused to mandate this. Until they mandate that the bulk of school system spending goes to direct classroom instruction, school systems will continue to allocate resources as they see fit.

Kim Gokce said...

So, I suppose all of this begs the question ...

What system should DeKalb be bench marked against for overhead management, spending per pupil and financial efficiency?

Let's get 1 or 2 comparable systems and start tracking our performance.

Cerebration said...

Here's an example of administrative overkill in one building -- Avondale HS. We now have DSA and Avondale under the same roof - in order to bring the number of students in the building up to a more acceptable level to the state. (Avondale has a little over 700 students; DSA has 285 from 8th-12th).

However, these schools function completely separately - so we are paying for 2 principals, 2 sets of APs, 2 sets of counselors, etc. All we save on is the cafeteria and janitorial staff.

Why is it that Chamblee HS can function with one principal? How about SW DeKalb? Arabia? These are schools that have magnet programs within the regular programs too - however, they only seem to need one principal.

We also have principals for very small programs - like Destiny Academy (100 students), Gateway to College (100), DK Alternative (213), Transition Academy (108), DK Truancy (40), and sadly, Wadsworth, which still can manage to grow to 200 students. (This could return to a program within a school...)

A simple formula should be created that only allows for a certain amount of spending per pupil. Period. If schools want or need to spend more (I think Destiny's per pupil cost is over $13,000 per), then the funding must come from somewhere else - like the state or county (juvenile delinquent budget.) Or as in the case of DSA, private resources.

The inequity in spending per pupil must end.

Anonymous said...

Why does our Board of Education allow and enable such incredible administrative bloat and then allow bus drivers to have their salary cut 29%? It's immoral.

Cerebration said...

Here is the new data for 2009 (from the state's reporting site)

TOTAL FTE -- 98,142 (this is the official number of students reported to the state)

Local Revenues - $558,495,261.6 (from your property tax bill)

State Revenues - $357,217,044.80 (from your state income tax)

Federal Revenues - $77,227,391.15 (from your payroll taxes, etc)

Per FTE -- (per student breakdown)

LOCAL - $5,690.69 (56.25%)
STATE - $3,639.80 (35.98%)
FEDERAL - $786.89 (7.78%)

TOTAL REVENUES
$992,939,697.56

PER STUDENT REVENUE
$10,117.38

Click here to run your own reports -

http://app3.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fin_pack_revenue.entry_form

Cerebration said...

FWIW - here's the historical per student REVENUE - in the last 5 years - since Lewis has been at the helm -

2005 - $8,094.94 per student
2006 - $9,047.33
2007 - $9,939.25
2008 - $10,232.95
2009 - $10,117.38

So - as you can see, after years of approx 10% annual increases, the per student REVENUE went down last year.

Cerebration said...

In addition to the revenue the state provides expenditures at the same website.

Of the nearly billion dollar 2009 budget, DCSS reported that $ 610,801,035.69 went for instruction ($6,223.65 per student)

It is further broken down as such -

$30,988,419.82 pupil services (315.75 per)
$65,844,213.88 staff services (670.91 per)
$ 49,159,244.61 general admin (500.90 per)
$64,381,155.07 school admin (656.00 per)
$47,156,678.90 transportation (480.49 per)
$82,559,837.61 maintenance & Ops (841.23 per)

Which now all only adds up to $9,688.93 per student in total. (According to REVENUE - they collect $10,117.38 per student.)

What's missing? Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

Last night Channel 2 news reported that the teachers were told that DCSS is facing a $56M budget shortfall.

Which budget year are they talking about? The remainder of this year or next year? I anticipated that there would be a much larger shortfall for the 2010-2011 year based on what Burrell Ellis has been predicting relative to drops in anticipated tax revenues and property tax collections.

greenie said...

Should a new thread be started and link to this discussion??

The $56 million budget cut that they already know about is the amount the state is cutting from the annual allocation. Added to more than $100 million already cut in past 2-3 years. Local taxes will also be lost based on devaluation of property.
the school tax portion of the property tax bill is separate from the "county operations" part of the bill for which Ellis wants to increase the mil rate.
School board does not anticipate increasing the mil rate on the school tax part of property bills (which is the larger part of our bill)
So, DCSS WILL have another budget cut as well - related to whatever decrease occurs b/c of lower prop. values.

greenie said...

Anonymous -
this is in reference to the 2010-2011 budget - state and schools are on a July 1-June 30 calendar, I'm pretty sure

Anonymous said...

This probably needs to be updates.
Here is a comparison between 2004 salaries and 2009 salaries:
2004 salary 2009 salary
LEWIS,CRAWFORD $112,074 $287,991.63
REID,PATRICIA A $100,010 $197,592.50
CALLAWAY,FRANKIE B $106,698 $165,035.69
MOSELEY,ROBERT G $106,698 $165,035.69
TALLEY,GLORIA S no data available $165,035.69
TURK,MARCUS T $75,558 $165,035.69
TYSON,RAMONA H $99,960 $165,035.69
WILSON,JAMIE L $85,502 $165,035.69
SATTARI,DARYUSH $49,451 $147,539.80
MITCHELL,FELICIA M $96,354 $125,284.87
FREEMAN,TIMOTHY W $106,598 $124,049.27
GILLIARD,WANDA S $102,594 $124,049.27
THOMPSON,ALICE A $99,960 $124,049.27
NORRIS-BOUIE,WENDOLYN $100,060 $122,345.84
DUNSON,HORACE C $90,606 $122,195.84
SEGOVIS,TERRY M $93,888 $122,195.84
SIMPSON,RALPH L $95,826 $122,195.84
WHITE,DEBRA A $90,426 $122,195.84
RHODES,CHERYL L $88,804 $121,202.40
FREEMAN,SUSAN L $85,578 $120,844.00