Sunday, January 24, 2010

But Wait! There's More!

This just in... Well, a couple of hours ago. An alert reader clued us in to the latest AJC report by Tim Eberly.

Moody's role in DeKalb construction case a twisting tale

A Lithonia construction company owner caught up in a DeKalb County criminal investigation into school construction projects heads a committee that oversees such projects, documents show.

David Moody, owner of C.D. Moody Construction Company, has been chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee since August 2008 and has served on the committee since July 2008, documents show.

The committee monitors construction projects, primarily focusing on whether the projects are on time and under budget. The committee informs the DeKalb school board of any delays or overruns, but does not get directly involved in the projects.

School officials do not plan to remove Moody as the group’s chairman — no criminal charges have been filed against him — but some members of the oversight committee are questioning whether he should remain while the investigation continues.

Moody is one of three business owners or businesses being scrutinized by the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office in its criminal investigation of the district’s former chief operating officer, Patricia Pope.

Authorities are probing whether Pope broke Georgia law by allegedly steering construction contracts to her husband, architect Tony Pope, Moody and a third company, Turner Construction, according to school district documents. In October, authorities searched the homes and offices of Moody and the Popes.

Pat Pope is friends with Moody and officials at Turner Construction, her husband has told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Moody, who declined to comment for this article, has worked on 19 DeKalb school construction projects since 2003, collecting nearly $40 million, documents show. All those projects had been completed by the time Moody joined the board, according to Garet Hayes, a public relations specialist who spoke to the AJC on Moody’s behalf.

Moody has previously said through Hayes that he is cooperating in the investigation.

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Click the link above for the rest of the story. And then, if you still have energy, come back and discuss your thoughts. (This is all wearing very, very thin.)

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

"David Moody, owner of C.D. Moody Construction Company, has been chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee since August 2008 and has served on the committee since July 2008, documents show.
School officials do not plan to remove Moody as the group’s chairman — no criminal charges have been filed against him — but some members of the oversight committee are questioning whether he should remain while the investigation continues."

HOW IN THE HECK IS THIS GUY STILL CHAIR?

I do not understand the Crawford Lewis administration and our BOE. pat Pope is under criminal investigation, yet is still on payroll making $200,000 per.

Moody is under investigation, but still chair of the most second most important committee behind the BOE.

Is Lewis that incredibly passive-aggressive?

This is absolute madness.

Anonymous said...

I just lost all the respect I had for Tom Bowen. I thought he was intelligent and ethical, and he's not.

And Moody is insane with no personal ethics saying he still plans to bid for school projects.


"Bowen said he first met Moody in late 2001, during his first school board campaign.
Bowen said a mutual friend referred him to Moody, saying Moody was one of the “key business leaders in the district.”
“They said, ‘If you’re going to run for office, I think this is someone you should know,’ ” Bowen said.
The men stayed in touch over the years.
Moody plans to continue to bid on construction projects while he is on the committee, and would recuse himself if any of his future school projects were reviewed by the group, Hayes said."

Anonymous said...

This is what makes it totally insane for Moody to still be chair of the CAC, with Bowen's clueless approval: This investigation was brought forward by Superintendent Crawford Lewis!

Lewis says in the article that Moody is to remain chair, even though Lewis brought forth to the DA information that linked David Moody to the criminal investigation??!!

What planet do these clowns live on??

Andrea said...

Wow...what happened to avoiding even the appearance of wrongdoing? I guess I am old school on that point because Moody should have resigned his position and/or DCSS should have not allowed him to serve on that committee. The hits just keep on coming...

Anonymous said...

Andrea, you're not old school. You just have common sense. In no organization is it ethical to have someone who bids on your contracts to head a citizen's commitee that oversees those projects, let alone having that person as chair while he is part of a criminal investigation that your organization brought forward to legal authorities.

It is pretty obvious, with the Gene Walker Development Authority situation, that our Board of Education and Superintendent, despite their age and experience, need to have some extensive ethics and morals training.

Anonymous said...

Bus Driver Boycott in the mix!

After this last letter to the Principal from Crawford Lewis announcing even more cuts in tansportation, the bus drivers have had enough.

Bus drivers are the most vital part in our children's education yet they are the least paid.

Parent get prepared. Do you know how many kids ride the bus to school.

This is going to be horrible, but I understand why the bus drivers are doing what they are doing.

Anonymous said...

"Bus drivers are the most vital part in our children's education . . ."

Uh, I don't think so.

I value bus drivers, I rely on bus drivers . . . but my kids' teachers are the most vital part of their education.

Let's not allow hyperbole to get in the way of a reasoned discussion.

Anonymous said...

No Anon

They are the most vital part for if a child can not get to school how can the teachers teach them.

Children in dekalb must live more than 1.8 miles from the school to get transportation services so the distance is too far to walk.

Bus drivers are like the feet of the body where as the teachers are the head or brain. Chop off the feet and the body can not stand.

That is not hyperbole, nor is it underminding the teachers. You have clearly missed the whole point of the statement.

But rest assured if they do go on strive you will truly see my point especially if your child rides the bus to school

Anonymous said...

But rest assured if they do go on strive you will truly see my point especially if your child rides the bus to school

Carpools.

Anonymous said...

Carpools that is cute!

Carpools are great for some but not for all.

Though you make lite of the bus driver plight it is very serious.

Anonymous said...

Anon
I agree with you. I dont have the luxery of carpooling my kids. I drive to the Marta shuttle to save on gas.

Then what happens when my kids get out of school. I am still at work.

Carpools will not work for everyone. And for those that do how long are you going to pay gas and taxes for transporting your kids to and from school.

I get your point Anon. Bus drivers are the most vital part of our childrens education.

If they cant get to school how can they be taught.

This is scaring me already.

Anonymous said...

I heard the same thing at church Sunday. Does GAE/ODE represent the bus drivers too or do they have a separate union?

Anonymous said...

This is amusing. Anonymous is posting and answering himself/herself.

Anonymous said...

Bus drivers are important and many are beloved. But the academics part of the school ssytem trumps everything else. The schools exist for education. Bus drivers, maintenance, school resources officers, etc. are very important, but they are support services. The Lewis administration has overly built up support services with too many administrators.

The focus needs to be on academics first. I'm all for paying bus drivers a competitive salary, but don't forget academics first.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous represents many people Anon so please dont be silly.

And I dont think Anon is putting the bus drivers over academics. What is happening to the bus drivers is not good but they are important. If they strike it will affect a lot of students that will not be able to get to school.

Anonymous said...

If they strike it will affect a lot of students that will not be able to get to school.

And then the bus drivers will be out of a job. I am sure that the administration can easily and quickly fill any open positions.

Anonymous said...

Would you trust your child on a bus with someone just hired. There is a training process with a full background and drug test. This takes time. Do you not realize how many bus drivers/routes in place. Dont forget we are on a 3-tier system so that driver transports elmetary, middle and high schools.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of laid-off bus drivers around the metro area that I am sure would love to be employed.

Your Neighbor said...

Last Wednesday -- thanks to this website -- I sent an email to each member of the DCSS BoE. I sent the emails individually. And I asked each BoE member to explore eliminating waste in the DCSS central office before considering any reductions in teacher pay or any increase in property taxes.

This afternoon I received my FIRST (!!!) and ONLY (so far) response from a BoE member.

Sarah Copelin-Wood replied to my email!!!! (Woo-hoo!!!)

Her response:

"I was not present at the vote on Dr. Lewis raise and I did not support it."

Not exactly responsive to my email. But, hey, beggars (i.e., taxpayers) can't be chosers....

No response yet from ANY of her fellow BoE members. But I'll let you know if I ever hear from any of them.

fedupindcss said...

I don't think the bus drivers have a union. GA is a right-to-work state, so if they walk out they take a chance that they will lose their jobs. And, the honest truth is that there are lots of unemployed people out there who would take those jobs.

But as has been pointed out, there is a long training process/background check for this position. It is a harrowing job, with a lot of responsibility, and you need a special driver's license to operate a bus. It also has a high turnover (really, think about how pissed you get at your own kids in the backseat). If DCSS wants to make a stand and replace them all, go ahead, but it will be a PR nightmare for them.

Then again, they seem immune to the threat of bad PR.

Anonymous said...

You don't think that bus drivers walking off the job leaving students stranded won't be a PR nightmare for them? In this economy?

Anonymous said...

Oh Yea of Little faith! Do you really think dekalb, as sorry as they are would let the bus drivers get to the point of a strike.

As a parent I can not wait for my kids to get out of the house and to school. Do you think I am going to sit back and let my kids be at home bored and working my nerves!

I am an at home mom, but I dont drive. My husband goes to work at 6:00 in the morning

Parent would really get off the tuff to keep this from happening because it affect them to close to home

No Duh said...

I thought the bus perimeter was one mile and they proposed to up it to 1.5 miles last year and then dropped that with the creation of the "hub system." Even that small increase could save a pretty penny for us.

Dekalbparent said...

The bus drivers can join ODE if they want to.
I believe ODE is discouraging any sort of strike, sick-out or other such action on the part of anyone because of the negative effect it would have on the students and those who took the action.

Anonymous said...

We've gotten off topic in so far as the hen(Moody)guarding the hen house. The people that serve on the advisory committee are appointed by a BoE member aren't they? I'd like to know which BoE member appointed Moody to the panel in the first place. It's definitely time for that BoE member to go.

Speaking of striking bus drivers; I grew up going to school in MI and you could pretty much count on starting the year late or getting a week off due to the teachers going on strike. I'm not a fan of unions but I can assure they were effective in getting their point across and settling differences very quickly when thousands of kids weren't in class. I'm surprised a strike hasn't happened or been mentioned before now.

Anonymous said...

If the bus drivers walk out or strike, I question their care for the children. No one in DCSS would have their jobs if there weren't any children.

The people that work with the kids in the school house, as Lewis likes to say, needs to be good role models for the children and show them that someone really does care. It's obvious that the people in charge (Lewis and the school board) are not there for the kids, so we have to be bigger people, give the kids a happy face, but walking off the job will only hurt the kids and not Lewis and the school board.

Bus drivers: Lewis and his cronies, and the school board don't care about you, but the kids do and they matter more than anything.

Dekalbparent said...

From the AJC article:




"Moody was appointed to the committee by school board chairman Tom Bowen, who described Moody as a friendly acquaintance. Each school board member and the board chairman appoint two people to the committee.

Bowen said he first met Moody in late 2001, during his first school board campaign.

Bowen said a mutual friend referred him to Moody, saying Moody was one of the “key business leaders in the district.”

“They said, ‘If you’re going to run for office, I think this is someone you should know,’ ” Bowen said.

The men stayed in touch over the years.

“We’ve talked on the phone,” Bowen said. “I would say we probably communicate a couple times a year, usually by e-mail or a phone call.”

Bowen said he appointed Moody to the committee because he is one of the area’s most successful businessmen and also lives in DeKalb County.

Unless Moody is charged with or found guilty of a crime, Bowen has no plans to ask him to step down.

“In the event that the investigation turns a different way, I would have to revisit the appointment,” he said."

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:13, none other than the Chair of the Board of Education, Tom Bowen, appointed David Moody to the school construction committee. Tom is a smart, likeable guy, but it is unfathomable that he appointed someone who still regularly bids on school construction projects to the school construction committee.


"Bowen said he first met Moody in late 2001, during his first school board campaign.
Bowen said a mutual friend referred him to Moody, saying Moody was one of the “key business leaders in the district.”
“They said, ‘If you’re going to run for office, I think this is someone you should know,’ ” Bowen said.
The men stayed in touch over the years.
Moody plans to continue to bid on construction projects while he is on the committee, and would recuse himself if any of his future school projects were reviewed by the group, Hayes said."

Cerebration said...

Hi all - wow! What a lively chat!

I agree that it's insane for David Moody to act as chairperson of a committee that has been put in place to watch over the SPLOST construction tax dollars. $40 million of which has already gone to -- David Moody!

Then - as someone pointed out - we have Pat Pope under a criminal investigation for bid-rigging - and Moody is part of that investigation.

And - Dr. Lewis is the one who asked for these investigations -- but is also the one to give Pat Pope a contract extension and has refused to ask Moody to step aside as chair of the CAC.

It's madness!

Anonymous said...

The ONLY way it would be ethical for David Moody to even be on the school construction committee, let alone chair, is for him to sign a document stating he will not do any business with the school system while he's on the committee.

It's either/or, Mr Moody. Either you're on the committee and you don't do busines with DCSS. Or you're not on the committee and you do bid for DCSS contracts.

Simply amazing that Crawford, Tom Bowen and the rest of the BOE don't see the incredible conflict of interest. Half of the BOE doesn't have a problem with nepotism, so that is an example of the view of professional ethics.

DCSS - An easy place to get a job if you have have a family or friend at the Central Office.

Cerebration said...

Well, there's the little issue of what has Vince Pope in trouble. He may not actually BID and WIN a contract, but he could easily be hired as a sub-contractor by a contractor friend like HJ Russell for instance.

It just isn't passing the smell test, IMO.

Cerebration said...

Bus drivers, I hate to say what I'm about to say. I have loved all of my children's bus drivers over the years.

But in reality, bus drivers have been excluded from the Comprehensive Restructuring Plan and from furloughs. They haven't actually endured a pay cut - just a cut in the extra routes worked. This is due to eliminating door to door magnet transportation and sharing the number of field trips, etc more equitably. No one has lost their basic neighborhood route nor had an hourly pay cut.

According the DCSS, the bus drivers have actually had money added to their retirement plans. On top of that, DeKalb's bus drivers are very well-paid when compared to other metro counties. They have the highest starting hourly rate of $15.39 and they top out at the second highest pay for veteran drivers - $20.93 per hour. Health benefits and a retirement pension are on top of this. (Not many people out in the job world are getting retirement pensions, BTW.)

All in all, I think the bus drivers are walking a slippery slope when threatening to strike. You are not unionized and do not have job protection - you could easily lose your jobs. I'd really be sad to see that happen - you guys are terrific, hard-working people.

Times are tough - most of us are taking some serious financial hits. (In my family, it's been substantial, believe me.) I stand by my defense of teachers and teachers only. They have given enough. And yes, I'm sorry, but they truly are the most important members of the DCSS. No question.

Dr Lewis and the board need to make cuts elsewhere. Transportation has been cut nearly tot the bone, but in reality, there is the possibility of eliminating even the hub system. There is still room in the administration, security, IT, Gloria's army and Sam Moss. Keep looking. Lopping it off the teacher's backs is far too easy. You need to work a little harder.

Anonymous said...

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-schools-fined-30-283200.html

DeKalb schools fined $30,000By Megan Matteucci


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

6:14 p.m. Monday, January 25, 2010

DeKalb County schools have been fined $30,000 for draining muddy water into a Dunwoody stream and other environmental violations while building an elementary school.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Environmental Protection Division issued the fine against the school system earlier this month for multiple infractions during the construction of the Dunwoody-Chamblee Elementary School on Womack Road.

The fine comes as the school system is considering a decrease in teachers’ salaries, closing magnet schools and cutting other programs to meet a $56 million deficit.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained the order in which the school system was cited for violating the state’s Water Quality Control Act. The order is addressed to Patricia Pope, former school chief operating officer, who is the subject of a criminal investigation by the DeKalb district attorney for bid tampering.

Reached at her home Monday afternoon, Pope declined comment.

DeKalb schools spokesman Dale Davis said the fine was paid by the contractor, the architectural firm and the geotechnical firm hired by the district.

"The school district paid these firms to manage the storm water properly," Davis said in a statement. “Since they didn't, it was their responsibility."

EPD officials inspected the school construction site in April after receiving a complaint from Joe Hirsch, who lives near the school.

“I observed an obvious erosion problem,” Hirsch told the AJC. “Dunwoody and Pat Pope said it was fine, but I kept seeing mud wash into the street.”

EPD inspectors found muddy water draining into a nearby stream and sediment traps filled with mud, according to the order. They also found hay and other debris near the waterway. State law requires all construction debris be kept 25 feet from all waterways.

The EPD also cited the school system for not having a proper erosion control plan for the project. The school system also did not maintain inspection reports and rain logs, as required by law, according to the state agency.

Inspectors also foundthe district had been building the school without a valid storm water permit from August 2008 to April 2009.

On Monday, Hirsch said the construction is complete and the drainage problems havebeen addressed.

“I’m glad it’s over and see it as an unfortunate waste of school monies and time,” he said. “None of this would have happened if Pat Pope would have just done her job. I wasn’t trying to get anybody in trouble. I just wanted to see the mud stop washing off the property.”

In addition to the fine, the school system spent about $30,000 on lawyers and environmental consultants to fight the EPD violations, according to school system invoices.

Anonymous said...

1) Dale Davis is a pompus, Crawford butt kissing jerk:
""The school district paid these firms to manage the storm water properly," Davis said in a statement. “Since they didn't, it was their responsibility."

2) The firms worked for you DCSS and Crawford! You have a responsibility to make sure they are abing by the law!

Crawford Lewis and his administration pass the blame unlike anything I've ever seen before.

Anonymous said...

Nice job DCSS. You want your students and teachers to abide by policies, but you can't do the same yourself.

"The EPD also cited the school system for not having a proper erosion control plan for the project. The school system also did not maintain inspection reports and rain logs, as required by law, according to the state agency.
Inspectors also foundthe district had been building the school without a valid storm water permit from August 2008 to April 2009."

Anonymous said...

Did you see this? This is the worst part:

"In addition to the fine, the school system spent about $30,000 on lawyers and environmental consultants to fight the EPD violations, according to school system invoices."

THEY ARE IDIOTS!!!

Cerebration said...

So - the idiots spent $30,000 on legal fees to fight a $30,000 fine. Who's bright idea exactly was that?

It does align with the $14+ million they've spent fighting a $500,000 lawsuit filed by Heery Mitchell.

Who is so tight with these lawyers?

Sadly though, Megan the writer does need to be told that this statement is misleading -

The fine comes as the school system is considering a decrease in teachers’ salaries, closing magnet schools and cutting other programs to meet a $56 million deficit.

The construction money ALL comes from the penny sales tax called SPLOST. I highly doubt if this effects the actual operating budget - which is a totally separate budget and the one that needs to be cut. SPLOST on the other hand, HAS to spend what they collect on construction and school improvements as promised.

This is much ado about not much. Construction projects very often end up with fines for erosion due to poor silt fencing. You messed up. Just pay it. Besides - didn't we have a whole lotta rain last year?

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is that is tremendous waste and mismanagement in the DeKalb system. And the only way the county wants to fix it has the greatest impact on the school house. Bus drivers, teachers and classified personnel are always the least listened to. Bus drivers are human too!
Can you imagine the costs to the system to keep all the small special prorams running? Each with principals, ass't princ, counselors, secretaries, media specialists, etc...all over this country and only serving a few students? Never mind that all principals and some assistant principals work 12 months? that is two months with no kids! Plus the multi-layered support system at the county level.

Cerebration said...

Right. Examples: Avondale and DSA each have their own principal and admin staff (total about 800-900 kids)

Open Campus and DeKalb Early College Academy each have their own principal and admin staff (total about 700-800 kids)

Destiny Academy - with far less than 100 students has it's own building and it's own principal and admin staff

Wadsworth ES - with far less than 200 students has it's own building and it's own principal and admin staff

Does the HS of Technology North still have their own principal or do they share Cross Keys? (The website still lists the principal as Vivian H. Terry)

How about DeKalb Night School? With 60-100 students, they have their own principal and staff - separate from DeKalb Alternative School!

Same for DeKalb Transition Academy (140-160 students)

Same for DeKalb Truancy School, with 7th, 8th, 9th,
Enrollment: 50

Anonymous said...

This is for all the parents that think Bus Drivers are not important. Drivers earn every check that they receive and more. Every driver out there has to get a cdl which is just the start, they have to attend classes and be trained on the road with children. Parents depend on them to take and bring there children back home to them. I worked with drivers for many years and found most of them to be good people. If you think that they can just get some one off the street to drive your kids around, then you must not love your children. Have you watch the news lately? Myself I want the system to do back ground checks and know who is driving my grand children around. so when you say that there are plenty people out there to drive the buses ask yourself have these people been checked and can they drive. Are better yet why don't you drive a bus. There is more to it than just siting in that seat and just think you have (60) kids that you are also having to make sure they get home safetly. They can't pay the drivers what they should because they have to pay admin. the top pay.

Anonymous said...

Add Kittridge to the list of high cost, "only benefit a few" programs. Hate to say it, but DCSS can't afford special interest types of services anymore.

I find it incomprehensible that the school nurse program, bus drivers who make 15,000 a year, and other obviously needed programs can be on the chopping block while we drain resources for such a small population.

Yes, the county admin needs to be examined as well but a good number of these positions support the special interest programs. Not to mention, spending millions each year to swap kids from one end of the county to the other. The opportunity to eliminate school choice transportation was there last year but no one had the you know whats to do it.....

Cerebration said...

There's a lot of room to save by consolidating and closing schools too - which was an "emergency" about a year ago - and then was quietly tabled by the board.

Check out how messy that story got -

The Enrollment Numbers Game

Anonymous said...

Yes, Dale Davis is an arrogant one. But this doesn't make any sense:

"DeKalb schools spokesman Dale Davis said the fine was paid by the contractor, the architectural firm and the geotechnical firm hired by the district.
"The school district paid these firms to manage the storm water properly," Davis said in a statement. “Since they didn't, it was their responsibility."

If you, Crawford and Dale, "paid the firms to manage the stormwater properly", then why did you pay $30,000 in lawyer and consultant fees instead of those firms paying lawyer and consultant fees?

Crawford, Marcus Turk, Dale Davis, Ron Ramsey and the BOE throw our money around like its candy. $30,000 in fees to fight a $30,000 fine??!!

How about better supervising your contractors first, which should be easy to do with the hundreds of staff at Sam Moss? And how about making sure contractors don't even think about breaking the law in the first place, or wind up with a penalty fee that's written into your contract?

On the grand scale of things, this is minor, but it is indicative of a lack of institutional control. And for a school system that just opened up an environmental high school, it is hypocritical that the system can't abide by the most basic of environmental regulation, erosion control.

Anonymous said...

I can help clarify some of the erosion story: the original fine proposed by the EPD was about 100-grand. So, the King & Spalding law firm did "save" some money. However, their 30-grand in services would not have been needed in the first place if Pat Pope had taken proper action when informed of the erosion. She new of the matters before the EPD was contacted. However, she chose to defend the construction site. Then, after the EPD investigated, she arrogantly stood in front of a community hearing in Dunwoody and declared there was never an erosion problem and there is no case with he EPD (after already having a meeting with them). Pat Pope is a liar and a failure. Why are we still paying her salary? Why does our school board's members not take action?

Anonymous said...

Well, this doesn't bode well for the Lakeside project. The school sits, well, by a lake. Oh, and did I mention it sits above grade from said lake? I suppose they can also install a new sign that says "Mudside High School."

Ella Smith said...

I feel bus drivers and other auxially personnel are critical to the running of the school system. The individuals who have direct contact with our students are critical. However, the most important factor in learning is highly qualified teachers.

You know I think Tom Bowen is super. This committee views schools I thought and determines what schools need remodeling, etc. He will be great on this committee. This in itself would not be a conflict of interest. However, if this gives him inside information regarding what projects are coming open I guess this is questionable as he would be able to prepare bids and have additional time and knowledge of the projects and needs.

I do feel we do have some good school board members. I see the hard work many of them do.

Anonymous said...

C'mon Ella, it is an incredible conflict of interest. It's incredibly clear. Ys, Moody can bring expertise to the committee but only if he does not do any business with the county. If he is going to do business with the county, then he has a clear competitive advantage. I openly question his professional ethics. He knows better. Tom Bowen is smart enough to know better. It's a no brainer and not even worth trying to defend. David Moody has no business on the school construction comm. and that's that.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line, the adults in charge of DCSS are not looking out for the best interest of the children. Our children should be their top priority, not lining their pockets and that of friends and family with money from hard working tax payers.

A big shake up needs to happen in DCSS, before anything can be done about the corruption and unethical dealings.

Anonymous said...

"In addition to the fine, the school system spent about $30,000 on lawyers and environmental consultants to fight the EPD violations, according to school system invoices."

P R I C E L E S S

Anonymous said...

Cere, you are wrong (again). Not ALL DCSS construction projects are funded by SPLOST--some are general funds or COPS (loan/mortgage type arrangement). Know your facts. Regardless, waste is waste...be it SPLOST or general funds. DCSS can't afford to waste ANY money from any budget.

This is all so ridiculous. How much more can this system take until the BOE (or the GA DOE) take some action??

Does Pat Pope have to be a criminal (indicted by the DA) before Lewis and the BOE will take any action against her??? Gee...if only we all had that high threshold.

Anonymous said...

I think people are overestimating the cost savings of closing schools, at least in the short term. All the teachers, administrators, and support staff would be offered jobs elsewhere in the county (and people on this board would scream otherwise). The buildings and land would not be sold, because land is only getting scarcer, and populations do grow and shift.

Dekalb does typically give 18 months or so and hold at least two public meetings for parents and homeowners to vent. This is a good thing and makes the process more open and transparent. It's better than closing and redistricting overnight and then shoving it down our throats.

Ella Smith said...

I see this as a conflict of interest. However, I do not think that the appointment was probable made in any intent to make a conflict of interest. Tom Bowen is a super board member. No human being is perfect and of course being a human being Tom Bowen the same as any of us can make mistakes. (If this is legally considered a conflct of interest) It looks like a conflict of interest definitely on the surface.

Schools need to be closed. However, this is an election year and school board members what to be elected. Closing schools mean that individuals will lose jobs. It is not happening with 5 school board members up for re-election. It may happen next year when it is not an election year. However, this is sad. The schools were on the table to be closed this year and the situation got tabled for some reason.

Times are tough. We need School Board Members to make tough decisions made on what is best for the school system and the students and citizens of Dekalb. However, due to school board positions being political in nature, politics play into the situation.

It is time the public become more demanding and demand accountability of our school board members. Close schools that need to be closed. Do not play politics. Let go employees at the school system that truely are not needed. It is time to make tough decisions and run the Dekalb County School System like a business and not just an opportunity to provide jobs to people. School Systems are in the business of educating students and providing jobs should be secondary in nature. No one wants anyone to lose their job. However, sometimes this is a necessary to run a mean and lean system that is more effecient in nature.

Anonymous said...

There is much to be gained from closing a school. You don't have to pay to heat it, cool it, wire it -- you only have to go by and cut the grass once in a while. And it's not true that teachers and administrators in the building would naturally go somewhere else in the district. Some of them perhaps, but even factoring in transfers to other schools, somebody will have to go because the state will not fund unneeded teachers and sadly, people will lose their jobs. And it's true that the land will sit there unsold for a while -- but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Just yesterday I listened with the rest of my division in corporate America while we were told there will be some cuts in the next month -- and several of us (approx. 100) -- will be impacted. Some of us will lose our jobs. That's a harsh reality, but the leadership stands by it's position. Even if I'm one of them, I have more respect for that tone than one of whimpers and do-nothing.

Cerebration said...

To Anon who pointed out that I am wrong. Of course, I'm wrong sometimes! I'm not on the school board, nor do I work in the school system. I can't possibly really KNOW everything. This blog is a forum for information - do you see that coming from anywhere else? If I'm wrong on a subject, I am more than happy to have someone come here and clarify. (In this instance, I still don't think construction money is mixed up with education money - the fines and construction costs don't effect the school's operating budget.)

This blog is a place to keep an eye on how our school system is spending our money. We just have no other way of gaining insight. Our school board and administration are bloated, wasteful, corrupt economic engines benefiting their own families and friends. Do you think they are willing to openly share information? They are in charge of nearly a BiLLION dollars of our tax money - and we just want to try to keep better tabs on how they spend it.

Please - people - this is a BLOG. It's a discussion. It's not a news-reporting site - and we don't get paid. So go easy on your expectations. And if you DO have correct information -- bring it on! (Hopefully without too much name-calling.)