Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Parents want schools chief to give back raise
Well, I had to miss the board meeting tonight, but a blogger on another thread informed us that the board approved nearly $300,000 to improve the lighting package for the stage in the board offices. Jim Redovian was the only board member to vote against this SPLOST change order stating that there are other more pressing projects that the SPLOST money should be spent on and in light of today's financial climate he could not spend that much money for the Board to look better on TV. Thank you Jim!
Now, the AJC is reporting that Dr. Lewis "stared straight ahead Monday night as parents and teachers asked him to return his $15,000 raise." The AJC goes on to say, "The board is considering teacher furloughs and cutting programs, such as pre-kindergarten classes, art courses, magnet schools and Montessori programs, to offset the deficit." And, "30 school employees protested outside. The teachers, bus drivers and cafeteria workers held signs criticizing Lewis’ raise and questioned their proposed pay cuts. Last month, the board voted to raise Lewis’ salary from $240,000 to $255,000."
We also learn that "Lewis previously has said if the program cuts are not made the school system will have to raise property taxes. But at 22.98 mills, DeKalb already has the third-highest school tax rate in the metro area, according to the superintendent."
"The DeKalb county commission also is facing an $82 million deficit and considering drastic cuts to prevent raising taxes.
Seleste Harris of the Organization of DeKalb Educators said the board needs to look at the [millions] the district spends on instructional specialists, staff development positions and human resource workers.
Seven parents from Huntley Hills Elementary School brought a list of possible budget cuts to the board, reductions they hope will help save the Montessori program at their Chamblee school."
"Shelli Wells, whose child attends the Montessori program at Briar Vista Elementary School, told the board she feels the district is not prioritizing expenses.
“Never when we were looking at [our personal household] budget did we cut food or electricity or things that were necessity,” said Wells, who was laid off from her corporate job. “I think we have to cut things that are extra. … I don’t feel the education is extra. That is our food.”
I think that is a great comment.