Thursday, May 13, 2010

DeKalb schools spend SPLOST money on administrative offices



Please, do not watch this if you have blood pressure issues.

197 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cere: I'd like to nominate Crawford Lewis, Pat Pope and the Board of Education members as co-recipients of DeKalb's first Golden Shower Award which recognizes administrators who put their own wants in front of the needs of the children in the district. They certainly are deserving of a Golden Shower from all of us on this decision.

C?Y!

Cerebration said...

I think you should present it at the next board meeting - while reading aloud the "Proclamation"... need help writing that? Bloggers - let's hear your suggestions...

Dekalbparent said...

If your blood pressure can take it, go to the WXIA wecsite and watch the 11 pm follow-up.

Anonymous said...

How could they?! Do they feel no shame?

Anonymous said...

Who approved this?

Anonymous said...

This entire story screamed at me all that was wrong with Pat Pope and all the people that she put in place.
Layoffs have started and they are NOT basing it on seniority as all the employees had been told....why is SHE still getting a paycheck?

Cerebration said...

Dale Davis is seriously overpaid. Anyone can stand there and say "I have no comment" - which is his usual response. I must say, this latest comment though - about the $2,000 chairs - makes me wish he'd go back to "no comment"...

"We purchase off of the state contract," said Dekalb School spokesperson Dale Davis. "The state
negotiates the best price and we got the best price
for the furniture that is here in this facility."


Huh? Isn't this the furniture the AJC reported that Pat Pope hired a consultant to purchase?

Records show that Pope’s construction program paid D.C.-based furniture consultant Judy Hasbrouck $108,730 for three contracts between 2007 and 2009 for her work and travel expenses.

Pope also paid $19,263 to Atlanta interior designer Vanessa Shorter, an acquaintance who later went to work for Pope’s architect husband, for furniture consulting work in 2007.


Anyway, take your nitro - and watch the
11 Alive Follow-Up

Anonymous said...

This BOE has got to be worse than Clayton County's. Why aren't they all resigning so we can elect someone who has some business sense?

$30,000,000 for this Central Office palace (they call it offices), $30,000,000 from the Title 1 "piggy bank" to hire all those $100,000 non-teaching employees, $19,000,000 for MIS which gives us broken and and time consuming technology and still has to contract out all the installation and maintenance (what do they do besides manage the network?), over $12,000,000 for 217 Security personnel to serve 40 schools.

Ms. Tyson and the BOE have colossal nerve to cry poor and hack away at classrooms and students.

No wonder we're closing schools and packing our kids into classrooms like rats. There's nothing but "crumbs" left over for students.

BoE = CRIMINALS said...

I'm going to need a better word than "OUTRAGEOUS" to describe this.

How is this NOT a CRIMINAL matter?

Where I come from, this is THEFT plain and simple. The Board of Education STOLE money. And they should all be CHARGED, INDICTED, TRIED, CONVICTED and SENTENCED for their CRIMINAL conduct!

Anonymous said...

I think I know why there is a shower in the Super's office.. There have been numerous rumors about our former Super. and his "after hour" activities. I'm just saying....

Also, does the COO's office have a bathroom? I know a year and a half ago, when the designs were in the works, Pat Pope wanted a fireplace in her new digs. Not sure if that made the cut or not.

$2000 chairs, I can't believe they thought this would be a good move as they opened these new offices. Is this one reason Ms. Tyson asked for 25K for PR?

Dale Davis was priceless in this piece. The look on his face when Carnes asked him why the Super needed a shower. Uh, uh, uh, can't answer that... DD is such a waste of taxpayer dollars. Please, please please let these people go!

Anonymous said...

I suspect there are lots of chairs on the state contract way less than $2,000.
Every school principal is responsible for more critical issues on a daily basis than any Central Office employee and I would wager that they are lucky if they have a chair that costs $200.
It is apparent that the Central Office leadership (and I use that term lightly) and School Board live in a "world of entitlement".
I agree with previous poster. They all need to go.

Anonymous said...

DeKalb School leadership and Board remind me of a Forrest Gump quote, "Stupid is as stupid does".
Every DeKalb taxpayer should call a Board member and demand an explanation of the waste that continues to go on.
These people are beyond being a joke.

Anonymous said...

I just saw the follow up piece by Carnes. Dale Davis is a tool and should resign immediately! The fact he said the furniture would not fit into the new digs is outrageous. Seems to me if the new office is larger and furniture coming from a smaller office, the current furniture would have fit fine! His non-answers were ridiculous.

McChesney says this was a prefect storm, he's right. However, even if times were good did these Central Office people actually think this was a good idea? To think of the schools that are in such disrepair, leaky roofs, mold, mildew, broken fixtures. PLEASE! I think it's time for our Governor to come in, take over the system, fire everyone and start with a clean slate or people, to go into the nice new palace these former bosses built.

My blood pressure is approaching boiling. The BOE and Central Office staff must go NOW! We will get no where if any of the current leadership remains. Moseley, Mitchell, Tyson, Thompson, Pope, Turk, the entire Guilroy clan and the entire Edward's family, sorry your 5 minutes of wasteful fame is up!

Anonymous said...

RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DeKalb has schools that actually leak water into the computer labs on rainy days. There are literally trash cans in the middle of the halls catching the water from the rain that leaks into the building. OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!

Anonymous said...

My son moved into a renovated school in DCSS last year. I saw a price tag on his teacher chair - $500, and pointed it out. He flipped out because he already has to spend so much money on supplies out of his own pocket for his classroom. This $500 chair was no better than the one my husband bought at Office Max for $120.

So maybe those $2,000 chairs were really worth $500 and taxpayers paid $2,000.

Who did the design for the renovated schools? Wasn't there some conflict of interest on that one?

Does no one audit these people?

Anonymous said...

If each and every board of education member does not resign (and let's face it, they won't) it's up to the voters to remove them from office.

Five are on the ballot this November.

ALL FIVE should be voted OUT.

The other four should explain in writing why they allowed this to happen and why they won't voluntarily resign.

They've stolen from the taxpayers. They've robbed our children. They've bankrupted our schools.

Dan Magee said...

A $2,000 chair? And multiple chairs were purchased? What?? Wasn't Ms. Tyson in charge of the budget while Crawford Lewis was CEO? How did such shameful spending get approved by Tyson and Marucs Turk? Dale Davis has no problem insinuating that Crawford Lewis is to blame.

This is just the latest, but most severe, reason why the DCSS Central office has lost all public trust when it comes to their unprofessional and incompetent spending of our tax money. The BOE of Education members have allowed and enabled such spending for years. There are no checks and balances from this BOE.

$2,000 on a single chair while the school system is facing its largest bedget deficit ever? $2,000 on a single chair while Lakeside has the worst restrooms in Georgia and Cross Keys High is crumbing and the trailer outside of my son's school is falling apart/is a safety hazard?

It is time for a complete overhaul of all Central Office upper administrators. All you can do is laugh or DCSS Central Office spending will drive a parent/taxpayer to insanity.

andi said...

You were so right to put a disclaimer on this post.

Earth to the Board - THIS IS NOT WHY I VOTED FOR SPLOST!!!!!!!

Sorry for yelling but I don't think I can take much more.
They could have fixed a lot of bathrooms, leaks, mold issues, etc with that money.

Did the $300,000 lights get installed yet? It's important that the board members look good on TV when they are working for the good of "the children". We ALL know it's ALL about "the children"!!

Anonymous said...

Cere 9:14, C?Y! here to reply. Never wrote a Resolution before but like the idea if someone wants to take the text below as a starting point...
_______________________

Whereas the DeKalb County Board of Education recognizes they have $1 billion in capital improvement needs, and anticipates only $500 million in SPLOST tax revenue accrued over a five year period to address these needs and

Whereas the Board is aware of inoperable bathrooms, leaky roofs, faulty heating and air conditioning, and health related issues needing immediate attention in many of their 150+ classroom buildings and

Whereas the Board acknowledges facility inequities throughout the county resulting in children having disparate educational experiences, especially in the arts, music, science, technology, and athletics depending on in which facility the child attends daily and

Whereas the Board prioritized the limited SPLOST funding to first improve the Board’s own central office at a cost in excess of $30 million and

Whereas these improvements included a $200,000 superintendent’s suite complete with restroom and private shower and

Whereas these improvements also included a minimum of three private offices for Board members, recognizing that never in the complete history of the DeKalb Board of Education did any member ever have a private office, further recognizing that the build out for this improvement is at a cost just under the threshold requiring public notice for the expense and

Whereas this central facility has a staffed wellness center for employees and extravagant furniture including some office chairs which cost in excess of $2000 each then

Let it therefore be resolved that on this day in 2010 we the DeKalb County citizens award the DeKalb County Board of Education, Dr. Crawford Lewis, and Ms. Pat Reid Pope the first Golden Shower Award signifying their success in putting their own self interests and comfort above that of the children they serve. They certainly are deserving of a Golden Shower from each based on their recent decisions.

Accountability Time said...

I would also add Jim Redovian, Tom Bowen, Jay Cunningham, Zeporah Roberts and Sarah Copelin-Wood to the list of recipients of this presitigous award.

Redovian, Bowen, Cunningham, Roberts and Copelin-Wood were members of the Board of Education when this occurred. It happened on their watch. They're repsonsible for it.

Anonymous said...

Nah. I'd name all nine members. They all deserve it. Even the new members....

Anonymous said...

Well, the axe fell today on a lot of good people over there and some that deserved it. But at first glance, it's looking like they did all their cuts from the bottom to mid-level. The big salaried fat cats are still there. Did anyone expect anything different?enica

Anonymous said...

Wonder if the chairs could be found cheaper somewhere else?

This is a gross waste of money, when we have schools falling apart and need repair. I pray that new board members are elected and that things turn around, but I am doubtful.

Anonymous said...

just heard they laid off the public relations and painters today...how about cuttin the 100,000 salaries....I am so tired of the bottom being laid off and the top continue to not do their jobs and collect twice the salaries of these workers. I feel your pain and I understand. We knew some would lose their jobs but things haven't been done fairly in the DCSS. Like did Tyson layoff any in her department....we all have complained about the lack of support we receive within the DCSS from the IT department. We would do better to outsource these jobs....they make huge salaries and are unavailabe to the classrooms and office workers who need them the most.

Anonymous said...

The first thing I thought when I saw this report last night on Channel 2 was, "Geez, what about Cross Keys?" The HS in my area could use some work but that campus has GOT to come first, before some self-absorbed school board politician sits his/her fat @$$ in a new office.

These people should be ashamed of themselves. But they won't be.

Cerebration said...

Awesome C?Y! Who's going to present it during the speaker portion of the next board meeting?

Cerebration said...

No one who works in a school house directly supporting teachers and/or students should be cut - teachers need on-site tech support - that's sort of a no-brainer! So sorry to hear of these losses to the schoolhouse - I think we'd better brace ourselves for more. All of those items discussed as "points" on the budget represent teachers. So yeah, they can say they're not laying off teachers - but they're cutting points. Guess it will fall to the principal to decide who stays and who goes. As bad as this is - it could be an opportunity to clean house of the lowest performers but apparently Tyson put down a last in first out rule. That's not always the best. Principals know who they really need and want to keep - let them decide.

Anonymous said...

They are letting science teachers go at Fernbank SC.

Dan M. said...

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/new-questions-about-how-385505.html
DeKalb County school official Patricia “Pat” Pope hired a family friend from Washington, D.C., to work as a furniture consultant on three school construction projects, and the school district paid for the woman’s plane tickets, hotel stays and car rentals when she traveled here, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.
Around the same time, Pope also hired an Atlanta interior designer to serve as a furniture consultant on two other projects.

Both hirings apparently violated school district policy. When asked for documents to show that purchasing policies were followed, the district could not produce any.
Records show that Pope’s construction program paid D.C.-based furniture consultant Judy Hasbrouck $108,730 for three contracts between 2007 and 2009 for her work and travel expenses.
Pope also paid $19,263 to Atlanta interior designer Vanessa Shorter, an acquaintance who later went to work for Pope’s architect husband, for furniture consulting work in 2007.


So to add insult to injury, not only did over $100,000 k of SPLOST dollars go to pick up $2,000+ chairs and Corporate CEO desks and furniture, Pat Pope hired her friends to pick out the furniture, which had previously been a job done by an hourly part-time employee.

I'm betting that the Presidents chair in the Oval Office didn't cost over $2,000.

These actions may not be criminal, but they are unethical, unprofessional and incompetent. And multiple administrators still employed by DCSS allowed it to happen.

Anonymous said...

http://www.11alive.com/rss/rss_story.aspx?storyid=143954

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga -- While the DeKalb County School system is slashing millions in some areas, they're spending hundreds of thousands for furniture and other accessories at their new administrative offices.

11Alive examined documents that show the school system purchased six chairs for $2,100 each. Four other chairs were bought for $1,400 each.

"We purchase off of the state contract," said DeKalb School spokesperson Dale Davis. "The state negotiates the best price and we got the best price for the furniture that is here in this facility."

In 2002, when the economy was in better health, the DeKalb school district purchased an old shopping center on Mountain Industrial Boulevard. The system has budgeted $30 million to put the system's administrative offices and two schools under one roof.

It will include a new board room that will replace the one long considered too small. It was packed to overflowing during a school board meeting to discuss budget cuts earlier this week.

Administrators are leaving offices on North Decatur Road that are also considered inadequate. The furniture they used there is not making the move.

"That furniture would not actually fit in this location," said Davis. "It was much larger at the old location."

So, the move to the new facility will include all new furniture.

In the area where employees of Finance and Human Resources work, some are in cubicles where they once had desks.

Then there's the area of the facility known as the Superintendent's Suite.

According to documents, that area of the Mountain Industrial facility includes a dozen offices. Those documents reveal that at least $208,000 paid for furniture, fixtures and equipment for those offices.

In the office of the Superintendent, there is a private bathroom that includes a shower.

"I don't know any vice president, CEO, or CFO who has a shower in their office," said DeKalb parent Cordelia Blake. "I don't understand why the superintendent would need a shower."

The district's spokesman says it was part of the original plan.

"It does exist," said Dale Davis. "I admit that it does exist. It was part of the original scope of the work."

The DeKalb school system is slashing over $100 million. It will mean layoffs for some employees and teacher furloughs.

The money for the Mountain Industrial facility comes from a Special Local Option Sales tax approved by DeKalb voters in 2007. The money collected is designated for capital improvements and can't go toward salaries to save jobs.

Earlier this week, school board member Don McChesney told 11Alive the new facility is needed, but admitted the timing of the move is unfortunate.

"The timing is very bad," said McChesney. "We have the perfect storm. If it could go wrong this year, it did."

The school system insists by locating two schools and administrative offices under one roof, the system will save money in the long run.

The furniture from the old administration buildings will either go to schools that need it or it will be sold at auction.

Anonymous said...

May 13, 2010 3:31 PM "And multiple administrators still employed by DCSS allowed it to happen."

These aare the same leaders that are responsible for laying off hundreds of employees....where is the fairness in that. We should call them out and have them investigated...We all know their names it doesn't take a person working in "B" building to know who's on the cabinent...all of you should be terminated and prosecuted for misappropriation of federal and local tax funds. Teachers being laid off....custodians being laid off...who's going to teach and we all know DCSS was already short staffed in the schools with custodians. I guess the kids can clean the tables and the toilets now.....shame on CLewis, Pope, BOE and the Cabinent. You wasted tax dollars for your own selfish vanity. I hope you got bail money cause your chickens have come home to roost. The more we keep reading the more sinister this administration is being revealed.

Anonymous said...

Even by "DCSS standards" this is obscene!

The entire School Board is at fault for allowing this to happen. And the entire School Board should be held accounatable.

Each BoE member should immediately tender their resignation.

Anonymous said...

Okay, to some of you from the Central Office who are losing their jobs today. Care to speak out against the very people who are NOT losing their jobs today? Like, Tyson, Moseley, Thompson, Mitchell, Turk, any Guilroy or Edwards family member. Let's not forget Pope, who is still getting a salary as we await her fate by the DA's investigation.

Once again it's the little people who suffer, as well as the teachers and students of a system grossly mis-managed by the morons who sit their butts in $2000 dollar chairs while they decide to fire a few painters, CTSS's, Para's or Media workers. The very people who should not lose their jobs.

This is an absolute joke! Every time I see that Moseley guy I want to throw something at my TV. Once again the students come last at the PREMIERE DCSS. Can we please lose that "premier" we are far from it and getting farther from it everyday. Who the heck are they kidding?

Cerebration said...

Pat Pope's contract comes up for renewal very soon (June, I'm told.) We need to keep an ear to the ground - if they renew her contract - $200,000 plus bene's FOR DOING NOTHING - then we know that "Houston, we've got a problem!" She is costing us 3-4 teachers! What does she "have" on them that they continue to keep her on the payroll?

Anonymous teacher said...

Hey, I'm a teacher and I wonder how y'all are finding out all this stuff about the layoffs etc? You are much better at communication than anyone in DCSS!

We've been told that we'll know tomorrow when we get a contract--or don't. But we haven't been told officially, just what our principal tried to let us know indirectly. Being kept in the dark till the last minute, including about when furlough days will be, is pretty agonizing and majorly disrespectful. They sent out a site for voting on which days to take, can you believe that? Proof positive that it's not about making the least impact, it's about keeping some of the perfectly justified rancor of the underlings at bay for a bit longer.

Anonymous said...

It is sad when hard working people are let go at a school and other very inept and LAZY people get to keep their jobs.

Anonymous said...

The schools get the leftovers.

"The furniture from the old administration buildings will either go to schools that need it or it will be sold at auction."

It's nice to know that the furniture that is not good enough for the Central Office administrators will be given to schools.

That's a great metaphor for our entire school system. What's leftover from the Central Office goes to the schools. That includes money, technology (they got the more expensive "executive" computers), etc.

Does anyone really think they think the schools system is anything more than a "career path" to an "upper management" position?

Anonymous said...

I want the public to understand that not all of the 12 month employees who do not work in a school do not make a lot of money. Some of us are on the bottom of the salary charts. We are losing 15 days of pay next year, which is 6.25%. That is a lot of money when the salary wasn't that high to begin with. I know people are mad at the "central office", but not all of us are villans stealing money from the taxpayers. As clerical support staff, we keep the system going in a very important way (getting teachers paid, etc.) and work hard. Please don't lump us all together with the "bad guys" just beacuse we needed to work 12 months for our families instead of 10 months in a schoolhouse. I have done both.

Anonymous said...

The state needs to come in and check the records for the EIP program. I was told from someone on the inside that there is a lot of dishonesty in that program. They need to spot check and go to the schools and see if the students are really being served or the teachers are just doing other tasks in the schools.

Dan M. said...

http://www.11alive.com/rss/rss_story.aspx?storyid=143954
"That furniture would not actually fit in this location," said Davis. "It was much larger at the old location."

Mr. Dale Davis, I, Dan Magee, am publicly accusing you of being untruthful to the public.

Seriously, how dare you pass on such untrue garbage to us. I'm ready to bring a tape measure to measure the old and new offices.
Heck, you even walk through a nice new double door to the new offices in the 11 Alive piece.

There is no reason why most of the furniture from the old Admin Office could not have been used in the new Admin office. The new Admin Office is so much larger, which is why you are moving in the first place. And if you and Sam Moss administrators
(or did you pay professional movers) don't know how to move furniture, I would have got some of my buddies and I to move the furniture for you.

The Central Office made a very loud, very clear, very intentional statement when moving to Moauntain Industrial and spending so much on furniture and fixtures: "Even though the Mountain Industrial complex isn't on the Top 20 of the SPLOST priority list, we are not going to use our present furniture. We are going to spend hundreds of thousands for brand new stuff, and we don't care about the $100 mil deficit, we don't care about the older schools that are falling apart, and we damn sure don't care what you the taxpaying public and DCSS parents think about it".

Mr. Davis, if you are going to speak on television to DCSS parents and county taxpayers to try to explain why $200,000+ was spent to furnish the superintendent's office when the system is facing a $100 million shortfall, then be honest about it.

Again: "That furniture would not actually fit in this location," said Davis. "It was much larger at the old location."

Seriously, tell the truth. You're freaking shameful, Central Office administration (current and recent past), and you too Dale Davis.

Anonymous said...

Good thing we still have the school security officers. Unruly student pepper sprayed at Lakeside this morning. What no taser?
http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/school-officer-pepper-sprays-526329.html

Anonymous said...

This is a complete disaster. I have always wondered how Gwinnett had money to put video distributions systems and state-of-the-art TV studios in their schools. Now I know. We could have the same technology, if we were better stewards of our money. We could have had nicely renovated schools. It is time to vote out the school board, and to find a way to clean house in the County Office. It is really too bad that they decided to balance the budget by getting rid of the worker bees. The layoffs at our schools is really sad.

Anonymous said...

Our school was recently renovate and we received some new classroom furniture. Many of the teachers have found that the new furniture is inferior to the old - big, clunky, hard to move for cleaning - and have decided to keep their old stuff. The school apparently had no say-so in what furniture was ordered. As usual, the admnistration makes all the decisions and the folks in the classroom have no input.

Anonymous said...

Good Grief!
I don't have a $2000.00 chair in my home. Can't imagine one in a taxpayer funded office.

They ALL must go.

Anonymous said...

To anon at 4:16
If you have not gotten your contract yet, I guess you will find out tomorrow whether or not you will have a job next year. I got a visit from Central Office today informing me that my contract would not be renewed. I guess it takes a while for them to make their way across the county. I know your feeling though. It's pretty bad when you learn more about your job from blogs and the ajc than at your own place of employment. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

I don't get $200,000 for the superintendent's office.

If Crawford was in his office on North Decatur one day, and moved into a new office at Mountain Industrial a few days later, why couldn't he use the very same furniture he used the past five years as superintendent?

Are you kidding me? What kind of entitlement did he, and Pat Pope have, that justifies spending four teacher's salary worth of furniture, just because he was moving to a new office?

So maybe the Central Office needed some new partitions and some other pieces of furniture, but there is absolutely no justification why most of the North Decatur furniture couldn't have been used at Moauntain Industrial, especially when facing a $100 million budget hole.

Fire the bums. All of them.

Anonymous said...

"The furniture from the old administration buildings will either go to schools that need it or it will be sold at auction."

Some of the furniture showed up at my child's school, but it all went to offices. Nothing to classrooms. That would explain an earlier comment on the blog about teachers having to use those plastic cafeteria chairs at their desks.

Anonymous said...

Sure is sickening to watch this report when you are still waiting to hear from Central Office whether you have a job or not.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused with this contract business. Teachers got their contracts a month ago. Who are you that are waiting on contracts?

Anonymous said...

I don't care when Pat Pope's "contract" comes up. She should be immediately fired for malfeasance and these excessive expenditures. And so should anyone else who approved them or stood by while taxpayer money was spent like this.

Anonymous said...

Fernbank Science Center, all employees including teachers, waiting for contracts.

Anonymous said...

Dan M., You have my full support! I know you are very active in your community, and I would like for you to consider becoming a member of the Deklab BOE. I'll donate money to your campaign and host meetings at my house. You have what it takes to call out the B.S.!

Anonymous said...

SPLOST paid for mountain industrial, including furniture. Some area and associate superintendents, including their secretaries, are in cubicles. Some fancy furniture, huh.

SPLOST and their project managers lack direction, planning and are clueless when it comes to how to run these projects. The school system needs to standardize all furniture, fixtures, millwork and construction specifications for all facilities. This would improve efficiency of maintenance and construction.

Anonymous said...

The people who work at EDC (Psychologist, SLPs, OTs, PT, LTSE, etc) have not received their contracts. We keep waiting, and waiting, and waiting!

Dan M. said...

I would consider running for BOE, but there are so many possible candidates out there who are much smarter than me, and who can be much more patient and calm when dealing with entrenched Central Office bureaucrats and BOE'ers who put themselves before our students. The brilliant Ernest Brown, Marshall Orson, Ella, Joe Arrington, Shayna Steinfeld, Charlie Bleau (Clairmont Hts.), Greg White (SWD's best parent volunteer) and the great Kim Gokce are fantastic local leaders who would make for awesome potential BOE candiates. Would love to see former county commissioner Gale Walldorff on the BOE.

And whenever John Heneghan, the best ever local elected official in GA history in terms of communicating information to the public, retires from the Dunwoody city council, we all need to beg him with all of our hearts to run for BOE. Don't let him say no!!

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Ernest Brown, Shayna, Heneghan and definitely Kim G are the best of the best.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:02 is right on it. One of the reason why Gwinnett operates so efficiently is because everything i standardized, whether school design, office furniture and fixtures,millwork, construction spec's, etc.

Gwinnett purposedly has a bare bones approach to its school buildings (but they are clean and functional), so it can spend money on the classroom, where it belongs.

Anonymous said...

These comments are great! Dan M. your comments are spot on! Time for Dale Davis to say bye bye to DCSS. His time has come and gone! Hey Dale why not get a college degree and then you can reapply for the job that you are doing so poorly in now.

Enough of the lies. I have sent an email to Jim Redovian about the Dale Davis report. I told him if he fired Davis, Moseley, Thompson, Mitchell, Turk, Tyson, any Guilroy or Edwards family member I would stand behind him 100% and his campaign for BOE Commissioner. If these folks are not shown the door, it will be business as usual. I'm serious folks, the leadership has totally failed us!

To the secretary, 12 month employee, I hear you! How about becoming a whistle blower? You need to expose the fraud that happens daily inside the walls of North Decatur or the new palace on Mountain Industrial. We need folks to speak up and expose the fraud that the "premier" DCSS truly is.

This whole waste of SPLOST funds is pathetic. SPLOST 3 will have no chance passing now. So Chamblee HS, Lakeside HS, Cross Keys HS and the other old buildings that were promised SPLOST 3 funds, will probably not get them thanks to CLew, Tyson, Moseley, Thompson, Mitchell, Turk, any Guilroy or Edwards family member and every BOE member.

THANKS FOR NOTHING! NOT ANOTHER DIME UNTIL WE SEE RESIGNATIONS BY THE ABOVE MENTIONED! Your gravy train has derailed......

Anonymous said...

Unrelated story about Lakeside honor student alum:

http://www.ajc.com/news/cobb/police-hunt-for-undocumented-526173.html?imw=Y

Colotl has been in the United States for much of her life, coming here with her parents when she was 10. Friends said the family moved often until Colotl graduated from Lakeside High School in 2006 with a 3.8 grade point average.

Anonymous said...

Another sad Lakeside High story:


"DeKalb investigating ambulance delays"

DeKalb County officials are investigating why it took an ambulance 22 minutes -- more than four times the county's average response time for a trauma call -- to get to a soccer player with a severe head injury.

The student is the latest victim of what residents are calling a faulty emergency system.

"This is totally unacceptable," Ella Smith, vice president of Lakeside High School’s soccer booster club, wrote to school board members. "In some injuries it may be extremely important to get individuals to the hospital much faster than this."

Jonathan Brown, 16, and his team from Upson-Lee High School in Thomaston were visiting DeKalb last week as part of the state soccer playoffs.

Brown, the team’s goalie, collided with a Lakeside player at Adams Stadium on Friday night. He fell, grasping his head while several parents and coaches called 911, parents said.

County dispatch records obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution show the first call was received at 7:58 p.m. Dispatch records show the call was listed as "traumatic injuries."

Four minutes later, an ambulance was dispatched. However, the ambulance didn’t show up at the soccer field until 8:20 p.m., according to the records. The county's average response time for a trauma call is slightly more than five minutes.

“It took awhile for the ambulance to get there,” said Eddie Payne, Upson-Lee’s athletic director. “The Lakeside parents and staff were helpful in administering care and showing concern. But it took a little longer than we would have liked to get help.”

DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader said he was concerned about the delay.

“It was dispatched right, but we’re looking to see why it took so long for the ambulance to get there,” Rader told the AJC on Wednesday. “I don’t think it was an equipment issue, but I’m still concerned about the response time. Fortunately it was a trauma call but the victim survived.”

Brown, who suffered a concussion, was released from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston the next day and is now back in school, Payne said.

DeKalb schools spokesman Dale Davis said the district staffs games with school resource officers, but not paramedics. Football is the only sport where a paramedic is on site.

The schools rely on the county’s Fire and Rescue Department to respond to other emergencies, Davis said.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 4:24 pm

"This is a complete disaster. I have always wondered how Gwinnett had money to put video distributions systems and state-of-the-art TV studios in their schools. Now I know. We could have the same technology, if we were better stewards of our money. "

It is just now occurring to parents/taxpayers that:

1. We pay the 283 members of our MIS department more than any other county ($19,000,000 a year in salary and benefits)
2. In addition, Dell receives millions and millions of our SPLOST fund dollars to do all of the installation and maintenance of our computers and ACTIVboards (what do these our MIS employees do besides manage the network - and do that badly)
3. We have a fulltime webmaster ($82,840 in salary and benefits), but the website is contracted out to a vendor
4. Our students have a fraction of technology access that other systems have. We don't have enough computers for even one class of students per middle school to take the state mandated 8th Grade Technology Literacy Test. So the Technology Literacy Test is given to one class per middle school as a "bubble in the answers" paper and pencil test and scanned in manually! The results of the test our 8th graders basic tech knowledge are unbelievably low.
5. Much of the hardware our students and teachers use doesn't work
6. Software is even not required to work correctly (if the program opens, it's considered a successful install)
7. eSIS has been an instructional time drain
8. The new brand new $7,000,000+ SDMS (Student Data Management System) has functioned like an expensive, virtual paperweight
9. Teachers are written up if they dare to contact anyone in the technology group outside their school building

All Ms. Tyson did in this budget crunch is let go of nine of the lowest paid employees in MIS - the ones that just happen to work in the schoolhouse.

Look at the $100,000 and up personnel who are making such a mess of MIS and providing virtually NO technology for our students.

HUNTER,ANTHONY TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR $114,627.65
DISALVO,MELINDA L GRANTS – COM.PROG $111,835.62
MILLER,JOYCE INFORMATION SERV PERSONNEL $111,835.62
MCLENDON,MELANIE R IS PERSONNEL - SIS $109,441.06
SWING,JOSEPH P IS PERSONNEL – INSTR. SERV $111,835.62
GUIDI,CHRISTOPHER L INFORMATION SERV PERSONNEL $107,904.56
YOUNG,JEFFREY A INFORMATION SERV PERSONNEL $107,039.35
HILBURN,RONALD W IS PERSONNEL - SUPPORT SERV $103,839.73
HUDGINS,BRENDA K INFORMATION SERV PERSONNEL $101,309.08
ROBINSON,JAMES P IS PERSONNEL – INSTR. SERV $100,715.86
PHILLIPS,JOSEPH L INFORMATION SERV PERSONNEL $100,644.57

sadmadteacher said...

This is my first post on this blog, which I have read daily for over a year. I am sickened by the report about the new admin compound. I want to scream everytime I hear Sarah Woods and Z. Roberts say it is all about the children! 30 million dollars for offices that some of the people (namely, the board) are only considered part-time. I work in a school where the HVAC is over 30 years old, breaks down numerous times a year and we have actual children in our building-full time! When I think of those two women, the only words that come to my mind are selfish, greedy, entitled, arrogant, and at times, just plain crazy. Why must we wait for election time? Can this bunch not be recalled? Can SACS not investigate them like they did Clayton County? From everything we have seen, our board makes Clayton's old look like a panel of choir boys and angels! I love my job. I love my school community. Most of all, I love my students. They are being cheated and stolen from and I feel like our hands are tied and our mouths are gagged. It is strongly implied that we keep any negative views to ourselves because it could come back to haunt us if a board member finds out our name. I thought we lived in the land of the free, a democracy. But I guess it is the democracy of the Dekalb School Board, and we serve the two queens, Sarah C. Woods and Zephora Roberts! Two crazy queens if you ask me!!

Anonymous said...

The poor media clerks started getting the axe today. The library programs will take years to rebuild if ever.

We use packing tape and wood glue to repair our furniture at school.....

Anonymous said...

now the real question is...how often has any of these high paid MIS personnel been in any of your schools....ok parents and teachers we need to fan out and begin documenting maintenance/support staff's ability to perform up to the salaries they are maintaining. what is the response time for repairs compared to outsourcing to companies that may be hired as contractors for DCSS....let's see you really out source some real work. This should be how layoffs are measured. How proficient are these paid folk that are so-called leaders and making the decisions that will shape or break our children's future. Seriously look at all the salaries and monitor the behaviors of these folks...it's time we all became whistle blowers. use your cell phones and cameras to document these acts and report this to the media...cause the board won't do a darn thing. This seems to be the only way things get done in this country anymore...whistleblowers...even our students should be whistleblowers they are in the schools document the cafeteria, bathrooms, hallways, classrooms, principals and staff....professional pay deserves to act professional.

Anonymous said...

It made the Get Schooled blog:

http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2010/05/13/are-you-sitting-down-dekalb-schools-spent-2100-on-a-chair/

Anonymous said...

BOE District 3 contender: Corey Wilson

This came from an earlier post:
"Just the other day, I had the pleasure to meet & converse with a gentleman that will & can represent us well! His name is COREY WILSON and he is campaigning for a seat on the Dekalb County School Board, District 3. He is someone who cares; and he understands that PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT is KEY to the betterment of our schools and our children. So much so, that he created the organization: (F.B.I.) Fathers Being Involved at Oak View Elementary and has tried to spread this concept throughout Dekalb County Schools."

Anonymous said...

As a Dekalb county teacher I say to the DCSS admins. You should ashamed of yourselves. You people are the worst kind of sleazy. You don't care about students, teachers or parents. I am so tired of your meaningless rhetoric. So much for teamwork, accountability, useless BS pep rallies those on the front lines. At least be honest about who you are and what you are about. Lining your own pockets and those of your friends and families. Stop doing dirt and rubbing it in teachers faces. Is the morale not low enough for you?

A teacher said...

The technology situation in DCSS is a disaster. Take a brief survey of your children's schools and ask teachers 1) do you use your Smart Board?; 2) if so, do you use it for anything other than a glorified projector?; 3) did you have a say in where they installed it? I notice that it is blocking the whiteboard and/or is too low for many of the students to see; and finally, 4) when did you last show a DVD to your students, and did the technology work?

Some high schools have told teachers that they are not allowed to show a DVD unless they have prior clearance. Not only does this show mistrust of the teacher--who, after all, can access any Internet site that she wants to--it also does not keep pace with technology, which includes news clips and educational videos through, for instance, pba, .edu, and .gov websites.

Until technology is up to date and all users are given adequate time and resources in effective training programs--not 30-minute robotic faceless video feeds--DCSS will never be truly competitive.

Anonymous said...

Now we're talking folks! At our school, the PTA took control. We had our Promethean boards installed and we even pay for the replacement bulbs! Our MIS person is great, I hope he made the cut. He works between two schools and does a great job, though at times he seems to be overwhelmed. but he does a great job!

Teachers & students you must be our eyes and ears. Take pics, post them on blogs. Report to the media, but be careful, some in the media keep the BOE and upper management informed before they report. The media has done a huge disservice to some parents who tried to expose the truth in the past.

Great job channel 11. Where is 46 asking the tough questions? Fox 5 is in the tank with DCSS. I guess they are friends of Dale Davis. Channel 2 has done very well too.

Keep it up whistle blowers, without you we'll never get rid of the real problems at the top, like Tyson, Moseley, Thompson, Mitchell, Turk, any Guilroy or Edwards family member. You know who you are. Please do us a favor and resign!

Anonymous said...

When did Tyson know?
When did Turk know?
When did Moseley know?

And why they did nothing?

What should the board have known?
And when should the board have known it?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 5:33 PM and Dan M.

Another really terrific potential board candidate is Pam Buncum! She could and should run for Jim Redovian's seat. She ran for an at-large seat last year, but lost by just a little to Pam Speaks -- mostly, I think, because of name confusion at the polls. Pam Buncum is an outstanding possibility to replace Redovian.

Anonymous said...

"Not only does this show mistrust of the teacher--who, after all, can access any Internet site that she wants to--"

No, teachers are blocked from any sites deemed inappropriate by DCSS. Can't tell you how many times we're prevented from going to legitimate sites, but it's often. Sometimes even Google.com is blocked (at least it is at my school.)

Anonymous said...

The DeKalb Schools International Baccalaureate coordinator was let go.

I thought IB was a bragging point for DCSS. I guess not - Public Relations hasn't even posted anything on it since 2007. I guess they are content to let the IB Programme become the bragging right of the Gwinnett, Cobb and Fulton schools.

Meanwhile those teachers continue to teach magnificently, the kids continue to get a world-class education, and the IB Diploma Programme grads keep getting full academic scholarships to Vassar, Univ of Chicago, Stanford, Princeton, Agnes Scott, Tulane, Ga. Tech, Emory, MIT, .... How long will that continue?

Oh, no, this guy wasn't necessary

Anonymous said...

More about the MIS department:

Here's one for the Golden Shower Award...

Over $7,000,000 for the latest SMDS - Student Data Management System -DCSS taxpayers still owe millions, and we have gotten absolutely nothing for it.

We're still paying for this system which is supposed to provide real time data to parents and teachers about the skills their students have mastered or need remediation in.

DCSS started paying in 2007, and we still have millions to pay.

DCSS hasn't seen one single benefit from the SDMS we are leasing from
SchoolNet, but we have seen enormous amounts of time taken from instruction as our students take benchmark tests every six weeks to "feed data to the SDMS" to see what content they know what content they don't know.

Since we don't have enough computers for our students to take these benchmark tests (they "bubble in" with pencil and paper), and we don't have competent MIS personnel to send teachers the timely reports, we are seeing nothing from this $7,000,000 data system from SchoolNet. We don't even own it - we lease space! We've been paying millions for space since 2007, and we have absolutely nothing to show for it.

$7,000,000 for a system and an irreplaceable amount of student and teacher time to give teachers reports on student mastery of skills - not working and never will.

Look at the cost of this system:

Dec. 20, 2007 DCSS paid $1,600,000
July 1, 2008 DCSS paid $1,600,000
July 1, 2009 DCSS paid $1,600,000
July 1, 2010 DCSS needs to pay $1,058,383
July 1, 2011 DCSS needs to pay $927,350
July 1, 2012 DCSS needs to pay $464,003

TOTAL $7,249,736.00

Teachers and parents, are you getting all this information for your child(ren) that you are supposed to get from this $7,000,000+ system?

A teacher in my daughter's school says:
1. All the teachers in his schools have to give the benchmark tests manually (bubble in the answers - not enough computers for kids to take the tests) every 6 weeks.
2. The teachers have to scan in hundreds of benchmark tests.
3. The information from the benchmark tests are not visible to teachers, only to the one teacher "officially" designated as the "benchmark" person, and the information is so untimely that it is of no use.

Look what Ms. Tyson proposed and the BOE approved (Copied from BOE meeting notes):

Rationale:
The application will launch Semester I - 2008 and provide teachers, principals and administrators with real time data such as standardized test scores, student demographic data, benchmark assessment results grouped by class/school, and curriculum resources (lesson plans & weblinks) aligned to the Georgia Performance Standards. The parent portal and professional development module is slated to launch Semester 2 – 2009.

Quick Summary / Abstract
Presented by: Ms. Ramona Tyson, Chief Information Officer

Details:
This application was approved by the Board of Education on December 20, 2007 and the approval (RFP 8-12) included a five-year payment schedule with required annual BOE approval. Future payments are as follows:

December 20, 2007 $1,600,000.00 completed
July 1, 2008 $1,600,000.00 current request
July 1, 2009 $1,600,000.00 future
July 1, 2010 $1,058,383.00 future
July 1, 2011 $ 927,350.00 future
July 1, 2012 $ 464,003.00 future
TOTAL $7,249,736.00

MIS is in way over their collective heads. They've coasted under Ms. Tyson because Lewis, Central Office employees, and the BOE are totally in the dark about return on investment of the expenditure of DCSS technology dollars.

This is an example of what we're paying 283 MIS personnel $19,000,000 a year in salary and benefits for.

Anonymous said...

This is a response to Anonymous 4:22 pm from the DeKalb Watch's article "The Amaxing May 10 Board Meeting":

Here's 2 posts back to back. I hope this helps some parents/taxpayers understand the importance of an impartial audit.

@ Anonymous 4:22 pm
"But the system spent $300,000 for a compensation and classification study less than five years ago. Some board members said the money was spent but the study sat on the shelf “gathering dust.” “I’m having a hard time understanding why that’s part of what we’re doing,” said (Bebe) Joyner of the compensation study. “I have real concerns about the rationale for doing another study to downsize. We have the talent in house to get the job done. I think we can do this without spending a $1 million.”

September 3, 2003, upon Dr. Brown’s recommendation, the BOE approved $341,000 for Ernst and Young to conduct a compensation study for DCSS to pay fair market value to DCSS employees. This study was exhaustive with around 15,000 employees participating in detailed suveys’, and the results were ready for BOE review seven months later.

The AJC published an article April 2, 2004 regarding the BOE meeting where Ernst and Young consultant Jim Landry presented his summary of DCSS Compensation and Classification Study.

The AJC article by Jen Sansbury reported that:
1. Over 2,500 non-teaching employees (35% of all non-teaching personnel) cost DCSS $14.8 million a year in salary over payments.
2. Less than 300 employees (3%) were underpaid, a figure totaling less than $300,000 a year
3. Teachers are paid slightly less than some other metro area teachers
4. At the time of the study, there were 7,335 non-teaching personnel and about 7,000 teaching personnel
5. Jim Landry of Ernst and Young presented his analysis of these over payments to the BOE
6. The article provides direct quotes from Jim Landry of Ernst and Young
7. BOE members expressed shock at the over payments, and the article included a picture of Ms. Joyner.

AJC’s copyright agreement forbids copying or forwarding the complete article. Below is what is open for public viewing, and at the end of these posts, I provided the AJC link if you want to pay $6 for the entire article (I found it extremely interesting and enlightening):

“Study: DeKalb schools overpay workers”
Date: April 2, 2004 Publication: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The DeKalb County School System overpays more than 2,500 nonteaching employees to the tune of $14.8 million, but officials said the district may not be able to address the issue in time to affect next school year's budget.

Ernst &Young consultant Jim Landry told school board members Thursday that some positions are "overvalued" and carry "inflated titles. "He did not cite specific examples and took care to ……….”

This article, published April 2, 2004 (Friday), says “Jim Landry told school board members Thursday” which would have placed this meeting on April 1, 2004 (Thursday).

Reviewing the BOE website, there's no information about this meeting except it is referred to in notes of the BOE meeting held May 3, 2004 so we know it was held.

Unlike other BOE meetings, this one has:
1. No listing on the DCSS BOE website
2. No downloadable meeting notes
2. No Ernst and Young summary attachment

I agree that this $341,000 audit that concludes that DCSS should have been saving almost $15,000,000 a year in non-teaching personnel cost is indeed "gathering dust" and not accessible to taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

By October, 2004 Johnny Brown was gone and Crawford Lewis was the superintendent.

Contd. impartial audit...

In the BOE minutes 9/05/05 and 12/05/05, Crawford Lewis disputed that the $14 million dollar figure was correct. He said the over payment was just under $2 million a year, and he was not going to recommend changing anyone’s pay.

Eventually, Dr. Lewis used an HR document that produced changes in personnel titles rather than compensation changes that would have by his own admission saved DCSS taxpayers millions of dollars.

I do not think a DCSS in-house audit should be run. The last audit information went into HR and when it came out, title changes (e. g. Driver, Bus Aide became Bus Driver Aide, etc.) were the only result even though Ernst and Young recommended almost $15,000,000 a year in compensation reductions for non-teaching personnel.

DCSS desperately needs:
1. An independent audit done by a totally independent and reputable entity
2. Study results need to be made public for taxpayers to review
3. Action needs to be taken to adjust salaries of any over compensated employees

This study should also compare the numbers of employees it takes to perform specific functions as compared to other school systems with the same demographics.

$15,000,000 a year in over compensation for non-teaching employees is actually a very big deal. Over 6 years, this would equate to $90,000,000, a figure that would have precluded much of the negative impact this economic crisis has had on our students. Do we want to continue to overpay non teaching personnel while we make unsustainable cuts in our classroom?

AJC article:
http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=AT&p_theme=at&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&s_hidethis=no&p_field_label-0=Author&p_field_label-1=title&p_bool_label-1=AND&p_text_label-1=Study:%20DeKalb%20schools%20overpay%20workers&s_dispstring=headline%28Study:%20DeKalb%20schools%20overpay%20workers%29%20AND%20date%28all%29&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 8:09 p.m., appreciate the detail. Yes, you can count on my vote on this one for a Golden Shower Award.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:36 pm

Pam Speaks talks as if she was always a Special Education teacher for DCSS. In 2004, she was the Title I director for $122,260, one of the highest paid administrators in DCSS - way more than Crawford Lewis was making.

I haven't seen Pam Speaks "speaking up" for teachers and students in DCSS schools. How long ago was Pam Speaks in the classroom? From her reticence to speak up for the schoolhouse and her highly paid administrative position 5 years ago, I'd say it was a long, long time.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 8:00 pm

Actually, that's not the way it works. MIS pays a service to filter Internet sites on the DCSS network. Any sites not on approved list of that service will be blocked. In case a teacher needs a website for his/her lesson, he/she needs to ask MIS through the proper channels (and paperwork) for the site to be accessible. It might be time consuming for teachers, but it works fine for MIS time wise and that's important to them.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 8:37: Dr. Speaks was at Warren Tech today supporting DeKalb's special ed graduates -- on her own dime, which now is under $20K annually if that makes you feel any better. You may not believe in her, but I do. I spoke with her there, and she's committed to the kids.

Anonymous said...

Great info on the Ernst & Young audit. It's time for that document to come out into the public eye again. I also think Ga State should do a new audit immediately. They just finished the county audit and it had very interesting details like the managers for managers items.

Like DeKalb County, DCSS has a lot of middle management for middle management. When you cross one of the upper management, like Moseley, Thompson, Mitchell, Turk, Tyson or others you are banished, with pay, to the warehouse or another facility housing DCSS rejects.

The upper management is entrenched with nepotism, cronyism, outright fraud, and other nefarious, most likely criminal activity. All this with our tax dollars. The current managements run is over! Gloria Talley saw it coming and she bails out in June. Let's hope she takes some of her 50+ staff with her.

MIS is a disaster, under Tyson family members were given 15K raises, without board approval, until it was exposed. One person did not report to his new higher paid position for 6 months, until parents discovered he was hiding out in an elementary school near Chamblee. This current 7 million dollar boondoggle is a disgrace. If this happened in the private sector people would be fired so fast. Why not at the DCSS. This failure along with others like America's Choice need to be exposed!

I thank God for our school every day! Despite the weak leadership at the Central Office, our principal and teachers with the support of our PTA has done incredible things! You can find at least 25 volunteers daily at our school. Helping with reading, administering AR tests, watching the kids at lunch, so the teachers can get a break, Dads cleaning up the grounds outside, and so much more.

I wonder why we even have a Central Office staff sometimes. I think the only thing we could do currently is tell everyone in upper management to resign. That way the Palace they designed on Mountain Industrial will be used for the new hires we find to replace the frauds that have been in high places for too long.

Mr. Moseley, Dr. Thompson, Ms. Tyson, Mr. Turk, Ms. Mitchell, please resign, your time has come to an end at DCSS. You have ruined our trust in the DCSS.

We'll make due in the interim, we can't do much worse than you have done up to this point. I'm sure you'll find a system somewhere else to work. We need to start over at the top and work down.

It's time for change at DCSS!

Parents we made a difference at the school house, at least some and now it's time to make a difference at the Central Office. Like a previous post said, the Gravy Train has derailed and it's time for parents to clean up this mess that Lewis, Tyson, Moseley, Pope, Thompson, Mitchell, Davis and the former BOE family members, who have raked in millions, at our childrens expense, made of OUR school system.

Cerebration said...

Great research on the Ernst & Young study anon. As always, we have to point out that not only did Lewis deny the depth of overpayments to administrators, he went ahead and continued to inflate those same administrator's salaries to absurd levels -- The golden trough from which he fed and then had to take a shower with the golden showerhead!

Central office staffing's bloated salaries
Here is a comparison between 2004 salaries and 2009 salaries:

NAME - 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

==========

Also, It appears that the 2010 budget of the Office of the Superintendent has increased 10.1% from 2009.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:03 -
I am reposting your comment because I couldn't have said it any better myself. I hope the parents can rally around the IB Programme and save it for our high school students. It truly is a jewel in the crown.

"I thought IB was a bragging point for DCSS. I guess not - Public Relations hasn't even posted anything on it since 2007. I guess they are content to let the IB Programme become the bragging right of the Gwinnett, Cobb and Fulton schools.

Meanwhile those teachers continue to teach magnificently, the kids continue to get a world-class education, and the IB Diploma Programme grads keep getting full academic scholarships to Vassar, Univ of Chicago, Stanford, Princeton, Agnes Scott, Tulane, Ga. Tech, Emory, MIT, .... How long will that continue?"

themommy said...

The challenge in electing new board members is that they must be ready to hit the ground running. They must have a solid sense of education issues, financial responsibility, and a healthy does of skepticism.

The major problem with this board, is that until recently, most of them have trusted, hook, line and sinker, whatever came out of the staff's mouths. Mostly because the board members don't know any better and because they don't spend the time asking their own hard questions.

If I was on the Board, here is one I might have asked, do we have to proceed with relocating the Central Office or can we cancel the renovations planned for Mountain Industrial and invest that money in the schools?


Another I might have asked, "Do we really need to renew Pat Pope's salary because of the Heery Mitchell Lawsuit?" I am hearing now that Dr. Lewis claimed this and it might not be true.

We need board members who are well read, understand education trends at both the local and national level and aren't afraid to ask the hard questions and press for answers.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, nothing personal Daryush Sattari, I have never met you and don't know of your qualifications.

All I can see from what's reported in this blog thread is that you were willing to work for DeKalb Schools in 2004 for $49K, but by 2009 you got nearly a $100,000 (3X) raise while everyone else was taking cuts.

Pardon the question, but are you related to someone "important"? If not, did you sleep with someone? Let us know W'sTF. Maybe '04 reporting was a part-year, we hope so because it's a pretty big annual jump for the government sector, even in Tyson's group.

DARYUSH (2004-2009) - $49,451- $147,539.80

Really?

Anonymous said...

I understand that today all Instructional Coordinators were given non-renewal packets and that their positions will be posted for new applicants. Someone please tell me what good that does. What is that cliche: rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic?

Ramona Tyson rids herself of a cadre of Instructional Coordinators who have resumes of lengthy teaching careers and deep content knowledge, but keeps AUDRIA BERRY's zombie force of INSTRUCTIONAL COACHES to send staggering out to the schools next year.

Also, have you heard about the "purchase orders" for Ralph Simpson's vanity-press-published book? Well, it seems that some have been found with fraudulent names attached to them. I hear Ralph has the books stacked in his garage and sends them out in the mail with his signature himself! Now that is (sarcasm) altruism!

God help the DeKalb County School System. Jim Cherry must be turning in his grave!

Anonymous said...

Any way to get our hands on the the list of 150 positions eliminated in Central Office? From what i am hearing about who was let go today, sounds like many cuts were those with direct student contact and not high level administrators - science teachers at Fernbank Science Center, counselors, IB coordinator. After all this grandstanding about cutting Central Office, we need to see the list. I suspect most of the bloat has been spared and other innocent, hard working people sacrificed. The media, including AJC, has reported these 150 cuts, all along, as administrative, but lots of school-based folks are hidden in that CO budget line and seem to be the ones who have lost jobs. We need to see the list!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yikes, Anon 9:50! Dr. Sattari was a science teacher at my high school for a few years, and he may still be teaching science, in the county. One thing I can assure you of is he did not sleep with anybody to get his job! The likely explanation for his pay raise is he received back pay all at once for his doctorate degree which was earned out of the country. He may not have been the most dynamic teacher while he was at my school, but he is a kind man and doesn't deserve the nasty implications you make!

Ella Smith said...

I just got home and read what is happening. What a mess?

I actully just got an email from CBS Atlanta because of all the emails and complaints I expressed about the ambulance at Adams. However the facts in the newpaper are incorrect. Everyone there who was timing the situation had at least 40 minutes. Even after the ambulance came it took another 15 minutes to get ready to leave. It was a horrible situation. This is not the type of service I pay my tax money for.

On another note the fancy central office is also unacceptable. We have classrooms and schools throughout the county in horrible shape and without needed teaching needs due to the age of the buildings. To equip a building for the central office staff and school board like this and use SPLOT funds is not acceptable. The children of Dekalb should come first.

In the school superintendent's defense he has meetings at school late and school board meetings. A shower at work may be acceptable so he can take a shower before going out for night meetings.

As a coach and teacher at Riverwood several years ago I had a shower in my office and on game day or banquet night I would use it. It got used at least once a week when I had to stay late at school. It really is not such a bad idea and the superintendent may need this. However, I cannot believe that the PR person could not tell the media the reason the superintendent may need a shower. It was pretty simple for me to understand the reasoning as a teacher/coach who has worked long hours.

Taking a shower sometimes is all you need to help you get ready to spend extra hours at a job. It allows you to feel refreshed and allows you to freshen up.

Anonymous said...

"However, I cannot believe that the PR person could not tell the media the reason the superintendent may need a shower. It was pretty simple for me to understand the reasoning as a teacher/coach who has worked long hours."

Ella, I agree that the shower is not a big deal and could be justified. But the nonresponse by Mr. Davis was totally unacceptable. Why are we paying this guy?

Anonymous said...

Just curious here. Does Pat Pope have a secretary? If so, why?

Anonymous said...

@ Ella 10:26 pm

No offense, but thousands of DCSS teachers have to meet with parents for conference nights, and due to their commutes and/or meetings and obligations after school, they would like to freshen up with a shower before they conclude their 12 hour pretty sweaty days. However, they don't have this option, and actually meeting with parents of students is pretty important.

I think $200,000 on the superintendent's office is a bit excessive when students are asked to use toilets that have no toilet paper, no soap, and feces on the seats, we have buckets in the halls to catch the rainwater coming through the roof, and mold in the carpets that aggravates the children with asthma.

$30,000,000 for administrative offices with $2,000 chairs was not what taxpayers envisioned SPLOST dollars paying for.

Anonymous said...

I will bet you that none of the friends and family will be in the lay-offs. Jamal edwards have been playing since back when it was suppose to be a aid on a bus. He's a joke. They won't hurt any of the high paid people only the little people i promise you ,this is the way they are.

What are they going to do about all those people at sam moss? Pope had so many people on pay roll that the ladies spent time walking around because they had nothing to do. That accounting dept was a joke. They have people out there making more money than teachers.

I pray that the song by Sam Cooke will take place soon. A CHANGE IS GOING TO COME because new blood is what the system needs. Starting with a new board , super and admin that know what they are doing in the central ofice. Please keep dale davis off the news he is no billy dee williams.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:43 pm

"Jamal edwards have been playing since back when it was suppose to be a aid on a bus. He's a joke."

No Jamal (didn't show up for work at MIS for 6 weeks and Ms. Tyson didn't realize it) did not get laid off. I think he is Ms. Edwards nephew - not her son - right?

Anonymous said...

Can someone please remind me what the difference is between an Instructional Coordinator (laid off) and an Instructional Coach (still working)?

thanks.

Teaching in Dekalb for God Only Knows How Much Longer said...

Last year, a new County Coordinator for High School Mathematics was hired to assist the then current Coordinator in the task of enhancing H.S. Math education in Dekalb. The new coordinator was hired specifically to service Title I schools - being paid by Title I funding - reporting to the Title I coordinator/CEO/Holder of the Big Checkbook/Federal Fund Facilitatator, Dr. Audria Berry.

Today, the more experienced coordinator received a pink slip and was terminated. If she had received her paycheck through Title I funding, I'm sure she would still be employed.

Where is the Accountability for Title I funding?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Dr. Yvonne Butler, Executive Director, Corporate Wellness Program, who has no degree in that area or work experience, still on payroll making high six figures while the superior, talented, hard working Dr. Shannon Williams is overlooked. Shannon Williams has brought in a ton of grant money for DCSS. Yvonne Butler? Well, she was a friend of C Lew's.

Anonymous said...

@ Anoymous 11:30 pm

"Can someone please remind me what the difference is between an Instructional Coordinator (laid off) and an Instructional Coach (still working)?"

Instructional Coaches are paid by Title I funds, the Central Office "piggy bank". Instructional Coordinators are not.

As far as I can see both groups are overpaid and should be teaching students.

Anonymous said...

"
Where is the Accountability for Title I funding?"

Obviously, there is no accountability

Anonymous said...

While all you guys are freaking out over the $2000 chairs and the shower for the superintendent, chew on this:

Change orders costing God-knows how much (at the very least enough to have paid my salary for the next 5 years) in order to build offices for the board members at the new Mountain Industrial palace. Ch 2 wanted to get in there to report that story but were kept out of the building. My understanding is that no other system has individual offices for board members.

Keep in mind, these people may drop by for a few minutes every few days or so, but an entire section of the building is being changed to give them this luxury. In one case, a certain person that works hard for these same board members had his office taken away because the board decided it would need to be one of their new offices. This guy now wanders around the building grabbing a space to work from wherever he can find it. It's crazy, folks! Completely out of control.

And all that BS about cutting 15% from each department and taking seniority into account? What happened to that plan today?

Ella Smith said...

Accountability for Title I funds is a major problem. The government has continued to give the school systems money and the school systems use it as they see fit and are not accountable for results of improved test scores. Since 2007 the test scores have not improved of Title I students.

Here lies the problem in itself. This is our school superintendent's job. The school superintendent must be held accountable and so must our school board members.

I disagree regarding the shower. The school superintendent is like a COO or CEO of a company. He or she is not like a teacher. A teacher has conferences on occassion. The school superintendent has social obligations at night on a regular basis. It is unfair to compare these two situations. The problem is not the shower. The problem is all the expensive funiture and all the other extreme expenses. The school superintendent does not need to represent up with bad BO. The shower could be explained. This is not uncommon. Most school principal offices in Fulton County have showers. All the coaches offices have showers also. This is common and really not out of the ordinary in a school at all. We are talking about our school superintendent. If principals and coaches have these facilities provided commonly it would be reasonable for a superintendent to want these type of facilities also.

Anonymous said...

MIS cuts were all lower-level workers, NO management. We were told seniority would be the deciding factor, but several folks were let go while more recent hires were left in place. Strange.

Anonymous said...

I was one of the parents that caught Jamal Edwards, hiding out. First of all, he is Francis Edwards son and Philandrea Guilroy's, PDS 24 Coordinator at 125K, brother. Philandrea's husband is the Transportation Coordinator at 125K. The hits just keep on coming.

Jamal hid out at Nancy Creek for 6 months, 6 MONTHS! after he was given a 15K raise and a new position in MIS, which he did not report.

Ms. Tyson took the call when Asst. Super. Debbie Loeb called her and parents listened in to the call with CLew present.

Ms. Tyson had no idea he had not shown up for his new job, even though she was his direct supervisor.. he was never fired but has been promoted since. We never saw him again at Nancy Creek, however since the principle, at the time, would not address the situation, the parents had him reassigned as well.

After that, the most diverse school in the county was placed on a list to close, to be equitable with the south, and CLew needed the property for Kittredge since Sembler, at the time , had their eyes on the Druid Hills property.

Now the other schools are over capacity, Huntley Hills has 4 trailers and Montgomery has 565 kids and most likely will see trailers soon. The parents at Nancy Creek kept asking for lines to be redrawn so Nancy Creek could have handled some kids from just across 285. But instead Dunwoody got their new Elementary 4rh & 5th grade school and Nancy Creek became Kittredge.

One thing for sure, those parents at Nancy Creek were great, very involved. They even uncovered some things regarding the Demographers Report that was a cut and paste, word for word, from Fairfax County, Virginia. A report that cost DCSS, 100K and that Fairfax paid only 50K.

Anonymous said...

The single greatest and acute opporunity to document FRAUD (criminality) is for the Justice Department to investigate (not audit) Title 1.
It's a Federal program and the money has clearly been misappropriated.
That is the start--it is "proabable cause". Then the investigation will show that FRAUD occurred when additional "seats" have been created to justify (steal) increased funding.

This is the best opporunity because Federal programs are under Federal law enforcement jurisdiction. The state and locals, who are all friends are bypassed.

Anonymous said...

For everyone who thinks Ramona Tyson is a good Interim Superintendent, just remember the name Jamal Edwards. 6 months no show as a MIS employee.
And this miserable excuse of an employee is still on the DCSS payroll, still accruing pension and benefits.

And his sister and her husband, Philandra Guillory and David Guillory, make a cool quarter of a million of year of our tax money. Yep, former Board of Education member Frances Edwards sure left a legacy.

It's no coincidence that Ramona Tyson refused to make any significant cuts to MIS, which she grew to its incredibly bloated current state. And if the public only knew that in addition to the $20 mil we pay for MIS, how much we also pay Dell.

Anonymous said...

@ BOE = CRIMINALS, May 13 10:53 AM

"How is this NOT a CRIMINAL matter?"

I agree completely! I have some evidence that shows CLew-less's knowing misuse of funds. I have the name and out-of-state address of a retired DCSS employee who can shine a light on CLew-less's malfeasance.

There was a theft of per pupil funds in a DCSS school where the principal knowingly participated in a cover-up. Double-dipper Ron Ramsey refused to investigate when it was clear that this theft would lead to evidence of others.

How do we safely report this kind of thing and hand over evidence -- and to whom? -- without putting ourselves in danger? How can we make it possible for others at DCSS who know of wrongdoing to report it?

Upper management at DCSS were and are arrogant and they never thought they would be caught. Today's personnel cuts and the many lies they have told -- and continue to tell -- demonstrate conclusively their contempt for taxpayers, teachers and students.

This is THEFT plain and simple. The Board of Education STOLE money. DCSS's overpaid and under-talented management all stole or misused money -- or made it possible for money to be stolen -- with the full knowledge and approval of the BOE. Worse, they have stolen money, time and educational opportunities, which can never be replaced, from our children. And they should all be CHARGED, INDICTED, TRIED, CONVICTED and SENTENCED for their CRIMINAL conduct!

Anonymous said...

I can tell you this when jamal edwards was working in the transporation dept. a lady got in trouble because she said that jamal was not working his hours and she was not going to sign his pay roll. She no longer has a job with dekalb. When he did come to work he would go in a back room and sleep. Her son-in-law came in as admin. and some people lost jobs because he wanted to be the big guy and they knew more than him. Her daughter's office has to have the correct a/c and heat working at all times. That poor custodian at the bryant center would get upset if every thing in her office was not perfect. Her words that's ms. edwards daughter and i don't want to up set her. The words from the top people we don't want to up-set ms. edwards. You know there are lot of men with the system who have no back bones. I will bet you if someone check with georgia state they would find that jamal never finish. I agree the whole family is a joke.

Anonymous said...

PR RULES

NUMBER 1: Only do interviews that serve your immediate purpose.

Rule 2: Ask for questions ahead of time so that you will be prepared.

Rule 3: If the questions don't meet your goals (rule 1) then you decline the interview.

Rule 4: Don't invite media when you don't know their intentions (like a lion in a chicken coup)

Rule 5: Don't make stupid comments that can be used over and over on record

What am I saying. Dale is dumb. He should be fired. This is why Dekalb has to hire a PR firm. They have no brains. I worked as a journalist and did PR...these are basic rules. He broke them all.

The media's job is to destroy and expose and he made it so easy. Sittng dumb duck. I would fire him for pure stupidity. He made me ashamed to work for the county.
Pit----eeeee---fulllll

Anonymous said...

There has to be at least 1 law enforcement, or at least 1 lawyer, or a spouse of a lawyer reading this blog... PLEASE do something to stop the fraud if there is and to punish the fraud if there was!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If you have evidence of criminal activity inside DCSS, do not go to the media! Trust no one! The media has been part of the problem. You can't trust them. The parents at Nancy Creek found this out first hand. They went to the AJC with documents and data to back up their claims. Did the AJC reporter write about it> No way, she took the data directly to CLew, wrote an article calling the parents vociferous and did not expose any of the data.

Take any evidence of criminal activity to the DeKalb County DA's office. Gwen Keyes will be happy to add anything you have to her ongoing investigation.

Fire Them All said...

A few observations. . .

First, the Board of Education should demand that each central office employee involved in this scandal immediately resign.

(McChesney calls it the 'perfect storm'. Responsible citizens call it the 'perfect opportunity to clean house'. Put on your big boy pants, Don, and do the job you were elected to do.)

Every DCSS employee -- EVERY ONE OF THEM -- involved in this should be given the option to immediately resign. If they decline, then they should be fired.

IF this Board is serious about addressing and correcting the problems in our public schools, here is their chance.

IF this Board does not take immediate remedial action in response to this outrageous report, then they are no longer capable of serving as members of a Board of Education. And they should themselves be removed from office.

This disgraceful misuse of tax payer money in a public school system that is perpetually broke and constantly cutting educational programs cannot be defended. And it should not be tolerated.

And the responsibility for addressing it rests squarely on the shoulders of the Board of Education.

If they fail to take immediate action against those responsible for this, it will clearly demonstrate they are not qualified to serve on our public school board.

Anonymous said...

This Board of Education, led by Tom Bowen,is getting brand new individual offices for very member. Nowhere else in the state does a BOE have individual offices for members. And all the furniture and fixtures will be brand new.

The Mountain Industrial Complex was No. 31 on the SPLOST list. Crawford Lewis, Pat Pope, Tom Bowen and the BOE allowed it to be moved up in front of many schools with dire needs.

Now the BOE is getting their own fancy office with fancy furniture and fixtures, paid by us, while we have schools literally falling apart.

Time for some open records requests.

Cerebration said...

For those interested in helping us figure out the difference between "instructional specialists" and "instructional coaches" and "instructional coordinators", please read what we have posted on the subject here

Clarity on the "Instructional Specialists" vs "Instructional Supervisors"

Add your comments to help with our attempt at clarity. According to our researcher, "instructional specialists" are teachers. If they are cutting "instructional specialists" then they are cutting teachers, I believe.

There is no way to identify those teachers who are certified as K-12 specialists and work in elementary or middle schools. The only title under which those teachers may be classified is "Instructional Specialists P-8". The breakdown of the 445 "Instructional Specialists P-8" who work in our elementary and middle schools is as follows:

Art -- 65 teachers
Band/General Music/Chorus/Orchestra/Strings -- 153 teachers
Physical Education -- 182 teachers
Left the system after 2008-2009 -- 45 teachers

Anonymous said...

"instructional specialists" and "instructional coaches" and "instructional coordinators"


Here's the difference: Instructional specialists actually teach our children and earn their pay.

Instructional coaches and instructional coordinators are part of the Gloria Talley/Deborah Rives army, and they used to teach, but then wanted higher salary, low energy and effort positions with fancy titles where they could boss around actual teachers with mindless, unproductive busy work. Like how a bulletin board should look. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

With regard to Nancy Creek, the parents there put together an excellent presentation and took it to CLew-less. A few months later, he saw a second round if evidence that the demographic study was a fake: the annotated and highlighted cut-and-paste job (demographic "study") for which DCSS paid more than $100,000. He claimed to be totally surprised by what he saw and said he had no idea, even though it turned out later that he did, in fact, already know about the problem because Nancy Creek parents had brought it to his attention.

CLew-less was given a paper copy and a CD with all of the documentation regarding the fake demographic study. Even if he destroyed his copies, that documentation still exists.

All of this information was provided to multiple Atlanta media outlets. They did nothing.

Debbie Loeb was in on at least two meetings with CLew-less about gross "irregularities" in DCSS. At least one concerned the fake demographic study. The other concerned Fernbank Science Center and Arabia Mountain where CLew-less again was shown "irregularities" and claimed to be shocked and grateful that it was brought to his attention.

For the fake demographic study, Debbie Loeb was the sole witness and she quickly retired (within a couple of weeks) and moved out of state following that meeting. For the meeting on Fernbank Science Center, Debbie Loeb and Gloria Talley were both witnesses. Now Gloria Talley is moving out of state.

Anonymous said...

Even more current malfeasance and violation of the law occurred when the School Leadership (Dr. Lewis) and the Board failed to contribute to the TSA accounts of employees.
The Board acknowledged this violation of the law at the last budget meeting and said they would pay the money back.
This does not remedy the violation. For the 100's retiring recently and in the near future this also represents the County's failure to accurately report income to the Teacher Retirement System. The long term affect on employees is immense.
The Board had better get this fixed before they have to deal with a massive lawsuit.

Cerebration said...

To clarify - they didn't break the law - they broke their own board policy. I do think there may be some issue with not contributing to anything though - since they legally "opted out" of social security in order to go with TSA - they didn't have to pay their share of SS (employers share is what - 6% of pay? Not sure.) So, without payments to TSA, now they are contributing nothing towards teachers retirement - and that could very well be an issue. This money will have to be paid back with interest (of course, considering what happened to the rest of us in the last couple of years regarding 401k's - maybe they will get away with putting in less - accounting for the losses in the market.)

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:57 AM, if you knoww anyone who has the presentation about the"fake demographic study", I'm sure Cere would post it on the blog if you get it to Cere.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 8:46

We need to be careful about generalizations - not all Instructional Coordinators were part of the "zombie army". The IB coordinator I talked about above was listed as an Instructional Coordinator, and he was present in the schools frequently as well as at after-hours meetings with parents to explain and clarify the IB program.

I think generalizing is just what the "deciders" at DCSS did - fired everyone with a certain title, without ever looking at what they did. We need to allow that there may well have been some very effective people thrown out with the bathwater.

Anon 5/13 9:59pm said
"I understand that today all Instructional Coordinators were given non-renewal packets and that their positions will be posted for new applicants."

Will a person be able to re-apply for their own job? Or will we be getting new and possibly clueless replacements for thos of the Coordinators who knew their jobs and did them well?

Anonymous said...

So much for the kids interests a heart. We our losing our fabulous CTSS. They were on the ball with things all time. If I put a request in for my computer or projector, done by the end of the day. Needed software approval for the kids...done I know they only cut 9, but I am sad to say that DCSS is losing my amazing CTSS.

Heard they let all the ones who are familiar with eSiS go and those who fix it on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...

While it is sad that DCSS personnel losing their jobs, it is even sadder to see students packed into classrooms of 35, not being able to receive individual attention if they don't understand a key concept, not being able to participate in science labs unless the teacher is willing to ignore empirical studies that show lab accidents rise dramatically with these numbers.

Many, many, many more cuts need to be made and the inflated salaries of non-teaching employees must to be brought in line with their counterparts at other school systems and businesses that employ personnel with similar functions. Teaching salaries are already in line so that's not an issue.

Would anyone sacrifice the students in the classroom to keep all these non-teaching personnel employed? If you suggest doing that, you are missing the entire point of our educational system. We are not a jobs program. Almost all certified personnel should be teaching in classrooms, and very few should be non-teaching supervisors. This is the way it used to run in DCSS. If you want to blame NCLB for all those excess personnel (e.g. Office of School Improvement), then DCSS should pull out of NCLB. All we would lose are Title 1 funds, and we've seen that none of those funds are being used to benefit students anyway.

We need to bring class sizes to below 30 in high school, 24 in intermediate and 21 in primary. These were the class sizes for our children before Dr. Lewis became superintendent, and our schools and scores were so much better then.

Dr. Lewis added layers and layers of non-teaching personnel, dramatically increased the salaries of non-teaching personnel, decreased the number of teachers, crammed more and more students into each classroom, and all the while raised taxes to the highest level in the history of DeKalb County.

My property taxes have almost doubled in the last 5 years even as DeKalb has not gained in student enrollment, less and less money has flowed into the classroom, and student achievement has steadily gone down.

I honestly don't mind the thousands extra in property taxes I pay even though I don't have a child in DCSS anymore if it benefits students. But I do resent paying thousands more a year for students to be worse off.

When you double my property taxes and we have less students, I expect low class sizes and reasonably compensated personnel. I expect abundant, cutting edge, and working technology in the schools. I expect students to have clean toilets and a safe learing environment.

Most of my neighbors don't have children in DCSS anymore, but they all have experienced the same rise in property taxes, and they feel the same way I do. I know that because I've talked to them about it. There is an ugly mood out there about any additional SPLOST money being voted in until we have a new BOE and superintendent.

We may be old and retired, but we know that we'll have to depend on our young people one day so we do value education. Building palaces for overpaid and over staffed Central office personnel is not what any of us want.

Anonymous said...

"We are not a jobs program."

I agree with you!


But there are those who don't, and they make the decisionss, and they could care less what the public thinks about how they spend our taxpayer money:

Sarah Copelin-Wood
Zepora Roberts
Gene Walker
Ramona Tyson/Crawford Lewis
Gloria Talley
Deborah Rives
Tony Hunter
Ron Ramsey
Bob Moseley
Frances Edwards (and all her relatives working for DCSS)
John Evans

Cerebration said...

Great point, Anon 12:29 PM. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us and for staying involved in local issues - I hope you will corral all of your retired and neighborhood friends and help us elect new people to the board seats up for election in November! Talk about this election with anyone and everyone who will listen - it's a critical one!

Anonymous said...

Thank you 8:57 Anonymous for your incredibly insightful information. I was a parent at Nancy Creek and you very eloquently described the meetings a few years ago. When Ms. Loeb, "retired" in a hurry, we knew something was up. She was the one bright spot at the Central Office. So involved, direct and she was a mover. She never sat on anything, unlike the way things are now!

I'm looking for the documents some want to see, I was included on emails from parents that were involved.

It's time we take our system back! Tyson, Moseley, Thompson, Mitchell, Turk, Edwards/Guilroy family members,and others must go! You've lost the trust of most of the general public in DeKalb. The majority will not stand for this current leadership at all levels. I suggest an immediate independent review of all employees with salaries of 85K and above. Any of the salaried employees that have received raises of above 15% sine 2004, should be fired. I know it will be tough if we fire everyone at once but until someone gets a message, DCSS is doomed! Time for change!

Anonymous said...

Great, more fighting between the county and the school system:

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-blames-schools-911-526772.html

Karen Bass said...

I honestly do not understand how every single person who knew about this still has a job.
Did the school board know? If they did and did not do anything, they should all step down.
More importantly, I hope each DeKalb resident who now knows about this takes an interest in the activity of the DeKalb BOE and makes an effort at change. I know I intend to.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 2:57 pm

Email your BOE member that you want an independent salary and compensation audit. Get everyone you know to email their BOE member requesting an independent salary and compensation audit.

This BOE is dragging their feet on a salary and compensation audit saying it will be hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the last one is "gathering dust". Yes, the last consultants, Ernst and Young were paid $341,000 for the audit, but they said DCSS was overpaying 2,500 non-teaching personnel almost $15,000,000 a year. They placed every single employee in a category according to the job functions they were performing and then recommend what each category should be paid at fair market value. If Lewis and the BOE had implemented the recommendations, we would not have even been discussing the budget. We would be like Decatur - sitting with a balanced budget ($15,000,000 in savings over 6 years is $190,000,000)

Lewis persuaded the BOE (only Roberts and Copelin-Wood are still there - they went along with Lewis) to ignore the over payments. Lewis then proceeded to add even more non-teaching personnel (at the expense of our teaching personnel) and give them even bigger raises. Just compare the 2004 state Salary and Travel audit to the 2009 state Salary and Travel audit to see the incredible raises these already overcompensated personnel received.

No one member of this BOE understands the meaning of fiscal responsibility or that meeting the educational needs of the classroom is why they are elected.

Why would the BOE members who have friends and family in high paying non-teaching positions want an audit that might affect their friends' and/or family members' pay and even their continued employment? Is that why they are also against outsourcing?

They will drag their feet on this audit, hope they can "fool most of the people most of the time", and bide their time in hopes that the economy gets better.

Anonymous said...

Oops! I made a math error:
We would be like Decatur - sitting with a balanced budget ($15,000,000 in savings over 6 years is $90,000,000).

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 2:57 PM

I have the originals of the cut-and-paste fake demographic survey. I also have the content of the CD that was provided to CLew-less. I also have all of the Nancy Creek materials, although I did not put those together.

We had such disappointing results in providing these items to the media. Apparently Clew-less and his lackey, Dale Davis, were able to shut down any coverage or media investigation.

I am reluctant to make any of this available now to anyone else but the FBI. I don't even trust the DeKalb County DA. She is a friend of CLew-less and she definitely should have turned over the investigation(s) to a DA from another county.

How could we both feel safe to talk with each other about this? Cere? Any suggestions?

I hate to sound so paranoid, but CLew-less and his cronies thought they were untouchable. Now they are backed into a corner and some of them -- all of them, including CLew-less, I hope -- will be looking at federal prison. They are desperate people.

Plus, I watched CLew-less go after and essentially ruin the career and reputation of a person who seemed to have inadvertently stumbled upon per-pupil funding fraud.

And, of course, the description of what he did to Nancy Creek fits perfectly with everything else he has done.

I think Debbie Loeb could see the light at the end of the tunnel and realized it truly was an oncoming train. So, she quickly left. But, she is definitely a person who should be subpoenaed to provide information to the FBI.

Ella Smith said...

I was shocked to see my boss Debbie Loeb name on this blog. I did not know she worked for Dekalb at one time. It is such a small world.

Anonymous said...

@ Ella
Debbie Loeb was the principal at Montgomery ES for some years. I used to work with her and her staff. The staff and parents seemed to like her a lot. I was sorry to see here go to the Central Office since everyone seemed to like her so much at Montgomery.

Anonymous parent said...

True to form, DCSS kept all the support staff at our school, but fired one regular teacher and one administrator who worked extensively and directly with students who needed additional tutoring to do well. Their "policy" of giving priority to staff who work "in the schoolhouse" is a joke--but of course, their answer is that they follow strict HR guidelines with last-in first-out firings, and what else can they do?

I have heard, however, that this policy is not being followed across the board in this week's mayhem. As taxpayers, we are entitled to know exactly who got fired in DCSS. Isn't this public record knowledge, in the same way that we're entitled to know the name of any public employee? The names are usually on the school websites, so who is employed at a school can't be confidential information.

If we had the names, we could determine whether HR policies and fair labor practices were followed. There are plenty of rumors at this point, and it would be great to know what's true and what's not.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that teachers were fired at Fernbank Science ctr? I thought the board had previously said no teachers were to be fired. Does anyone know?

Also, what about transportation to STT? Is that being eliminated this year with the scaled-down hub system? Or do they still get door to door transport?

Fernbank Volunteer said...

One teacher and one administrator, the head of the STT program, were fired at Fernbank Science Center. These are serious losses for the students of DCSS.

Cerebration said...

Anon - take your files to

Sally Quillian Yates, United States Attorney

Serving the Northern District of Georgia


The United States Attorney's Office
Richard B. Russell Federal Building
75 Spring Street, S.W.
Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30303-3309

Tel: 404.581.6000
Fax: 404.581.6181

Office Hours: Monday to Friday (8:30 am to 5:00 pm)

United States Attorney's Office at Northern District of Georgia welcomes any questions, comments, or concerns you may have.

Please direct them to the address provided above.

Anonymous said...

Fernbank,

Were these lay-offs or performance based? I am surprised if layoffs because the board has been saying no teacher layoffs.

Also, do you know about transportation for STT for next year?

Anonymous said...

Cerebration, Just to clarify the retirement issue; The system did (I guess that I should say had to)pay into the TRSA (Teacher retirement system of Georgia) this year. That replaced SSI and they can't not pay. They didn't but now have to since it violates board policy into our TSA( Tax Sheltered Annuity). This is with Fidelity or some other options teachers were given. The annoying thing is that when they didn't pay into the TSA, individual teachers were prevented from paying out of their own funds. I have been told that that option was easily negotiated between DCSS and Fidelity but, shock and surprise, DCSS never bothered.

Cerebration said...

Thanks so much for clarifying that, Anon.

Dunwoody Mom said...

All furniture not used, opened or with tags still on should be returned. Anything already ordered should be cancelled.

I was just at Sam's Club. They had some nice leather, Lane desk chairs for $179.00 and a nice cherry desk for $479.00.

DCSS - Get a Sam's Club Corporate Card....

Anonymous said...

BoardPolicy Descriptor Code: DFBA
Withholding of Funds
ALTERNATIVE PLAN TO SOCIAL SECURITY
MISSION: To ensure that employees of the DeKalb County School System are provided retirement and insurance plans as alternatives to Social Security.
The DeKalb County Board of Education shall provide all full-time employees with an alternative program to Social Security. The amount of funds placed annually in the alternative program shall equal the amount that the school system would have paid had the school system remained under Social Security.
The Alternative Plan to Social Security shall include, as a minimum, the following:
1.Improvements to the survivor benefit life insurance plan in existence in September 1979
The survivor benefit plan is designed to provide lump sum payments to beneficiaries and monthly income to eligible surviving family members upon the death of an employee.
2 Improvements to the long-term disability plan in existence in September 1979
The disability benefits plan provides disabled employees a coordinated benefit for a specified period of time following an established elimination period.
3. Alternative retirement plan paid for by the Board of Education
The supplemental retirement plan provides retirement benefits through legally mandated and\or Board approved contributions and investment strategies.
The Board of Education shall give a two-year notice to employees before reducing the funding provisions of the Alternative Plan to Social Security.
DeKalb County Schools Date Adopted: 9/11/2000

Administrative Regulation
Descriptor Code:DFBA-R
Withholding of Funds
ALTERNATIVE PLAN TO SOCIAL SECURITY
Each year a determination shall be made as to the amount of money that would have been required to continue participation in Social Security during the forthcoming fiscal year. This amount shall be budgeted to fund the Alternative Plan to Social Security.
The amount determined above shall be distributed as follows:
1. Cost for improvements to the survivor benefit plan over and above the cost of the September 1979, base plan.
2. Cost for improvements to the long-term disability plan over and above the cost of the September 1979, base plan.
3. Cost for contributions to the Teachers Retirement System for the DeKalb County Board of Education's contribution to the employee's annuity plan. O.C.G.A. § 47-3-1(11) provides that all money paid by an employer for a member or by a member into any tax sheltered annuity plan shall be included as earnable compensation for the purpose of computing any contributions required to be made to the Teachers Retirement System and also for the purpose of computing any benefits.
4. Remainder to employee's annuity plan.
DeKalb County Schools Date Issued: 9/11/2000

Anonymous said...

Cere,
Will you please do an article on the job titles of the people that were terminated over the last two days? I have only heard of paras, secretaries, police officers and painters that received notifcation. Someone came to their school and sat down with them and their principal and read a prepared script. They were then told that they could go home or stay. I have heard of no high level individuals being notifed that they will not have a job. How does that work? Paras work in the schools and are direclty engaged with students.When is the last time that you had to break up two or three students fighting? Should my female principal who is short and small do it. Or, should we get some staff members out of class to handle it? How about some of the coordinators in the area offices, how many of those individual received notification? Did any of the many executive directors in the many departments located at the county office lose their jobs. The budget is being balanced on the back of average worker. Those in high level positions will still have their jobs. If you do not feel that larger class sizes, fewer para educators, less officers and schools that need repair will not impact the quality of education, then you have no understanding of what the schools are facing in 2010. As I tried to afford the trash cans and buckets in the hall to avoide the leaks, I am happy to know that there are nice chairs in the superintendents suite.Before you ask, why hasn't your principal ahd the leaks fixed? We are still wairing for someone from plant services to come.

Cerebration said...

I have no information on who has been laid off, however, your idea for a post is a good one - let's use what you wrote and let people tell us who has been let go...

Dunwoody Mom said...

The Human Resources report at the next BOE meeting should outline all of the "separations", I would think.

Anonymous said...

Please fogive the errors in the comments I posted. I posted at 7:45 Today was a hard day. A para who makes about 23,000 dollars was terminated today. His salary for a year equals to about 10 chairs for the superintendent suite. Even though that money could not have been used to save his job, how did we get to this point?

Anonymous said...

I've been reading posts that express concern about FSC personnel, IB personnel, magnet and SST transportation, small schools, etc. being cut.

What did you expect? Lewis and his administration including Tyson and Mosley are masters of placating special interest groups just enough to keep them from cooperating with each other and the greater group of regular ed parents. Mosley refers to parents as "background noise", and they are treated as such.

Ms. Tyson and the BOE have instituted selective bloodletting in your special interest area that lets you know your entire program operates at their discretion.

FSC supporters, do you really expect support from the magnet, small schools, and IB supporters or the greater DCSS parent community? Have you been active supporters of these other interest groups and the greater community of students?

Parents of students in regular ed local schools, have you been interested in the plight of students in special programs and small schools?

When will you realize that successful programs and/or high quality local schools can remain and be expanded ONLY if you come together with every single parent in DCSS, North and South, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, magnet and non-magnet, STT student and non-STT student?

With this $30,000,000 Central Office palace as an example of the gross money management policy in DCSS and indications that next year's budget will be even worse, strength in numbers is of the utmost importance.

DCSS has millions and millions and millions of dollars being paid out for ineffective learning programs and overstaffed and overpaid non-teaching employees - way over $15,000,000 a year just in the compensation of non-teaching personnel alone.

We have over a billion dollars a year in our 2010-11 budget - $1,000,000,000. That's more than enough for 97,000 students to have a decent education and accommodate the special needs and interests of various student groups. But not enough to fund the 8,500 overpaid non-teaching employees and tens of millions more in failed learning and technology programs.

This is the moment for DCSS parents to put aside their own special interest and work to revolutionize the BOE and Central Office. That's the only way we can take back our school system and ensure the programs that work and personnel who successfully teach our kids are in place in this narrow window of time we call their childhood.

Anonymous said...

I've read this blog with interest for months now. I learn a lot here. However, I find too many posts lacking knowledge of the big picture, egocentric to the poster's personal situation, and often mean spirited. This has been a terribly sad week in DeKalb Schools. Many people have lost their jobs, their insurance, etc. Whether or not you felt the person was useful, they are a person. Do you really think we need to post their names - even if it is "public record"? Then everyone can post their opinion of that person and whether or not they "deserved" to lose their job. Seriously? I see names thrown about a lot on here. Apparently everyone making over a certain pay grade is free game for any comment. If you have first hand knowledge of something unethical or illegal that someone has done, by all means call that person out. But be specific. Quote the person. Give dates of events. List the relationships involved in nepotism. If you have a problem with anyone in the school system making over a certain amount of money, tell us your limit. If you have a problem with specific positions, then tell us what positions need to be eliminated and why. I am tired of reading the vague comments, innuendos, lists of names and salaries. This is nothing more than unsubstantiated gossip at best and slander/libel at worst. I do not work in the school system. (Although I did years ago before I had my children.)Now I am a parent. I do not allow my children to trash others or repeat gossip. If you don't know something to be true from first hand knowledge or research, please don't use people's names. And please respect the privacy of those who lost their jobs this week. Just because you can print their names, doesn't mean you should.

Cerebration said...

Well, this is a blog.

At any rate - no one is out to post the names and salaries of those who are losing their jobs. We do want to know what kinds of positions they are - as the board has stated again and again that they are not cutting teachers (without clarifying that points are teachers).

Now - administration - hmm. That's a toughie. Much of what we publish is because we see redundancy and unnecessary positions. As well as when someone's salary is way out of line with similar positions or if they are a close relative of a board member - we wonder - out loud. We're not publishing anything that can't be found very easily at the state's website. Is the state somehow gossiping? Or is this simply reporting on possible misuse of tax dollars.

Also, people in positions of power in public systems are and should be scrutinized. They are paid with our tax dollars - and our intention is for those tax dollars to go for only one purpose - educating our children. We happen to think that there is no way that we need as many or more non-teachers than teachers - and that's what we have at the moment. Many of these non-educators actually earn more income than teachers. It's absurd. It should be called out.

That said, I agree - please don't post names of people who have lost their job. But if they are teachers, or somehow directly in contact with students - we'd like to know (sans names). These cuts will not make for happy schoolhouses this fall.

Anonymous said...

Annon 8:33 I beg to disagree!

Whether by ommission or commission or both, the entire DCSS from top down shares guilt in this ongoing criminal enterprise. Failing to take action, failing to report, failing to figure out you are being paid for doing little or nothing, and on and on makes a person guilty. And as recently quoted from some "Housewives of someplace"..."you hang around garbage long enough, you start to stink.

No Duh said...

Let me help put this in perspective.

My daughter came home today and said her teacher (I would tell you the school and subject, but I fear retribution to the teacher)told the class they couldn't take the chapter 7 test because the copier was broken. It is the only hi-speed copier machine in a middle school that serves 1,400 students.

The teacher went on to tell the students he hoped it would be fixed before finals.

Is this how our BOE puts the students first?

If we want to know what our schools need...ask the teachers!

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:57

Thanks for proving my point about some of the ridiculous posts on this blog. You wrote, "the entire DCSS from top down shares guilt in this ongoing criminal enterprise." So do you suggest that we should fire the entire DCSS staff and start from scratch? The over the top generalizations are not helpful in finding a solution to the very real problems facing DCSS.

Thank you, Cere, for clarifying that you don't want people to give the names of the people let go this week. They deserve a little dignity during this difficult time.

Anonymous said...

The truth is the truth and for many, many years employees were afraid to say anything and now they have this blog . Because of the blog tax payers can now fine out about all the waste in the county. I myself as a tax payer who can not be a all the board meetings, i am able to read this and as a adult i always re-search what i read. A large amount of this information has also been on the news. When you work for the goverment nothing about salaries and names is a secret.

Anonymous said...

A few points: (1) any hard evidence of actual fraud should be reported to the fraud and corruption unit of the FBI; (2) the single copier at No Duh's Middle School has been "not working" most of the year (I've been making copies for a teacher most of the year).... there's no emphasis on the classroom or teachers; and (3) perhaps the law suit lies in the shift in published priorities from Mtn. Ind. from where it was to where it landed on SPLOST funding coupled with the funds spent and putting it ahead of projects that were higher on the list ("above the line") such as Cross Keys.

Anonymous said...

It is true, the new teacher chairs do cost $500. In every new school building project it is county policy to replace all the furniture and throw out the old.
Sounds like someon'e cousin had some chairs that he needed to get rid of quickly and for lots of money.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of showers... I feel as though I need to go take one because this story and situation disgusts me so very much.

Anonymous said...

anecdote: when I was a contracor doing tech work during the cutover last year, I was sent to A & B building. I was updating the antivirus after a major breakout. I started in A and was left on my own. I somehow ended up in CL's chair through a side door. The secretary came in, was surprised to see me, and mass hysteria soon ensued.
I got to test that totally uncomfortable chair :P

Now, I heard that some white leather couches were delivered to AIC, but Tyson sent them back. Then I heard elsewhere it was because she didn't like them.

Anonymous said...

We had no airconditioning for the last two day at our school. Two students went home with asthma. A student's parent had to bring up a nebulizer. Two teachers had their classes outside. The humidity was unreal. Finally, a parent called and someone came to the school immediately and fixed it. Orders were put in earlier but not responded to until the parent called. Only in Dekalb county.

Anonymous said...

"We had no airconditioning for the last two day at our school. Two students went home with asthma. A student's parent had to bring up a nebulizer. Two teachers had their classes outside. The humidity was unreal. Finally, a parent called and someone came to the school immediately and fixed it. Orders were put in earlier but not responded to until the parent called. Only in Dekalb county."

When your kids are packed 35? 36? to a classroom, parents need to call the Central Office daily and complain when they get sick. What an breeding ground for disease. It's kind of like sending your kid to school in a Third World country except we have a $1,000,000,000 (yes - that's a billion dollar) school budget paid on the backs of taxpayers that are trying to make ends meet.

Anonymous said...

About the lack of air conditioning-
If only teachers were able to have a union and the power to strike. (No, GAE doesnt count... it has no power, and the administration belongs to it.)
At least the kids' parents could come and take them out of that situation or not send them to school. The teachers have to stay in that situation because if they leave it means they have violated the code of ethics.
I've had to teach in a class with no a/c more times than I ever should and got very sick because of it.

Anonymous said...

No Duh.... I know exactly what school you are talking about. I doubt that the copier has worked 3 straight days in a row since January.

I just spent $150 + our ot my own pocket to print study guides and the finals for my class. Is that fair. No. Am I going to get paid back. No. Did I do it because I care about my students and it is not their fault. HECK YES.

That copier needs to go. Why does other schools that are the same size have 2 or 3 copiers and we have only one?

teachercreature said...

With the last week of school coming up, I guess I should enjoy these last moments of small classes. I only have 34 high schoolers in my English classes now. Little did I know that I'd be looking back on THESE numbers as the good ol' days. SMH.

No Duh said...

Anon 9:10, I know your principal must be really distressed about this. Please tell your team parents about spending that kind of money on finals. Ask them for assistance -- not just for funds, but for help jumping over the principal (because you clearly can't do that) to the Assist Superintendent and to the BOE member who represents your school.

Kim Gokce said...

@No Duh: "Is this how our BOE puts the students first?"

The copier thing seems to be a chronic problem in virtually every school. Reminds me of "The Office" and Dunder Mifflin - "A paper company in a paperless world" ...

How our teachers function day-to-day baffles me. To your point about the BoE, I think that even the sympathetic BoE members do not spend enough time in the classrooms to realize how dysfunctional our operational support for our teachers is, actually.

All candidates for the position of Super should be put in the classroom in a reality show format a la "Under Cover Boss" ... have you seen it? See Fancast for examples. My favorite show of 2010 bar none ...

I have spent hours in classrooms tutoring and working on projects with faculty and administration. The simplest tasks become Olympian ones due to the poor conditions and operational issues.

Our CKHS Honors Night passed in the Gymnasium with no functional a/c and it was a miracle no one passed out. It took me a day to recuperate from the sauna-level temperatures. Again this year, every rain has brought flooding to our hallways and classrooms. Much of this promises to be alleviated by the SPLOST III project but I am already concerned about how the renovated building will be cared for going forward.

These are the type of things that "just happen" in DCSS facilities and our teachers and students are forced to adapt to conditions none of us would accept in a work place. None ... I don't understand how it is tolerated.

Anonymous said...

"The chairs are just a symptom of what is wrong with our system. We have a deep lack of integrity, a narcissistic sense of self and a lack of quality in our leadership."

Spot on Cere!!!Someone should report on all the senseless spending that is "protocol" when an event at a school involves the BOARD. When our school was newly opened, we were expected to fete the BOARD in grand style....specially prepared food...decorations...teachers and students serving...All for one of their work meetings. It took hours of planning and preparation! And then one of our wonderful BOARD members had the nerve to ask a teacher (who was assisting and serving) to go "out" to get a specific brand of bottled water that she prefered.
This antedote reveals so many things that are so wrong in DCSS on so many different levels.

Anonymous said...

For folks who have copier problems, please post the name of the copier as well as the company that is under contract to keep it working.

I guarantee you when copier companies as well as other vendors see their names attached to a deplorable story like this, where teachers are having to spend out of pocket to get tests copied, that copier will be fixed faster than you can say, Robert Moseley, you're fired!

There is a huge operations problem at DCSS. Too many people to say something is broken and too few who know how to fix it.

Cerebration said...

Re: "Chairgate" -- I contacted the reporter of the story and asked if he knew about the 'returned' chairs - here's his (quick) reply -

I was forwarded your email concerning chairs purchased by DCSS for the new administrative offices. I believe what your hearing concerns several chairs that were returned because of color, not cost. The spokesperson for DCSS told me they were returned because they were white leather and did not match the "theme" of the rest of the offices, so they were replaced. The spokesperson, Dale Davis, told me the tan or beige chairs that replaced them cost the same as the ones that were returned. Since our story concerned cost and not color, we didn't mention it.

If you hear something different, please let me know. I'm going to contact Dale Davis to see if there were any chairs returned because of cost and replaced with cheaper chairs. Again, he didn't mention that when we spoke to him last week, only the chairs replaced because of color.


So - Two choices: if there is "misinformation" I think we need to point the finger at Dale Davis - otherwise - the reporter's version must be the truth.

Mary said...

Apparently, a number of DCSS schools are losing FTE POINTS this year. This will mean that the ax is definitely going to fall on some teaching positions in some schools... because each point lost means a teaching position lost. The information regarding these points has been available for some time, but I have seen very little about this when cutting teachers is discussed, but it's coming. Does anyone know what the plan is....or if there indeed is a plan????

Anonymous said...

Each principal is allowed to use her/his points as they choose. Contact the individual schools and see what their plans are.

Anonymous said...

Cere, thanks for diving deeper into "the chairs." It shows me that the current board is not willing to ask tough questions or are not asking for the details before they are approving spending.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

There are very large flat screen tv's that have not been installed yet in the lobby and down the hallways and in the supt, area at the new BOE offices because they want everything to die down before they install them.
DCSS knows that it is wrong but they are still sneaking around playing games.

Cerebration said...

Have they installed the $300,000 lighting package for the tv production of the board meetings?

Anonymous said...

Nice way to earn the public trust Ms. Tyson! "We returned the chairs!" However, what Ms. Tyson is NOT telling you is that they were EXCHANGED for a different color, same price, not RETURNED!

Two words, exchanged and returned. Dale Davis should be fired for not telling the truth. The word Mr. Davis is exchanged for the proper color. Not returned for refund. Very different Mr. Davis indeed.

Mr. Davis please leave your resignation on Ms. Tyson's desk by the end of the day. Thanks! HA HA ha ha ha ha ha...

Ms. Tyson it's called Public Trust! Let me introduce you to it.

Anonymous said...

Well, anonymous, in the interest of keeping the facts straight - it was not Ms. Tyson nor Dale Davis who made the statement that the chairs had been returned.

Cerebration said...

Right - the reporter tells us that Dale Davis told him the chairs were exchanged for another color. Seems perhaps Paul Womack was a bit mistaken on his interpretation...

Anonymous said...

Or Mr. Womack was setting Ella up.....

Anonymous said...

I am a tax payer and i am going to check and see if they install flat screens tv's in those offices. I suggest they send them back. People are losing there jobs and our children will suffer from this. Get a weather radio and maybe one small tv for the front office. It is time for all this waste to be gone. Lewis and the board and that central office have turn this system up side down, it's time to put our children first. I remember a close friend saying that dekalb would go under with lewis and he was going to retire as soon as he got his time in.

teachercreature said...

Hey, Ms. Tyson, while you were re-ordering the chairs in another color, why didn't you ask for transparent plastic coverings to keep them clean?

Anonymous said...

I have known Paul Womack for a long time. He definitely was setting up Ella.

Cerebration said...

What would be the point of that? I think he was simply mistaken. He heard "returned" but didn't realize that meant "exchanged"... I don't think it's anything other than that.

Anonymous said...

@ Cerebration 10:16 PM

The point of Womack's giving Ella misleading information was that he knew she would take him at his word and not ask for proof.

He also knew that Ella would publish what he said, as fact, on this blog. And that she would be general in crediting "a board member" with the information.

Desperate for some "good news" where there is none, Womack decided to trade in unproven half-truths.

What Womack did not count on was that several of us sheep -- finally waking to reality -- would insist on knowing who told Ella ("grilling" her as you put it) and insist on actual real proof.

Anonymous said...

I think I was implying that Dale Davis could have solved the issue by the telling the truth right at the start.

The buck starts at the top, whether Ms. Tyson said it or not, she could have solved the issue immediately through her "former?" spokesperson Dale Davis.

Mr. Womack was only trying to create a gray area, which he had, until this blog got to the truth by talking to the reporter.

Ella, if you do get elected to the BOE. Please be transparent! Just tell us the truth, we can handle it! I hope they don';t stop with only Dale Davis' resignation. To gain public trust again they must clean the DCSS from the top, down.

Let's hope Jamal "Where's Waldo" Edwards gets his walking papers along with the Guilroys, Moseley, Thompson, Mitchell, Ramsey and the rest!

We need to watch to see if and when DCSS decides to install the flat screen TV's, how many they install etc... We must watch this bunch very closely!

Cerebration said...

So, do we now have no spokesperson at all? Coupled with the fact that Tyson made it a point that she intends to respond to the media with "no comment"? Boy, talk about insulating how are we ever going to find out anything? And there's a whole lotta stuff coming down the pike...with these trials, indictments, etc.

Personally, I also think we need to keep closer tabs on just how much we are spending on legal fees - these fees could literally be what is breaking us. We can't even find out which budget they are being paid from... anyone know? Anyone want to file an Open Records on that?

Anonymous said...

Cereb 8:38 AM The last report that I saw on legal fees for the pending "big case" was in the AJC about a month ago. It was $14 Million.

I had asked several of the Board members for the number.... no response

Megan Matteucci the AJC reporter seems to be able to get all of the stuff. Why not ask her hows he does it.

Cerebration said...

Freedom of Information Requests -- which cost $$$ - which this blog does not have.

Anonymous said...

@10:50, we have Ricoh copiers (2)for about a 1000 student population. We use Milner for the service contract and the copiers are down more than they are up!

Ella Smith said...

I am very transparent. However, I hear many things and do not run to this blog and post them. I assume that what was said was correct. I only said something to indicate that many times we do not have all the facts when we get upset on this blog. Many times we have bits and pieces of information that we are making judgements on.

I do not know if the chairs where sent back to get another color. Words can be used in gray areas. You are correct.

However, knowing some of these members of the board I do believe that many of them would not approve of such expensive purchases. I will give them the benifit of a doubt on decisions like this. Do the school board even see all the items ordered and how much they cost before they are ordered. This would be interesting to find out.

I go to many functions and hear many things and many of them may be true and many of them may not. However, I would hope that things like this I hear from a school board member would be true. However on the other hand I am hearing and interpreting what I hear and mistakes can also always be made when information is second handed. This is why I try not to pass on too much information like this. I got the third degree for indicating that the information heard on the news may not be 100% accurate.

Anonymous said...

If you will look back at the technology package for the Mt Ind Complex which was posted on the BOE website, there were a large number of tv's purchased.... The worker bees (teachers) thought this was excessive....especially at a time of paycuts. Sort of a"let them eat cake" philosophy. We don't have working copiers but ,hey, let be sure Upper Managementhas TV's.

Ella Smith said...

Where is the purchase order for those chairs and who actually approved it? What board approved the new chairs?

Anonymous said...

Ella:

The board does not pay attention to goes on half the time. They just rubber stamp every thing through. Case in point....

When they adopted to do furloughs this year. The 12 month employees (who take 15 days furlough at something like 7%) - I know 3 board members that thought it meant just "upper" administration. The ones that really could afford the pay cut.

It was not until I brought it to there attention that it also meant the custodial staff that works for peanuts and works hard over the summer to get the school ready for the fall.

So if you thought your school is dirty now, wait until they do not have enough time this summer to clean the rooms properly because of the shortened days that they have to work.

We all now that most of the custodial staff in schools do not make more than peanuts but they all love he kids. Mentoring them, helping out whenever a teachers ask.

I seriously believe that the DCSS BOE only thought they were targeting Teachers and Central Office. They have no clue that it every single employee of the school system.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, folks, I can't muster as much sympathy as I might. Schadenfreud, I guess.

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/water-main-breaks-behind-530697.html

Anonymous said...

P.S. It appears Dale Davis is still with DCSS, unless he's just here until the end of a contract/year.

Anonymous said...

I hope he is gone because he thinks he has that billy dee look and beleave he is no billy. He makes dekalb look so bad on tv. He can't even lie well.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:56am

All employees should be hit with furlough days. It is only fair that everyone who works for the system gets a reduction in pay. If you start singling people or groups of people out you will have even more hard feelings. I am glad that the cuts were across the board. I only hope that school board members take their cut as well, it's ashame they get to opt in or out of their cut.

Anonymous said...

Parents want more teachers in the school system, not less. Quite frankly, I think every department should have had a 10% to 15% reduction in money allocated so we could keep our teachers intact for students.

The 2004 DCSS compensation audit showed 2,500 non-teaching employees were overpaid while less than 300 were underpaid and teachers were paid about right. In addition, we lost 275 teaching positions last year and what's the number this year (300+). That's a 10% reduction in our teaching force in 2 years. Other teachers were expected to take up the slack of losing around 600 teachers.

The pay imbalance was never corrected and in fact was exacerbated under Lewis. It has caught up with us in hard economic times. This imbalance in spending and numbers for non-teaching employees must be corrected for the good of our school system.

Quite frankly, we should be consolidating and cutting in every department and job except employees inside the classroom teaching students. Outsourcing and consolidating jobs should be happening if we can pour more money into our classrooms. We're not a "jobs program". Sorry to say that because I hate to see people lose their jobs. But the ONLY responsibility the school system has is to educate students.

Anonymous said...

Many of you are wondering why the old furniture was not used in the new facility and new had to be bought. That is because anyone below the title of Director (almost everyone)is in a cubicle.

I guess that was supposed to keep people from discussing personal stuff on work hours (it doesn't) but it also interferes with daily business when you can not hear the person you are trying to assist because so many people are talking at the same time. This means that now the schools have no privacy either.

We were told from the top that this was how things are done in the corporate world. Actually, this was Pat Pope's vision. She sold it to Lewis who sold it to the board. Whenever she wanted something (a corporate setting, getting rid of the print department, etc.) she would say that is how it's done in Gwinnett. She will be in jail soon, but the results of her decisions will be with DCSS for decades.

The old central office was a filthy dump and an embarrassment. However, more thought should have been put in to what the new one should look like. Just like the school construction projects Pat Pope oversaw, this one has lots of problems.

It is my understanding that Ms. Tyson took one look at those tacky white leather chairs Dr. Lewis ordered and sent them back. She seems like a down to earth person, so maybe she replaced them with something less expensive.

Anonymous said...

To all you posters who keep referring to the "Golden Shower Award": golden shower is a slang term for being urinated on for sexual pleasure. If you didn't know that - NOW YOU DO. Please find another way to be funny.

If you did know that, then you should make an effort to keep you humor more appropriate on a blog that is about supporting kids and education. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 5:31 pm

......"The old central office was a filthy dump and an embarrassment."

It was old and dusty, but the toilets were clean, the air and heat always seemed to work, and I think many of our schools would love to have as nice an environment as that "filthy dump".

....."It is my understanding that Ms. Tyson took one look at those tacky white leather chairs Dr. Lewis ordered and sent them back. She seems like a down to earth person, so maybe she replaced them with something less expensive."

LOL
I wish you could see how many chairs and paint colors and furniture Ms. Tyson and her close associates looked at as they buzzed around fixing up Dr. Bouie's office. Then she had a design consultant in when the Bryant Center Offices were being redone. At that time, there were many area executive directors (now called area superintendents?) housed there, and what they got to pick from was based on their position relative to the "power structure".

I never knew there were so many different cloth swatches to pick from for office chairs, not to mention chair styles. I never knew school systems hired "design consultants". All I could think was what a waste of taxpayer money. As for MIS employees, weren't most of us supposed to be out in the schools most of our day?

Anonymous said...

Finally someone else got the message that Yvonne Butler has no experiene to be a Director over a Health Program. She traveled on taxpayers money and roamed the states spreading news about health and when she was at school , she made her teachers buys her cookbooks during school time just like Carol Thedford. She used profits for years from her arts gala for her personal benefit and never shared with anyone how much money she made. Richard Belcher should investigate this former principal and her book receipts.