Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vote "No"

It's no secret why Tom Bowen is pushing a salary increase for Ramona Tyson right now. They are uncertain of how BOE dynamics will change with the fiscally responsible Donna Edler and Nancy Jester coming on board. Tyson wants hers and wants it now, and Tom B. is a go along to get along guy.

Yes, Tyson has done a solid job under tough circumstances. But to ask for a $73,000 increase mid-school year is unfathomable. The Central Office still doesn't value teachers and school house personnel. It's still all about the Central Office (and their $2,000 chairs).

When the BOE finally stepped up and asked for cuts at the end of last school year, the Central Office did not look at its own bloated, rotting self. The BOE and Central Office underfund teacher pensions, and ignore so many direct school house staff and student needs. Nepostism, cronyism, etc. It spends tens of millions on worthless larks such as eSIS and America's Choice. The list is endless. They do not care about how they spend taxpayer money as long as the Tyson/Moseley/Ramsey/Turk/Berry/Wilson Central Office is the recipient.

Nothing has changed. Not one other major Central Office bureaucrat has been let go even though they were present during the Lewis/Pope alledged brazen acts of waste and greed. See no evil, hear no evil. Tom Bowen has proven himself as such a weak leader that the supt. and COO who reported to him and the board had no worry about engaging in activities that led to unprecedented RICO indictments.

It's hard to be surprised by anything from this Central Office and BOE. But Ramona Tyson and Tom Bowen have surprised us again. What the heck, BOE. Just give her the $73k. It's only the salary of one teacher plus a para pro.

Board to vote on $73,000 raise for DeKalb superintendent

DeKalb County’s interim superintendent is asking for a 44 percent raise -- from $165,000 to $238,000 a year.
The county school board will vote today on increasing Ramona Tyson’s salary, board chairman Tom Bowen told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
When Tyson, the deputy chief superintendent of business operations, was named interim superintendent in February, she said she didn’t want an increase in salary. Tyson said she anticipated handling school operations briefly while then-Superintendent Crawford Lewis took a leave of absence. Ten months later, however, Lewis has been terminated and indicted on charges of running a criminal enterprise at the school system, and Tyson is still in the job.
“I’m certain Chairman Tom Bowen and the board of education did not expect for me to serve as interim superintendent for this length of time, or to encounter the difficult issues the district has had to confront over the last year,” Tyson said in a written statement to the AJC. “I am appreciative of the board for recognizing my efforts with a proposal for compensation that is commensurate with the hard work.”
Bowen said Tyson requested the raise during recent negotiations on a contract extension.
The board’s vote on the salary increase comes as the district prepares to make drastic budget cuts. Board member H. Paul Womack, chairman of the budget committee, previously announced the district is facing an anticipated $50 million shortfall in next year’s budget.
It could be even worse because of further declines in county property tax revenue.
Last year, dozens of teachers and school employees protested after the board gave Lewis a $15,000 raise, bumping his salary from $240,000 to $255,000. The board on Friday will consider whether to put Tyson's salary on par with what Lewis made before the controversial raise, Bowen said.
David Montané, chairman of the Friends of DeKalb Schools, said the school system is not in a position to give out such raises.
“I’m definitely concerned about that,” said Montané, who also is vice chairman of the Libertarian Party of DeKalb. “When there are people getting laid off all over the place in the private sector, and people are getting demoted or their pay cut, this is no time for raising the salaries of public servants.”
Expenditures like that are one of the reasons the Friends of DeKalb Schools, a group of concerned residents auditing the district’s finances, is pushing to have the schools’ check registry posted online, Montané said. The group plans to ask the board to vote on it early next year.
Bowen said Thursday that he believes Tyson has earned the raise.
“DeKalb is one of the largest and most complex school systems in Georgia,” he told the AJC. “The superintendent did not only take the leadership of the district under a difficult time but has moved it forward through the SACS inquiry, is addressing school consolidation, and is changing the culture and improving the public view of the district.”
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is scheduled to visit early next year to review the district’s accreditation.
Tyson has said she has no interest in the permanent position, but will stay on as interim as long as she is needed.
“We have tough issues ahead of us, including a visit by SACS and the consolidation and redistricting of our schools, and I’m prepared to work as long and hard as possible to get the job done,” Tyson said Thursday.
In addition to the raise, the board will also vote Friday on extending Tyson’s interim superintendent contract until this summer.
The school board is conducting a national search for a new superintendent with the goal of putting a new chief in place by July 1, Bowen said.
The board will also discuss the salary range and desired qualifications for the superintendent candidates on Friday.

156 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe she'll get a book deal too. Yvonne Butler and Ralph Simpson did well from DCSS school buying their books!

Anonymous said...

That truly disgusts me. I believe Tyson should be dismissed NOW foe even THINKING about a $73,000 raise.

Passionate... said...

This really bites!
When staff was given back their furlough days-12 month employees didn't suffer one little bit! Everyone lost the same number of days. Remember...12 months had 15 days, 11 months 11 days and 10 months 7 days. We all had 4 furlough days. 12 months received 11 days back of pay, 11 months 7 days back and 10 months 3 days back. Amazing how the CO staff including highly paid secretaries received all those days back in pay. What should have happened was the reinstatement of 3 days period for everyone. That would have been fair! But since when is the DCSS fair! Tyson-no raise-she is an interim. If she doesn't want to continue to do the job-get someone else for the interim time frame-probably 15-30 other staff members would be glad to do the job in the interim period. She has had a tough job to do, but bottom line...everyone has had a tough time of it. People are homeless because of the DCSS situation. $73,000 would go along way with those that are at poverty level. Come on folks-use your heads-no one, no one should be getting a raise. This is an outrage! An insult!

Anonymous said...

Barf.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely disgusting. She should be ashamed. Yes she has done a good job and I admire her for that but with teacher furloughs and all the other problems this District is having, any raise, much less $73,000 a year, is totally out of line. Does the School Board have the guts to say NO.

Anonymous said...

Those of you with the stones in your hands....please raise your other hand if you have been asked to change jobs to help in a crisis and the new job is a 24 hours-a- day job. Oh, your family just took a back seat to this new job too. And..here the best part, you get to get thrown into this fire with no additional salary....

Not a single one of you would do that....

She has earned every penny.

Anonymous said...

First, please know that we will probably have to pay 250+ for a new superintendent. I believe the only people willing to take this job for less will be someone from the inside. The fiscal conservative Paul Womack worries me the most, because he isn't going to want to pay the $$$ necessary to get a great person and will settle for someone who will take less.

Second, if I was the BoE and I know it probably violates every SACs rule out there, I would tell her she could have her raise if she eliminates 3 or 4 high paying central office positions and layoffs the person holding that position.

Finally, if she does what we all so desperately want her to do and lays off a whole bunch of people, I am not sure she will have a job waiting for her when she is done. I think the working climate would be to hostile for her to be successful at all.

I would give her more money if she would lay off even more people.

Anonymous said...

Bring in a retired principal to clean house. It's that simple. Tyson is part oi the poorly educated, verbally challenged sorority/fraternity mafia. And thus part of the problem, not the solution. The outrages apparently never end. How long are we in the north going to continue to subsidize this madness with our tax dollars? Break the system up. Let the south drown in its corruption and racism. Let my people go!

Anonymous said...

I actually think Tyson is ready to lay people off. I think in the next few weeks we might just see a series of conveniently timed, from our perspective anyway, retirements! We will have to really keep our ears to the ground, but I expect that many will announce soon and retire by the end of the school year.

Passionate... said...

What the DCSS BOE could have done was reinstated 3 furlough days for all and then gave her a bonus check [one time] with the monies saved from the 12 and 11 month employees not getting all of their days back. I agree that she should get rid of more CO staff, but not to get a raise. Give her compensation-but not a raise! How many of us are working in a middle of a crisis with an impact on our families. All of us...not just Ramona Tyson.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure this is a raise or a salary for being a superintendent? I recall hearing when she was appointed she remained at the salary for her then position because the Board asked her to serve in that position for a short period of time.
Knowing this would help me understand the rationale behind this.

Anonymous said...

While I agree that Tyson is due some amount of a raise, it should irritate us all that the meeting to discuss this is at 9:00 AM today.

The Board needs to give her something, but not the amount in the paper.

Anonymous said...

Shame on me for being surprised by this. I have known that my employer has been morally bankrupt for some time now.

Anonymous said...

Give her the $73K and a pat on the back. But DON'T give it to her as a "raise", instead give it as a one-time bonus for a job well done. This way the "raise" doesn't cost the board for years to come in benefits, retirement and such. She just wasn't interim-superintendent for all that long to deserve such a long-term payout.

C?Y!

Anonymous said...

^^^^

That is a great idea.

I will say that her decision yesterday to simply delay school rather than cancel it was brilliant and flies in the face of over a decade of bad decisions when it comes to winter weather in DCSS.

To me, that decision alone is worth 10 or 15 thousand dollars.

Anonymous said...

I the BOE does not give her the money what's she going to do, jump ship? For her own good she should do the best job, take the her current salary then get a permanent superintendent job elsewhere. She can be on CEO track for the rest of her life if she plays this right. She should be greedy but not look greedy.

Anonymous said...

A little somethin'-somethin' for
Rev. Eddie's legal defense fund?

Anonymous said...

NO RAISE, as that would be permanent and also increases retirement, etc. Every government including the federal government has FROZEN pay for all its employees.

Tyson has done a good job and I think she deserves a one time BONUS for her extra work. Maybe $25,000 or even $50,000 maximum

Anonymous said...

"Bring in a retired principal to clean house. It's that simple. Tyson is part of the poorly educated, verbally challenged sorority/fraternity mafia. And thus part of the problem, not the solution. The outrages apparently never end. How long are we in the north going to continue to subsidize this madness with our tax dollars? Break the system up. Let the south drown in its corruption and racism. Let my people go!"

Wait I thought the South was supposed to hate the north or was it the north hate the south or was it both of them hate each other?

We are all getting screwed here. Stop propagating the North/South BS and work together.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? I know and understand I'm just a CTSS and was told when several of my colleagues were let go last school year that before I start to whine, I just need to understand that those who were let you would be glad to have my job. In other words, just be glad you have a job.

I respect Mrs. Tyson and the job she has done as Interim Supt., but the timing of this is just not right. I haven't had a raise since 2007 and I have been given additional responsibility such as taking on an additional and bigger school and I'm not being considered for an increase. I would love to have an increase in salary too.

Anonymous said...

Maureen Downey at the AJC has put this up as a blog topic on Get Schooled.

Anonymous said...

To the CTSS that wrote in... CTSS's were told several CTSS's were "let go" and the rest of us should be glad we have a job???? You didn't know that ALL of those CTSS's were hired back over last summer and are STILL WORKING for DCSS?? More of Ramona's shell game... only thing is.. she's put NOTHING under ANY of the shells. She's just playing a game with our tax dollars and screwing the employees out of any earned COL increase. ANY payraise is stupid at this time!

Anonymous said...

Tyson is getting a raise?! I want to barf; I couldn't be more disgusted; I teach in a south end high school, I have no masters, teachers have not had a raise in 5 years, my rent went up, I work part-time in a grocery to make ends meet, and I spend tons of money out of pocket to make copies, buy paper, pens, scissors, staplers (I'm on number 7 so fasr this year), and I was foolish enough to not marry a board member's relative. If teachers don't get raises, nobody in the school system should get a raise. DCSS constantly disgusts me.

Anonymous said...

ALL OF THE CTSSes CERTAINLY DID -NOT- GET HIRED BACK!!! Where do you get your information from?! I'm STILL jobless! When Ramona cut "central office" she cut the ones in the schoolhouse, not golden palace, and now she wants more?!? What is wrong with these people? She may have done better than the last guy, but not THAT much!

Anonymous said...

While it is easy and potentially pleasurable to sit and ring our hands about compensating the interim-superintendent for the job she is doing please keep in mind we are NOT paying the salary of the previous superintendent - so there is a savings there :-).

While the "leveling" of the compensation for the interim super sounds bad, it is the reality of steering a billion dollar ship. I think when Ramona took on the interim role she made a tactical mistake in not asking for her comp to be adjusted. I am a firm believer that if you want me to do the CEO role, then pay me accordingly. This is not so much a raise but rather a adjustment for her role as interim super - when she returns to her previous role her comp would need to revert to the comp of that role.

Sure, there are CTSS's or others who have been asked to take on more responsibility for the same comp but is that the same as taking on a new role with multiples more responsibility/stress/publicity/visibility for the same compensation - I for one do not see the correlation.

Anonymous said...

Tyson has done a good job. But a 44 percent raise? 44 percent? How about a one-time bonus, whether 15%, 25%, even 33%, But the audacity to ask for a 44% raise, when she has helpd furlough staff??!! F-ing shameful.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that Lame Ducks always want to do stupid stuff, like spend OUR tax dollars, before dynamics change. I say give her a one time bonus of 10k, but to give her a raise? If Tyson doesn't like it, show her the DOOR!

Will she take a pay cut when she goes back to doing her lousy job in MIS? Rhetorical question, we all know the answer to that one.

No one has been fired since Clew/Pope were indicted. Why? It's time to say so long to this most corrupt bunch of idiots in the history of local government. It's time for the state to move in and take control.

Mr. Bowen it's time for you to resign as chairman too. Mr. Bowen you are insane! These people at the Central Office should all be committed into an insane asylum.

9am meeting on the last day of school before the holidays. I am outraged and it's time to grab our pitchforks and head to the palace! Good grief! I am so disillusioned by OUR government, local, state, federal and especially DCSS.

Mr. Bowen do yourself a favor and resign! It's time for Jester and Edler to get in there, roll up their sleeves and start asking tough questions, IN THE SUNLIGHT!

Anonymous said...

"This way the "raise" doesn't cost the board for years to come in benefits, retirement and such. "

60% of $73,000 a year is $43,000 a year more for the rest of her life in retirement salary that DCSS will pay for this raise (60% of your last highest two contiguous years) + 3% increase every year.

$43,000 more a year in retirement is over a million DCSS over 20 years in retirement will be on the hook for. Already without the extra $43,000 she will get $100,000 a year in retirement just based on her current salary (and she's not that far from retirement). Do we really need to obligate the taxpayers to $143,000 a year in retirement costs? And what happens when the new super comes in? I guess she's left at $239,000? Have you ever seen DCSS right size ANYONE's salary after they've bumped them up?

I agree with the other posters that said give her a bonus, but to give her a salary of $239,000 and then an $1,000,000 (and that's just assuming she collects retirement for 20 years) in retirement is just crazy. This BOE spends money like drunken sailors.
WRITE your BOE members and tell them that this million dollar raise doesn't sit well with you in a time of austerity for students. What has she done but increase class sizes for students and hire an Instructional head that's in the "Friends" category of the friends and family and has only 3 1/2 years of teaching experience in the mid 90s.

If you go to the main webpage of DeKalb County School Watch, on the right hand side of the page under The Lottery image, click "CLICK HERE to Email the entire DCSS Board of Education" and let the BOE members know this million dollar payout should not happen.

Anonymous said...

I agree anon. 2:38. She doesn't want the job permanently (I don't want her to have it permanently), she agreed to do the job for X amount of money. No one else is beating down her door to hire her. If they are, let her go. Asking for such a raise, while teachers (the heart of a school system) have taken pay cuts and no step increases for their experience is a true slap in the fact to them.

This was done very sneakily and I have had enough. Reminds me of what Congress is doing right now.

Board we are watching!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'd do her job for free and clean up the district for the new person.

Anonymous said...

You all presume she is going back to her old job.

I don't. I think she has made some real enemies and will have to move on.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Tyson will probably move to the Georgia DOE - lots of former DCSS administrators there in powerful positions. She can bridge her teachers retirement, work out her next 7 or 8 years and retire on $143,000 - all in all - not a bad deal.

Remember Mrs. Tyson committed to the BOE that eSis and SchoolNet ($11,000,000 expenditure) would:
"Narrow the achievement gap & improve the graduation rate
Increase rigor and academic achievement in Reading\Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies in PreK-12
"Ensure fiscal responsibility in order to maintain safe and healthy learning environments"

This is how she got her promotion from Dr. Lewis to be the DCSS's Business Operations manager. Has anyone in the schools seen ANY of these goals met?

Mrs. Tyson is a very amiable person. IMO she's also honest. However, she's not been an effective leader. Her goals have not been met. We've wasted another year as class sizes increase and achievement will go down. I don't see rewarding her with a million dollar retirement commitment as appropriate. I will be writing all of the BOE members. Even though I have only 2 that I can vote on, all of them are supposed to represent my children and everyone of them certainly consider my taxes as "their money" to misspend.

Cerebration said...

I understand all of your opinions on this subject and I'll throw in my two cents - but know that we don't know all of the "behind the scenes" details, so it's hard to really form an unbiased opinion.

That said, I think Ramona has done a good job. I really don't think she was prepared to take this on for anywhere near as long as she has and she also didn't realize just how complex and demanding this "interim" service would be. I knew it from the get-go and back then I wondered why they didn't give her a raise to take the post. I think it was because they misinformed her and made her think it was just going to be for a few weeks... Now she is totally stuck between a rock and a hard place and I don't blame her for asking for the salary that goes with the job. Would a teacher or AP take on serving as principal "temporarily" and find that for well over a year you have to do someone else's job at a much lower pay than others who do the same job? Not only that, but as you dig into it, you find that it's an unbelievable mess. The board should have given her a higher salary from day 1.

That said, I actually think that since it's apparently going to be necessary to have an interim until the summer of 2011, that we should seek and hire a professional interim instead. We could use a game-changer right now - a tough person with professional business skills to come in and right-size this system. I think Ramona's push-back on the salary is a big clue that the job ahead is not going to be fun for one minute and the recommendations from the consultants are going to be very difficult to implement.

IMHO, Ramona should just be given a one-time thank-you bonus and sent back to her former post as associate as we put in a fresh face - a professional game-changer for 6 months.

Anonymous said...

Cere, I understand your point and agree that we need to get someone in to clean house. I don't see that happening though. We should have had a new person in for this school year to restructure things.

Tyson asking for a raise is very disturbing. Teachers have not been paid what they are worth for 2 years now and to ask for such a large increase is disturbing. To me the writing was on the wall at the beginning of the school year that she'd be in the position until a new superintendent was found. If she didn't see it, she must be blind.

A small token gift would be nice, but not $73,000. That is outrageous. I realize that superintendents make a great more than she is, but I look at this a pay back for the millions she has wasted on programs that have cost the teachers time and continue to not work properly.

Anonymous said...

Cere, you are absolutely right! Nothing will change until we get an outsider in there to make the tough calls. It's tough to fire someone you have known for years.

Until that 2004 audit is in the sunlight, as well as all the missing minutes from the website, the transparency and trust Tyson spoke of, when she took the job, will never take hold.

Cere, you are right! Bonus then back to MIS for Tyson and it's time for an outsider to come in to right size the system. Herman Cain or that type of person, with CEO experience would be great!

Editor, Georgia Colleges said...

This post was linked to and excerpted in "Oh no she didn't" on Georgiacollegesblog.com--Permalink: http://georgiacollegesblog.com/?p=1722

Anonymous said...

No one should get a raise until everyone does....period. If nothing else it just wouldn't look good. As the current leader in the the county, Tyson should lead by example. Teachers don't need anymore attacks on their morale.

Anonymous said...

A raise? Did Tom Bowen say "a raise"? 105,000 employees (many from DeKalb) getting furloughed from State government in January and he wants to talk about "a raise"? Hmm. DeKalb School System is 50 million in the hole, and Tom Bowen wants to talk about "a raise." Hey, it's a hard-candy Christmas! It's belt-tightening time! It's austerity, baby!

Anonymous said...

This is a real problem with the "Children with the Checkbook!"

The philosophy of pay for our county employees! They think they are professional athletes that require a raise because someone else is getting paid that amount of money.

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!

When I was at a board meeting in August, the board voted and approved to pay $165,000 per year to an outside PR firm that specializes in "Crisis Management".

I haven't seen but one little news article from the DCSS PR firm in the last 3 months and it had nothing to do with Crisis Management.
They, Jeff Dickerson, are part of the "Friends and Family" of the DCSS mafia!

Ramona, if you would like to be paid as a Superintendent, then apply for the job like everyone else. I doubt that will happen since you won't even be employed by
DCSS next year.

I bet we will see a 50% or greater turnover at the CO "Palace" when the next superintendent comes in.
The new super will assess the current situation, interview current employees and find out that they have NO qualifications to be in their current overpaid, under worked positions.

If Bowen and the Lame Duck board gives her a raise, which will affect her soon to be pension, the should go to jail!

It drives me crazy to have board members, who get paid $17,000 a year, allow this billion $$ cruise ship to get robbed of its $$$.

Put the money into the classroom and start paying the teachers what they are worth, what they deserve and leave the top heavy, overpaid, bloated Central Office ALONE!

BTW, Dan Drake did a great job with the facilities assessment and total TRANSPARENCY!

Imagine that, transparency from the CO. Guess what, he's not part of the mafia and it shows in his hard work!

Sandy Spruill said...

In my opinion, Ms. Tyson has NOT done what she needed to do. Try this exercise: list the pros and the cons regarding the job that Tyson has done. You will see, as I did, that she has simply protected the Palace and the Palace employees. My pros and cons list shows that Tyson has been nothing more than a seat warmer.

As COO, Tyson surely had knowledge of the superintendent's job. Tyson has been unwilling to do what needed to be done. Further, she has continued to hide the salary study from public view.

Actually I do know someone who took on two major jobs for DCSS with no raise in salary: Martha Reichrath. In a last-ditch effort to stop Chamblee Middle School, DCSS said they would approve the school ONLY if Martha Reichrath was willing to take on being principal for both schools -- no increase in salary. She stepped up and did it -- and did it well.

And, of course, right now, DCSS has employees who have taken on extra jobs with no increase in salary. These are teachers and media specialists who have lost their parapros, as well as CTSS employees who have had to pick up extra schools to serve. I am sure there are other employees, as well, who have picked up extra responsibilities. And, keep in mind, that while the Palace employees have received substantial raises, rank-and-file state employees (that includes teachers) have not received any raises since 2007.

It is appalling that Tyson would ask for such a raise. It really exposes her character -- or lack of -- for everyone to see.

Time to bid Tyson "adieu."

Anonymous said...

If she is doing the job, she ought to get paid for it. She has already done the job at way below market for 6 months?

I agree with the other posters on one thing...she shouldn't get her retirement tied to the interim superintendent salary. That's insane.

Anonymous said...

Less than a year ago, the BOE stated that the school system was in a $100 million budget hole. But Tyson wants her's.

Ramona Tyson was one of the top administrators in the Crawford Lewis administration. She was part of the very small number of administrators who led the system into a $100 million budget hole.
But Tyson wants her's.

Anonymous said...

Only five years ago, Tyson was somehow getting by with a $98,000 salary while head of the incredibly dysfunctional DCSS MIS Dept.

Of course she now needs to make $238,000 up from $168k just to make ends meet. Bless her heart for surviving on such a low salary for so long.

Anonymous said...

*Ramona singing* "Merry Christmas to me, merry Christmas to me! Merry Christmas self entitlement, merry Christmas to me!" (alternates):screw the children/teachers, selfish boar, etc.

Public School Parent said...

Ms. Tyson's job performance is admirable. And she should be applauded for her efforts. But she presides over a school system that cannot afford to pay its teachers or provide adequate services or facilities for its students. DCSS cannot afford to give her a raise.

Ms. Tyson also serves the public in one of our community's worst economic times. Georgia's unemployment rate exceeds 10%. And many of those "lucky" enough to still have jobs are required to work harder AND take pay cuts. (DCSS teachers know about this.)

It's bad enough Ms. Tyson would ask for a raise. It's worse that the Board of Education would consider giving it to her.

DCSS cannot afford to give Ms. Tyson a raise. If she doesn't like that fact, she is free to resign from her position as interim superintendend.

In this economy, public servants should not ask (much less expect) a raise. They should be thankful to still have a job and do their best to keep it.

Anonymous said...

Ramona has done a good job. The process is moving along, staffing for the admininstration has decreased in the last year as people were laid off. The figures from last year to this are clear and undisputable and posted on this blog. She has overseen the layoffs, started the redistricting, made the vision process tansparent by putting the DCSS web site stood up to the board when they have acted out. The taks she has faced in the interim certainly were not easy or simple. If she has to serve as interim another year or partial uear while the board dithers around trying to hire her replacement then she deserves a raise. If we brought in an interim person to replace her now it would cost us about the same as her proposed new salary (if not more). Retirement is based on your TWO highest years of salary. The rules can not be changed and are not the purview of the BOE or anyone on this blog. It is a state retirment system with uniform rules. Any raise or bonus will produce one of the two highest years that are averaged to get reitirement pay. Everyone gets 2% of the average of their highest two years for each year of service they have. `

Don't take your eye off the ball-the important thing is that we move forward with some plan for the next 10 years, that we redistrict and close some schools this year, that we hire a new supintendent, and that we do something positive to improve student education in DCSS and in Georgia. It's a process. I am not waiting till we have a new superintendent, a perfect board, and a perfect budget, no admininstrators (that seems be the this blogs consenus on perfect) because the kids don't deserve to wait. Getting it right comes in steps and we have taken some-some new board members, some admininstrators laid off, an outside consultant to provide more objective and transparaent data. Nexxt will be the hard part. Approvinga plan-the consultants have already told us that we want change for everybody but our kids. Someday we will figure out that the whole district is our backyard. I hope.

Anonymous said...

staffing for the admininstration has decreased in the last year as people were laid off.

it was all in the schoolhouses, not in the golden palace. the teachers were affected the most, hence the children, too. that B doesn't deserve a darn thing after this utter nonsense. she's just as greedy as lewis.

Anonymous said...

Did they vote today?

Anonymous said...

The good news in this, the silver lining so to speak, is that the DeKalb Delegation heard about this yesterday and most are livid. So if they vote to give her a raise, then I would expect consequences.

Shrinking the size of the board just got a lot easier!

OUTRAGEOUS!!! said...

The DeKalb County school board voted Friday to give interim superintendent Ramona Tyson a $73,000 raise, even as the district faces a $50 million budget shortfall next year.

In a 7-1 vote, board members OKed the 44 percent raise, bringing Tyson’s salary from $165,000 a year to $238,000 per year.

Tyson, the former deputy chief superintendent of business operation, was named interim superintendent in February after then-Superintendent Crawford Lewis took a leave of absence. She told board members at that time she didn’t want an increase in salary for her temporary role.

Crawford was later terminated and indicted on charges of running a criminal enterprise in the school system. Tyson asked for a raise during recent contract negotiations.

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-oks-73-000-780298.html

Anonymous said...

Who was the one no vote?

Silver lining -- smaller school board here we come!

Anonymous said...

@ Cerebration

I agree with everything you say except Ms. Tyson actually did want this job.

She did not understand the complexity of the job since she had never had a position where she had to deal with parents (although maybe for the 2 years she was a Business Ed teacher in the 1980s she talked to a few Lakeside parents). Ms. Tyson came up through the ranks when the superintendent and the BOE were rarely questioned on expenditures and the DeKalb economy was strong. She had no experience in an adversarial economy so she could not have possibly imagined how difficult this would be.

I agree that she should have a good bonus, and then an Interim Superintendent should be hired. As far as returning to her position as the manager of Business Operations, I'm not so sure about that. She was over the Finance and Human Resources departments when Lewis was superintendent. Was Ms. Tyson's performance stellar in the financial end of DCSS? That's a question a new DCSS Interim Superintendent should ask. I would certainly feel more comfortable with an Interim Superintendent with a good track record on reducing expenses and investing in the core business of the classroom.

I understand why she would like the bump in pay since most of it gets translated into retirement income, but has she done a million dollar job?

Anonymous said...

@ 1:43 I agree.

This raise will just hurt morale in the schools even more. Teachers are doing the best job that they can and they keep getting short changed and have stagnant incomes.

Why are administrators in DCSS treated differently from teachers? Why are they treated with more care and concern? Disgust about the decision today is all I can say.

Anonymous said...

The AJC just announced that the raise was approved (7-1 vote).

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 12:26 pm

"Retirement is based on your TWO highest years of salary. The rules can not be changed and are not the purview of the BOE or anyone on this blog."

Retirement is based on the highest two "contiguous years" of service so even if Ms. Tyson only served ONE year in this job at her increased salary (which the BOE just voted for her to do), she is due for a $121,000 annual retirement salary for the rest of her life + 3% guaranteed COLA rather than the $100,000 she would be due with $165,000 high 2 contiguous years of salary.

$23,000 MORE with guaranteed COLAs for the rest of your life (she can retire at 55 or 56 - I believe she only has 7 years left) is quite a tidy sum that DCSS BOE has committed taxpayers to. I'd say she has been amply rewarded for what she's done.

Please do the math and you will see that the DCSS BOE has committed taxpayers to pay hundreds of thousands to Ms. Tyson in retirement benefits.

Most of Mrs. Tyson's cuts came with lower level schoolhouse employees - hundreds of Special Education parapros and 9 CTSSs in the schoolhouse. In addition, she cut 100 teacher positions and asked the BOE to let high school content area classroom sizes to increase to 36 and all others to 39.

Sounds like business as usual to me. Any other DCSS administrator would have done the same thing. Students are paying the price in the end.

Please email and call your state representatives and encourage them to reduce the DCSS BOE to 5 members.

Here is a guide to call or email your state representatives:
1. Go to this website:
http://www.votesmart.org/official_state.php?state_id=GA&go2.x=13&go2.y=12&dist=

2. Type the 9-digits of your zip code (hyphen between the 5 digit code and the 4 digit code - e.g. 30033-5786) in the search box at the top of the page to the right of Find the Candidates. Your representatives will be displayed.

3. Click on the name of the representative you want to contact, and you will be taken to his/her information page.

4. On the right hand side of the page, mid-way down, you will see the email and phone number of your representative.

Anonymous said...

It is the board's job to decide the superintendent's salary and our job to select the board. All I can say is they did their job and we didn't.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 2:23

I hate to admit the truth, but you nailed it. This is the BoE the citizens elected. This BoE has a long and well documented history. And today's vote is consistent with past performance.

Anonymous said...

Who voted against the raise?

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS. Dekalb is now the worst county. Nothing will ever change. Enjoy the pile of 5h17 you work in and the kids don't learn in.

Anonymous said...

Don M. was the no vote

DunwoodyTalk said...

Act 367; HB 977
This Act prohibits the use of state funds for salary increases for local school superintendents or administrators during a school year in which the local board of education furloughs teachers or any other school support or services staff. The Act requires a local board of education to provide for a public hearing if it intends to use local or rivate funds for salary increases for superintendents or administrators during a year of furloughs to teachers or any other school support or services staff.
The Act enacts O.C.G.A. Section 20-2-212.6.
Effective July 1, 2010.

as posted at www.dunwoodytalk.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Who abstained (or wasn't at the meeting)?

Anonymous said...

Jim R. missed the meeting due to a family illness.

Anonymous said...

I bet the board gets a raise next and SCW screams racism. I'm surprised she hasn't yet over her loss.

Anonymous said...

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/newsroom/press/pdf/2010-12-16.2010-01-18.Notice_of_Statutory_Hearing_and_Intent.pdf

Anonymous said...

DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
Notice of Statutory Hearing and Intent
Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 20-2-212.6, the DeKalb County Board of Education will hold a public hearing regarding a proposed salary increase of the Interim Superintendent on January 18, 2011, at 10:00 a.m., at 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain, Georgia 30083. Public input and discussion will occur. Anyone wishing to speak at this public hearing may sign up to do so by completing a Request to Comment Card, in person, between 8:45 a.m. and 9:45 a.m., on the day of the public hearing. Also, prior to the hearing, please reduce comments to writing, in the event the Board cannot hear all comments at the public hearing.

Additionally, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 20-2-212.6, immediately following the public hearing, at 10:30 a.m., on January 18, 2011, at 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain, Georgia 30083, the DeKalb County Board of Education will consider this matter. The rationale for this proposed action is to recognize the fact that the Interim Superintendent is serving in her current capacity for an extended period of time.

Anonymous said...

So now the new board members will get to vote on this.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon1:52PM I am one of these taxpayers whose income also has been stagnant for several years. If you live on a fixed income, there is no possibility of an increase.

On the County side, our spendthrift CEO wants to raise the tax rate by 2.59 mils, $265 a year for a home appraised at $200k. He plans to tighten the workforce by closing 4 H classes and weeps for all of those who will no longer have free gardening classes. A few more swimming pools probably will be opened.

The State really should take over this County before it becomes Detroit South

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to calm down and take a breather. Tyson isn't being paid with real money, they're going to use taxpayer money instead.

Cynical? Yes!

Anonymous said...

@ 12:26,

You must be Ms. Tyson's secretary, or maybe Tom Bowen, or are you the PR firm hired to boost DCSS's image? Give me a break.

People like you keep these ridiculous Board memebers in place. Teachers have been doing their job very well, and yet they have not received a raise. They have been called on to do many new tasks, and yet they have not received a raise. They have encountered new difficulties with cutting in various areas, and yet they have not received a raise. I care enough about education that if I was asked to take on the position of Interim Superintendent I would have gladly done so, remaining at my bachelor's degree pay for the duration of the job. I am quite certain the position would not equal more hours, as I already sponsor multiple clubs, one of which includes a very small stipend, while the others are strictly voluntary. On top of the clubs I hold out of school tutorials, spend long hours looking for new ideas and ways of presenting my lessons in a format that my kids will both enjoy and at the same time learn from. Here before 7 and here until after 7, no, my hours will most likely decrease. Mind you, those hours are merely at-school work hours, that doesn't include what I work on at home or at Starbucks. I care about kids, I am passionate about teaching, I NEVER got into the profession for the money; sadly it appears that to Ms. Tyson money is what this is about. Can she survive on $168K/yr.? You bet she can! I make it on my little 42K/yr salary, and I would be willing to wager that my bang for the buck far outways hers.

Your shameless support of what is going on in the CO and in the Board is appalling!

Anonymous said...

residents & workers of Dekalb - how does being constantly @nal raped feel?

Anonymous said...

Can anyone step in and get these morons out of our county? From Tyson to the board need to be booted out. Lord help us!! The DCSS went from #1 in the 70's to bottom of the barrel. The poor students are the ones hurt, not these greedy pigs. NO MORE RAISES.

Anonymous said...

No one will disagree that Ramona Tyson stepped into an ugly, complicated mess and has done an admirable job and that she has spent countless hours of her personal time in acting as an interim superintendent, but asking for a 44% increase in salary at this time and under the current conditions speaks to her sense of values. She clearly wants HER piece of the pie. CLASSLESS BEHAVIOR and A SELF-SERVING CHARACTER TRIUMPH OVER SENSIBILITY,COMMUNITY CARE and CORE VALUES again.

Anonymous said...

There's a whole lot to say on both sides of this issue, but here's one piece on which I want to have my say:

Let's assume for discussion that Ms. Tyson is doing a terrific job and that, in order to retain her until a permanent super is in place, she needs an increase in salary (which, btw, there's no evidence that she's about to jump ship -- usually a prerequisite for crisis-time big bumps in salary or retention bonuses). The AJC article states that she also will now have $2000/month for which she will not have to provide receipts. What?! What planet are the "in favor" board members on? If you don't have to provide receipts, that's not reimbursement for expenses, it's just salary. Even CEOs making 7-figures provide receipts for expenses -- they just print it off the Amex bill.

Let it be clear: the Board did not approve an increase to $240,000; they approved an increase to $264,000 -- $270,000 if you count the "transportation allowance."

Anonymous said...

And they scheduled the public hearing for 8:45 a.m. the first day after a 3 day public holiday.

Everyone should write and make a huge stink about this. The hearing needs to be in the evening when the TAXPAYING public can attend.

These folks are tone death. I can't wait to move out of this county.

Anonymous said...

How do we get the point across? Is it even possible with these boneheaded, !@#$holes??? Yes, I'm name calling. I cannot believe the utter gall of Tyson and the Board. To be expected given the complete inane DRIVEL that the board members drag up every time they show up to a meeting with who I consider to be an under-educated completely overpaid administrative thief. Yes, I'm completely comfortable indicating that it is my opinion that she and the board are thieves. They are STEALING our children's educations right out from under our noses.

Seriously, she has performed admirably? I'm just not seeing it. What about the technology unit she supervised? Didn't they have a lack of planning and push and additional 60+,000 budget through because they are moving central office computers to a new building - while kids are being educated in buildings rated as insufficient to provide educational services? She is ok with this. Doesn't she support Beasley's complete mow-down of teachers, leading to more and more of our best, brightest and most energetic teachers to say that they are planning to leave the profession because they didn't know that it was about makinge and administrator look good by providing data that is never used rather than teaching kids? There is no oversight. Didn't she pass on making tough decisions about school closures last year because she was "only interim"? What did she do to personally move the search forward for the new REAL super? Nothing; apparently she was solely motivated to pad her own pocket.

Yep, I really think she has done a bang up job....bang up like a car wreck that is..... I truly see EVIL in the eyes of this super and this Board, these people are soulless zombies in search green feathers to pad their nests. They are NOT here to provide for the education of our kids; they simply have yet to make a decision that faithfully demonstrates that possibility.

GET THEM OUT! How do we initiate a recall? How do we get SACS and government involved? They are incompetent! What's the spin of our hired media cover-upers on this one?????

Dan Magee said...

"“We have to have some continuity,” said board chairman Tom Bowen. “There’s no one that could step in without any transition assistance, so she’ll be critical going forward transitioning the system to another superintendent.”
Bowen had told the AJC on Thursday the board was going to vote on raising Tyson's salary to $238,000. On Friday, he said that amount was incorrect and the amount adopted was $240,000.
The new contract also contains an additional $2,000 a month for Tyson's expenses, for which she is not required to submit receipts. It also continues her $500-a-month transportation allowance.

-

"There’s no one that could step in without any transition assistance"

NO ONE?? SAYS WHO, TOM??? And the following extremely well paid bureaucrats Moseley, Walker, Turk, Ramsey, Hunter, Wilson, Berry, Beasely, etc. can't assist with the transistion??

Tyson goes from $98k five years to $168k to a whooping $270,000 through 2012 ($240k salary, $24,000 in the ridiculous expenses/no receipts, and $6k for transportation allowance).

Tom Bowen's tenure as BOE chair has been amazingly ineffective and weak. He has no problem with throwing tax dollars into the wind while ignoring teachers and in house school staff with furlough days, an underfunded retirement, roof leaks, mold in HVAC, etc. And most of the BOE shares his spendthrift ways.

When your former Supt. and COO are indicted or criminal enterprise, you need a strong, decisive, ethical, transparent, BOE chair. Bowen is none of the above.

Shameful and disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of her accomplishments as interim superintendent or how many hours she she has spent on the job, or how many personal sacrifices she has made, or what she good she does in the future, Ramona Tyson's LEGACY will be the same as that of her predecessor: money first. That is what will be remembered.

Anonymous said...

Did they agree to pay all of her attorneys' fees too? This sounds as fishy as the last raise given to the administrator in charge. Seriously, they really just crapped on teachers and students and parents. Our results have declined; our buildings are in disrepair, and she's spend money on her technology pets (can anyone say redundant?). Can anyone really justify that she has done anything that equates to $73,000+ to the positive???? Really? She and the board are comfortable asking teachers to do more with less, parents to accept more students in the classrooms, fewer educational opportunities and lower educational outcomes, and feels good enough about this performance to be comfortable with a raise????? Heck, we even had to hire outside consultants because she and her crew were unwilling and unable to get the tough job of consolidation done on her own? Why do we need to pay media consultants to justify our expenses or to do the work of consolidation if she is doing a good job? I am utterly, and woefully baffled. Can anyone recommend a good realtor?

Anonymous said...

Ms. Tyson should be paid for the job she is performing and the responsibilities she has assumed. However, she is interim, the school system is in a mess, and its management has been less than mediocre.

According to Mr. Bowen, her replacement will earn at least $275,000 and Ms. Tyson will continue to be paid $240,000 until mid-2012. That is beyond belief and is simply not called for.

A more moderate increase, not to exceed $200,000, would have been more in order and any increase should be rescinded the date her successor assumes the position of Superintendent. Mr. Bowen is clearly a very weak leader whose performance has been very poor.

We replaced two of the four incumbents and I look forward to 2012 when, I hope, we will do the same. The problems in Dekalb County's schools are at the top and that is what we need to change. The leadership of this Board has been embarrassing and very lacking. I sure hope that they are not harboring any delusions of a tax increase to pay for their repeated blunders.

Anonymous said...

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/26175878/detail.html
"The reason that is critical is that we will have a brand new superintendent that has no experience in this district,” Bowen said."

Hey King Wuss Tom Bowen: We desperately want a new superintendent who has "no experience in this district". How can you be so clueless? How do you not know its time to completely clean house at the Central Office?


http://www.wsbtv.com/video/26177118/index.html

The video reminds us the district now says it's facing a $50 million budget hole. But Tyson got her's. If it is a $50 mil hole, Ramona, please eliminate the unnecessary and ineffective Office of School Improvement.

Anonymous said...

Trust me, Bowen's statement that “The superintendent...is addressing school consolidation, and is changing the culture and improving the public view of the district.” just fell flat on its face with this particular request by Tyson. Think she just made it worse, with the board's help, demonstrating that the culture is not changing. The public view certainly was not improved by this vote in my household.

Anonymous said...

Just when the residents of Dekalb County had been given a ray of hope with the election of two new school board members, the incumbents strike again! I watched the news tonight and all stations - Fox 5, WSB, CBSAtlanta, and WXIA expressed a sense of disbelief at the Board's decision today to give Ramona a 44% raise.

This School Board just does not get it - and neither does Ramona Tyson! The School Board is just in absolute denial that this crisis that all of us face was caused by its poor management. It was asleep at the switch! I just wish that Bowen and Tyson would go away. I have no confidence - none, whatsoever, in them. Hopefully, Governor Deal will dismiss the seven incumbent members and replace them and find a new interim superintendent.

If Ms. Tyson thinks she can get a better job elsewhere, then I encourage her to have at it!! The behavior of this School Board and Ramona Tyson are an insult to the many employees of the School System who make far less than she does, who have taken furlough days, and who worry about just keeping their jobs each day - let alone even the smallest of raises. Just what makes you so special, Ramona?

Anonymous said...

NO ONE?? SAYS WHO, TOM??? And the following extremely well paid bureaucrats Moseley, Walker, Turk, Ramsey, Hunter, Wilson, Berry, Beasely, etc. can't assist with the transition??

First, I am very disappointed in both Ms. Tyson and the Board. Ms. Tyson should have been given some additional compensation, but she doesn't have the qualifications to be superintendent so therefore she shouldn't be paid the same as the others in the metro area.

However, Magee and others, perhaps the Board knows that many on Magee's list will be gone by July 1st.

Anonymous said...

One other thing, since this has to be revoted on, now is the time for the BoE to figure out how to fix this. A bonus for the extra work done, not as high as the raise, and a retention bonus for her agreeing to serve the first year of a new superintendent are the way to go here.

For her next position outside of DeKalb, Tyson can argue that she really is worth 240K if she chooses to. She can use the vote to give her that salary as evidence of this and just tell prospective employers that politically she was sunk.

We have a month to barrage the board with emails with this much more reasonable suggestion. A letter to the AJC, Champion etc written by different people might go a long way as well.

In summary, a bonus for work done so far and then a bonus for staying until the end of the new super's first year. No raise.

Anonymous said...

I think the thing that really smacks here is that after all of the events of past few years, we see that culture hasn't really changed. It's almost as though there's the thinking that somehow the money will always come from somewhere and it's OK to spend it. I too believe in paying people for performing a job and not belittling them by making them do it on a sub-par scale. Sure.


But that much? As salary? Not graduated? Not tied to performance indicators?

And here's where we move beyond those basic questions. Until 2012? Because the new super will need all of this "help" with transitioning? They've just hamstrung any new super with this move, and guaranteed that not much will change. There won't have to be a lot of contract negotiations with the new super, because they've just locked him/her down.

Unless the idea all along is that we're not going to get one. A new super, that is. At the end of the day, we may be told how much of a favor they're doing us by picking what's already there and saving us the cost of two super salaries at the same time. Voila!! Masterful.

Disgusting, Insulting, and a complete absence of morality -- but Masterful.

Dekalbparent said...

Heard on WABE this morning. Tom Bowen, when asked if any teachers will be getting raises:

"Finding $74,000 is different from finding tens of millions. It's apples and oranges. We will work on things that need to be done in the school system, and then we will get to the teachers."
(paraphrased to the best of my memory)

Anonymous said...

From AJC article: "Members also agreed Friday to offer a minimum salary of $275,000 to a new superintendent. They hope to fill the position by July 1, 2011."
Huh? Have they already identified the candidate? Is this how you negotiate a salary to get DCSS the best deal? Helllloooo! We are living in a new world, a new economy that can’t support these kinds of salaries. Ramona Tyson has been a space-holder these past months; she has NOT advanced the district in any meaningful way and I suspect if she were working for IBM or elsewhere in the computing world, she’d would never in a million years be compensated at the level she is today – and never come close to the raise she is demanding. I have been in meetings with her. She is minimally qualified. She is not horrible. But she does not have the talent that merits this kind of money.
I am encouraged that the raise may be illegal based on Ga. code. I love how our school board members just never get around to knowing the law and stuff. Details, details. Tom Bowen’s behavior is a complete mystery to me. He’s ostensibly an educated man - is he really this out of touch with the electorate? There’s got to be some kind of quid pro quo going on that would explain his string of unfathomable decisions – from Clew’s initial raise – right before he was fired – to his “There was no mandate for change” comment after the election – when two of his board members faced (and eventually lost) runoffs.

Anonymous said...

275 is the least we are going to pay. Economy or not, this is a huge job that isn't very desirable.

We need someone who is worth that much money -- that is the key.

Anonymous said...

It is a sad irony that the educational adequacy reports have been published in the same week the Board votes Ms. Tyson a salary increase of over 40%.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the board wants Tyson to stay on, so that she can groom whomever gets the job into being just like her and Lewis-keeping the district status quo. I don't think that anyone with experience and knows of the issues in DCSS would want someone from inside DCSS to help them. I believe that they would want to see and experience what is going on first hand to make their own conclusions and decisions.

The BOE doesn't know what they are doing. They better not ask for a tax increase, as I will be fighting that tooth and nail. It's not the amount of money that they have, it's how they are currently spending what they have. They are not fiscally responsible and I don't want them to have another dime of my money.

Anonymous said...

Average superintendent's salary in U.S:$150K.
I guess we're paying more because of the stellar results we get. :(

Anonymous said...

Just more of the same.
DCSS' "Upper Management" excels in rewarding themselves handsomely for pitiful results. As the system goes down the drain, they pat themselves on the back and pat their pockets and those of their friends.

Anonymous said...

True or False?
The newly promoted Principal at St Mt Mid School is a fraternity brother of Area Director Horace Dunson---who hired him at Salem and promoted him to Ass't Prin. at MLK?
If true, the Friends and Family Plans Lives!

Fed Up said...

Please read the fine print - the contract. Not only does she get the raise, but she is extended through 2013, along with 3 (that's right three) positions directly reporting to her - 2 Administrators and 1 Support Person. And the beat goes on!

Anonymous said...

The storm was not suppose to last this long. She did not get a raise to take the job. She got 500 a month as an expense account. I am in the school system. I faced a pay cut this year. Ms Tyson is in an impossible job. She has made some hard choices. She has hard choices still to make. As with trying to correct any problem, everything cannot be done at once. At least she has tried. She has not stuck her head in the sand and done nothing. If she was fooled by Dr. Lewis, she not the only one. I remember regular writers on this blog stating that "he is a good man."
She is a lady. Women deserve to be paid fairly.
Ramona, take the money.

Anonymous said...

I almost feel like giving up, but what keeps me from doing it is that would make their day. If all of us would just join in and smile like everything is going great, or just be apathetic like most are, that would indeed make their day. Then things could continue on as they are without too much fuss. I shudder to think where this school system will be in ten years with this kind of leadership.

I agree with the blogger that says "give Tyson a one time bonus of $73,000" if they feel she is worthy of it because she is temporary. No one, no one, NO ONE surely can justify giving her a annual increase of $73,000.

I just don't get it. It really makes me ill. I really think at this point, they are (maybe even for kicks) seeing just how much we WILL take of this idiocy.

Where's SACS in all this? Where's the D.A. and the investigation in all this? Is anyone watching to has any power to stop this trainwreck?

Sagamore 7 said...

I want to know where the "Crisis Management" PR firm DCSS hired is now?

I haven't seen a single public comment from DCSS, only personal tidbits from Bowen and Tyson.

What is the $165,000 annual salary that DCSS is paying them getting DCSS?

This sure is NEGATIVE publicity that they are supposed to be addressing as they are specialists in crisis management!

Where oh where is the Crisis Management PR FIRM?

In Jamaica at a DCSSS mafia fraternity party?

It makes me sick!
I will be there on for the public forum on January 18th and communicate my immense displeasure for this raise.

You can all see our PR firm on TV Sunday mornings on Fox 5, Jeff Dickerson and the Georgia Gang!

Please send your emails to the show about this raise and let's see what he says tomorrow.

Sagamore 7

Anonymous said...

GA Gang is actually filmed much earlier than Sunday. Sorry. I expect they are off until the New Year.

If you watch carefully, you can tell not only is it not live, but how early it is filmed. But they are often careful to avoid subjects that are too timely.

Anonymous said...

Average superintendent's salary in U.S:$150K.
I guess we're paying more because of the stellar results we get. :(

No we are paying more because we are one of the top 20 systems in size in the US and we are an low performing system that desperately needs a leader who can move us forward.

If you were a top candidate, what would it take to get you to choose DeKalb over Cobb? Think about it.

All that said, what the board did yesterday was wrong. If Ms. Tyson doesn't want to work this hard, she needs to move on.

Anonymous said...

"Is anyone watching to has any power to stop this trainwreck?

Yes. It is my understanding that many members of the DeKalb Delegation are beyond unhappy with this.

They have tremendous power to fix this. Shrinking the board will go a long way towards repairing the general dysfunction that is DCSS.

Anonymous said...

If the Dekalb Delegation is upset where are they? I want to hear from them. I want to know that they are planning on doing something. I can't believe that this is what they did before Christmas. Geez. Bowen. Let me take care of Ms. Tyson, then maybe, someday, I'll take care of the teachers....really, who takes care of the kids????? TEACHERS (and I'm not one).

Still sick and expecting to throw up at the palace on meeting day. Perhaps we could all pack packages of poop to give them for taxpayer bonuses to the board, they deserve no less.

Anonymous said...

On top of shrinking the board, lets shrink the county; perhaps that would make it more palatable to govern for a super. Two smaller school districts (or three), supers would receive smaller salaries (commiserate with size of jurisdiction) and maybe the focus could finally be on the students.

Where are the feds in this mess? Clearly the state doesn't give a SADF!!!

Anonymous said...

"County school's superintendent turns down pay raise"

Ironically, I read this yesterday after hearing the news of Tyson's pay raise. Superintendent Armelino said, "I cannot in good conscience take a raise in my salary in one school year larger than the employees I serve with." This guy understands it! Oh, and he has been in the position for 4 years, and the people still like him! Imagine that!

Full article can be found here:
"http://www.redding.com/news/2010/dec/08/board-raises-superintendents-salary/

Anonymous said...

If you're unhappy with this raise call/email/write SACS and your state representatives. Your state representatives are trying to let DeKalb voters choose to take the BOE down to 7 members. In that case, everyone on the BOE would come up for election in 2012. Copy and paste the information below into an email and send it to all the people you know in DeKalb.

Contacting SACS and state representatives:

Regional Headquarters:
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097
Phone:(404) 679-4500
Fax: (404) 679-455

Council on Accreditation and School Improvement:
Commissions on Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Schools
Phone: (888) 413-3669

Mark Elgart
President of SACS
melgart@advanc-ed.org
Phone: (888) 413-3669

Here is a guide to call or email your state representatives:
1. Go to this website:
http://www.votesmart.org/official_state.php?state_id=GA&go2.x=13&go2.y=12&dist=

2. Type the 9-digits of your zip code (hyphen between the 5 digit code and the 4 digit code - e.g. 30033-5786) in the search box at the top of the page to the right of Find the Candidates. Your representatives will be displayed.

3. Click on the name of the representative you want to contact, and you will be taken to his/her information page.

4. On the right hand side of the page, mid-way down, you will see the email and phone number of your representative.

Anonymous said...

"No we are paying more because we are one of the top 20 systems in size in the US and we are an low performing system that desperately needs a leader who can move us forward."

1) We're the 26th largest school system.

2) We would be in the Top 20 if so many parents in the Northwestern DeKalb around Cross Keys, and around Duwwoody, etc. had more faith in DCSS and didn't make the conscious decision to spend so much to send their children to private and Catholic schools.

3) Please explain why we are such a low performing school system when we spend a massively obscene amount of administrators and their armies?? That's you Dr, Audria Bahamas Berry and Johnny Brown nephew Morcease Beasely.

Anonymous said...

Look at the demographic make-up of the school system and then see if you can find a school system with similar demographics that is doing better than DeKalb.

No one likes to talk about it but even with all the extra monies and emphasis that has been put on the concept of NCLB, there has really been very little real improvement among poor minority children.

Anonymous said...

Shasta County, California has a supt. who respects his teachers and staff, and walks the walk by selflessly turning down a pay raise. We have a supt. without any professional or personal ethics who wants her's...now, and who doesn't give a darn about how our teachers and staff have been made to sacrafice over the past few years.

The only positive on tis is there is NO WAY Tom Bowen wins re-election.


County schools superintendent turns down pay raise

Bucking an austerity trend in public schools, Shasta County’s board of education Wednesday offered Superintendent Tom Armelino a 10.8 percent pay raise, which he rejected in a letter written to the board late that night and sent to the Record Searchlight early this morning.

Board members voted unanimously to increase Armelino’s annual salary from $142,120 to $157,600.

But in a letter received by the Record Searchlight at 4:36 a.m. today, Armelino said that though he appreciates the board's recommendation, it would not be right for him to accept a salary increase at this time.

"I cannot in good conscience take a raise in my salary in one school year larger than the employees I serve with," he wrote.

Armelino also said he didn't want to compromise labor relations.

"I value both their hard work and trust and feel very fortunate to have good relationships with our bargaining units and would never do anything to jeopardize that trust," he said in the letter.

Board member Steve MacFarland, who headed up a committee to study the superintendent’s pay, said Wednesday that shortly after Armelino was first elected in 2006 the board agreed to consider a raise for him in four years, after he earned a new term in the job.

Armelino is starting a new term next year, after running unopposed for re-election this year.

“Honestly, I think we wanted to give him even more money,” said board member Susan Wilson, who served on the committee with MacFarland.

The board also voted to increase their own monthly stipends by 5 percent, from $175 to $183.75 monthly.

MacFarland’s committee compared Armelino’s salary with the compensation of superintendents in the county’s largest school districts and compared his pay with superintendents in county’s of similar size.

In both cases, Armelino’s pay came in under what other superintendents were paid.

Board member Rhonda Hull said she was concerned about what the public would think about such a raise while education program funding is being cut.

“I know Tom is very deserving of a raise, but I’m concerned what the community thinks,” Hull said, noting that Redding’s city manager and city attorney recently passed up pay raises.

MacFarland and other board members agreed with Hull, but said they wanted to stay competitive with what other counties and districts are paying.

“We don’t want to lose him,” MacFarland said.

The superintendent of schools heads up the County Office of Education, which has some 325 employees providing such services as special education, preschool and business services to districts throughout the county.

Armelino did not comment during the board's discussion Wednesday and did not return a message left at his office Wednesday afternoon.

Cork McGowan, a California Teachers Association representative in Redding, said most teachers in the county have not received a negotiated raise in several years. Some school districts are reducing the number of days in a school year, reducing teachers’ pay, he said.

“Right now, people getting pay raises, unless you’re on Wall Street, sends the wrong message,” McGowan said.

Considering the state of the economy, awarding pay raises to public employees can create resentment in the private sector, he said.

Armelino is paid $136,960 in base salary and receives a $4,200 stipend to cover car travel, meals and other expenses. He also receives a $1,000 stipend for having a master’s degree, and $960 annually for his cell phone.

Anonymous said...

"Look at the demographic make-up of the school system and then see if you can find a school system with similar demographics that is doing better than DeKalb."


Both Fulton County and Gwinnett County. Guess what? The Gwinnett County school system is actually much more diverse than DCSS. DCSS is mainly African-American, with some Caucasian and Latino. Gwinnett has had a major influx of Asian and immigrant students, in huge numbers as compared to DCSS.

Fulton has a very high poverty rate in the Tri-Cities area.

I love how DCSS administrators and BOE'ers always say that DeKalb faces no problems that other systems do, and it's a bold-faced lie.

Anonymous said...

http://www.governing.com/topics/economic-dev/Immigrants-and-the-Suburban.html

What had long been a mostly white institution with a substantial African-American minority had become a miniature United Nations, the white and black cohorts nearly equaled by students from dozens of countries all over Asia and Latin America. Asians, most of them from India, now make up one-fifth of the student body.

In Gwinnett, evidence of this transformation is everywhere, but especially in the small towns of Lilburn, Norcross and Duluth. You see it on the Buford Highway, a classic suburban shopping strip whose low-slung mini-malls now are filled with Salvadoran pupuserias, Vietnamese nail salons, and Korean grocery stores.

commissioners can't be sure at any moment how close they might be to a noisy populist revolt.

Illegal immigration is far from the only challenge. Many Gwinnett residents of all colors moved to the county because

of its excellent school system. The system still does well in national rankings, but its two-thirds minority enrollment has placed a huge burden upon it. For example, the constant stream of newcomers, who also move around a lot, has given some of the schools a 50 percent student turnover from the start of the academic year in August to its conclusion in May.

After the Olympics, many of those immigrants had little incentive to leave the area. Gwinnett County was in the midst of a residential building explosion, and Hispanics who had initially settled closer to Atlanta simply moved on to Gwinnett, where the jobs were. The county's overall Hispanic population, which was barely 2 percent in 1990, had surged above 10 percent in the official 2000 Census returns. Given the undocumented status of many immigrants, that probably represented a significant undercount.

Another important influx in the 1990s was Vietnamese. Most of these people were officially refugees, including many who had been senior government officials in Saigon prior to the Communist takeover, and some who had spent part of the previous two decades in jungle detention camps.

But the most remarkable success story among all the immigrant cohorts in Gwinnett County is the story of the Koreans. Unlike the others, they tended to come not directly from Asia but from intermediate stops in the United States, mostly New York and Los Angeles. They didn't show up to build houses or, for the most part, to be doctors or scientists. They came to create businesses and make money, and they have done spectacularly well at both.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:25 I live in the middle of DeKalb. Taught in DeKalb until the end of the last school year and left by choice. I cannot take the chance on the quality of education that my child may or may not get in DCSS. Until the district focuses on it's main job-educating children-many more parents like me will make similar decisions. Our children and their future cannot be put into the hands of the administrators and current school board members. My family will do without, so that my child can get a quality education. We are not wealthy, just concerned about what the children in DCSS are and are not learning. We want better for our kids. Can't wait for DCSS to turn around, as decisions like this on top of the decisions that we've seen the past 3 years that we moved here show us that things aren't going to change. All children deserve better. My husband and I choose to do without, so that our children will get better, even if that means holding down several jobs.

Anonymous said...

Good post from another thread. Interesting first-hand observations that tie into the comments above about immigration's impact, even if I reject the recommendation. Why do people refuse to address the blatant race issue head on? Too painful? Too embarrassing?

I go down to south Dekalb a lot on business. Large tracts there are quickly becoming suburban wastelands. It's a good place for speculative real estate investments. But such investments do not bode well for an area's stability. I have seen similar things in Las Vegas. The big difference here is the profound racial and cultural segregation. The stories clients -- many of whom are well educated -- tell about the schools in south Dekalb and the quality of the administration and teachers are hard to believe. They send their own children to Chamblee, Pace, Lovett, etc. The north must stop underwriting the south. This is wealth redistribution at its worst -- the only real beneficiaries are the corrupt bureaucrats, construction interests, etc. The county government in the south is not any different. When it exists in isolation, black culture is highly dysfunctional. The tax revenues from the north -- which is actually quite diverse and thus much more "American" than the south -- are enabling the dysfunction. Not much different from making drugs available to an addict. Support the Republican push to localize education and other spending. We cannot save these people from themselves.

Anonymous said...

I am not a member of the BOE or a school system employee but you can't compare Fulton to DeKalb at all.

Fulton has a free and reduced lunch of 43% and DeKalb has a free and reduced lunch of 69.75%

http://app3.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fte_pack_frl001_public.display_proc

In Gwinnett, there is near parity in racial classifications. Thirty-one percent are white, 25% hispanic and 28 percent black. Ten percent are Asian.

In DeKalb, we are 70% black, 12 percent Hispanic and 10 percent white.

Gwinnett and Fulton both have a huge number of parents who truly value education and expect a solid product. Same with Cobb.

This is what sets those systems apart from DeKalb.

Anonymous said...

"Fulton has a free and reduced lunch of 43% and DeKalb has a free and reduced lunch of 69.75%"

Whoa. You know why it's 70% Free and reduced lunch in DeKalb, because the syatem actually coaches parents who shouldn't be eligible for FRL to turn in forms. It's not audited in any manner. Crawford Lewis, Bob Moseley, Marcus Turk, etc. were and are addicted to title 1 funds, even if they are obtained illegally.

Anonymous said...

I am a DCSS teacher. On January 3rd, I will not be. I cannot be told one more time to be happy I have a job, while I see our board hand our interim this sort of raise. I think Ms. Tyson was handed a rotten can of worms. I think she is doing the best she can. I do not think she deserves this sort of raise - a bonus maybe. But when she complains that this job is more than she was led to believe, I want to laugh. So is mine. When I began teaching, the paperwork demands were much less, the outside of school time spent was much less, etc. But DCSS just tells me to be glad I have a job. Enough from them. Thank goodness my family has enough money to allow me to quit without having to find another job first. I'm sorry for the rest of the teachers/paras in DCSS - the lack of sensitivity and respect in the upper echelons is astounding. I wish that everyone could afford to quit. Then maybe this board and this administration would see the discontent their actions have wrought.

Anonymous said...

I am nearly 50 years old. There has been fraud in the FRL program since its inception. And it is fraud all over the place.

The federal government has no interest in regulating this program.

It is an entitlement program.

DeKalb is far poorer than Fulton. Remember the City of Atlanta is its own system. The majority of students in Fulton live north of Sandy Springs. There isn't much poverty in Milton or Alpharetta.

There is tremendous poverty in McNair, the Buford Highway area, etc

Anonymous said...

And the exodus begins. Teachers are justified in leaving this system, and this terrifies me for my child. Why would any teacher worth their salt stay when the board and tyson have such obvious disregard and disrespect for the true with of the system. We should all, parents children teachers plan a walkout to demonstrate our disgust. for those of you who believe she's earned it, I ask, who is in the classroom with your child and how is their morale? Are they working other jobs to make ends meet? Are they receiving food stamps to feed their kids? Are they buying school supplies our going to school early to make copies because the district didn't have enough books for the kids? Does she, or anybody in this status quo system deserve any more money when the kids are being so, so poorly served?

Anonymous said...

Seems our interim has teamed up with our board to put the last nail in the coffin. And she really only wants it so that she can beef up her retirement. Nice golden parachute.

for details read here

http://dunwoodytalk.blogspot.com/2010/12/real-reason-ramona-tyson-wanted-more.html

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:45
Thank you for your link, but one thing stands out clearly: the super quoted in that article holds an elected position. Would Tyson be re-elected after asking for a raise?

Anonymous said...

Annon. 9:08
" Seems our interim has teamed up with our board to put the last nail in the coffin. And she really only wants it so that she can beef up her retirement. Nice golden parachute."

Astute observation but we feel it goes deeper than that.

There is no way in Hades this raise
was orchestrated on her own! Sorry but she lacks the savy and sophistication. She's getting coaching from a "Board" as well. This under the radar "Board" might include a former Superintendent, a former Chief Operating Officer, current high ranking officials who rely on her for keeing their high paid, low ROI (return on investment) jobs, and of course, someone to lead the invocation at the start of the proceedings. Perhaps a representative of the NBBC?

The message this sends to the stakeholders, the children and others watching is quite clear.
"Greed is good." Thank you Gordon Grecco.

This scenario reminds us of the athlete who a few months after signing a contract, here of another athlete being paid more. Their ego is unable to stand it so they demand renegotiation. What a crock of crap!

You do the job at the agreed upon price! If you do a stellar job, a bonus may be in order but it would not be your right! To now demand
an increase is a slap in the face to the entire county and worse, the example you are setting for those whose education you are responsible for in less than pathetic. GIMMEE GIMMEE GIMEE

Yours in disgust.

Jim Bohica and Ben Dover

Anonymous said...

Jim and Ben apologize for the typo!

The disgust/adrenaline rush had fingers moving faster than brain...

We typed the wrong "hear"!!

Our bad and still disgusted!

Anonymous said...

As a teacher, it is more and more difficult to make the choice to reach in Dekalb. I love my school and my students. But in APS I would be earning almost $9K a year more!!

DCSS teachers start off at $40K and don't get a raise (of $300) until their 5th year.

Contrast that with APS. Starting salary %44K with a (rounded) $1K raise every year. 5th-year DCSS teacher makes less than $45K, while the same teacher in APS is at close to $49.

The disparity is even greater for those with advanced degrees--beginning teacher with Master's $42,500 DCSS vs. $48,700 APS

No, it's not all about the money. But think about it--you are a new teacher considering where to work. You hear all of the craziness about DCSS (This raise is more craziness--whether she deserves it or not, it was not handled well.)

Then you look at the pay scales . . .

Anonymous said...

Jim and Ben--speaking of working for the salary that was promised, I was given a printed salary schedule when I was hired that states "actual salary may be higher," as it was assumed that there would be raises along the way.

I firmly believe that I was told what I would be paid and that the county has no right to alter that. I was not only given a starting rate but an amount that I would be paid after 5, 10, 12 years. Nowhere on the document does it say, "projected" or "estimated" or "if the economy doesn't go south." It says, "This is what you can plan on."

Why do I have to accept less than I was promised when RT gets 40% more?? If she can stop the Mountain Industrial madness and restore the step system that was in place for teachers, THEN she has worked hard enough to deserve more.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:08--it's illegal for teachers to strike. Wish I could. But I gotta eat and can't afford to roll the dice. That's part of the problem--we have no power.

Yeah, we could all cripple the system by being "sick" on the same day. But those who cannot produce medical documentation would lose a day's pay and even face ethics charges if DCSS wanted to push the issue.

Anonymous said...

OK! So what is the complacent DeKalb Community going to do about this Regime? Are you going to look for the other 2 votes for a 5 to 4 no vote? Will staff, parents, children, cats and dogs standup and just say no? Will the DeKalb Community Make S.A.C. do their job so Deal can do his?
Guess what Folks! the Regime is counting on you to do what you do... talk among yourselves! anyone want Tea?

Anonymous said...

Here's Tom Bowen's contact info. Let him know your opinion of his tenure as BOE Chair:

Name: Mr. Thomas E. Bowen
Title: Chair
Work Phone: 678.676.0027
thomas_bowen@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:17 pm
There is tremendous poverty in McNair, the Buford Highway area, etc

--

Guess what? There is tremendous poverty in East Point, College Park and Hapeville. Many, many North Fulton families send their children to private schools.

It is more than fair to compare DeKalb to the Gwinnett, Fulton, Clayton and Atlanta school systems, except that their former Supt. and Chief Operating Officer weren't arrested for criminal enterprise.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff from Dunwoody talk blog! And Tyson only taught for a few years...and she taught typing!



http://dunwoodytalk.blogspot.com/2010/12/real-reason-ramona-tyson-wanted-more.html

As mentioned in a previous post this increase is more than just a pay raise. When a teacher retires they get 2% of the average of their two highest years as a retirement pension. With this increase Tyson just increased her monthly retirement to over $4000 a month, $700 a month more than it was yesterday. Good for her, bad for taxpayers. $700 a month x 12 months = $8400 a year increase. Like the shamed Crawford Lewis, Tyson has been with the failing school system for decades. In 2004 her salary was $99,960, five years later it was $165,000.

After reading more details of the contract/raise, Tyson gets an 18-month deal. Why 18 months?

1. DeKalb is six months away from having a new Superintendent

2. Tyson will remain as a public servant for one year after the new Super takes over

3. The 18 months will cover two years worth of official salary.

These two new annual salaries will bump her retirement pension to $4,800 a month (instead of 'only' $3300 a month). Not bad for a public servant.

On the plus side, DeKalb School System, a billion dollar institution, has upgraded its CEO from a gym teacher to a typing teacher.

---

http://dunwoodytalk.blogspot.com/2010/12/interim-superintendent-gets-44-pay.html

This pay raise is a real slap in the face for classroom teachers - teachers who had their pay cut with furlough days. Tyson said she deserves the money because her new position is more work than her prior position. Guess what Ramona? Teachers now have more kids than ever in the classroom, making their jobs more difficult. yet the board cut their pay.

After a little research I'm not even sure it was legal to vote on this pay raise. HB977 says:

Act 367; HB 977
This Act prohibits the use of state funds for salary increases for local school superintendents or
administrators during a school year in which the local board of education furloughs teachers or any
other school support or services staff. The Act requires a local board of education to provide for a
public hearing if it intends to use local or private funds for salary increases for superintendents or
administrators during a year of furloughs to teachers or any other school support or services staff.
The Act enacts O.C.G.A. Section 20-2-212.6.
Effective July 1, 2010.

Anonymous said...

---

http://dunwoodytalk.blogspot.com/2010/12/january-looks-to-be-hot-month-in-dekalb.html

---

http://dunwoodytalk.blogspot.com/2010/12/is-she-qualified-is-raise-deserved.html

"Is She Qualified? Is a Raise Deserved?"

In the real world, pay increases are usually implemented when an employee takes on new responsibilities, has a new position, or has performed above and beyond expectations. I agree that she has taken on a bigger position as she went from deputy chief superintendent to superintendent. But has she done anything special? Anything that has increased student performance? Anything that has helped the district? I here she is trimming the fat from the central office. If that is true, great.

Are there teachers out there working as long term subs? If they stay on longer than expected does the Board increase their pay? No. They are still classified as a substitute. Tyson is still interim superintendent. She will be replaced this summer with a new superintendent.

The timing of her request is troublesome. As mentioned in my previous post the superintendent will soon reshape the entire district and the lives of thousands of kids (for the better, we hope). The school board members, two of whom will be out of office after this month, all have an extreme interest in the redistricting process. Is Tyson's raise request legitimate? The increase will be about $35,000 or so since a new superintendent will be in place July 1, 2011 (we hope). But does a bump in her base salary pay much bigger dividends in her retirement pension?

I expect the Board to approve the pay raise for her, just like the Board approved furlough days and other cuts for the classroom. When it comes to taking care of the central office staff the sky is the limit for DeKalb. This is the same Board that gave Crawford Lewis a raise, knowing he was under investigation.

I admit I know very little about Tyson. I don't think she was a gym teacher for kindergarten students who then became in charge of a billion dollar institution. But I do think $165,000 a year is fair compensation for an interim superintendent.

Anonymous said...

Well, this is the final straw. Dunwoody will either find a way via state rep or state senator to have its own school system (which it would run very well and efficiently like the City of Decatur school system). Or it will leave DeKalb when Milton County becomes a reality.

And I don't blame them one bit for wanting to leave the madness and get back to focusing on the basics of a well run school, without the never ending scandal and drama that is the then Lewis/Pope now Tyson/Bowen DeKalb County School System.

Anonymous said...

"It is more than fair to compare DeKalb to the Gwinnett, Fulton, Clayton and Atlanta school systems, except that their former Supt. and Chief Operating Officer weren't arrested for criminal enterprise. "

Lets see -- Clayton lost accredidation and the vast majority of public schools in Atlanta have had documented cheating on the CRCT.

Yup, we have a lot in common with Clayton and Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

"The school board members, two of whom will be out of office after this month, all have an extreme interest in the redistricting process."

This is BS. The author of the Dunwoody Talk blog is obsessed with redistricting. However, Roberts consistently supported the closing of schools even when the list included schools in her district. She might not have always said the nicest things on this issue, but she always said it needed to be done. I can't tell you why she was like this on this issue, just that she was.

Anonymous said...

I am so incredibly disapppointed in Ms. Tyson. I think she is tired of working so much and I don't blame her at all for that. She should have gone to the Board and Ray and Associates and asked them to find a new interim for the next XXX months until a permanent superintendent could be found.

I also know that she has some real enemies throughout the central office because of the whole book deal. Apparently Ralph Simpson and others have friends that are out to get her. I suspect that at the end of the 18 months her career at DCSS is over.

Kim Gokce said...

The highest paid employees of DeKalb public schools system should be the principals of our high schools. Why? Because they actually run our schools or, at least, they should. Until the salary schedule is turned upside down and the highest paid official in the central office makes no more than the highest paid principal, I harbor little hope of a rational system.

The "parity" argument is a non-starter - most high profile superintendents are over paid in my humble opinion. These folks work hard, yes - too hard, if you ask me. I would love to have a lot fewer administrators at the central office who do a lot less work and a whole lot more people in our schools making the majority of the money.

I feel like Alice in Wonderland the more I pay attention to public school system administration in our beloved country. "’Curiouser and curiouser!’ Cried Alice ..."

Anonymous said...

Just a quick reminder that you don't have to wait until the January hearing to express your disgust with the proposed raise for Ms. Tyson.

Instead, sign up to speak at the Board Meeting on January 3.

MARGARET_C_FRANCOIS@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us

Include in your email, your name, address and phone number

I think it is truly important to do this at this meeting if you are able.

Anonymous said...

Other steps you can/should take is to write your board members and suggest that they not support this raise. Offer an alternative if you choose, ie a bonus or something, but do send a brief email.

Finally, if your board member happens to be Paul Womack or Don McChesney they need to stop being such asses when it comes to teachers in DeKalb. Teachers are very important and as a parent I often feel like I am the only voice criticizing these two men to their faces for their mistreatment of teachers. I can't vote for them and for now that is mote.

Anonymous said...

Finally, contact your state legislators and ask them to expediate teh process of shrinking the board. The hearings must start as soon as the Legislature convenes.

For those of you in S. DeKalb, this is especially important. Your legislators need to hear from you on this issue. They need to know that you have their back if Cunningham or Woods tries to organize something to fight them.

This is key -- because a change in the structure of the board will trigger a new election quickly and we can organize to elect 5 strong members this time.

Anonymous said...

"Apparently Ralph Simpson and others have friends that are out to get her. I suspect that at the end of the 18 months her career at DCSS is over."

Ralph Simpson should have been FIRED! Same with Horace Dunson the grade changer.

(http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2009/07/update-on-mlk-grade-changing-horace.html)

Simpson and Dunson are old news, and shouldn't have any power base left at the Central Office.

We will no longer tolerate the nonsense, even though Ron Ramsey does. For the old Crawford Lewis insiders, your days at DCSS are numbered, Ralph Simpson, Horace Dunson, Audria Bahamas Berry, Frankie Callaway, etc.

Anonymous said...

"These two new annual salaries will bump her retirement pension to $4,800 a month (instead of 'only' $3300 a month). Not bad for a public servant."

No. Here retirement pension will be 60% of $240,000 or $144,000 rather than the current 60% of $165,000 or $99,000.

That's $12,000 a month in pension benefits.

$45,000 a year more the BOE just committed taxpayers to.

Any way you look at it - Ms. Tyson is now DCSS's million dollar baby.

Anonymous said...

"The "parity" argument is a non-starter - most high profile superintendents are over paid in my humble opinion. These folks work hard, yes - too hard, if you ask me."

Principals work harder and many more hours than superintendents and asst. superintendents. And y'all would be shocked by how many Central Office administrators sneak out early on Friday's and take long lunches.

Kim Gokce said...

Well, no, I would not be shocked. However, a lot of these admin types are also logging a lot of long days and nights. My beef isn't whether they are putting in hours - it's whether they are adding value. Seriously, how important is it that about $1million in annual salaries are represented at practically every public meeting. What is ultimately accomplished at these meetings, really?

All I am saying is whether or not they work hard, we need fewer people outside of our school houses and more of them inside our school houses. The financial incentives are there to get out of the school house - take that away and put it instead IN the school houses!!

Kim Gokce said...

I don't blame anyone for exploiting the system and the conventions of public education. I blame everyone for letting it get to this point where there is so much overhead involved in running the system. The "top of the pyramid" organizationally speaking has always been the headmaster, principal, or whatever their title has been. The concept of running an educational "system" is a completely different animal and I think one that has run wild. We have to find a way to make our public schools operate more independently WHILE maintaining equity in funding / opportunities.

Anonymous said...

Contacting Your DeKalb County Elected Representatives -- All of Them!

Here's where to find accurate contact information for the DCSS BOE members and the DeKalb County legislative delegation:

http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/TaxCommissioner/tc-home.html#

Click on "View Property Tax Information" and you will have the elected officials' home mailing addresses. All you need are their names. Send your letters by certified mail, return receipt requested. It will be worth the small charge. They won't be able to ignore the outcry.

No time to go to the P.O.? Prefer e-mail? Be sure to sign up for www.readnotify.com -- and tag your e-mails with ReadNotify, as directed. You will know for sure if your e-mail is opened, when it is opened, how long it is open, how many times it is opened, and if it is forwarded.

Let us know about the interest shown by your elected representatives in remedying the top-to-bottom corruptness in DCSS.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to email Nancy Jester and Donna Edler as well. nancyjester@gmail.com
info@DonnaEdler.com

They get to vote on this now.

Anonymous said...

Why does Arabia Mt still not have a principal? Or did they hire one and that person not work out so the position is reposted. Is Pringle serving as both area Supt and principal?

What is up there? Or did someone just forget to remove the posting though the date posted says Dec. 10?

Anonymous said...

This is revolting. How in the world can we get this stopped? Is it possible to have the entire board replaced? How dare this be requested, much less GRANTED and by such an overwhelming majority. I would also like to know who the one decenter was on the board. Maybe they are all right but the rest are just a bunch of greedy, disgusting immoral monsters.

How will we ever fix this? So upsetting.

Anonymous said...

Don McChesney voted no, but it is my understanding that his objections were to some of the terms of the contract, not the amount of the salary increase.

Womack really threw me for a loop at that meeting. Not only did he support this raise, but he said we have to be willing to pay for the best. I think this must mean that the rumors of him wanting to hire Beasley as Superintendent are unfounded. That at least is some good news!

Anonymous said...

Who is the "éminence grise"?? There has to be one involved in this caper.

Google "éminence grise"

I just don't get it!!

Give her a one-time "Thank You" bonus.

Anonymous said...

I received this comment from Jim Redovian. Very interesting indeed.
First the email my wife and I sent to the BOE.

In the spirit of giving, I need to ask you all to please remember that you are all elected stewards of the taxpayers funds. While I agree the Ms. Tyson has stepped up to a difficult position, to give her a raise in mid-year during some of the most difficult economic times would be
irresponsible of the board. You have students who fall asleep in class because they cannot sleep at night due to the lack of money to pay for heat. You have families that are unsure how they are going to stay under a roof because they cannot afford their rent or mortgages due to unemployment. These are extremely tough times and we all need to do the responsible thing and continue to tighten our belts and do our very
best in a difficult situation.

Teacher and employee moral is at a very low point and a permanent raise given to Ms. Tyson before any test scores or figures of accountability would be a huge insult to all taxpayers of DeKalb county. A bonus is one thing, but please think of all the individuals you represent and act in good faith for the citizens you represent. Please do the responsible thing and do not give this excessive amount at this time of increased local taxes.

Thank you for doing the right thing!

Jim Redovians reply:
I don't believe a decision as important as this should include the vote of a lame duck board member and chose not to participate. I do believe we could have found a better way to compensate Ms. Tyson
Jim

Anonymous said...

If that's true he should have either a) voted for the "better" way or b) called Nancy Jester and ask her how she'd like him to vote, and vote accordingly. To not vote at all is lame.

Anonymous said...

The discussions were held on Thursday in a called executive session. Redovian was there and I am certain he made his feelings known. The Board of Ed has some of the most stubborn humans I have ever seen on it. They seem almost unmovable once they have made up their minds.

All along, posters have been trying to remind others that each board member gets only one vote. If the vote had been 7 to 2, the outcome would have been the same.

Anonymous said...

Also B isn't a solution as the new board members have not been privy to the executive session discussions.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to the End!

So typical of Jim Redovian. He could have and should have posted on DeKalb School Watch his feelings about the unconscionable raise for Tyson -- prior to the Friday-morning-out-of-the-public-eye vote.

And then, instead of being an adult and attending the Friday meeting where he could attempt to look out for teachers, students and taxpayers -- and make his objections publicly known -- his announced excuse for being absent was "family illness."

Puh-leeze, Jim! This is how you look out for your constituents, many of whom were also your supporters? Goodbye and good riddance! Sorry to the end! Don't let the door hit you in the butt on your way out!

Anonymous said...

Get over it - grow up - you really are one of those "sore winners". It does not matter what Redovian did you would have criticized him. If had shown up, you would have said "well he should not have voted, he's a lame duck".

How sad for you that you continue to bash this man who cares deeply for the students in DCSS. Your words are more of a reflection on you than on Redovian.

Anonymous said...

Disagree Anon 1:15.

If redovian decided not to vote as he's outgoing, he has a duty to make that public. You're right, he's going to get slammed no matter what, but he had a duty to the 100,000+ people in his district to be very clear on what his stance was on the topic.

Anonymous said...

"How sad for you that you continue to bash this man who cares deeply for the students in DCSS."

Mr. Redovian voted to increase the class sizes to an unmanageable level (36 for high school science, math, social studies and English teachers and 39 for all the others) rather than ask Mrs. Tyson to cut the huge number of admin and support personnel and trim the overpaid Central Office personnel.

Mr. Redovian approved every request of Dr. Berry, manager of the of the Office of School Improvement, as this department spent $128,000,000 mainly on non-teaching personnel and ineffective learning programs?

Where was his analysis of Return on Investment? Where were the tough questions?

These are the reasons he lost to Jester.