Monday, February 28, 2011

DCSS Stonewalls on Open Records Request -- Let Your Legislators Know!

From Jim Walls' AJC column ... now published on his blog, Atlanta Unfiltered ...

"DeKalb County schools are in the [public] education business, but they haven’t learned to adhere to Georgia’s Open Meetings Act [and Open Records Act] [that apply to all public agencies]. School officials can't produce minutes of two meetings where a controversial salary audit was discussed, nor the audit's executive summary that was supposedly kept in the official file of a third meeting."

Right here ... right now is where DCSS must be stopped.

DCSS administrators are misspending millions of dollars -- most of which is going, if not into their own pockets, then to undertalented, overpaid friends-and-family. They are smugly confident that they can and they will continue to get away with it. The BOE has and continues to enable them.

Please write your elected state and federal officials and ask them to step in and initiate prosecution of DCSS and the BOE (including previous BOE members back to 2004) by the Georgia Attorney General. There is no point in writing the BOE because they won't do anything.

From the first time this information was requested -- and that goes back at least to a verbal request (completely acceptable under the Open Records Act) made to Ramona Tyson by Shayna Steinfeld in an open meeting of the Emory LaVista Parent Council on September 15, 2010 -- DCSS has stonewalled. See Emory LaVista Parent Council minutes and Community Radar. There must be something very big and very wrong in the original salary study -- something for which Tyson and her Palace Guards are willing to risk life-changing, career-ending prosecution to keep hidden.

If we don't draw a line in the sand now -- then when will we?

If not now, then when? If not us, then who?

Meanwhile, DCSS continues to hemorrhage millions of dollars and turn out thousands of students who are barely educated, if that.

156 comments:

Anonymous said...

If BOE Chair Tom Bowen and DCSS Supt. Ramona Tyson had even a shred of professional ethics, the E & Y audit would have been provided to the public the day after the Crawford Lewis/Pat Pope indictment.

Anonymous said...

Ramona Tyson, you've just been called out publicly by Lynn Cherry-Grant. You, Ramona Tyson, headed DCSS Business & Administration, and MIS before that. Shame on you for deliberately hiding the audit.


Lynn Cherry Grant, who stepped down in 2008 after serving 16 years on the DeKalb board, had a different take when I called her about it.

“I have no explanation for that except for very bad management of official documents,” she said. “There’s no excuse for board meeting minutes to be missing.”

Anonymous said...

What do Tom Bowen, Gene Walker, Jay Cunningham, and Sarah Copelin-Wood have in common? relatives working for DCSS of course.



Grant also recalls that some other board members were upset about some of the consultant’s findings.

“Everybody had a sacred cow,” she said. “If you had a relative or best friend or somebody you went to church with … then you were not very happy to hear they were being overpaid by $5,000.”

Anonymous said...

Is there a bigger phony is DeKalb than Gene Walker??

“I don’t think it’s sunk in to people the number of major cuts we’ve made at the central office,” Walker said. “We eliminated a number of administrative positions. Our administration now is lean


http://www.championnewspaper.com/news/articles/839tyson-no-school-budget-shortfall-for-2011-12839.html?comment_id=2503#comment_2503

"Tyson: No school budget shortfall for 2011-12"
A year of belt-tightening and conservative spending has pulled the DeKalb County School System out of a deficit, interim superintendent Ramona Tyson said last week at the superintendent’s annual address.

There will be no shortfall in the 2011-12 budget and no millage increase, Tyson said. The school system entered this school year with an $85 million shortfall, but trimmed $104 million in expenses.

“We’ve been very conservative with our spending and we have an increase in our reserves so that regardless of the decrease of the property tax digest we will not need a millage rate increase,” Tyson said.

New budget committee chairman Dr. Eugene Walker praised Tyson and the finance department for erasing the deficit.

“This is the first year in a while we’re not talking about a deficit on the front end,” Walker said. “That’s due to good financial decisions made at an earlier time. We want to clearly minimize a hit on personnel and programs.”

The cuts that eliminated the shortfall were across the board, said school spokesman Walter Woods, but included trimming down the number of employees in the central office.

“I don’t think it’s sunk in to people the number of major cuts we’ve made at the central office,” Walker said. “We eliminated a number of administrative positions. Our administration now is lean.

“[Tyson] has reorganized and cut a number of key administrative positions,” Walker continued. “The lady has quietly and efficiently made significant changes that have had a positive financial impact on the system.”

Part of the savings have come from the Tyson’s redistricting and consolidation proposals, where eight schools are slated to be closed instead of 14 schools in the original plan. The consolidation plan will save the county an estimated $12 million annually.

The lack of a shortfall in the coming budget also means that furloughs will be eliminated, Tyson said.

Ten- and 11-month employees will get all their furlough days back and 12-month employees will get 11 of 15 furlough days back, Tyson said.

Anonymous said...

Please do not be shocked when Dunwoody finds a way for its schools to leave DCSS, whether charter school system, Milton County, a state senator finding a way, etc.

And it will be our fault for electing people like Tom Bowen, Jay Cunningham, Gene Walker, etc., and allowing them to keep administrators like Tyson, Moseley, Ramsey, Turk, Audria Berry, Thompson, etc. in place.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't head of DCSS Internal Affairs Ron Ramsey and his partner Robert Tucker launch an internal investigation on the location of the missing audit?

Cerebration said...

Someone please refer Dr. Walker to our blog post

Too Many Chiefs and Not Enough Indians

Anonymous said...

Why isn't someone from the district asking E&Y for another copy? It's not like E&Y can't produce it for the district.

It may cost the district a thousand dollars or so, but with all of the money that we waste on bloated salaries, law suits, lawyers, and the like that is a drop in the bucket.

Anonymous said...

The most striking words: "If we don't draw a line in the sand now—then when will we?...If not now, then when? If not us, then who?"

I have to hand it to Spruill, Jim Walls, and the folks at DeKalb Schools Watch for tracking these issues. They shake us out of our passivities and complacencies, and make us realize that it does come down to us. If we don't stop this arrogant criminality now, it'll go on for years long after our property values have tanked....Our kids and our public school teachers deserve so much better, not only from the DCSS, but from us as well!

Dunwoody Mom said...

Meanwhile, DCSS continues to hemorrhage millions of dollars and turn out thousands of students who are barely educated, if that.

Oh, my God....what a horrible, insulting statement. Sandy, you absolutely owe thousands of DCSS students an apology...

Dunwoody Mom said...

Also, as a parent of children in DCSS, I do not give a damn about a 7 year old salary audit. There are bigger issues at hand here and quite frankly, all this drama over a salary audit is has nothing is just "noise" in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Mom
I love your pictures of the beach . . . but you need to pull your head out of the sand. Sandy spoke the truth, why does someone always get offended when the truth is spoken. WE are turning out thousands of kids each year that are barely educated. That statement does not blame the kids. So how does it insult them?

Alan Smithee from Dunwoody said...

Dunwoody Mom. My taxes paid for that salary audit. I for one, would like a look.

If DCSS fails to provide the results, what sanctions are available? Anybody?

Anonymous said...

Lynn Cherry Grant's sisters were both secretaries for DCSS. They worked for many years (in fact, they may still be working) and were among the highest paid secretaries in the system.

For her to say anything about this is a bit strange. Did she forget her own vulnerable position?

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Mom, with all due respect, my wife and I have been asking for that audit since it came out and Clew covered it up. This is an issue of transparency! Ms. Tyson said she would make DCSS more transparent and open when she took the interim. I'm sorry DM, I'm with Smithee, my tax dollars paid for that audit and the taxpayers have every right to see every ORIGINAL word that is in it.

Ms. Tyson what are you trying to hide? You are obligated to release the audit, it's the law! Why do so many DCSS leaders enjoy breaking the law?

The audit is 7 years old but I think it will give us a clue how fraudulent Clew and the leadership around him were. Now it's time to ask the rest to pack their belongings and find a job somewhere else.

Why do public employees think they can get away with anything, especially when it comes to spending OUR tax dollars? Ms. Tyson it's all about accountability and I hold you responsible for the failures of DCSS!

THE TRUTH SHALL SET US FREE!

Anonymous said...

Lynn Cherry Grant was also a Board member when this report was commissioned. Did she say what happened to her copy of the report?

Cerebration said...

That salary audit I'm told, at one point, concluded that the system was possibly over-spending on payroll by nearly $15 million (this is not about teachers - it's all other staff - they found teachers were paid about right).

We paid about as much for that audit as we paid the redistricting consultants. Implementing the audits suggestions could have saved us nearly as much as all of this redistricting - probably still could. It's important, Dunwoody Mom. And yes, sadly, we are churning out thousands of students who are under-educated or dropouts. They probably don't live in Dunwoody, so you probably aren't aware. Ask Jay and Sarah what is going on in their districts though. The new federally-mandated method for calculating graduation rates is going to be a real eye-opener.

At the very least, salary audits are recommended every 5 years or so. Since the 2004 audit was basically tossed, and one had not been done previously for 14 years and not at all since, I would at least advocate for a brand new salary audit.

I mean, if it's ok to disrupt and shift thousands of students and communities to save $15 million a year, then it will certainly be acceptable to also find out where we can save money on administrative and other salaries.

Anonymous said...

Great response Cere! Transparency folks that's all we're asking for! Remember folks, Ms. Tyson works for US! It's amazing to see how so many public employees think that OUR tax dollars can be used to fill the wallets of so many friends and family at the Palace and the Sam Moss Center.

It's time for the taxpayers to remind the DCSS employees that THEY work for US, the taxpayers of DeKalb County!

Anonymous said...

If anyone doubts DeKalb children are being shortchanged, take a look at what's going on in the counties around us. We can pretend measures like AYP don't matter and argue over why more of our schools are failing - or we can demand that leaders be put in place to drag us out of this morass.

The DCSS focus is not teaching and learning, best practices, transparency - I could go on and on. But when educators put real effort and intentional focus on improving the futures of children, amazing things happen. While DeKalb Schools have fewer and fewer schools (Title I and otherwise) making AYP, look at what's happening in Fulton:

Fulton County, GA-- (submitted by Fulton County Schools) Five additional Fulton County schools have joined the list of schools earning Distinguished Title I School status, the Georgia Department of Education recently announced. This honor signifies that the schools are a leader among their peers in student achievement.

Conley Hills Elementary School, Camp Creek Middle School, Hapeville Charter Middle School, Holcomb Bridge Middle School and Sandtown Middle School have newly earned the distinction, and 24 additional Fulton schools continued their status as Title I Distinguished Schools. This brings Fulton’s 2010-11 total to 29 schools.

To be named “Distinguished,” Title I schools must achieve Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for a minimum of three consecutive years. AYP is a key piece of the No Child Left Behind Act and a measure of a school’s academic success and improvement.

Schools that have made AYP for three consecutive years are awarded a certificate, while those who have made AYP for four or more years receive a monetary award. In Fulton, the 2011 awards ranged from $742 to $9,230 and are paid through federal funds.

Receiving recognition are:
12 Consecutive Years of Making AYP:
A. Philip Randolph Elementary School

10 Consecutive Years of Making AYP:
Stonewall Tell Elementary School

Nine Consecutive Years of Making AYP:
Brookview Elementary School
Campbell Elementary School
Oak Knoll Elementary School

Eight Consecutive Years of Making AYP:
Dunwoody Springs Charter Elementary School
C.H. Gullatt Elementary School
Hillside Elementary School
Esther Jackson Elementary School
Seaborn Lee Elementary School
Mt. Olive Elementary School
Love T. Nolan Elementary School
Palmetto Elementary School
River Eves Elementary School
Spalding Drive Charter Elementary School
Harriet Tubman Elementary School
Evoline C. West Elementary School
Woodland Elementary Charter School

Seven Consecutive Years of Making AYP:
S.L. Lewis Elementary School
KIPP South Fulton Academy

Six Consecutive Years of Making AYP:
Woodland Middle School

Four Consecutive Years of Making AYP:
Bethune Elementary School
Hapeville Elementary School
Renaissance Elementary School

Three Consecutive Years of Making AYP:
Conley Hills Elementary School
Camp Creek Middle School
Hapeville Charter Middle School
Holcomb Bridge Middle School
Sandtown Middle School

collegepark.11alive.com/news/schools/5-local-schools-recently-earned-title-1-distinguished-status-making-fulton-countys-tota

Wyndy Amerson said...

The study was conducted using our tax dollas. It should have been made public withitn a year of being given to the boar. Not having minutes of a public meeting of the BOE is unethical. Why doesn't DeKalb have an ethics policy? Why are they ignoring written requests for public documents? Why did the situation of CLEW and Pope go unnoticed by the BOE? There is a lot going on in DeKalb beside over-paying friends and family members of the BOE instead of teachers. There are too many people employed by DeKalb at the Central Office. Our ecnomic resources should be in the classroom. Our tax dollars are wasted on corruption and neptotism. They are smug and they should all be dismissed. I hope the state does step in and clean house. The Womack debacle last week should shows how arrogant they can be when they will not even consider an ethics policy.

Anonymous said...

I've got to go with Dunwoody Mom on this. A 7 year old salary study tells you nothing about rates now. E&Y probably shredded their data a couple of years back in accordance with normal policy. In light of what happened with Arthur Andersen and Enron where AA didn't shred on a timely basis-only when it became a legal issue, E&Y probably follows their official shredding policy very closely. Since the board didn't like the results, it probably got quickly ignored, forgotten and filed away with DCSS. I think any normal business would have a hard time finding a 7 year old salary survey.

As for the lost minutes, everything I've heard about DCSS indicates they probably are just terribly incompetent. Their feet should be held to the fire to make sure it doesn't happen again, but I doubt its some great conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

The state doesn't care about what is going on in DeKalb...if they did we would have seen them intervening long ago. Likewise SACS.

Anonymous said...

"E&Y probably shredded their data a couple of years back in accordance with normal policy. "

Are you saying a large accounting firm keeps only paper copies and then shreds them? That's ridiculous. They have this data in electronic form. How much storage space does a report take up? Less than 100 KB?

If DCSS could have been saving around $15,000,000 a year in salary over payments for 7 years, that totals $105,000,000 (WITHOUT interest). Add to that the fact that Crawford Lewis added so many more highly paid positions to the DCSS employee rolls. Maybe this seems like small potatoes to you, but it isn't to most taxpayers. That's the heart of this dispute. That Lewis convinced the BOE to not pay attention to these savings and then added to the problem down the road. Perhaps you don't realize that most of the same DCSS administrators are in place, installed in 2005 by Lewis. As a matter of fact, he used the salary audit in mid-2006 to secure promotions and raises for highly paid personnel (see BOE minutes from 7-10-06).

While this salary audit may seem outdated to you, taxpayers/parents and students are still paying the price for its finding being ignored.

Hopefully the emergence of this salary audit into the light of public scrutiny will help push the BOE to commission a more up-to-date Independent audit. That should have been the first thing Ms. Tyson asked the BOE for last spring. It could have already been completed and implemented with salaries right sized in areas where over payments are determined in an objective manner.

It took Ernst and Young less than 6 months from start to finish to complete this study and make their recommendations. Did you participate in the study? It was extremely comprehensive. It required employees to spell out in a very organized data driven format exactly what their job entailed down to the percent of time spent on each commonly performed task.

Anonymous said...

Just curious-who is related to Tom Bowen and works for DCSS?

Anonymous said...

Don't be fooled folks, Ramona and the board are about as transparent as a brick wall. Inquiries were made by citizens to Ernst & Young, and low and behold, they couldn't find the study either. Come on DCSS, do you think the public is THAT stupid?!! There need to be ramifications here for not adhering to the law!

And Eugene Walker is full of crap saying that there were huge cuts to central office. I'm an employee and know that the place is still filled with a bunch of fat cats who aren't qualified and don't deserve their six figure salaries. Before the cuts, there were about 30 people on the superintendents cabinet, and now there are 28. One retired and wasn't replaced and the other was Crawford's lackey who didn't do crap and was (thankfully) RIFFED.

They did lay off many folks, but a majority of them were hired back the next week. The depts. that were eliminated - like the Print Shop and Communications - have been replaced with contractors, who are charging more than we paid the former staffers (in salaries/benefits) and providing lesser services. Trying to get anything printed in DCSS that's grammatically correct is now a nightmare!

Anonymous said...

@2:03 AM the 7 year old study is only one piece of evidence to expose a morally bankrupt school system.

I heard as conservative black preacher (a rarity) on a talk show the other night. His main point.... there is no school system in the United States that has a predominantly AF AM student body and predominantly Af Am administration that is successful. Is he wrong? DCSS seems to fit right in.

Anonymous said...

Amen about getting correctly printed info out of DCSS - grammatically or otherwise. The STT application states the deadline to turn in the application is Tuesday, March 2nd. Guess what today is? Yep - Tuesday March 1st! So is it due on March 2nd (Wednesday) or on Tuesday (March 1st)? Who knows!

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Mom, i know that you would never go any were near SW Dekalb, because of your Dunwoody roots, but those students and some teachers do not even speak plain English, they speak Ebonics.

Anonymous said...

There are rules written and available at the Secretary of State's website stating the record-keeping laws for government entities. And no, you can't just shred them after 7 years.

Retention Schedules For State Government Paper & Electronic Records

Contracts, Employee

Service contracts between an individual and government agency

7 years after expiration

O.C.G.A. 9-3-24 Temporary - Short Term

Vital Record - duplicate and store offsite

01-032

And, you might find this interesting:

1. A government entity shall not dispose of (i.e., destroy or give away) any public record except in
accordance with a retention schedule approved by the State Records Committee and the
Georgia Archives.

2. At the agency’s request, the Georgia Archives will assist state agencies in implementing an
enterprise-wide records management program including the review of retention schedules.

3. Requests for retention review should be sent to the Records and Information Management
Services (RIMS) office of the Georgia Archives, 5800 Jonesboro Road, Morrow, Georgia 30260.
The request should provide a title for the records series; a short description of the series; and the
recommended minimum retention. RIMS will respond promptly to all such requests for review.

4. Every two years, the Retention Schedule will be reviewed and updated, adding new
recommendations and revising others. The new edition will be distributed to all state agencies.


Maybe DCSS is stonewalling to enable the passage of time that will allow destroying the Ernst & Young records?


For even more info, copy and paste this link:
http://www.sos.georgia.gov/archives/who_are_we/rims/retention_schedules/default.htm

Anonymous said...

Face it. If ALL of our students had:
1. Clean and safe learning environments
2. Competent teachers in reasonably sized classes
3. Abundant access to cutting edge science and technology equipment
4. Good achievement test scores

We would not have this blog. Or if we did, its tenor would be very, very different. We do not have the above 4 components for the vast majority of our children, and parents/taxpayers are growing more and more frustrated. They want to know why the money is not going into the 4 components above. They are footing the bill and have every right to ask where their tax dollars are going and why those tax dollars are producing less and less returns every year in terms of students making adequate yearly progress.

Anonymous said...

Folks, if you think both E&Y and DCSS shredded and destroyed every Executive Summary of the 2004 audit well.... (fill in the blank)

There is one thing becoming more and more evident, there is something in that audit that must be very damning of the people that remain in power at DCSS today. If not, why hide it?

We need a huge palace cleansing...

Anonymous said...

D Mom--
Sorry I'm a little late to the party here, but I'd say it is important simply on principle--or two principles really.
1. We paid for the report (and for any meeting the BOE holds) so the report and any record of meetings belong to us. Not to Crawford Lewis, or Ramona Tyson, or any BOE member. That is really the guiding principle behind open records--the public has a right to know what is done in the public's interest with the public's money, with reasonable exceptions (e.g., redaction of personal names where valid).
2. If we let them get away with hiding this, what precedent are we setting?
Al

Ella Smith said...

We should be able to see something we paid for. However, I doubt it is very relavant to the situation today. Another audit needs to be done.

If Shayna could not get it then none of us are going to get it. That is for sure.

Anonymous said...

Public hearing on redistricting is being broadcasted on PDS 24

Anonymous said...

Public accounting firms have very well defined policies on when they dispose of paper and electronic records of their workpapers and reports. I don't know what E&Y's policy is. It wouldn't surprise me if the salary survey was disposed of after 5 years, but it might be 7. It might even be 3. They might keep reports longer, but destroy the workpapers supporting the reports sooner.

But I can guarantee E&Y would not keep such a report indefinitely, no matter how much storage space they have on their computers.

And do you want to bet on what % of Georgia entities actually get their schedule approved by the department of archives? I'd bet most of them outside of state agencies aren't even aware of the policy. Someone may want to bring that up at a board meeting, asking whether DCSS complies. In the real world, records keeping procedures are a pretty low priority unless you are in a litigation heavy environment (see public accounting firms).

Anonymous said...

Someone now teaching under his fourth superintendent in DCSS, I absolutely disagree wtih Dunwoody mom and the few others who think this audit holds little relevance today. In fact, I think this audit would prove just how much malfeasance is at work in DCSS. We have even more directors, supervisors, coordinators, etc...

Dunwoody Mom, if educating our students is not "one of the bigger issues," then what is? Every time we employ another incompetent, overpaid administrator we not only take teachers and resources away from the classroom but we also frustrate and exhaust classroom teachers with more useless and timely "iniatives" to justify these unnecessary positions.

Also, Spruill is right about "barely educated" DCSS students-not all but too many. This isn't an insult but a sad, scary reality about which taxpayers and parents should be outraged. Look at Dekalb's own website. The most recent graduation and college numbers are for 2005 when less than half of DCSS's graduates even went on to college.

Cerebration said...

In the real world, records keeping procedures are a pretty low priority unless you are in a litigation heavy environment (see public accounting firms).

For real? My god...

Anonymous said...

"In the real world, records keeping procedures are a pretty low priority unless you are in a litigation heavy environment ..."

@Cerebration

If DCSS is not a "litigation heavy environment," I don't know what is!

Cerebration said...

Righto Anon 8:56 PM! I wasn't clear there - I was responding to Anon 7:11 PM's comment. Apparently, some people think it's perfectly normal not to keep records. I keep my client's records for many years - I don't throw anything away. Electronic storage is nothing. How can you possibly throw away a $400,000 project as if it's no big deal? Well, Anon, I guess I don't live in the "real world", because in my world - I treat records and files with a great deal of respect. My clients appreciate that.

Anonymous said...

I think the question is is DCSS must turn over records that they are legally responsible to keep for the public, then they must produce those records. Since the records were introduced into the "public" records April 1, 2004, it has not been 7 years (is that the magic number?).

Thousands of admin a support personnel (2,500 according to E&Y) were over paid millions of dollars a year and teachers were paid on par or slightly under other teachers in the metro area. We know teachers salaries didn't rise, yet Ms. Tyson made an across the board cut in salaries. It's so much easier to just cut everyone rather than the personnel who are being overpaid. That's one of the problems with not addressing the issue of salaries being on par with employees who perform the same functions outside your school system. You just cut everyone - regardless of parity.

Anonymous said...

The 7-year old audit is only outdated in that, sadly, we would be happy with $15 million overpaid now. What has changed since then is that salaries have gone up and overall central office numbers have gone up. So, let's see that 7-year old audit as a starting point until we can get another one, shall we?

Jim Walls said...

Anonymous @ 7:18 AM -- Lynn Cherry Grant told me she did not have a copy of the audit, as did two other members who were serving at that time. One told me that board members may never have been given a copy, and that was not unusual.

Anonymous @ 11:51 PM -- Ernst & Young has supposedly told DeKalb it can't find a copy either. I have asked for a definitive answer on that point in writing.

Anonymous said...

To Dunwoody Mom:

I don't think Sandy owes the children of DCSS an apology at all. She (and others at this School Watch) have been their unwavering champion for many years.

I understand you may see some issues at your children's school that are more personally compelling, but the bulk of those issues likely stem from years of dysfunctional DCSS leadership. (Check the dropout rates for DeKalb as compared to the rest of the nation)....

As taxpayers we absolutely have the right to see a publicly funded audit, and to not be "handled" when we request it. Sure, you may not engage on this one because it's not relevant to you, but it seems wrongheaded to attack Sandy and the others here for trying.

We're all aiming for the same goal, remember?

Private School Guy said...

I recall filling out the survey over eight years ago. I was still new to DeKalb and thought the long survey from E&Y was quite odd and time consuming for teaching staff to spend 15 to 30 minutes completing. The odd parts were questions regarding physical activity on the job. There seemed to be a lot of question related to how much picking one did with their fingers. Others found it odd for all certified staff to complete the survey since most of our jobs were mandated at a state level. Regardless it should be presented was Johnny Brown paid off NOT to talk about it. Can this be done with public money?

Anonymous said...

JIm

Did Lynn Grant mention that her sisters were probably in the over paid category? If they weren't then, they certainly were later.

I thought it was so funny that the quote was from her (of all people.)

Anonymous said...

Obviously the Human Resources Dept. has a copy of the survey. Of course Bob Moseley has one too.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars of pubic money spent on a survey, and a handful of overpaid Central Office administrators have willfully held it from the public for years. What say you, SACS? Do we have to sue to have the survey released (and I mean the entire orginal survey, not some didacted version)?

Leo said...

The old survey would certainly be useful as evidence of just how much wrongdoing has been going on, but I think we should focus on a new audit that would be prepared just in time for a new superintendent, who hopefully has no ties, to start. Wouldn't a new audit showing overpayment make a really good case for streamlining operations at the CO to our new super.

Anonymous said...

Leo,
I think if the old survey was made public it might push the Board to commission a new one. But it must be done by a truly "independent" entity.

Jim Walls said...

Leo,
It didn't make it into my column, but I was told Ramona Tyson was considering whether to commission a new audit. She decided to leave that up to the new superintendent.

Anonymous said...

Way to make the hard choices, Ramona.

And she ws one of those Central Office administrators who the E & Y audit found to be way overpaid, along, with all of her MIS upper management.

For those of y'all out there who don't care about the old audit: 1) It's a public document that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, 2) It will let us know how many millions how been overpaid to paper pushers over the years that should have gone to the school house and/or back to taxpayers, and 3) Will be a nice resource for the new audit!

I'm very disappointed Nancy Edler and Donna Jester have not publicly called for the release of the 2004 audit at a BOE meeting.

Anonymous said...

Time to stir the puddin'....

Would it be unreasonable to think there is "evidence" contained on the audit that would be of interest to the district attorney for the upcoming trials?

If so, then would it be unreasonable to think this document would need to be turned over to the district attorney as part of discovery?

Can you imagine her highness and her minions, E&Y refusing to turn over this document after a subpoena is issued for it to be produced??

Oh the joy, the joy!

Anonymous said...

@cerebration

Its good that you do keep records. I've worked in public accounting (not E&Y) and understand the record retention systems. And I've seen lots of companies, many of whom have difficulty finding the current year records, let alone 7 years ago. In most companies people are too focused on day-to-day things to worry about records they may never use again (until they get burned by finding they did need them). In non-federal governmental and non-profit agencies the problem is often worse because they don't have people who understand the importance.

A 7 year old survey won't reflect current wages. Many of the people are gone or are in different positions. So instead of a witchhunt to figure out who's to blame (and we already have a pretty good idea), solve the problem.

The board has a fidiciary duty to properly manage the district's resources. Different people need to go to the board every month and 1) remind of that duty; 2) inform them that a survey showed the district is blowing millions every year; and 3) ask them what they are going to do about it.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:03

I don't think the BOE will be amenable to looking at fiscal responsibility in the area of over paid non-teaching employees unless they are shown a physical study stating this. They continue to deny that any non-teaching employees are over paid or that we have too many non-teaching employees. Until Sandy Spruill and Jim Walls, BOE members kept saying this study didn't exist. They keep saying there is no proof of any over payments or that we have too many non-teaching employees.

Salary audits such as this one are recommended every 5 years so this audit is only a couple of years out of date. It is a start in order to get the BOE to look at which non-teaching positions were considered overpaid. When they see the magnitude, hopefully, that will pave the way for a new study. Perhaps taxpayers will be watching what they do with the results this time.

Cerebration said...

These kinds of studies take up to 6 months to complete. I don't know why Ramona Tyson would decide to let the next superintendent take care of this - she instead, needs to get going ASAP. This kind of study needs to be completed for the new super to implement - not wait for that person to get the ball rolling.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised that Mr Careful Reader McChesney, who proclaims that he carefully reads all of the reports and is now a member of the budget committee, has not pushed to get the report.

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Ignorance is bliss. BOE mimics Sgt Schultze of the old Hogan's Hero"s " I dont' know anything"

When one BOE family member get riffed, then maybe there will be a ray of hope. Until then, as they say in NYC, fugeddaboutit. Same o same o

Anonymous said...

And in the meantime Womack is trying to get the lawsuit dismissed by contacting the DA and the legislators (with the exception of Mr. Jones of course). There is going to be a big expose of the status of the lawsuit coming out in the next day or so - be prepared for things to get worse. If Womack is TRYING to get SACS to pull Dekalb's accreditation he's doing an excellent job.

Anonymous said...

TITLE 50. STATE GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER 18. STATE PRINTING AND DOCUMENTS
ARTICLE 4. INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS

O.C.G.A. § 50-18-74 (2007)

§ 50-18-74. Penalty for violations; procedure for commencement of prosecution.

(a) Any person knowingly and willfully violating the provisions of this article by failing or refusing to provide access to records not subject to exemption from this article or by failing or refusing to provide access to such records within the time limits set forth in this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $100.00.

(b) A prosecution under this Code section may only be commenced by issuance of a citation in the same manner as an arrest warrant for a peace officer pursuant to Code Section 17-4-40, which citation shall be personally served upon the accused. The defendant shall not be arrested prior to the time of trial, except that a defendant who fails to appear for arraignment or trial may thereafter be arrested pursuant to a bench warrant and required to post a bond for his or her future appearance.

HISTORY: Code 1981, § 50-18-74, enacted by Ga. L. 1999, p. 552, § 5.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, I have been looking for a dead horse to beat and this is it.
If we are worried let's do a new survey and go forth. What I understand has been found was a reccomendation for the positions DCSS should have and what DCSS should pay these positions.should At the time the survey was done the word was that the people who were overpaid would not get a salary cut-instead they would not get any raises until time and inflation caugth up and they were at level. Certified employees are all on a yearly contract and pay can not be changed until a new contract is offered. The contracts for next year will be signed sometime in the next few months (once the budget is clear). In the recent years since the survey everyone making over a $100,000 got a 2% pay reduction whether they were over paid or not. In addition, non teaching personnel took an additonal 4 furlough days this year again reducing their salaries.
Finally, the old survey was done to determine job titles based on duties and then to fix salary ranges to those titles. One thought was there were too many different job titles and one of the goals was to reduce the number of job titles by half. That happened. Therefore, many of the job titles studied and salaries studied then no longer exist. Many of the people who want to scrutnize have been promoted and have titles that weren't part of the survey. In 10 years we have had 4 superintendents and 4 different people in charge of instruction, three different people in charge of finance, and three or four different heads of HR. The survey was completed under Brown-two superintendents ago. That means at least two reorgnizations ago. The main offices have packed up and moved. I am sure that the survey exists somewhere (Perhaps you shuold offer a reward?) and I am sure that it will be quite useful to anyone who wants to beat a dead horse.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:49 must be one of the overpaid Central Office admimistrators. Or Jeff Dickerson.

And your junk about annual contracts is phooey. Name one upper level Central Office administrator who's contract hasn't been renewed. Heck, even the retiress like Robert Tucker and Frankie Callwy secure well paid jobs while recieving fat pensions.

Most of the Central Office upper mgt. is still in place, and the survey will allow us to calculate home many millions of our taxpayer dollars has been overspent on bureaucrats.

And Anon 1:49, you cluelessly miss half the point: The survey cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and is a public document. It should have been made public years ago, but it was intentionally kept hidden from public purview, even though Crawford used it later to JUSTIFY salary increase!! It's likely DCSS violated the law regarding public documents, if not the spirit of the law and the public's trust.

Tom Bowen was on the BOE back then. This is one more instance proving his lack of ethics, lack of transparency, and incompetency.

Still waiting for Bowen to reprimand Paul Womack for the E Jones outburst.

Anonymous said...

"Therefore, many of the job titles studied and salaries studied then no longer exist. '

Exactly the problem. The audit was supposed to reduce employee titles and equalize pay with the marketplace. Instead no pay was reduced. Rather, the titles that were reduced were classroom titles.

For example:
Paraprofessional, Special Education; Paraprofessional, Pre-School Special Education; Paraprofessional-Spec Ed (Mild Resource Project, Mild Resource, Mild/Moderate Resource, Moderate Self-Contained Project 126, Moderate Self-Contained Project 50, Moderate Self-Contained Project 58, Moderated Self Contained, Severe Project 48, Severe Project 50, Severe Project 54, Severe, Warren Technical School, Assistive Technology...
ALL became Paraprofessional (Exceptional Education).

Meanwhile, almost all the titles outside the classroom were NOT reduced, just changed in name:
For example:
Assistant Director of Professional Learning became Director of Professional Learning

Lead Teacher for Exceptional Educational Education became Exceptional Instructional Specialist

Clerk, Dispatch became Dispatch Clerk
...and so on...

In some instances, title changes ended up with increased pay - not immediately, but over time.

Anonymous said...

How much would you like to bet many of our DCSS upper level administrators and our BOE will soon be lifetime subscribers to the new SHRED MY RECORD online service!

Anonymous said...

Totally off topic, but unsure where else to post?

Did Arabia Mountain ever get a new principal? The position is stil posted on PATs.

Anonymous said...

At this point, the biggest point about the 2004 audit not being released is: WHY NOT? What exactly are they afraid of everyone really seeing in the audit. We know that the salaries are bloated -- that's "old news" -- so what else is in that that is so incriminating that by working so hard to not produce it, everyone thinks, we'll give up and go away because it's just too much to let us see? What could it be? Because if there's nothing there but 7 year old salary info, just turn it over and say "see, told you, just old salary info..." and let it go.

Anonymous said...

Keep thinking about this. I have come to the conclusion that it likely is not about a dastardly deed, but rather sheer incompetence. In my opinion, this is worse. I think that they have truly lost the report. I think that in the process of moving board meeting minutes, they did not create a backup file, and these minutes are lost. So, to me, the issue is even bigger. We have Tyson who was in control of MIS and currently controls the entire system, have given her a HUGE raise while cutting services to students, closing schools, and increasing class sizes, but who is unable, surprising given her prior position, to ensure that proper policies and procedures are in place to ensure that the letter of the law (for maintaining documentation) is met. And we are supposed to trust that the system is in good hands?

Incompetence. This is what she needs to address. This is the issue that must be recognized publicly. She needs to 'fess up that she and those under her were and ARE not doing their jobs. Then, give the money back. Sorry, she has NOT EARNED IT.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I cluelessly think there is no point. If it was used to justify anything then someone has seen it. At any rate, I think it is time to move on and stop worrying about what happened to a report produced by the superintendent before Crawford Lewis. It is conceivable that someone destroyed it years ago and if that is the case what can we do?
If we do find the report and the job titles have changed and people we dislike have been promoted thus making even more money what can the nearly 6 year old report tell us except what things were like six years ago? One interesting thing about salary surveys is that part of the salary is based on the job description and the duties. Not to be cynical but don’t we think that if a report says we have some overpaid people one could add to their duties, change their job description or give them a new title that would be commensurate with their salaries? Of course, we do not know that happened. I would rather expend my energy gong forward, comparing salaries as they stand now to other local school systems and publish the report this time on the web site. I am sure that if we ever get that done there will still people who will be suspicious and unhappy. Let’s find another wind mill.


And Anon 1:49, you cluelessly miss half the point: The survey cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and is a public document. It should have been made public years ago, but it was intentionally kept hidden from public purview, even though Crawford used it later to JUSTIFY salary increase!! It's likely DCSS violated the law regarding public documents, if not the spirit of the law and the public's trust.

Anonymous said...

An interesting issue, shall we search out past malfeasance and the malfeasants and punish them? Should we instead resolve not to let such nonsense happen again and go forward to improve our school system? I agree with the Dunwoody Mom (and I don’t always but will defend her right to say her piece) there are some more important issues here that we can fix. Some of you may be young and energetic but I have to careful pick my battles and focus my efforts. Certainly some sort of new salary review seems to be needed. Actually I would do one every five years and the last one is not only missing it is 6 or 7 years old. Salaries are just part of making sure our money is well spent. We operate too many schools and miss out on some state funding as a result. Some of our schools are over crowded and we need to redistrict or build some out or both to fix that. Some of our school board seems to ignore the concept of serving the entire district. We were lax in public oversight and allowed questionable and perhaps illegal (to be determined in court) activities by some of our employees, and the board policies for ethics, whistle blowing, and nepotism needed a drastic overhaul. In fact, most board policies had not been reviewed or revised in almost 10 years. The first thing that needs to happen is to redouble our efforts to elect a board of education that anyone would be proud to have. Then we need to continue to be involved in improving the whole district.

Anonymous said...

@March 2 3:24 No, Arabia does not have a principal yet. Dr.Pringle still serves as both principal and Area Superintendent, I have heard.

Anonymous said...

I think it' hiding something huge. Maybe I've just been around the block a few more times. Ms. Tyson is a bit better then you give her credit for -maybe not an MIS genious but she's actually got real degrees from real institutions and really cares. I dont' think it's hiding incompetence. I think it's hiding criminal activity.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 1:49 pm
"At the time the survey was done the word was that the people who were overpaid would not get a salary cut-instead they would not get any raises until time and inflation caugth up and they were at level. "

So you are saying HR had the survey, and they made adjustments. Well, they certainly wouldn't have thrown it away then since any one of those 2,500 over paid employees could have come back and asked why their salary was frozen.

Anonymous said...

"It is conceivable that someone destroyed it years ago and if that is the case what can we do?"

Isn't that against the law? Can public official just destroy documents at will - especially ones that the public paid hundreds of thousands for?

Anonymous said...

I find it inconceivable that it isn't readily availble from E&Y if it is was "destroyed". Further, it is just as inconceivable that all copies of it were just "destroyed."

Anonymous said...

I say neigh to beating a dead horse. Let's get on with the future.

Anonymous said...

why not offer a reward and throw good money after bad?

Anonymous said...

Do you really think the BOE will "move on" and commission a new survey without some pressure. In the last few years they have used he excuse that nothing was done with the last survey so they didn't want to spend money on another one. Maybe you didn't realize that.

Anonymous said...

@ 12:14


The BOE keeps saying the last study (the 2004 missing audit)didn't produce anything so why have a new study?

From Champion Newspaper July 18, 2008 by Andy Phelan
"But the system spent $300,000
for a compensation and classification study less than five years ago. Some board members said the money was spent but the study sat on the shelf “gathering dust.” “I’m having a hard time understanding why that’s part of
what we’re doing,” said Joyner of
the compensation study. “I have
real concerns about the rationale
for doing another study to downsize.
We have the talent in house
to get the job done." No study was commissioned.
http://www.championnewspaper.com/images/Free_Press_071808.pdf

Read this reprint of an article by Ernest Brown:
http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2010/10/downsizing-necessary-as-school-system.html

Anonymous said...

The Bebe Joyner quote came from a July 10, 2008 budget committee meeting.

Look at the DCSS BOE minutes on July 14, 2008:

"Mr. Marcus Turk, Chief Financial Officer, recommended that the Board approve Evergreen Solutions, LLC, to conduct a Management and Performance Audit of the DeKalb County School System.

Ms. Andrews made a substitute motion, to table this item and move it to the Friday, July 18, 2008 called meeting agenda. The substitute motion was seconded by Ms. Roberts, and with a unanimous vote the motion passed."

(BOE minutes from July 14, 2008
https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=4054&AID=147432&MID=7748)

No mention of any more discussion of this item of business at the July 18,2008 meeting. It looks like it was effectively tabled:

BOE minutes from Uly 18,2008)
https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=4054&AID=147433&MID=7748

Cerebration said...

An interesting twist: The newly published meeting agenda online for the March 14 meeting has this listed under "Superintendent's Report"

Ernst & Young Compensation & Classification Audit Report Update

Quick Summary / Abstract
Presented by: Ms. Ramona H. Tyson, Interim Superintendent

Anonymous said...

@ Cerebration
That's interesting. Do you think she will be giving the audit to the people who have asked for it under the Open Records law?

Anonymous said...

"March 14 meeting has this listed under "Superintendent's Report"

Ernst & Young Compensation & Classification Audit Report Update

Quick Summary / Abstract
Presented by: Ms. Ramona H. Tyson, Interim Superintendent

Wonder how that turned out today?

Cerebration said...

Did anyone catch the meeting? I missed it - got sidetracked doing taxes! Saw Sarah's speech at the end though -- good job Sarah!

Cerebration said...

Speaking of taxes - here's what my 2010 DeKalb county property tax bill looked like -

State/City/Other Taxes: $405.77
County Government Taxes: $1,593.73
Board of Education School Taxes: $4,241.64

Shocking when you see it there in print.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Tyson was supposed to address the missing Ernst and young audit as part of her superintendent's summary yesterday. Does anyone know what she said?

Anonymous said...

Why am I not surprised that those who accused Ms. Tyson, DCSS and Ernst & Young of nefarious activity in this are suddenly nowhere to be found?

Anonymous said...

"Why am I not surprised that those who accused Ms. Tyson, DCSS and Ernst & Young of nefarious activity in this are suddenly nowhere to be found?"

I was at a meeting a few weeks ago and a BOE member was asked about the audit.

He said it has either been unintentionally lost due to lax record keeping, or it is very possible that it has been "lifted".

Yes, "lifted". Straight from a BOE member.

Whether it's been lost of "ilifted", either is completely unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

It seems as if you did not bother to tune into the BOE meeting last night and get the facts regarding this topic.

Anonymous said...

I think I understand what the result of the search for the missing records is-all the records are available for view at the board office. However, the summary is that under Dr. Brown the survey showed that some people were overpaid and that many were under paid. A second report was asked for and it showed that some ppeople were under paid but not as by as much as originally thought. There were reccommendations for reducing the number of job titles and that happened. Then Brown left and Lewis asked for a different report which was provided. None of these reports were final reports-only interim. Ernst and Young was never asked to do a final report and therefore they did not do one. All the interim reports are available. None of the 12 people who were part of the DCSS process work for DCSS today. A RFP for a new report is being prepared to await the new superintendent's pleasure.
The horse is indeed dead.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anon 10:31/Jeff Dickerson/Walter Woods.

"Underpaid"? Yeah, right! Yep, the Guillory's, the Callaway clan,
the Parent Resurce staff, etc. are all struggling to get by compared to our teachers.

All of the reports, which cost taxpayers well over $300,000 SHOULD BE AVAILABLE ONLINE!

And they should have been available online when Ernst & Young origially turned them over.

Sorry Anon 10:31/Jeff/Walter, this hs never passed the smell test. Seems like the current m.o. from the Central Office is to place blame on Johnny B. and C Lew.

Anonymous said...

"There were reccommendations for reducing the number of job titles and that happened."


There are still way too many job titles, more than any other school system in the state!

Anonymous said...

to March 15, 2011 11:38 AM get up off your behind and go look at them in the office. I did.

Anonymous said...

So Ms. Tyson denied that the original Ernst and Young report was even given to DCSS?

Anonymous said...

No, Ms. Tyson never said that. Honestly, the rumor-mongering and lies that appear here are absolutely mind-boggling.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that they are required to do such an audit every 3 years (that was Ms. Tyson's answer at Emory LaVista when asked about the 04 audit) so there really should be a report... I still wonder what's in it that's worth hiding. I missed the meeting so I didn't hear what she said.

Anonymous said...

"My understanding is that they are required to do such an audit every 3 years "

That is not true! It is STRONGLY recommended this audit be performed every 3-5 years but it is NOT required.

Ironically the Board considered an audit a few years ago however decided against it because they thought it was too expensive.

Anonymous said...

This is what was said last night about the EY report.

Apparently, the initial report, the one that showed that DCSS was underpaying employees with ripe with errors and so the scope of the report was changed to be much smaller in nature and to cost much less.

The papers that the system has are all there is.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your take), none of the 12 employees who were on the executive committee at the time are currently DCSS employees, so there is no one on staff who can totally explain.

Ms Tyson wanted to be clear that Ernst and Young completed the project, but that the scope changed.

Apparently the audit was ordered by Dr. Brown and completed under Lewis, which is also complicating things.

Ms. Tyson is researching options to have a new study done -- and will present back to the board.

There are notebooks available with every single piece of paper in them at the DCSS offices for the public to view.

Anonymous said...

Here's a thought for you people who still want to see some conspiracy theory or illegal goings-on. Request a copy of the material that Ms. Tyson and staff put together. It is available to anyone who asks. Each board member was given a note book with every bit information that DCSS and Ernst & Young could find on this issue.

The horse is and has been dead.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 2:49

"to March 15, 2011 11:38 AM get up off your behind and go look at them in the office. I did."

That's not true.

Jim Walls physically went to the Central Office and they stated the audit was lost. See the articles he ran in Atlanta Unfiltered and subsequently in the AJC:
http://www.atlantaunfiltered.com/2011/02/07/dekalb-school-audit-found-bloated-salaries-then-what/

http://www.atlantaunfiltered.com/2011/02/28/despite-the-law-dekalb-school-minutes-vanish-without-a-trace/

Where is the summary that Ernst and Young wrote (paid for to the tune of $341,000 by taxpayer money) stating that non-teaching employees were overpaid by $14,800,000 - this very specific number was not made up out of thin air.

Crawford Lewis justified a raise for Chanda White, BOE member Zepora Roberts daughter, in 2006 based on the information from Ernst and Young. Did he make up the information. He said he got it from the Compensation and Classification Report. Please See BOE minutes dated January 9,2006 (excerpt below):
"Dr. Lewis recommended a change in salary based on verified years of experience for Chanda White, a relative of a board member, in her current position as a Title I Parent Facilitator.

In discussion that followed, Dr. Lewis stated that Ms. White is one of nine people in this category requiring a salary adjustment based on verified years of experience as identified in the Compensation Classification Study.

Ms. Grant made a motion to approve the recommendation, and Ms. Andrews seconded. The motion passed by a vote of 8/0/1, with Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn, Ms. Andrews, Ms. Copelin-Wood, Mrs. Edwards, Mr. Franzoni, Ms. Grant, Ms. Joyner, and Ms. Manning-Moon voting affirmatively, and Ms. Roberts abstaining."

So the records comparing employees salaries were around in 2006. Else how did Chanda White get her raise?

I do not think these records will be turned over to the public. They will continue to stall and are confident that the public will go away.

I think you are a Central Office employee.

Anonymous said...

"The horse is and has been dead."

Tell that to Sandy Spruill and Jim Walls. Even the AJC did not pick this story up yet.

Anonymous said...

Don't know why my post won't go through so I'll try posting in 2 parts:

@ anonymous 2:49

"to March 15, 2011 11:38 AM get up off your behind and go look at them in the office. I did."

That's not true.

Jim Walls physically went to the Central Office and they stated the audit was lost. See the articles he ran in Atlanta Unfiltered and subsequently in the AJC:
http://www.atlantaunfiltered.com/2011/02/07/dekalb-school-audit-found-bloated-salaries-then-what/

http://www.atlantaunfiltered.com/2011/02/28/despite-the-law-dekalb-school-minutes-vanish-without-a-trace/

Where is the summary that Ernst and Young wrote (paid for to the tune of $341,000 by taxpayer money) stating that non-teaching employees were overpaid by $14,800,000 - this very specific number was not made up out of thin air.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 2:49, 7:56 and 8:14

Crawford Lewis justified a raise for Chanda White, BOE member Zepora Roberts daughter, in 2006 based on the information from Ernst and Young. Did he make up the information. He said he got it from the Compensation and Classification Report. Please See BOE minutes dated January 9,2006 (excerpt below):
"Dr. Lewis recommended a change in salary based on verified years of experience for Chanda White, a relative of a board member, in her current position as a Title I Parent Facilitator.

In discussion that followed, Dr. Lewis stated that Ms. White is one of nine people in this category requiring a salary adjustment based on verified years of experience as identified in the Compensation Classification Study.

Ms. Grant made a motion to approve the recommendation, and Ms. Andrews seconded. The motion passed by a vote of 8/0/1, with Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn, Ms. Andrews, Ms. Copelin-Wood, Mrs. Edwards, Mr. Franzoni, Ms. Grant, Ms. Joyner, and Ms. Manning-Moon voting affirmatively, and Ms. Roberts abstaining."

So the records comparing employees salaries were around in 2006. This is how Lewis justified her raise.

I do not think these records will be turned over to the public. They will continue to stall and are confident that the public will go away.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 2:49, 7:56 and 8:14

Crawford Lewis justified a raise for Chanda White, BOE member Zepora Roberts daughter, in 2006 based on the information from Ernst and Young. Did he make up the information. He said he got it from the Compensation and Classification Report. Please See BOE minutes dated January 9,2006 (excerpt below):
"Dr. Lewis recommended a change in salary based on verified years of experience for Chanda White, a relative of a board member, in her current position as a Title I Parent Facilitator.

In discussion that followed, Dr. Lewis stated that Ms. White is one of nine people in this category requiring a salary adjustment based on verified years of experience as identified in the Compensation Classification Study.

Ms. Grant made a motion to approve the recommendation, and Ms. Andrews seconded. The motion passed by a vote of 8/0/1, with Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn, Ms. Andrews, Ms. Copelin-Wood, Mrs. Edwards, Mr. Franzoni, Ms. Grant, Ms. Joyner, and Ms. Manning-Moon voting affirmatively, and Ms. Roberts abstaining."

So the records comparing employees salaries were around in 2006. They were used to justify Ms. White getting her raise. How can you Ms. Tyson, the BOE or you deny the BOE minutes?

Anonymous said...

I smell a rat. Someone is deeply offended that anyone even asked for a copy of an existing audit and that those running an alleged "criminal enterprise" honestly and diligently sought, pursuant to said existing audit, to rein in salaries of friends, families, and cronies.

Whoever you are, you sound real defensive.

You can't see or feel bloat when you're part of it.

You're attacking the bloggers here, and most of us resent it.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:56

Since the BOE used the Compensation and Classification study to justify a raise for Ms. White, but it never really existed according to Ms. Tyson, Ms. White's salary should revert back to what it was prior to 2006 since it was based on erroneous and non-existing information.

Anonymous said...

Jim Wallis lied.

Anonymous said...

I think some of you are confusing this so-called "study" with a full audit. The 2 are completely different items.

It is too bad it was not really important enought to you to attend or watch the board meeting where Ms. Tyson had a rather lengthy dialogue on this issue.

But, then again, you really are not interested in the truth, are you?

Dan Magee said...

The DeKalb County Board of Education spent $341,000 of our money on this audit in 2004/05, with little to show for it. Adjust it for inflation, and it's well over $400,000 of today's money (or eight teacher's annual salaries).

Jeff Dickerson, who's smarter than
I'll ever be, has had months to draft a strategy to finally address the issue to the public. The DCSS Central Office and many BOE members had been defensive and evasive for years on this important topic.

Ya gotta love how Ramona Tyson discredits the Ernst & Young reports without blinking an eye at hundreds of thousands spent without any return on investment.
$$$,$$$.$$? Peanuts!

There is no doubt in my mind that the DCSS Central Office and its festering bureaucracy had then, and has now, too many administrators, middle managers and non-teaching personnel. There is no doubt in my mind that too many Central Office, middle manager and non-teaching staff positions have inflated salaries. There is no doubt in my mind that the leadership of this school system is focused on themselves and not the school house.
Example: Someone with a shred of sanity please explain the tens of millions spent on the Office of School Improvement?!

Where else in America is there with Parent Resource Center staff, without a four year degree, making $20,00 more than teachers?

It's of course most likely that during the course of the E&Y audit, the Central Office didn't like what was being discovered and all heck broke loose.

Jeff Dickerson and Ramona Tyson have done a masterful job of negating public outrage on the millions wasted outside the school house. Evade and misinform. Delay and delay some more until people lose focus.

Hopefully we will eventually have a Board of Education that holds the Central Office leadership accountable, instead of turning a blind eye for so long its leaders incredibly receive indictments for criminal enterprise.

Thanks to Jim and Sandy for trying.

For now, well played Mr. Dickerson.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:04 pm

"I think some of you are confusing this so-called "study" with a full audit. The 2 are completely different items. "

Then why was this study used to give raises to some employees including a BOE member's daughter, and cut the pay of a very few (there was a complaint of arbitrary pay cuts for a handful of people based on this study that made the TV news at the time).

Is the justification for Ms. Roberts' daughter's raise in the papers Ms. Tyson contained in the Central Office? If not - where is the justification for her current salary which is over $61,000 a year without benefits (as much as a physics teacher with a PhD with 11 years of experience)? She has no doctorate and only 6 years with DCSS. You really can't have it both ways - not a valid study, but let's give a raise to a BOE member's child based on this study.

Lewis said that the study showed $1,800,000 a year in over payments. On what information did he base this?

From BOE minutes 12/05/05:
"Dr. Lewis reported on the Compensation/Classification Study that was commissioned by the Board in 2002. The study involved two aspects - reduction in the number of jobs and compensation. The number of jobs was successfully reduced from 1,600 to 400 categories. Regarding the compensation portion, he referred to the inaccurate news story that reported an overpayment in salaries in the amount of $14 million and clarified that the figure was totally erroneous and the actual amount was $1.8 million. "

Why you're so upset? The facts are there in the BOE meeting notes on the DCSS website. I guess you are hoping everyone will forget about this "study" (not an audit). I guess you can't see this imbalance in non-teaching employees' salaries goes to the heart of DCSS's budget woes. A new "audit" (not a study) should have been done before making the decision to increase class sizes and pack students into classes. It appears that DCSS has balanced the budget on the students' backs. Nothing is worse for students than to take away their teachers and place them in a overcrowded environment with scant and outdated materials.

Anonymous said...

Part 1
@ 9:04 pm

"I think some of you are confusing this so-called "study" with a full audit. The 2 are completely different items. "

Then why was this study used to give raises to some employees including a BOE member's daughter, and cut the pay of a very few (there was a complaint of arbitrary pay cuts for a handful of people based on this study that made the TV news at the time).

Is the justification for Ms. Roberts' daughter's raise in the papers Ms. Tyson contained in the Central Office? If not - where is the justification for her current salary which is over $61,000 a year without benefits (as much as a physics teacher with a PhD with 11 years of experience)? She has no doctorate and only 6 years with DCSS. You really can't have it both ways - not a valid study, but let's give a raise to a BOE member's child based on this study.

Anonymous said...

Part 2:
Lewis said that the study showed $1,800,000 a year in over payments. On what information did he base this?

From BOE minutes 12/05/05:
"Dr. Lewis reported on the Compensation/Classification Study that was commissioned by the Board in 2002. The study involved two aspects - reduction in the number of jobs and compensation. The number of jobs was successfully reduced from 1,600 to 400 categories. Regarding the compensation portion, he referred to the inaccurate news story that reported an overpayment in salaries in the amount of $14 million and clarified that the figure was totally erroneous and the actual amount was $1.8 million. "

Why you're so upset? The facts are there in the BOE meeting notes on the DCSS website. I guess you are hoping everyone will forget about this "study" (not an audit). I guess you can't see this imbalance in non-teaching employees' salaries goes to the heart of DCSS's budget woes. A new "audit" (not a study) should have been done before making the decision to increase class sizes and pack students into classes. It appears that DCSS has balanced the budget on the students' backs. Nothing is worse for students than to take away their teachers and place them in a overcrowded environment with scant and outdated materials.

Anonymous said...

Parents want to see more teachers in the classrooms, not more non-teaching employees. Does Ms. Berry, director of the Office of School Improvement, plan to add more non-teaching Instructional Coaches (average pay $100,000 a year in salary and benefits). The BOE must approve the use of the federal funds to create more of these ineffective Instructional Coach positions. We'll be watching to see if Ms. Berry proposes and the BOE approves these positions. Meanwhile, the Office of School Improvement which is responsible for improving student achievement in our Title 1 schools has presided over an unprecedented decline in the percentage of Title 1 schools making adequate yearly progress. DCSS went from 80+% of Title 1 schools making AYP to 50+% making AYP when strict monitoring was instituted. Her decisions and the non-performance of the very expensive non-teaching Instructional Coaches have led to DCSS having the lowest percentage of Title 1 schools making AYP in the metro area (even lower than APS).

So few schools making AYP this past spring after strict monitoring is what led to the overcrowding in our few schools that made AYP this year. This situation will not be rectified until decisions coming from the Office of School Improvement - ugh - improve.

Ms. Berry's performance must be evaluated on the performance of the Title 1 schools. That is the sole reason for the Office of School Improvement to exist and expend hundreds of millions of federal tax dollars ($128,000,000 last year alone).

Anonymous said...

RE: The "Study" - From the AJC at the time --

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The (GA)
April 2, 2004 Section: Metro News Edition: Home; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Page: D3

Study: DeKalb schools overpay workers
JEN SANSBURY
Staff

The DeKalb County School System overpays more than 2,500 nonteaching employees to the tune of $14.8 million, but officials said the district may not be able to address the issue in time to affect next school year's budget.

Ernst & Young consultant Jim Landry told school board members Thursday that some positions are "overvalued" and carry "inflated titles." He did not cite specific examples and took care to say the firm's findings are not intended to criticize the individuals in those jobs. Landry emphasized that the figures are not final, but characterized the analysis as an "alarming" starting point.

The firm is conducting a comprehensive salary study and presented its analysis on the heels of a two-hour budget work session that focused on next year's pay raises. About 35 percent of 7,355 full-time employees who are not in the classrooms appear to be paid above the maximum recommended pay range for their jobs. Only 233 employees are paid below appropriate pay ranges, which would cost about $325,000 to fix, he said.

Board Vice Chairwoman Bebe Joyner said the nearly $15 million figure is "kind of a shocker." "We've been accused of having way too many people in central office and paying way too much for a long time, and it validates that," Joyner said. However, equalizing pay will be a slow process, she said.

The 98,000-student district also employs about 7,000 teachers. Landry said DeKalb's teacher pay scale is lower than some other metro Atlanta systems, but higher than the national market. It is not likely to need much adjustment, he said.
When a new structure is adopted, the district's 1,680 job titles will be cut in half, said Reanee Ivey, DeKalb's assistant director for affirmative development.

Ernst & Young has been comparing job descriptions and actual duties based on questionnaires completed by thousands of employees. "There have been elevations of people into jobs that really the overall market [indicates] what you should be paying is considerably less" than they are currently earning. Employees will be able to appeal their new job classifications.

Board member Chip Franzoni, who chairs the budget committee, asked whether there would be recommendations the board could adopt before it sets next year's property tax rate in June.

Superintendent Johnny Brown said that had been an "ambitious goal" of the district, but appeared unlikely. "I ust think it would be too risky," he said.
Brown has proposed a $727.2 million spending plan for 2004-2005. It is 3.5 percent higher than the current $702.5 million budget, but would not require a tax increase because rising property values will bring in more revenue.

Teachers would get 2 percent cost-of-living raises and regular step increases in January, when state funding for raises is expected to come. State lawmakers have not approved an education budget yet. All other DeKalb employees, except the superintendent, would get a one-time 2 percent salary stipend in January.

The administration is proposing an early retirement incentive for up to 178 longtime employees in district-level jobs that would not have to be filled. About 140 have expressed interest, which could save the district $1million to $3 million.

Anonymous said...

Freaking Outrageous!!! Why do we tolerate this!!


"About 35 percent of 7,355 full-time employees who are not in the classrooms appear to be paid above the maximum recommended pay range for their jobs. Only 233 employees are paid below appropriate pay ranges, which would cost about $325,000 to fix, he said.
Board Vice Chairwoman Bebe Joyner said the nearly $15 million figure is "kind of a shocker." "We've been accused of having way too many people in central office and paying way too much for a long time, and it validates that," Joyner said."

Anonymous said...

"Ya gotta love how Ramona Tyson discredits the Ernst & Young reports without blinking an eye at hundreds of thousands spent without any return on investment."

I actually think she was confused and distressed at not being able to totally understand what happened back then.

The notebooks are available at the central office for anyone to view.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Parent Center facilitators,it is my understanding that more than Zepora's daughter have inflated salaries. Too, why is there a need for three people to supervise 11 facilitators? It is also my understanding that if you are not a part of friends and family, DO NOT APPLY FOR THESE POSITIONS. Reportedly, most do not have appropriate backgrounds for these positions yet they start at a salary in the mid-fifties!!!!! Has anyone explained how these salaries are set and who determines what each should make? Why aren't their duties expanded whereby they are required to earn those inflated salaries? Has anyone checked the backgrounds of those who supervise the Parent center facilitators? Why does one of them have this huge travel expense? What does he do besides go to conferences? Is he really Clew's in-law? The investigation should go beyond Zepora's daughter! It should also expand to the Prevention Intervention Specialists. It is my understanding that one at a school that is closing makes in the high 60s and has only been with the county about 5 years with "maybe" a bachelors degree. SAD SAD SAD!!!

Anonymous said...

"There were reccommendations for reducing the number of job titles and that happened. Then Brown left and Lewis asked for a different report which was provided. None of these reports were final reports-only interim. Ernst and Young was never asked to do a final report and therefore they did not do one. All the interim reports are available."

This would mean there was a scope change regarding the original request that had to be approved by the Board members at that time. This makes recent statements by Lynn Cheery Grant about the study somewhat strange.

It should be noted that the only Board member that is still around is SCW. She probably does not remember the discussion regarding the scope change.

Looking for a study along with the circumstances surrounding it when those that were involved are no longer around can take time. It easy to say it is lost or you can't find it when you initially don't know what happenned. It seems like the facts behind it was reported and the conspiracy theorists are still upset.

Anonymous said...

In addition to the concerns about salaries and qualifications of staff at the parent resource centers, have there been any evaluations/data collections related to the usage, the number of parents that visit each one daily, the number that attend all the different classes that scroll endlessly across the PDS 24 screen? Perhaps a review of usage compared to hours open and staff to maintain them would be useful. Last time someone asked for the data, it seemed no one was tracking it. Along those lines, it would be interesting to know how many parents attend the Title 1 Parent Involvement Programs offered on Saturdays a few times a year through the Office of School Improvement - we certainly spend enough money making and delivering copies to each school about it to send home with every child. Not sure anyone is tracking that either.

Anonymous said...

"Along those lines, it would be interesting to know how many parents attend the Title 1 Parent Involvement Programs offered on Saturdays a few times a year through the Office of School Improvement - we certainly spend enough money making and delivering copies to each school about it to send home with every child. Not sure anyone is tracking that either. "

I've attended one of these programs. I found it well attended and extremely informative. They also have a sign up list as parents enter so you could probably get those kind of statistics if you want that. I would suggest attending yourself so you can see. Remember to change your lens to that of of low income parent to appreciate the information.

It should be noted that having these meetings is a MANDATE with Title 1 funding, along with the parent centers.

Anonymous said...

"I actually think she (Ms. Tyson) was confused and distressed at not being able to totally understand what happened back then.

The notebooks are available at the central office for anyone to view."

Jim Walls received documents that came straight from DCSS HR.

Why Zepora Roberts daughter is making as much as a teacher with a doctorate an 11 years experience when her raise was justified by this "non-existent" study in 2006, her second year with DCSS? It seems her salary is based on "thin air" since Ms. Tyson cannot produce the justification for it.

Just think how much over payments of $14,800,000 to non-teaching employees have cost DCSS taxpayers over the last 6 or 7 years - $100,000,000+. And that was BEFORE Lewis gave all of those raises to non-teaching employees (the money sure didn't go to teachers). It must be so much worse since the non-teaching side swelled in numbers as well, and we have seen how much more per year the non-teaching personnel are making.


Let's look at Ms. Tyson titles and salary over time:

Ms. Tyson (salary only)
2004: IS PERSONNEL - INSTRUCTION SERV $99,960

2007 DEPUTY/ASSOC/ASSISTANT SUPT $118,912

2008 DEPUTY/ASSOC/ASSISTANT SUPT $131,104

2009 DEPUTY/ASSOC/ASSISTANT SUPT $165,035

How did Lewis and HR (Jamie Wilson) justify salary increases for the exact same title? Did they use this "non-existent" study?

Can anyone see how much faster the salary increases became for non-teaching employees from 2004 to 2009?

Look up Marcus Turk (salary only):
2004: FINANCE/BUSINESS PERSONNEL $75,998
2007: FINANCE/BUSINESS SERVICES MGR $142,700
2008: FINANCE/BUSINESS SERVICES MGR $162,798
2009: FINANCE/BUSINESS SERVICES MGR $165,035

Look up the head of HR who appears to have set these salaries along with Lewis. Jamie Wilson (salary ONLY):
2004: PRINCIPAL $85,502
2007: HUMAN RESOURCES PERSONNEL $107,274
2008: PERSONNEL/HUMAN RESOURCES DIR $141,741
2009: PERSONNEL/HUMAN RESOURCES DIR $165,035

Look up some more of the non-teaching personnel and you'll get a good idea of how much worse it got from 2004 on. This has not been corrected and until non-teaching personnel numbers and salaries are rectified, we can close all the schools we want but it will be like bailing out a leaky boat.

Anonymous said...

Timeline

9-8-03
Dr. Brown, DCSS superintendent, requests the BOE approve expenditure of $341,000 for a Compensation and Salary Study:

BOE Meeting 9-8-03 minutes:
“Authorized the firm of Ernst and Young to conduct a single salary compensation study for the DeKalb County School System at a cost of $341,000.”

Anonymous said...

11-03
Dr. Brown published information about this study in DeKalb Dispatch, a Dekalb County School System newsletter:
“On September 8, 2003, the DeKalb Board of Education authorized the national firm Ernst & Young, LLP to conduct a comprehensive compensation and classification study in the DeKalb County School System. This study will be the first such study of this kind conducted in the school system in 15 years.
As a result of the study, the DeKalb County School System expects to develop an objective, appropriate classification structure and a market-competitive compensation system. This structure will reflect fewer salary schedules; less distinct job titles; and job titles that comport with current industry nomenclature. It is further expected that the information gathered will be usable for succession planning purposes. This new system will be designed for easy management and maintenance by the Department of Human Resources. For more information, call the Compensation and Classification Hotline at 678/676-0400.

Anonymous said...

04-01-04
Ernst and Young consultant Jim Landry presents the audit summary to the DCSS BOE. This meeting is not posted on the DCSS BOE website nor are any minutes published. Mention of the meeting is in the BOE minutes of the BOE meeting held on 5-03-04.
BOE Meeting 5-03-04 Approval of Minutes page:
“It is requested that minutes of the called work session held on April 1, the called meeting held on April 12, the work session and business meeting held on April 12, the called meeting held on April 19, the called meeting held on April 21, the called meeting held on April 28, and the work session and meeting held on May 3, 2004, be approved.”
(no minutes are posted for April 1, 12 or 19 BOE meetings)

Anonymous said...

04-02-04
AJC article 04-02-04 (Friday):
An AJC article reported that the DCSS BOE meeting held the night before (04-01-04) featured Jim Landry, Ernst and Young consultant, summarizing a Compensation and Classification Study that concluded the DeKalb School System overpays more than 2,500 non-teaching employees $14.8 million a year.

(Article posted above)

Anonymous said...

1-18-05
The Compensation and Classification study is discussed
Called Board meeting (5:00 pm) 1-18-05
Only item on the agenda - Compensation and Classification Study Board Update (NO minutes posted)

3-14-05
The Compensation and Classification study is discussed
Called Board meeting (5:00 pm)- only item on the agenda - Status of the Compensation and Classification Study (NO minutes posted)

Anonymous said...

9-06-05
Ernst and Young Consultant provides a summary report on the Position Compensation and Classification Study (the name has now changed) explaining that 1,400 positions and title are condensed to 400 during the first phase of the compensation and classification study. Several BOE members feel they were mislead and ask for cost impact information. Dr. Lewis promises he would present that at a later date (he never does except to raise salaries).
A. The titles of almost all of the jobs outside the schoolhouse were not collapsed, just changed. For example:
1. Assistant Director of Professional Learning became Director of Professional Learning
2. Clerk, Dispatch became Dispatch Clerk
B. The way DCSS went from 1,400 job titles to 400 was in renaming schoolhouse positions. For example:
Paraprofessional, Special Education; Paraprofessional, Pre-School Special Education; Paraprofessional-Spec Ed (Mild Resource Project, Mild Resource, Mild/Moderate Resource, Moderate Self-Contained Project 126, Moderate Self-Contained Project 50, Moderate Self-Contained Project 58, Moderated Self Contained, Severe Project 48, Severe Project 50, Severe Project 54, Severe, Warren Technical School, Assistive Technology all became Paraprofessional (Exceptional Education).

Anonymous said...

BOE Meeting Item 09-06-05
Compensation & Classification Titling Convention and Position Specifications Approval
“It is recommended that the Board approve the Compensation and Classification Position Titling convention and position specifications submitted by staff in conjunction with consultants from Ernst & Young.” (See Compensation and Classification Titling Convention – attachment on the DCSS BOE website)”

Anonymous said...

BOE Meeting Minutes 09-06-05:
“Dr. Stan Pritchett, Deputy Superintendent of Administration and Business Affairs, called on consultant Jim Landry to provide a summary report on the Position Compensation and Classification Study. Mr. Landry explained that 1,400 position titles and job descriptions were reduced to less than 400 positions in alignment with appropriate position specifications during the first phase of the compensation and classification study. He reviewed the worksteps that were followed in conducting the study and the recommendation for implementation and the on-going maintenance of the compensation and classification study.
In discussion that followed, several Board members expressed concern about the misinformation that was initially reported and asked for further information regarding potential cost impact to the system. Ms. Roberts said that she had concerns with some of the job titles. Dr. Lewis stated that he would bring policy recommendations to the Board following a thorough review of the report.

(A copy of the complete executive summary is included in the official file of this meeting.)”

No executive summary is on the DCSS BOE website.

Anonymous said...

9-12-05
The BOE approves the Compensation and Classification Titling Convention. Positions are renamed but no changes in salaries are enacted. Financial Impact is NONE.

BOE meeting minutes 09-12-05
“Approved the Compensation and Classification Position Titling Convention and Positions Specifications submitted by staff in conjunction with consultants from Ernst & Young.”

Anonymous said...

12-05-05
Dr. Lewis says the AJC newspaper report the day following the Ernst and Young presentation to the BOE was wrong. He says the actual amount saved if DCSS adjusts salaries is only $1,900,000 a year. Dr. Lewis says he promised no one would see a pay reduction from the survey results and he would honor his promise. A Human Resource Director would address this issue later.
BOE Meeting 12-5-05 minutes:
" Superintendent’s Report
Dr. Lewis reported on the Compensation/Classification Study that was commissioned by the Board in 2002 (this date is incorrect – the correct date is late 2003). The study involved two aspects - reduction in the number of jobs and compensation. The number of jobs was successfully reduced from 1,600 to 400 categories. Regarding the compensation portion, he referred to the inaccurate news story that reported an overpayment in salaries in the amount of $14 million and clarified that the figure was totally erroneous and the actual amount was $1.8 million. Of the salaries that are over the market value, 28% are employees in non-teaching positions, which includes bus drivers, food service workers, paraprofessionals, administrative assistants, etc. However, these same categories include 24% of employees whose salaries are under the market value. He stated that at the beginning of the study, 15,000 employees were told that they would not lose salary as a result of the study and he plans to stay true to his word. Once an associate superintendent has been named to Human Resources, he will work closely with the individual to identify creative ways to address the compensation portion of the study and will bring his recommendations back to the Board.”

Anonymous said...

01-09-06
Dr. Lewis recommends an increase in salary for Chandra White, BOE member’s daughter based on the 2004 Compensation and Classification audit.
BOE Meeting minutes 09-06-06
“Dr. Lewis recommended a change in salary based on verified years of experience for Chanda White, a relative of a board member, in her current position as a Title I Parent Facilitator.

In discussion that followed, Dr. Lewis stated that Ms. White is one of nine people in this category requiring a salary adjustment based on verified years of experience as identified in the Compensation Classification Study.

Ms. Grant made a motion to approve the recommendation, and Ms. Andrews seconded. The motion passed by a vote of 8/0/1, with Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn, Ms. Andrews, Ms. Copelin-Wood, Mrs. Edwards, Mr. Franzoni, Ms. Grant, Ms. Joyner, and Ms. Manning-Moon voting affirmatively, and Ms. Roberts abstaining.”

Anonymous said...

01-09-06
Dr. Lewis recommends an increase in salary for Chandra White, BOE member’s daughter based on the 2004 Compensation and Classification audit.
BOE Meeting minutes 09-06-06
“Dr. Lewis recommended a change in salary based on verified years of experience for Chanda White, a relative of a board member, in her current position as a Title I Parent Facilitator.

In discussion that followed, Dr. Lewis stated that Ms. White is one of nine people in this category requiring a salary adjustment based on verified years of experience as identified in the Compensation Classification Study.

Ms. Grant made a motion to approve the recommendation, and Ms. Andrews seconded. The motion passed by a vote of 8/0/1, with Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn, Ms. Andrews, Ms. Copelin-Wood, Mrs. Edwards, Mr. Franzoni, Ms. Grant, Ms. Joyner, and Ms. Manning-Moon voting affirmatively, and Ms. Roberts abstaining.”

Anonymous said...

7-10-06
Dr. Lewis asks for and gets promotions for upper management personnel. Ms. Edwards uses the Classification study as justification. David Guillory, BOE member’s relative is appointed to the position of Interim Executive Director of Transportation.
BOE Meeting Notes 7-10-06:
Dr. Lewis recommended that the Board approve the following personnel recommendations:

a. Frankie Callaway to the position of Senior Associate Superintendent, School Administration (currently Associate Superintendent, Student/Professional Services) responsible for the day-to-day operation of schools

Robert Moseley to the position of Associate Superintendent for Administrative Services
(currently Senior Associate Superintendent, Curriculum & Instruction)

Wanda Gilliard to the position of Associate Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
(currently Senior Executive Director for Curriculum & Instruction)

Wendolyn Bouie to the position of Area Assistant Superintendent, Area 6 (currently Executive Director, Special Projects)

Debbie Gay to the position of Executive Director, Special Services (currently Director, Special Education)

Charlie Henderson to the position of Executive Director, Administrative Support &
Athletics (currently Director, Athletics)

Regina Fletcher to the position of Executive Director, Partners in Education, Public &
Media Relations, & Special Projects (currently Director, Partners in Education, Public & Media Relations)

Audria Berry to the position of Executive Director, Office of School Improvement (currently Director, Office of School Improvement)

Tony Eitel to the position of Executive Director, Student Assessment (currently Director, Student Assessment)

Anonymous said...

Ms. Joyner made a motion to approve the recommendations, and Ms. Roberts seconded the motion.

In discussion that followed, Dr. Lewis explained that Ms. Callaway would be responsible for the day-to-day operation of schools and would be working closely with the Superintendent and Mr. Henderson will be responsible for Athletics, School Resource Officers, and Student Relations.

Ms. Grant noted that there was a substantial change in salary for several of the promotions. Dr. Lewis confirmed that all but two of the reassignments were promotions and included salary increases. Two positions, Robert Moseley and Wanda Gilliard, were only changes in job titles and were lateral moves with no increase in salary. Ms. Grant said that while she realizes the duties are greater, she has shared her concern before about putting an individual into a position and assuming they are up to the task. She feels there should be a trial period for any new job assignment. Dr. Lewis said that he believes the individuals have proven themselves in the work they have done to date.

Mr. Franzoni stated that his comments are general and not directed toward any on the recommended individuals. He said the Board and school system are criticized by the public and the public perception is that the school system administration is top heavy. Currently, the Board’s policy allows for 43 supervisory or above positions. Dr. Lewis’ recommendation increases it to 58 positions, a 35% increase. The Board needs to look at its policy. He is voting against the recommendation for this reason and not against individuals.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Joyner questioned how the salary increases were determined, noting that although there is a single salary structure, she could not determine any consistency in the increases. Mr. Cost stated that the administrative salaries and contracts are based on years of experience and salary schedules are maintained for every position. While positions of like title fall under the same salary schedule, the years of experience could make the salaries vary. Also the position from which the individual is moving may create a larger salary difference if he/she is moving from a lower position. Dr. Lewis clarified that the promotions would be effective immediately upon approval by the Board, and the total cost of the promotions is $60,000. Ms. Joyner stated she thought the single salary structure was based on equity compensation and therefore, it should be based on the years of experience in the position one holds rather than the new position. Mr. Cost said it is based on years of experience and an individual is given credit for experience related to the new position. Ms. Joyner said that she has real issues with the pay scale.

Mr. Franzoni suggested tabling the item and Dr. Lewis responded that the delay would disrupt his immediate plans for the 2006-2007 school year.

Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn stated that she has concerns and doesn’t understand the rationale behind the changes and the accompanying salary increases. She questioned whether the school system was becoming top heavy and whether the system would be better served by putting this money back into the classroom. She reminded Dr. Lewis that when the Board adopted this year’s budget, she spoke of the possible need to amend the budget at some point to put additional funds into programs where the need is greatest.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lewis stated that the dollar amount is well within reason. While he recognizes the Board’s concerns, he believes these individuals have earned these positions and asked the Board for its support of his recommendation. Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn stated that the Board had just received the detailed salary information and had not had time to review it and asked Dr. Lewis to consider the need to table the item to allow for further review and discussion.

Dr. Lewis asked the Board to vote only on the individuals at this time and bring the salary recommendations back to the Board at a later time to allow for further review of the salaries to be certain they are in line with the single salary scale. Ms. Joyner stated that student achievement is important and she will not hold the Superintendent back, but she is frustrated about how the salaries are determined.

Ms. Roberts said that while she does not have a problem with any of the individuals being recommended and will not vote against the recommendation, she agrees with Ms. Joyner that there needs to be a standard unified approach to salaries. Increases should be given after working in the position, rather than the salary going with the position at the time an individual assumes a position.

Mrs. Edwards encouraged the Board to support Dr. Lewis’ reorganization as presented by the Superintendent to support his moving forward. The Board spent many dollars on the compensation classification study and adopted a single salary structure and this should be the model. The salaries should be well within this range. No position should be devalued, and individuals need to be paid based on their position, educational training, and based on the single salary structure adopted by the Board.

Mr. Franzoni clarified his concern, stating that this is a 35% increase in central office staff over the Board’s policy and he is recommending it be tabled only because of this perceived bloating of central office staff.

Dr. Lewis said he has spent 4 to 6 months working on this reorganization. He asked the Board to support only the names and titles only to allow him to move forward and to hold the salary issue until he can determine that the salaries are consistent with the single salary structure and at that time, he will ask that it be retroactive.

Ms. Copelin-Wood made a substitute motion that the Board approve only the positions, with the salaries to be considered at a later time. Ms. Andrews seconded the motion.

The substitute motion passed by a vote of 5/3, with Ms. Andrews, Ms. Copelin-Wood, Mrs. Edwards, Ms. Grant, and Ms. Roberts voting affirmatively, and with Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn, Mr. Franzoni, and Ms. Joyner opposed.

Anonymous said...

b. Dr. Lewis recommended that David Guillory, currently Director of Transportation, be appointed to the position of Interim Executive Director of Transportation, with the salary to be reviewed and brought back to board for consideration at a later time.

Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn questioned why this interim position is brought to the Board when Mr. Reed’s interim position was not brought to the Board. Dr. Lewis explained that it is because Mr. Guillory is a relative of a board member and the position is interim until the final recommendation on the Human Resources position currently being held by Mr. Reed on an interim basis comes before the Board.

Mr. Franzoni said that he is in total support of Mr. Guillory personally but that he will vote against this for the same reason as the previous item. Mr. Hawkins stated that this does require a separate vote.

Ms. Andrews made a motion to approve the recommendation, and Ms. Roberts seconded the motion.

Ms. Joyner agreed with Mr. Franzoni and explained that she would vote against this for the same reason she voted against the previous substitute motion because she wants the Board to vote on this position along with the previous positions as one item including salary. Ms. Joyner made a motion that the Board reconsider the previous action of the Board to approve the promotions without the salary adjustments. Ms. Roberts seconded the motion to reconsider.

The Chair called for a vote, and the motion to reconsider was approved by a vote of 6-2, with Ms. Andrews, Ms. Copelin-Wood, Mrs. Edwards, Mr. Franzoni, Ms. Joyner, and Ms. Roberts voting affirmatively, and with Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn and Ms. Grant opposed.

Ms. Joyner made a motion that the Board accept the Superintendent’s recommendation on promotion and salary adjustments in its entirety. Ms. Roberts seconded the motion.

The motion passed by a vote of 5-3, with Ms. Andrews, Ms. Copelin-Wood, Mrs. Edwards, Ms. Joyner, and Ms. Roberts voting affirmatively, and with Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn, Mr. Franzoni, and Ms. Grant opposed.

Ms. Andrews moved to approve Dr. Lewis’ recommendation that David Guillory be appointed Interim Executive Director of Transportation to include the recommended salary increase. Ms. Joyner seconded the motion.

Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn called for a vote, and the motion passed by a vote of 6-1-1, with Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn, Ms. Andrews, Ms. Copelin-Wood, Ms. Grant, Ms. Joyner, and Ms. Roberts voting affirmatively, Mr. Franzoni opposed, and Mrs. Edwards abstaining.”

Anonymous said...

Dan Magee...why don't you get yourself a copy of the information that DCSS and Ernst & Young have put together on this subject instead of continually spewing falsehoods and attacking the character of individuals simply because the outcome is not what you expected.

Those of you who want to continue with these lies that somehow something was done illegally or unethically just impune your reputation.

That this blog continues to allow this type of nonsense to continue is frightening.

Sagamore 7 said...

E&Y has the report. I was told that they DO NOT SHRED anything!

Either DCSS requests a copy of someone has to SUE DCSS to get it!

I was told only DCSS can get the report WITHOUT a judge!

Who is willing to SUE to get the report?

Any lawyers out there who can file this motion?

S7

Anonymous said...

@ 10:02 am
"Dan Magee...why don't you get yourself a copy of the information that DCSS and Ernst & Young have put together on this subject instead of continually spewing falsehoods"

Are you saying the BOE minutes are falsehoods? I don't think so. They are a matter of public record.

Surely the BOE members were given copies of the information that DCSS and Ernst and Young put together on this subject since you say it is so readily available? Perhaps they can give their constituents this information that belongs in the public arena. Are you suggesting posters email them and ask for the information?

It seems like the easiest thing would be to post all these documents as attachments on the DCSS BOE website under the March 14, 2011 meeting in which they were presented. If Ms. Tyson referred to these documents during the March 14, 2011 meeting, then they should be posted to that meeting as attachments.

There is no "spewing falsehoods" or "attacking the character of individuals" here. Just facts and quotes from BOE minutes. Why don't you look at the BOE minutes yourself to see if any facts have been omitted that would present this in a more benign light?

Please post some facts that show DCSS does not have the highest Staff to Teacher ratio in metro Atlanta. Post some facts that show upper management salaries are on par with teachers when it comes to raises. Post some facts that show our Title 1 schools are making AYP at the same rate as other systems. Post any facts that show te results of DCSS upper management decisions in a better light. That should be someone's job in the Central Office. Maybe you would like to take that on.

There is a wealth information on the state and DCSS website regarding salaries, benefits, number of personnel, standardized test scores, revenue streams and expenditures.

Why don't you do some research to present the DCSS administration in a good light based on facts and credible sources cited? That seems to be a better way to sway public opinion. It takes some time, but you seem very passionate on the subject.

Please make sure to give the weblinks to your facts.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:02
There is no "spewing falsehoods" or "attacking the character of individuals" here. Just facts and quotes from BOE minutes. Why don't you look at the BOE minutes yourself to see if any facts have been omitted that would present this in a more benign light?

Please post some facts that show DCSS does not have the highest Staff to Teacher ratio in metro Atlanta. Post some facts that show upper management salaries are on par with teachers when it comes to raises. Post some facts that show our Title 1 schools are making AYP at the same rate as other systems. Post any facts that show te results of DCSS upper management decisions in a better light. That should be someone's job in the Central Office. Maybe you would like to take that on.

There is a wealth information on the state and DCSS website regarding salaries, benefits, number of personnel, standardized test scores, revenue streams and expenditures.

Why don't you do some research to present the DCSS administration in a good light based on facts and credible sources cited? That seems to be a better way to sway public opinion. It takes some time, but you seem very passionate on the subject.

Please make sure to give the weblinks to your facts.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:02

Post some of your own information. Do a little research to show the DCSS administration in a good light. Just be sure to cite your weblinks and sources.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:02
BOE minutes and data from the state website are what's posted here. You can look at this data as well as a wealth of information on the DCSS and state websites. A little data will go a lot longer than just typing on a blog that people are lying. Prove it with the data. Otherwise it's just your opinion and sounds like you just don't like what the data says. There's no emotion in data. It's just dry facts.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Ms. Tyson just post all this very public information she presented to the BOE Monday night regarding the Ernst and Young study on the BOE website as attachments? If the information was presented to the BOE in a public meeting, it should be posted on the BOE website under the March 14, 2011 meeting as attachments. That way taxpayers can download it, view it and make up their own mind. Sounds like a transparent move to me.

Anonymous said...

any citizen can sue prose -- doesn't need to be a lawyer. All of the "players" from 2004 are still around -- just not in DeKalb... superintendant, AJC reporter, BOE members-- some even blog here as anons, etc. Someone is hiding something huge --maybe it really shows the ponzi... Maybe RT doens't know her staff is hiding stuff from her... remember Dr. Brown was sabotoged internally.... isn't this 2004 time frams involved in the period of time that overlaps the big monster law suit in DeKalb.... is there a connection?

Anonymous said...

"It should be noted that the only Board member that is still around is SCW. She probably does not remember the discussion regarding the scope change.
Looking for a study along with the circumstances surrounding it when those that were involved are no longer around can take time."


TOM BOWEN was on the BOE during much of this!!

Anonymous said...

"Dr. Lewis says the AJC newspaper report the day following the Ernst and Young presentation to the BOE was wrong. He says the actual amount saved if DCSS adjusts salaries is only $1,900,000 a year. Dr. Lewis says he promised no one would see a pay reduction from the survey results and he would honor his promise."


This shows how much of a jack@#$ Crawford Lewis was as supt.

I don't believe him that the E & Y audit only showed $1.9 in salary savings instead of $15 million.

But even if it was $1.9 million, that's almost TWO MILLION DOLLARS that should have gone into the classroom instead of overpaid non-teaching staff.

Look at the salary increases of administrators like Tyson, Jamie Wilson, etc. Teachers as myself as treated like dirt, yet the Central Office insiders and anyone related to a BOE member get salary increases they would never get as a teacher, or even in the private sector.

Apologists like Anon 10:06 defend Tyson, Lewis and the Central Office, but seem to have no problem with teachers being treated like pond scum. Shame on you Anon 10:06.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 6:41
"It should be noted that the only Board member that is still around is SCW. She probably does not remember the discussion regarding the scope change."

Where are minutes discussing the scope change? I've read every BOE meeting minutes in 2005 and 2006, and there is nothing in the minutes about the scope change of this issue. Even Lewis admitted over payment cost DCSS millions a year.

How can you use the "study" to justify a very hefty raise for a BOe members child, but then say the data is missing? That really doesn't make sense. Where did Chandra White's raise come from -

BOE minutes 1-9-06:
"“Dr. Lewis recommended a change in salary based on verified years of experience for Chanda White, a relative of a board member, in her current position as a Title I Parent Facilitator.

In discussion that followed, Dr. Lewis stated that Ms. White is one of nine people in this category requiring a salary adjustment based on verified years of experience as identified in the Compensation Classification Study. "

Anonymous said...

@ 8:37
"It should be noted that having these meetings is a MANDATE with Title 1 funding, along with the parent centers."

If this is indeed a mandate then DCSS should staff these parent centers with part time employees like most of the other metro area school systems do. How many teachers would the millions a year spent on non-teaching personnel in these centers buy?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:56 is right on. I don't know of any data that backs up the return of investment on Parent Resource Centers, but if there is a need and ROI, then staff them with retired teachers on an annual pay rate, with no benefits.

The retired teachers get some money, they are already experienced, and we aren't on the hook for decades of pension and benefits.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:47
"
The retired teachers get some money, they are already experienced, and we aren't on the hook for decades of pension and benefits."

That's probably why the other metro counties use part time teachers. I looked up this title in other counties and saw that some of the counties use Paraprofessionals. There are many well educated parapros who could perform this job function.

Anonymous said...

No. Simone Manning Moon was the board rep during most of this time. She left early (smart woman) and eventually Bowen was elected. They appointed someone to hold the seat during the interim who wasn't going to run.

The employees who were on the executive committee at the time are surely still alive and probably in the area. Why not just pick up the phone and ask?

Anonymous said...

All the board members who made decisions based on Dr. Lewiss' recommendations are around also. That's why it is so strange that Lynn Cherry Grant made comments about the study.

Anonymous said...

One could even find and track down Dr. Brown and his "cohorts" if one really wanted to.... they are still "in business" and not so far away... (Abby Boring is in Rome I think in Dr. Brown in Texas?).

Anonymous said...

We even have this tool called email -- wow! Or telephones. Or snail mail....

Anonymous said...

@ 5:33 am

"We even have this tool called email -- wow! Or telephones. Or snail mail.... "

Hers's a quote from former BOE member Lynn Cherry Grant to Jim Walls. His article appeared in the AJC and Atlanta Unfiltered:

"Lynn Cherry Grant, who stepped down in 2008 after serving 16 years on the DeKalb board, had a different take when I called her about it....

...Grant also recalls that some other board members were upset about some of the consultant’s findings.

“Everybody had a sacred cow,” she said. “If you had a relative or best friend or somebody you went to church with … then you were not very happy to hear they were being overpaid by $5,000.”

http://www.atlantaunfiltered.com/2011/02/28/despite-the-law-dekalb-school-minutes-vanish-without-a-trace/

If there was no study like Ms. Tyson says, then Chanda White's (Ms. Roberts's daughter) raise was given on fabricated information and needs to be rescinded.

Face it. Anything that had to do with the original information in this "study" is missing on the DCSS BOE website. Minutes after minutes are there in detail - but only the minutes for all of the meetings about this "study" are missing. The original meeting where this "stud" was discussed (April 1, 2004) and Ernst and Young said there were $14,000,000 in overpayments to non-teaching personnel doesn't have the minutes missing - the ENTIRE MEETING is missing from the DCSS BOE website (as if it never occurred) even though the notes for the meeting were noted as approved in a subsequent meeting (also the AJC article tells us the date). This does look odd.

Anonymous said...

CORRUPT!
WHITE-WASHED!
Who is looking after the children?
Who is watching over taxpayer dollars?
The fox is guarding the henhouse.

Anonymous said...

Lynn Cherry grant's sisters were some of the highest paid secretaries in DCSS.

She had as much to lose as anyone (maybe even more) if that audit had been completed

Anonymous said...

"She had as much to lose as anyone (maybe even more) if that audit had been completed "

The audit was completed. The Ernst and Young consultants gave the summary to the BOE. How else would they arrive at the figures of 14.8 million dollars?