They are flat-out “raiding the cookie jar” – taking what they can from us and from our children.
Their chutzpah is amazing! This is not happening by accident – and they clearly feel no shame.
DeKalb is a majority Black county. DCSS is a majority Black school system run by majority Black administrators and a majority Black BOE. This is a Black-on-Black outrage, if not an outright crime. Disadvantaged children in DeKalb County, most of whom are Black, have no chance. As long as DCSS leaders, the BOE and their friends-and-family “get theirs” they simply do not care what happens to the children.
I have spent nights and weekends pouring over DCSS employee payroll information from 2008, 2009 and 2010. While the state is to be commended for putting this information online, a lot of work was required to get it to a point where the data can be sorted and analyzed:
- An online document with nearly 17,000 rows had to be downloaded to a CSV document, then converted to an Excel spreadsheet.
- All of the dollar figures had to be converted from CSV fields that read-as-text to Excel fields that read-as-currency using a separate text editor. Not as easy as it sounds!
- Significant, multiple data entry errors originating in the online information had to be corrected in order to properly sort and analyze the data.
Administrators, Teachers and Other Professionals – $453,840,260
9,227 school-based professionals* who have direct contact with students.
Support Staff – $12,912,876
334 school-based Support Staff **(who keep the schools running) for the 9,227 professionals (above) and DCSS’ 96,000+ students. These support staff are paid as secretaries/clerks when in reality many are trained professionals in their fields and should be paid as such.
*(This does not include vocational/nursing assistant/health tech instructors and administrators or psycho-ed personnel.)
** (This does not include custodial staff because it was impossible to determine how many were school-based.)
NOT Contributing to Mission
Central Office Clerical – $12,889,567
376 Central Office Secretaries/Clerks supporting 39 Superintendent/Deputy/Associate/Assistant Superintendents/Directors and their overstuffed departments. This includes:
- Betty Guthrie ($74,100), secretary and gatekeeper to HR Czar Jamie Wilson ($166,008) who refuses to publish his business number.
- Cointa Moody, now indicted on RICO charges, who made $79,546 as Pat Pope’s secretary – that was more than the Superintendent’s secretary! This begs the question – which arises again and again and again – what did Pat Pope and possibly others have on Crawford Lewis?
- 6 making more than $71,000+ (including Frankie Freeman)
- 2 making more than $60,000
- 17 making more than $50,000
- 6 making nearly $49,000
Miscellaneous Activities $4,414,673
145 people. Doing what?
- Interesting, familiar names on this list. Are they related to anyone we know? It’s hard to tell because DCSS and the BOE will not reveal the names of family members on the payroll.
- Of the 145 here, nearly 33% received more than $50,000 from DCSS in 2010; 41% received “salary-sized” payments.
- Five received more than $100,000, including Ralph Simpson who topped the list at $122,928!
Outsource to Gain Performance and Savings:
Finance – $2,133,111
27 Business Services personnel, including 7 auditors who aren’t, really.
- Heading up this department is Marcus Turk ($166,008), the guy who told Crawford Lewis “no” to using his DCSS P-card (credit card) illegally and inappropriately – and then Turk approved paying the bills, anyhow.
- Turk had to know about Lewis’ illegal activities that eventually earned him a RICO indictment.
- No Open Checkbook as long as Turk handles the money.
Human Resources – $2,483,990
35 HR personnel.
- This includes DCSS retiree Robert Tucker ($57,168) who does Ronald Ramsey’s ($114,057) “job” three months (January, February, March) of each year while Ramsey busies himself with commendations, recognitions, condolences and congratulations (32 in 2011) in the legislature as a state senator ($16,007). Of the 16 mostly forgettable bills Ramsey co-sponsored in 2011, only one made it to the Governor for his signature.
- Tucker also is eligible to collect a pension from Georgia’s Teacher’s Retirement System.
- Apparently, Tucker is one of many DCSS retirees who retire and are brought right back as “contractors” making a full-time salary in addition to being eligible to collect a pension from TRS.
Security and School Safety – $9,812,575
213 Security Personnel.
- This massive group of school-based security officers, along with administrative detectives, and their two overpaid directors ($214,752) have not been able to prevent thefts – most of which appear to be “inside” jobs. Nor have they recovered hundreds of stolen laptops.
- What is the dollar value of all the theft from DCSS in 2010 and so far in 2011?
- Why have none of the thieves been brought to justice? At least one was caught red-handed.
- This cost does NOT include the fuel and maintenance costs for the cars these folks are given to drive to and from work.
Technology Services – $13,337,208
246 Technology Services personnel.
- These are the people who are unable to bring DCSS into the 21st Century of technology and who already outsource even the basics.
- Why isn’t DCSS using the sophisticated, free, open source Open Office software? It’s FREE, completely compatible with Microsoft Office, comes without the bloatware that must be removed from Office and works better in many ways.
Food Service – $18,090,861
1009 Food Service personnel.
- There are 8 – count ‘em – 8! – food service administrators; 4 make more than $70,000 including Joyce Wimberly who makes $110,187.
- Do your kids eat the food – or is there a lot of waste? Outsource for tasty, nutritious food your kids will eat – for lower cost and less waste.
Transportation – $31,926,958
1198 Transportation personnel.
- Would an expense this size be necessary with smaller neighborhood schools?
- DCSS also has other options under AYP instead of transferring students across the county and providing bus transportation for that crisscrossing.
- The budget for magnet transportation (no longer legally required) was saved by the BOE -- instead of saving parapros at neighborhood schools.
- Transportation to Fernbank’s Scientific Tools & Techniques science program for 160 freshman delivered from their homes to Fernbank and then from Fernbank to their home schools costs a fortune.
- NOT included in the above costs are the constantly rising costs for fuel and maintenance.
- Does DCSS also pay mileage costs or MARTA costs for transferring students who select that as their transportation option? How much additional does that cost?
NOTE: The payroll costs shown above do NOT include the cost of benefits that DCSS also must pay.
Did You Know:
Did you know that DCSS 2010 revenues were approximately 3% more than expenditures for teachers and paraprofessionals? That is actually a lot of money! Did you know that DCSS spent only 40.8% of its funding for teachers and paraprofessionals? Teachers and paraprofessionals are Mission Critical!
DCSS has a staggering number of substitute teachers – 1,450! – with a total payroll of $9,161,313!
We could dismiss at least half of the Central Office clerical staff, never miss them, and gain nearly $6.5 million for education. (In the business world, there are very few secretaries anymore. With the advent of computers, most managers have easily been able to type their own communications and answer their own mail for years now. Most can also answer their own phones and check voice mail.)
We could dismiss all who are paid for “Miscellaneous Activities,” never miss them and whatever it is they do, and gain nearly $4.5 million for education.
We could dismiss ALL of Crawford Lewis’ inner circle, never miss them and gain more than $3.6 million for education.
What if we could outsource Finance, Human Resources, Security, Technology Services, Food Service and Transportation (greatly scaled down) for 80% - 90% of the 2010 personnel cost for these areas? We would have an additional $7.7 million – $15.5 million to spend on educating our children well. DCSS could give disadvantaged children the education they deserve to have a decent life. DCSS could give ALL DeKalb children the education they deserve to become productive and contributing citizens.
That’s an annual windfall of $22.3 million – $30.1 million!
And, folks, ALL of these savings are just from right-sizing payroll!
Without the Open Checkbook we have repeatedly called for, we cannot even begin to identify the millions more dollars in legal costs and other questionable payments buried deep within the budget. Yet.