Friday, May 27, 2011

FOUND! DCSS Has The Money for Education Excellence

Folks, it is time to stop giving DCSS leaders and the BOE the benefit of the doubt.

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.
This is an unfinished project. But, I want to share with you what I know so far, based on the 2010 payroll as published on Open.Georgia.gov. I have not had time to go to this level of detail for 2008 and 2009.

Mission Critical

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?
Other Central Office Secretaries/Clerks
  • 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.

33 comments:

melaniestef said...

This is a great articale. All I acn say si Amen, Amen & Amen. The funds should go directly to school house. Central offiice MUST be cut back to the days of Johnnie Brown, who did a masterful job of cutting the fat when he was Supt.

travelingjoe said...

did anyone attend the 2020 Vision meeting today (which was moved at the last minute to the middle of the day before a holiday weekend)?

I read the documents posted on the web but have soooo many questions.

Like the proposal to "repurpose" 9 different parcels/buildings. If they won't disclose the new purpose, the properties should be sold.

And there is NO plan to close/consolidate all the tiny "pet" project schools like the Alternative Night School, Destiny, etc. These are huge resource drains.

teacher said...

Sandy, thank you. You are dead on in this.

As a former white DCSS teacher, I was baffled that Black teachers, administrators (at all levels), and board members could allow for the poor quality of education that the children are receiving. The county schools are majority black, and the standards were constantly lowered. I moved to Ga/DeKalb in 2007 the year of no excuses and never saw so many excuses made for children not measuring up in my life.

Those in charge throughout the county are great at race baiting, and I don't see the fat getting cut anytime soon. Our kids deserve more, but when those in charge of instruction have not yet mastered the English Language, we should all know that our kids are in trouble. Many board members making decisions aren't much better.

Not sure what it will take to turn the DCSS ship around. Wish I knew how to help stop this wasteful spending, as I don't see an end and see things getting worse with the raising of our taxes.

ben dover said...

The BoE and top admin don't want to see any change. The current system serves the needs of the adult stakeholders quite well, both politically and financially. This isn't about educating kids but about making adults and New Birth rich.

atl said...

"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. "

Why does no one want to address this terrible waste of taxpayer dollars with today's high gas prices?

Regarding outsourcing, Ms. Tyson promised to look into outsourcing for custodial, grounds maintenance, and security as she cut 100 teacher positions and 200 paraprofessionals this past year.

She said she looked into custodial outsourcing and determined it was not cost effective, however an figures were made public so how are we to know.

As far as I know she did not look into outsourcing grounds maintenance and security as she promised she would.

She really needs to look into outsourcing parts of the Technology (MIS) group. The state of Georgia has outsourced almost all of their technology group. The MIS group is already "outsourcing" all of their computer and interactive board installations and repairs to Dell so of course this group is ripe for cost savings. The MIS department needs an outside impartial auditor to assess the effectiveness of technology for students and teachers.

Atlanta Media Guy said...

Sandy, great work! It's sad that the taxpayers paid E&Y in 2004 a lot of OUR money to do an audit that the public never saw and to this day has not seen. Just 4 boxes at the Palace for anyone to come see.

There is a huge payroll problem at DCSS. Folks remember who Turk reported to when he told Clew he could NOT use his P-card. Her name Ramona Tyson. What do these people know, is this why no one has been fired?

The criminal operation that DCSS has become will never change, unless the taxpayers take it back. This is not about educating children, this is about lining the pockets of friends and families.

Sandy great work! I hope we can clean the Palace out someday!

A Blue State of Mind said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

When are the media, the tax-paying public, the USDOE auditors, the State of Georgia auditors, SACS (fat chance), the DA, the US Atty's office, and the governor going to put 2 + 2 together and recognize that, to DCSS, it does not equal four!

This post needs to be leaked to mainstream media, especially to national education media. Let them all do the investigatory work that until a few years ago made the American media so essential to the health of democracy.
It's a big scam that's been going on too long. Students, parents, and teachers have been the victims.

queenb4real said...

Wow! Your 4th paragraph sums up the way I feel. I recently got into an argument at work with a co-worker (black female) who made a comment referencing white Dekalb vs. black Dekalb as it related to schools. I asked her "What white Dekalb are you talking about?" I had to educate this fool because she apparently didn't know that 70% of DCSS is black with a majority black BOE and majority black central office. Therefore, it was black Dekalb that was ruining the school system. Unfortunately, I live in South (black) Dekalb and upon receiving my tax bill and seeing the current valuation of my home, I will be here for awhile. I absolutely hate what DCSS has become. I hate that my middle-schooler cannot get a decent education in her home district. I hate that I had to move my high schooler due to the violence and total lack of respect for authority of the high school in my district. This is disgusting and Sarah Copelin-Wood, Jay Cunningham and Eugene Walker are more concerned about race-baiting than they are about these black children getting an education. I am determined to not have Sarah-Copelin Wood as my BOE rep again. I have been a quiet lurker of this blog for approximately a year and have learned so much. Thank you Cerebration, Sandy Spruill and all of the others who truly care about educating Dekalb's children because black Dekalb obviously does not. I apologize in advance if anyone is offended by my comments but I speak the truth as I see it.

SHS said...

@ A Blue State of Mind

I encourage you -- and any other reader -- to send the article I wrote (FOUND!) DCSS Has The Money for Education Excellence to any mainstream or other media you wish. It doesn't have to be "leaked." I put it out there, with my name, for a reason: I document everything before I write and publish.

I no longer have local media on my mailing list. They are not interested in investigation -- only in ratings, regardless of what they have to say (or overlook) to get them. What Richard Belcher did to enable derailing the recent superintendent search was inexcusable. He is such a poor reporter that he could not even discern and report the real story.

After Maureen Downey -- whom I had previously admired -- vigorously defended Belcher, I finally decided the the Atlanta metro "news" media is a very sorry, sick joke.

Atlanta Media Guy said...

Sandy, I'm frustrated with our local media too. An AJC reporter, Kristina Torres, gave CLew every document we had given her as well as our names within 72 hours. She then wrote a hit piece on my wife and other parents in our group. She called the group "vociferous and loud" and was a distraction to the DCSS staff and BOE.

The I-Team met with us, the producer spent an entire afternoon with us, but her bosses sat on the piece for over two years and when CLew was indicted they started calling us for quotes etc... My wife did not give them the time of day, we couldn't trust them.

Another WSB-TV reporter told us that our story was too difficult to tell and there were too many tentacles in each detail. We said, so? It's not good TV she said.

We finally made our last stand. We had uncovered a lot of CLew malfeasance and helped bring it to light. We were finally threatened with arrest at a State of the District Address by CLew's staff and DCSS security, for handing out flyers that had some bullet points that we had discovered under FOIA and other documents given to us by former BOE members and others including Sandy. Needless to say the headline that day were the folks wearing red and not Clew's speech to his employees.

We moved on, but the friends and family plan continues and funds continue to get siphoned out of the classroom and into the Central Office over-bloated staff that have nothing to do with student achievement. We realized the fight was too tough and not enough were interested in changing CLew's inner circle, who remain today.

We use our time volunteering at the school level. The teachers and administration need as much help that they can get, since the Central Office continues to fail to hear or help them.

Daniel said...

I don't expect much to change here. Unfortunately, Mr. Womack is intent on going after the teachers (he told an ODE officer that to her face). He'd rather see furlough days put back into the calendar where teachers cannot afford to make even a meager living. What's next? I have to get a part time job ringing up groceries at Kroger just to make ends meet? Hard to grade essays from behind a cash register.

SHS said...

@ ATL Media Guy

I've been there, done that with the Atlanta media, too.

I need to go through my old emails and come up with the list of "reporter" names -- the people who faked interest, strung us along (one or two even asked for an "exclusive" and asked us not take what we had to any other media outlet) and then refused to cover the story. I want to publish those names.

Anyone who is paying to read articles written by those "reporters" or who buys product from the sponsors of the broadcast media who put those "reporters" on air is wasting their money and their time.

Atlanta Media Guy said...

Sandy, I'll be happy to help you with that list of reporters. I have your email and will contact you after the holiday. You know APS has had more coverage and it took a major SACS threat, more than what they gave DCSS, for them to make lot's of changes. DCSS needs some resignations to start flying. How long will these folks realize the taxpayers and stakeholders have had enough. Do these folks, that work in the Central Office, really think they are doing a good job?

They know we're on to them, we've been on to them for years! But why no change? Why didn't Channel 46 go deeper in the Zepora threats of violence. Wasn't it obvious to that reporter that pressure has been building at DCSS for years? It's about to pop and they know it, especially when the new Super gets hired. That's why Mr. Bowen, allegedly derailed the contract negotiations. I guarantee you that several board members saw color in that decision, Lilly Cox was white. That is the main problem with DCSS, the leaders do not see success or good leadership, they see color! Dr.? Eugene Walker said so not too many meetings ago, when he talked about the black law firms working for DCSS.

What do these people have against the education of our children? Why are so many agendas having to be tended to? Why are so many from Clew's reign of terror still working for OUR failing system? How many years must DCSS fail to make AYP before someone says, "Gee you think we need to change something?"

Former board members have told our group to follow the money, I think Sandy has done a great job so far. I'm sure there is more money to follow. Let's concentrate on the office of "improvement". It's time for Audria Berry's Army to be defeated, fired and told to surrender their badges immediately. Then I might have some faith in our school systems leadership.

themommy said...

It has been said a bunch of times that the difference between Clayton and Atlanta and DeKalb is that the first two systems have internal whistle blowers and DCSS doesn't.

I also think the SACs situation was bad luck on our part because SACs got so much public criticism not only about Atlanta but from officials in NC about Wake County. In NC, legislators threatened to introduce legislation making it illegal for school systems to pursue SACs accredidation. I think if DCSS' due date for the report to SACS had been a few months or maybe even weeks earlier, the result might have been different.

themommy said...

Paul Womack and anyone else who supports furloughs first is refusing to do the hard work that would be necessary to identify and cut the waste in the central office.

SHS said...

Audria Berry’s Army

Atlanta Media Guy, your comments about DCSS repeatedly NOT making AYP, Audria Berry’s Army and the Office of School "Improvement" got me to thinking …

Since 2003-2004 – for 7 years! – DCSS has NOT made AYP. In 2003-2004, 18 of 132 DCSS schools (14%) did NOT make AYP. Fast forward to 2009-2010. Fifty (50) of 133 DCSS schools (37.6%) did NOT meet AYP!

That’s a 23.6% increase in FAILING to meet basic requirements!

Since the Class of 2010 entered middle school – and earlier – DCSS students with learning needs have NOT gotten the help they needed from the Office of School "Improvement." These students have graduated further behind than when they started. Millions of dollars have been spent on friends-and-family and useless "programs" without ever addressing the real problem, straightforwardly and effectively.

So, that naturally raises the question: Why do Audria Berry and her Army still have jobs?

If you or I had failed so spectacularly at our jobs we would have been fired. Audria Berry and her Army got raises!

That’s right. Raises.

According to Open.Georgia.com, between 2008 and 2010 (the only documentation publicly available), Audria and her Army enjoyed an average raise of 7.5%.

Umm … Teachers? How much of a raise did you receive during those years?

Did Audria and her Army lose DCSS’s retirement contributions during that time period? Were Audria and her Army furloughed during that time period?

Five (5) of the fewer than 30 employees in Audria’s Army on the payroll in 2010 received more than $100,000 per year. Another 15 Audria’s Army employees received from more than $50,000 all the way up to just under $95,000. This includes a data entry clerk paid $50,532, an administrative assistant (1 of 5 administrative assistants in a department of fewer than 30 people) paid $51,561 and two accounting associates each paid more than $52,000.

This is criminal.

Quite frankly, these people should be paid no more than the students they so cavalierly ignored have a chance of earning in the "real" world.

Actually, they should be fired. Tuesday.

Adouma said...

I went ahead and did 2008 and 2009 since I have already been pulling DeKalb budget and salary data on my own (an interesting thing, btw). I calculated salary and travel expenditures together. I also included your 2010 data below just so it would be easier to see the trend.

Since I did not get similar staffing figures for the clerical and technology staff without knowing the categories you used, I left those alone.

Miscellaneous Activities:
2008 - $3,576,628 (219 persons)
2009 - $5,766,279 (219 persons)
2010 - $4,414,673 (145 persons)
*I asked Mr. Turk about this category and the expenditures after one meeting and he was slightly condescending, stating that the State used their own categories and were not accurate and I did not understand.

Finance:
2008 - $2,261,812 (29 persons)
2009 - $2,078,158 (25 persons)
2010 - $2,133,111 (27 persons)

Human Resources:
2008 - $2,612,951 (39 persons)
2009 - $2,449,983 (36 persons)
2010 - $2,483,990 (35 persons)

Security and School Safety:
2008 - $9,553,589 (222 persons)
2009 - $9,859,889 (216 persons)
2010 - $9,812,575 (213 persons)

Food Services:
2008 - $17,637,093 (993 persons)
2009 - $17,992,862 (983 persons)
2010 - $18,090,861 (1009 persons)

Transportation:
2008 - $33,109,066 (1272 persons)
2009 - $33,113,994 (1238 persons)
2010 - $31,926,958 (1198 persons)

I keep hoping that things will improve in DCSS, but as more time progresses, I really begin to wonder...

Sandy Spruill said...

@ Adouma

Send me your e-mail, please, and I will send you the spreadsheet I created for the 2010 payroll.

My address is:
shspruill at gmail dot com

The Miscellaneous Activities category is very, very questionable. There are several people in this category who have been paid what appears to be a full salary for several years.

themommy said...

*I asked Mr. Turk about this category and the expenditures after one meeting and he was slightly condescending, stating that the State used their own categories and were not accurate and I did not understand.

And this is a huge problem in the culture of DCSS. No one can tell our bureaucrats anything. Several years ago, the state was providing mentor principals to the lowest performing schools. DCSS declined their offer.

We know better than the state. Really?

Cerebration said...

Sandy, your comment at 7:24PM deserves a post of its own! I think I'll move it up for you!

Also, in addition to the school system declining help with principals, remember that they also declined help from the state (as we've been told by Lynn Jackson) in turning in the proper paperwork required to receive construction funding we had earned. This cost us literally tens of millions of dollars. Luckily, Fran Millar was able to recover $19 million of the lost dollars, but much of it will never be seen.

This was a fiduciary failure of the board, They have not changed their basic behavior of blanket endorsement of administrative initiatives, which will surely lead to more of the same in the future. If they do not hire a strong superintendent capable of unraveling the fraud, corruption and (mostly) incompetence that much of our school system administration has become, then they are only setting us up for many more years of pilferage.

Cerebration said...

Also - we need to share some additional data uncovered by another one of our bloggers. Sandy may have been very conservative in her numbers in this post.

===

First, check out this brochure on human resources -
Division of Human Resources Informational Directory

There are more people listed in the HR directory than Sandy has included in her data. For instance, Sandy may not have realized that Ron Ramsey's Dept of Internal Affairs is technically treated as part of HR.

2009's HR staff directory and the salaries coming from the state Salary and Travel audit total $3,591,165. With benefits (calculated at 25%) the total spent annually on these 61 Human Resources personnel is $4,988,956.

Technology Services - MIS
With some of the job titles in MIS are hard to know they are MIS employees since many different titles come under that department. Some of the MIS employees are in a different category in the audit, but they are most definitely under the MIS budget and perform MIS functions. Using this as the base, there are 316 employees costing $16,835,777. With 25% benefits, this comes to $21,044,731.

They do no installation or repair of the computers and interactive boards. That is subcontracted out to Dell. Each computer DCSS buys has the installation and repair built into the warranty. So a $450 computer may cost $800 simply because the installation and maintenance is subcontracted out to someone else. Out of $10,000,000 on new computers, as much as $4,000,000 is probably for Dell to do the Installation and Maintenance. $6,000,000 on Interactive boards and all of the labor was contracted out to Dell.

It's also useful to note that DCSS spends almost $10,000,000 a year on 217 security employees while APS spends around $3,500,000 for 219 security employees. Gwinnett spends spends around less than $2,000,000 on security.

Atlanta Media Guy said...

Sandy, you summed it up perfectly! It's criminal! This must stop, why are there no questions being asked? The sad thing they have just come out with their wish list and they expect us to vote for SPLOST IV, "for the kids".

I'll vote FOR SPLOST IV when Tyson, Turk, Moseley, Thompson, Mitchell-Mayfield, Ramsey, Clark, Beasley, Tucker, Berry and her Army are shown the door. I can not trust them to do the right thing with my tax dollars any longer.

SHS said...

@ ATL Media Guy

My position exactly. And this will be the first time in my 43 years of voting that I have ever voted against funding for schools.

I would add ALL of the BOE members to your list. They have knowingly enabled the wrongdoing in DCSS. They continue to do so.

As I documented in FOUND! DCSS Has The Money for Education Excellence -- and as Cerebration added to this morning -- DCSS has the money to educate our children well. But, they prefer to use it for a jobs program for friends-and-family with "education for the children" as their cover.

Not only should the folks you named be shown the door, I think they are all involved somehow with misappropriation and/or misuse of tax dollars.

I cannot and will not vote for SPLOST IV until there is a complete sea change in the leadership and upper administrators of DCSS and the BOE.

Atlanta Media Guy said...

1.2 Billion Dollars a year and they still want more! Give me, give me, give me is the only rallying cry of the criminals that are operating DCSS. Trust, Transparency, Honesty, Integrity, all traits a good leader needs to have yet the DCSS leaders lack them all!

Between Bishop Eddie having his misdeeds swept under the carpet, DCSS continuing their criminal enterprise and DeKalb County threatening higher taxes, I don't have much faith in our leadership to do the right thing. Like Womack, the DCSS leadership would rather take money and time from the teachers so they can continue to hire their inexperienced friends to jobs that have no return on investment for the taxpayers. Yet, they still want more! Get ready for the biggest campaign against SPLOST IV! EVAH!

teacher said...

I will not be voting for SPLOST IV, but as I looked at the projects that the board and district want to fund, it is very likely to pass. With new schools being promised, needed repairs to be done, and over crowding loosened, people from the neighborhoods who will benefit from SPLOST IV will definitely vote for it. Most people would rather their children go to a new school than a school that is well run and where their children receive a quality education. SPLOST IV will be like this past November where worthless incumbents were re-elected to the school board. People in DeKalb don't have what it takes to stop the DeKalb Machine.

Cerebration said...

I don't know - as I look at the plans - it kind of looks to me like all of the new construction will be in areas that we are closing schools now due to "under-enrollment". A majority of the growth is projected in "super cluster 1" and in fact, this is where the crowding is - but there doesn't appear to be money in SPLOST IV to build in these areas.

BTW - I think Chamblee HS is not a SPLOST project - it's one that is funded by a no interest federal grant. Is that right or wrong? I'm not sure about Chamblee.

I also see that Cross Keys is listed as receiving some additional facilities. Don't believe it. In fact, don't believe ANYTHING written or published about SPLOST IV. The only promise they board must adhere to is the actual text of the legal initiative as written for the voters in the voting booths.

Anon said...

The loans for CCHS have to be repaid. That is why they are considered a Splost project. If Splost doesn't pass, the monies still have to be repaid.

I don't think it will pass. There is a real anti tax attitude across the country. If it fails, they can try again one year later

Dekalbparent said...

I was surprised to read that they plan a brand new school to replace Fernbank. Where will it go - that areas is not low-cost real estate. Will it be in the area of some of the surrounding elementary schools (Laurel Ridge, McLendon, Briar Vista, Medlock)? Again, none of these schools have much land, and most of those areas are not really cheap land, either. In addition, Fernbank just got a new addition and reno a few years ago, paid by fundraising, not DCSS. Lots of questions.

I actually think there are not answers to these questions - they are just throwing out "new school" and they'll think about the details later... When I look at the list for previous SPLOSTs and look at what did not get done, and how the money went elsewhere instead, how in the world could I believe anything in this plan?

themommy said...

Traditionally, the SPLOST plans have always said "an new elementary school in such and such area" as oppossed to here is the address we are planning to build.

You can rest assured that if this school is built at least one more school will be closed.

dundevil said...

The plan is put together in a way to gather enough votes so that SPLOSTs 4, 5, 6 etc. will pass and that the job and pension machine can keep rolling along forever. Of course, the underlying theme is that "it is for the children". ROFL

Passionate... said...

Great article Sandy! Great comment Atlanta Media Guy! Dr. Brown began a work of "monies in the schoolhouse" versus "monies outside the schoolhouse." Dr. Lewis reversed concept. Families and friends started to experience the "good life." Unfortunately students started to experience "failure." It is time to reverse the "damage" and place monies back into the schoolhouse and "cut the fat" outside the schoolhouse. This blog is great to voice our opinions, we are in agreement. How do we change it to actions? Picket lines? Emails to BOE?

Daniel said...

Well looks like they need to find $15 Million or I may be looking for part time work so I can pay my bills. Makes it much harder to plan effective lessons and grade assignments if I am doing a part time job too.

teacher said...

Daniel, don't you see that those in charge don't care if you plan effective lessons. They aren't worried about the education that the children receive. Until teachers and parents realize this, change will not be able to happen.