Monday, February 16, 2009

Fulton County Schools Open and Transparent Decisions Regarding Budget Cuts and Adjustments

Communication to staff and members of the community is so important. I find as an employee of the Fulton County Schools that they are very transparent and open about what is going to happen due to the budget shortfalls. Because I am impressed with the communication I continue to receive, I decided to share these communications so you can see for yourself how open and transparent Fulton County Schools appears to be.

I have included information about the budget to share about Fulton County Schools. The Fulton County School Board approved and has posted in board docs information called Summary of Budget Cuts & Adjustments which include ‘Cost Avoidance” that are now confirmed for the 2009-10 school year. These include:

Salary adjustments-step for non-teaching staff frozen
Salary adjustments-step for teaching staff frozen
EIP Schools eliminated (held harmless)
Special education (maintain current staffing allotment)
K-8 language arts/reading textbook adoption frozen

In addition, the following communication was sent out to all principals to share. Please take a moment (actually about 12 minutes) to view this information at your leisure if you are interested in what is happening at other school systems in the area. DeKalb County is not the only school system which is making big cuts in their budget. All school systems in the state are affected.


Anonymous said...

Please notice the step freeze on teachers salaries and other employees. DeKalb County Schools is not the only school system that is making these decisions regarding step increases. The difference is that DeKalb County saw the writing on the wall and did their step freezes a year earlier than other school system. Is this because they saw the writing on the wall and acted quicker than other school systems?

Cerebration said...

The decision regarding teacher's salaries that really bothers me is the one the governor made (or is in the process of making) to renege on the 10% bonus for national certification. It will harm the trust people have in the government's promises and in the future, perhaps very few teachers will bother to acquire additional certification of any kind, knowing that the State can't be trusted to honor their word.

Anonymous said...

I am also bothered by this. I am not for sure that becoming a National Certified Teacher makes you a better teacher day in and out but to get the certification you do have to show good teaching skills.

Getting a National Certification as a teacher takes a great deal of time and work to achieve and this was money that was promised. Now if they no longer give this money to new applicates or only will allow the National Certified Teachers to get this money for one 7 year period then I think this would be more fair than just cutting off the money all at once to all of these teachers who have worked very hard to get this extra money.

They also could require these teachers to do extra work during the school year by mentoring new teachers and this also might allow them to continue to pay the money.

Anonymous said...

I also noticed that the Fulton County School Board has cut down staff at the county office again. They cleaned house a few years ago. This is something the DeKalb County School Board needs to do very badly. With approximately 24.99% of the personnel budget being spent on pesonnel which has no day to day contact with our children verses about 10-11% of the personnel budget in Gwinnett, Fulton, and the Decatur School System. DeKalb County School Board is not the employment service for DeKalb County and should make cuts that will benifit our children and citizens of Dekalb. They spend way too much time worried about individuals losing jobs. I understand this is tough but the citizens in Dekalb elected the school board to put the taxpayer's and the children's needs over the employees in Dekalb whose jobs need to be cut.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you realize this but if you are NBC, once your 7 years are up, you have to go to a title 1 school to keep your pay. The state changed the rules back in 02 or 03. I had just finished mine and lost everything when I moved from a Title 1 school to a non Title 1 school.

Anonymous said...

I knew it lasted just seven years unless you go back and do something over. I do not know the details of doing something over again to keep it, but I am unsure about losing it unless you go to a Title One School. Tell me if I am understand you correctly Anonymous. After seven years you lose you NBC unless you move from a Non-Title One School to a Title-One School. For instance, if I work at Lakeside High School which is a Non-Title One School and my seven years runs out I must move to a title one school in order to keep the raise and if I move from a Title-One School to a Non-Title One School then I lose it. If I am understanding then this really seems unfair.

I also am aware that if you are in a Title-One School then you can get all kinds of grant money to pay for graduate school. If you are in a Non-Title-One School then you pay for your own graduate school. There are many perks for teaching in a Title-One School for teachers.

Anonymous said...


I never made it to my first recert. After 7 years you have to either take a test or do something else to keep the certificate. I am not quite sure what that is. You can look it up I guess. Anytime during your 7 years, you move from a title 1 school to a non title 1 school you automatcially lose the extra pay now. Yes you are correct, title 1 schools get extra credit for tution that non title 1 gets. Let's put it this way, I lost my $2500, and I count that as a lesson learned the hard way.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry you lost that money. It does not seem fair. Of course I have learned the hard way many things are not fair but there is not much any of us can do to change these things.

Anonymous said...

Regarding DCSS budget cuts, I wrote most of the Board members about the need to first cut administrative staff and to defer very expensive capital improvements for things like administrative offices and a new transportation center. I included the data on administrative compensation expenses that you guys worked so hard to tally. The only Bd member who responded was McChesney who said he would look into it. I have not heard anything further from him or any other Bd member.

Did others share this information with Bd members and did you get ANY reaction?

It's kind of like Wall Street...are they deaf?

Anonymous said...

The Board of Ed. is not going to address the administrative bloat and holding back on office improvements unless they get a ton of letters, phone calls and e-mail. Even then, some board members will turn a blind eye to it.

The waste and bloat has propagated over decades. It's now the status quo and it's a whole lotta jobs, benefits and pensions. Spending on academics and the classroom should always come first. But when your superintendent has been with the system for over 30 years, why would he dramatically change the culture he helped create?

Anonymous said...

@Anon: "Did others share this information with Bd members and did you get ANY reaction?"

I am personally delivering this information to Womack and McChesney at tmow AM mtg.

The others I will get to when I can hand deliver the report and the message.

I remain cautiously pessimistic.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Kim- I keep hoping for a miracle. Or at least a tiny acknowlegement that this is a real problem for DeKalb County.

Ella Smith said...

I do know that Womack will fight to cut the fat. Womack is a business person who will want the school system run as a business. He will want to make decisions based on what is best for the children in Dekalb County. I am hopeful that McChesney will also. Don is a great guy. I like him very much.