Click here to read the minutes in-depth. Below are some highlights that caught my eye:
It appears that the meeting started late due to an executive session beforehand. Then Ramona Tyson proposed a "not to exceed" 6.25% pay cut (by furloughs or salary reduction). Paul Womack questioned the limitation of the proposal - he has already stated publicly that the shortages faced by the system will increase significantly next year. We need flexibility in cutting costs quickly. There was also some confusion as to which proposal they were considering - there may have been two on the table - one at 5% and on at 6.25%.
I will quote the notes on what Redovian said - my favorite part:
Redovian: I can’t vote for anything to take away money for the teachers and counselors if we don’t give them anything back; we need to take away all the paperwork, reports, etc and let them teach. We have to take the load off of them and then they might be more supportive of the cuts, if assured they would have less paperwork. If we are increasing class sizes, reducing staff, we can’t take anything more from the teachers and counselors w/out reducing paperwork. I don’t want to see a counselor having to make a choice between helping a child and filling out district paperwork; kids are more important than papers.
McChesney (addressing Redovian’s comments): much of the paperwork is Federal related, no child left behind, etc.
Redovian: yes, much is, but we keep adding and adding to it; there is no coordination in the central office; no one is asking why and where is it going; there is lots of duplication. eSIS is not the teachers’ fault, but they are paying for it; will support the motion but will not vote on it in May if the other admin/paperwork cuts are not also included.
There was conversation about the Race to the Top federal dollars about to be granted to Georgia. I hope the board is not banking on these funds. I attended a federal DOE meeting last month (and wrote about it in the comments here) where the methodology for acquiring funds was explained. Brad Bryant, our state board rep pretty much stated that DeKalb is not poised to receive what is called "Tier 1" funding. Apparently, there are many rural schools in the state with bigger problems and worse test scores than DeKalb. Our DeKalb BOE may wish to discuss the RTTT funding with Brad Bryant.
To download the March 5 FY2011 Budget Planning Powerpoint, go to this link at the DeKalb Parent blog. There is very detailed information on exactly where the cuts are proposed. Nice job, Ramona! There are additional budget plans and detailed proposals available here and approved budgets available here at the Superintendent's website.
Thanks so much, DeKalb Parent Team!