It's no secret why Tom Bowen is pushing a salary increase for Ramona Tyson right now. They are uncertain of how BOE dynamics will change with the fiscally responsible Donna Edler and Nancy Jester coming on board. Tyson wants hers and wants it now, and Tom B. is a go along to get along guy.
Yes, Tyson has done a solid job under tough circumstances. But to ask for a $73,000 increase mid-school year is unfathomable. The Central Office still doesn't value teachers and school house personnel. It's still all about the Central Office (and their $2,000 chairs).
When the BOE finally stepped up and asked for cuts at the end of last school year, the Central Office did not look at its own bloated, rotting self. The BOE and Central Office underfund teacher pensions, and ignore so many direct school house staff and student needs. Nepostism, cronyism, etc. It spends tens of millions on worthless larks such as eSIS and America's Choice. The list is endless. They do not care about how they spend taxpayer money as long as the Tyson/Moseley/Ramsey/Turk/Berry/Wilson Central Office is the recipient.
Nothing has changed. Not one other major Central Office bureaucrat has been let go even though they were present during the Lewis/Pope alledged brazen acts of waste and greed. See no evil, hear no evil. Tom Bowen has proven himself as such a weak leader that the supt. and COO who reported to him and the board had no worry about engaging in activities that led to unprecedented RICO indictments.
It's hard to be surprised by anything from this Central Office and BOE. But Ramona Tyson and Tom Bowen have surprised us again. What the heck, BOE. Just give her the $73k. It's only the salary of one teacher plus a para pro.
Board to vote on $73,000 raise for DeKalb superintendent
DeKalb County’s interim superintendent is asking for a 44 percent raise -- from $165,000 to $238,000 a year.
The county school board will vote today on increasing Ramona Tyson’s salary, board chairman Tom Bowen told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
When Tyson, the deputy chief superintendent of business operations, was named interim superintendent in February, she said she didn’t want an increase in salary. Tyson said she anticipated handling school operations briefly while then-Superintendent Crawford Lewis took a leave of absence. Ten months later, however, Lewis has been terminated and indicted on charges of running a criminal enterprise at the school system, and Tyson is still in the job.
“I’m certain Chairman Tom Bowen and the board of education did not expect for me to serve as interim superintendent for this length of time, or to encounter the difficult issues the district has had to confront over the last year,” Tyson said in a written statement to the AJC. “I am appreciative of the board for recognizing my efforts with a proposal for compensation that is commensurate with the hard work.”
Bowen said Tyson requested the raise during recent negotiations on a contract extension.
The board’s vote on the salary increase comes as the district prepares to make drastic budget cuts. Board member H. Paul Womack, chairman of the budget committee, previously announced the district is facing an anticipated $50 million shortfall in next year’s budget.
It could be even worse because of further declines in county property tax revenue.
Last year, dozens of teachers and school employees protested after the board gave Lewis a $15,000 raise, bumping his salary from $240,000 to $255,000. The board on Friday will consider whether to put Tyson's salary on par with what Lewis made before the controversial raise, Bowen said.
David Montané, chairman of the Friends of DeKalb Schools, said the school system is not in a position to give out such raises.
“I’m definitely concerned about that,” said Montané, who also is vice chairman of the Libertarian Party of DeKalb. “When there are people getting laid off all over the place in the private sector, and people are getting demoted or their pay cut, this is no time for raising the salaries of public servants.”
Expenditures like that are one of the reasons the Friends of DeKalb Schools, a group of concerned residents auditing the district’s finances, is pushing to have the schools’ check registry posted online, Montané said. The group plans to ask the board to vote on it early next year.
Bowen said Thursday that he believes Tyson has earned the raise.
“DeKalb is one of the largest and most complex school systems in Georgia,” he told the AJC. “The superintendent did not only take the leadership of the district under a difficult time but has moved it forward through the SACS inquiry, is addressing school consolidation, and is changing the culture and improving the public view of the district.”
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is scheduled to visit early next year to review the district’s accreditation.
Tyson has said she has no interest in the permanent position, but will stay on as interim as long as she is needed.
“We have tough issues ahead of us, including a visit by SACS and the consolidation and redistricting of our schools, and I’m prepared to work as long and hard as possible to get the job done,” Tyson said Thursday.
In addition to the raise, the board will also vote Friday on extending Tyson’s interim superintendent contract until this summer.
The school board is conducting a national search for a new superintendent with the goal of putting a new chief in place by July 1, Bowen said.
The board will also discuss the salary range and desired qualifications for the superintendent candidates on Friday.