It appears that the declining property values in DeKalb have impacted the school system budget more than anticipated. So, without even discussing other options*, our board seems to be following the superintendent's recommendation to now have four furlough days for 10 and 11 months employees and 7 days for 12 month employees. I can't stress enough that there was ZERO discussion from any board member besides Sarah Copelin-Woods about any alternatives.
*-- Sarah Copelin-Woods did make inquiries about consultants and programs and asking why these aren't being cut since test scores keep dropping. She was first told that was all federal dollars, and when she wouldn't back down, was promised a list of all programs and consultants and funding sources. She really was the ONLY ONE who pushed for alternative cuts. She was clearly angry and discouraged. Of course, she went a bit off topic, trying to make her points about not closing schools.)
Several board members repeatedly said that 90 percent of the expenses in DCSS are salaries and benefits. And that there isn't enough in the remaining 10 percent to cut. Huh? Figuring a 750 million dollar budget, wouldn't that be about 75 million to look at for 15 million. (Each furlough day for ten month teachers saves about 3.2 million dollars. How about a combination of cuts?)
Dr. Walker says that Marcus Turk is one of the top people in his field in the country. (SCW isn't quite as sure he is the best.)
To see the meeting for yourself, go here:
then click on video (June 1st)
The remainder of the meeting is about SPLOST.