Tuesday, November 22, 2011

School Budget "Hold 'Em"

One of our regular contributors came across this very interesting school budgeting game.

From the producer:

Are we gambling with our children's education?

Education funding decisions should never be left to chance.School Budget Hold 'em is more than a game...it's an interactive exploration of the thoughtful trade-offs school administrators have to make in these challenging budget times.
Playing the right cards can create lasting improvement — transforming your district to make the most of every budget dollar, while increasing student success.
Click here for more.

I wonder if our board would consider playing a few rounds on their new iPads? We could offer prizes...


Anonymous said...

What a great game. Saddly those on the board care little about the kids and so much more about the salaries of friends and family members.

Cynical in Chamblee said...

This is too complicated for all of the "Lewis Time" administrators that are still in their cushy, highly paid decision making positions. And, way to complicated for the majority of the members of the Board. Playing this game live on PDS-TV could result in a high level of stress, embarrassment, and public humiliation. However, knowing DeKalb as I do, if you provide door prizes and refreshments--they will come early and stay late!

Atlanta Media Guy said...

Cynical, I like your idea providing door prizes. Some Cunningham pizza along with a lawyer or two, at our expense, then maybe the BOE would be able to complete the game.

Better yet let's have Lanier Islands or even better, Reynolds Plantation host the weekend long event.

Bring your poker faces boys and girls!

Anonymous said...


I know that this is off of the subject but the AJC has listed the new classes for sports. There is now a 6 A Class. The largest school in that division has over 2,700 students. According to the AJC, Druid Hills must be the largest High School in the DCSS. It is also listed in that division.
I want my children to have a well-rounded school life. Grades and true learning comes first. They are required to read and study. But, I also know that sports are also important. I ran track and their dad also ran track and played football. We still exercise and at times enter races as a family.
A 1,400 student school being in the same division as a 2700 student school does not seem to make much sense.
I am sorry. I am the only one at home right now. I am blessed. My family is safe and I am grateful for the holidays. I love this time of year.
I needed a place to vent and share this information. Thank you for being here.
Everyone have a safe and blessed holiday.
PS. I still do not like the new classifications.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's all of the AYP transfer students in the Druid Hills annex that have pushed it into the largest category. I don't remember what grade levels Druid Hills accepted--I hope it included some upper classmen, as juniors and seniors are usually those who play most at the varsity level.

Anonymous said...

This may be slightly off topic, but, can someone tell me how to find out the per diem set by the county for teachers?

Anonymous said...

What per diem for teachers?

Paula Caldarella said...

Druid Hills received over 300 transfer studentss - the majority in 9th Grade. However if past experience with these annexes (Chamblee ended up with less than 100 at their "annex" and they wre moved to the main campus) is any indication, many students return to their home school. Here is a chart that shows the breakdown by receiving school.


Cerebration said...

BTW - With 1809 students, Druid Hills is not the largest DCSS school -- it's Lakeside with 1862. Next comes Tucker with 1629, Arabia with 1566, Miller Grove with 1563, SW DeKalb with 1526, MLK and Dunwoody each with 1510, Stephenson with 1491, HENDERSON MIDDLE with 1475 and Chamblee HS with 1372. (Chamblee lost about 200 students this year, probably due to the fact that they're all in trailers due to construction.) They are followed closely by Peachtree - another middle school! Then Tucker MS, Clarkston HS, Columbia HS...

Cerebration said...

Tangentially, this is from Yahoo News: Good points to keep in mind when cleaning 'DCSD' house (and board)...

Here are three types of bosses that should be fired, and sooner rather than later:

The Smartest Guy in the Room

This is the guy who has all the answers and can never, ever be wrong. He doesn't just breathe his own fumes or drink his own Kool-Aid, he makes and mass-markets it, as well. He wants everyone to agree with his grandiose vision of how things should be and makes sure of that by surrounding himself with yes-men and women and ruthlessly beating down dissenting views.

The reason these people fail is they're blinded by the power of their own vision and therefore lack objectivity. They tend to be rigid and inflexible in their thinking and unwilling to see what's really happening until it's too late. Unfortunately, markets don't behave according to anyone's plan. They're populated by competitors and customers with free will and have a funny way of determining their own outcome.

It's All About Me

Some people never grow up but get stuck in one phase or another of human development. They look just like normal adults, but inside, they're petulant, narcissistic children with oversized egos. Since their overriding goal is to get attention, to be adulated and worshipped by all, they're often charismatic and charming, almost chameleon-like in the way they appeal to all sorts of constituents. And their positions and strategies can flip and flop from one day to the next based on one data point, meeting, or conversation.

While a healthy ego is necessary and good for leaders, business isn't really about any particular individual. It's about meeting customer needs, achieving long-term growth and success for shareholders and employees, and being passionate about your products and services. People who think free market capitalism is about selfish greed couldn't be more wrong. Every company, board, CEO, executive team, serves its stakeholders and constituents. If it doesn't, it'll fail.

The Has-Been

We may as well call him by his name, Peter, because this person is more or less defined by the Peter Principle. Peter was once effective and successful; at least it appeared that way. But the situation had a narrow set of boundaries and variables and now, things have changed and Peter is out of his depth, beyond his level of competency.

Perhaps he was promoted, the company grew, the market changed, or he's now in a new position in a new company. Regardless of the circumstances, Peter is no longer effective and his inability to see or believe it renders him toxic to the organization. For whatever reason, Peter lacks the ability to grow, scale, or adapt. And since he's still in a position of power and authority, he's not just an old relic, but a heavy anchor around the company's neck.
Those are the top three types of bosses I think should be fired. Got one to add to the list?

Anonymous said...

@ 6:36. The new athletic classifications are based on the numbers of students in grades 9 through 11 (not 12th). However, I am surprised that Lakeside is not with Druid Hills. According to the October 18 count, Lakeside has 1,892 students and Druid Hills has 1,809 students (counting annex).

The constantly rotating AYP transfer students tend to skew the numbers in DeKalb which is unfortunate.

Cerebration said...

Also, Lakeside's construction project added 28 new classrooms, plus an auditorium with the additional 8 classrooms under it. That will certainly increase Lakeside's capacity for the future - no need for an "annex" here.

Cerebration said...

A budget and audit committee meeting is coming up. Those of you interested should attend.


(Citizen Comments are held at the end of the meeting)

The DeKalb Board of Education Committee on Budget, Finance & Facilities will hold a meeting on Monday, November 28, 2011 at 9:00am in the Cabinet Room at the DeKalb County School System's Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain.

Meeting information can be accessed online by going to: www.dekalb.k12.ga.us, click on Leadership, eBoard Home Page, then click on the date for the meeting agenda\information.

Dr. Eugene Walker,
Chair Budget, Audit, Finance & Facilities Committee

(This info is also available if you click "Mark Your Calendar" on the right side panel of the home page of this blog.)

Paula Caldarella said...

Let's hope that Georgia's ESEA Flexibility plan is approved. If so, there will be no more "school choice transfers" - unless of course Congress adds that back if they ever get around to reauthorizing ESEA.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever wondered about the AJC and what they chose to report?

I found an interesting article about election fraud in Georgia on "The Drudge Report" today!


or you can go directly to WALB in Albany.


Election officials and School board members were caught stuffing the ballot box with erroneous absentee ballots!

Have you looked at the amount of absentee ballots that voted for current members of the DeKalb's School Board?

I seem to remember a very LARGE amount of absentee ballots in support for some members of our current school board!

Do you think the DeKalb County DA would EVER investigate?

Anonymous said...


I posted the information about the new classifications. I was confused at the numbers that were used to make those determinations. Even if the classifications are based on the 9th grade, the numbers listed in the paper would be incorrect. I think that they have listed the total school numbers. For example, the first school listed has over 2,700 students. That cannot be just the
9th grade.
How did Lakeside and Druid Hills get placed in two different classifications?
I am not trying to cause a problem. I am just trying to understand the process.

Anonymous said...

Per diem rates vary on where you are going. Meals and per diem are not allowed for travel in the Atlanta Metro area. To find per diem go to http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/21287

Anonymous said...

@Anon 12:44 PM Those are the rates for the peons. DeKalb County Commissioners are not limited. Commissioner Sutton had a $500 hotel room in DC and $375 in excess baggage.
CEO takes his "aide" to Portland OR and spends $5,300. Nothing too good for the ruling class.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the DeKalb CEO, why is DeKalb County advertising on WSB radio about putting grease down sewer lines? Would a local campaign with inserts with water bills and recruiting apartment rental offices in spreading the word more effective and cost effective?

Or is the point of these taxpayer subsidized advertisements to give Burrell Ellis more exposure as he seeks to advance his political career?

Anyone know the cost of these advertisements?

Anonymous said...

@ anon 12:44pm. Wow! As suspected. Some of the coaches and teachers are ripping off the boosters programs in certain schools. Boosters pays the travel/lodging expenses when outside the metro area and the cost did seem a bit high.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 11;39. The sports classifications are based on grades 9 through 11, not just 9th grade.

Anonymous said...

Paul Womack won on absentee ballots ... the difference in the race was about 225 votes and the absentee ballot vote was substantial.