I am not sure new DeKalb school chief Cheryl Atkinson has to hire an outside firm to audit district payroll and priorities to figure out if district resources are aligned with goals. She could loose a team of teachers on the juggernaut and probably get all the detail she needs.
Here is one such researcher’s/teacher’s effort, sent to me to share with the blog:
According to Open.Georgia.gov, the DeKalb County school district employs 208 secretaries, 11 business service secretaries, 16 transportation secretaries, 44 general administration secretaries, 49 information services clerks, and 56 central support clerks.
From what I can tell, these 384 secretaries or clerks do not work in school buildings since DeKalb also employs 236 school secretaries/clerks.
Gwinnett County, with 161,000 students compared to DeKalb’s 98,688, employs 84 business service clerks, 46 transportation secretaries/clerks, 82 central support clerks, 165 data clerks, and five general administration secretaries.
So it appears that Gwinnett County employs two fewer secretaries or clerks even though it educates 62,000 more students than DeKalb.
DeKalb also employs 20 transportation directors, of which five make between $107,064 and $115,308 and three of whom earn at least $90,000. Gwinnett employs only one transportation director who earns $116,129. DeKalb employs 38 mechanics; Gwinnett employs 40.
So, it would seem that there is one director for every two mechanics working for DeKalb County Schools. By the way, the maximum salary a Ph.D-holding teacher with 26 years-experience will earn is $80,798.
I’m one of the more than 1,434 teachers in grades 9-12. I prepare lessons for three different classes, photocopy materials, grade assignments, and enter grades for more than 150 students. I also conference with students, prepare make-up work for absent students, revise lessons to accommodate the needs of individual students, e-mail or telephone parents, meet with parents, attend departmental and faculty meetings, and attend professional development sessions.
In the past few years, my colleagues and I have been forced to adapt to larger classes, more responsibilities, stagnant or reduced salaries, and furlough days. In the meantime, other DeKalb employees have profited. One business service secretary who earned $54,628 in 2008 received a $16,000 salary increase to earn $71,251 in 2010. A transportation director earning $88,000 in 2008 also received a generous $21,000 salary increase by 2009.
How, exactly, do all these secretaries/clerks and transportation directors – to cite only two examples of DeKalb’s business enterprise — help achieve the school system’s purported intent to “narrow the achievement gap,” while also “increasing rigor and academic achievement” and “ensuring fiscal responsibility”?
All of this misapplied money and manpower should benefit schools and students, not an administrative superstructure.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog