Arne Duncan: Schools using Title 1 funds to close budget gaps rather than achievement gaps

I participated in a media call Wednesday where U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan outlined a new report by his agency that showed many schools serving low-income students are being shortchanged because districts are inequitably distributing their state and local funds.On the call, Duncan said too many districts were using their federal Title 1 funds to close budget gaps, rather than achievement gaps.

(Title 1 is a federal program that provides supplemental funds to schools with the highest concentrations of poor kids.)

“Resources by themselves never equate to achievement,” Duncan said. “But when you have disadvantaged children, you want to make sure they have a chance to get a great education. For children coming from at-risk neighborhoods or homes, it takes more resources, not less. Too many disadvantaged children living below the poverty line are getting shortchanged.”

Here is the official release from the DOE:

The analysis of new data on 2008-09 school-level expenditures shows that many high-poverty schools receive less than their fair share of state and local funding, leaving students in high-poverty schools with fewer resources than schools attended by their wealthier peers.

The data reveal that more than 40 percent of schools that receive federal Title I money to serve disadvantaged students spent less state and local money on teachers and other personnel than schools that don’t receive Title I money at the same grade level in the same district.

“Educators across the country understand that low-income students need extra support and resources to succeed, but in far too many places policies for assigning teachers and allocating resources are perpetuating the problem rather than solving it,” said Duncan. “The good news in this report is that it is feasible for districts to address this problem and it will have a significant impact on educational opportunities for our nation’s poorest children.”

In a policy brief that accompanies the report, a department analysis found that providing low-income schools with comparable spending would cost as little as 1 percent of the average district’s total spending. The analysis also found that extra resources would make a big impact by adding between 4 percent and 15 percent to the budget of schools serving high numbers of students who live in poverty.

The Title I program is designed to provide extra resources to high-poverty schools to help them meet the greater challenges of educating at-risk students. The law includes a requirement that districts ensure that Title I schools receive “comparability of services” from state and local funds, so that federal funds can serve their intended purpose of supplementing equitable state and local funding.

In recent years a growing number of researchers, education advocates, and legislators have highlighted that by not requiring districts to consider actual school-level expenditures in calculating “comparability of services,” the existing comparability requirement doesn’t address fundamental spending inequities within districts. Instead, districts can show comparability in a number of easier ways, such as by using a districtwide salary schedule. This masks the fact that schools serving disadvantaged students often have less experienced teachers who are paid less. It also undermines the purpose of Title I funding, as districts can use federal funds to fill state and local funding gaps instead of providing additional services to students in poverty.

For the study, Education Department researchers analyzed new school-level spending and teacher salary data submitted by more than 13,000 school districts as required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. This school-level expenditure data was made available for the first time ever in this data collection.

Using the data from the ARRA collection, Department staff analyzed the impact and feasibility of making this change to Title I comparability. That policy brief finds that:

–Fixing the comparability provision is feasible. As many as 28 percent of Title I districts would be out of compliance with reformed comparability provisions. But compliance for those districts is not as costly as some might think – fixing it would cost only 1 percent to 4 percent of their total school-level expenditures on average.

–Fixing the comparability provision would have a large impact. The benefit to low-spending Title I schools would be significant, as their expenditures would increase by 4 percent to 15 percent. And the low-spending schools that would benefit have much higher poverty rates than other schools in their districts.

Russlynn Ali, assistant secretary for civil rights, said that this analysis shows that closing the comparability loophole is within reach and would provide meaningful help to low-income schools.

“Transparency on resource allocation within school districts is critical to ensuring every child has access to the same educational opportunities. These new data highlight that the Title I comparability provision is broken and has failed to provide access to equitable resources, and that it is possible to fix it.”

Under President Obama’s Blueprint for Reform of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Title I comparability provision would be revised to ensure that state and local funding levels are distributed equitably between Title I and non-Title I schools. Language to reform Title I comparability is also included in the bill to reauthorize ESEA that the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee passed last month.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

58 comments Add your comment

Ron

December 1st, 2011
6:19 am

What is the effect in Georgia, or was it broken down by state? Either way, this feels like yet another way to bash our public schools. Keep adding more distrust and it’ll be dismantled eventually.

catlady

December 1st, 2011
6:23 am

Hey, Arne, while you are at it, look at the way some districts (mis) use ESOL funds, too.

yes i am worried

December 1st, 2011
6:42 am

Arne Duncan needs to read the piece by J. Tom Morgan’s mom. That small percentage of money isn’t going to fix what ails those kids.

[...] Arne Duncan: Schools using Title 1 funds to close budget gaps rather than achievement gaps | Get Sc… [...]

Joy in Teaching

December 1st, 2011
7:36 am

I teach in a Title I school. It would be nice if I just had enough paper for copies and didn’t have to buy my own.

Anonmom

December 1st, 2011
7:44 am

It also doesn’t address the fraud in qualifying for Title 1 in the first place… there are posts on DSW and I’ve been looking at some things in NJ (and one report from Albany, GA) about fraud in qualifying for free and reduced lunch, which then feeds into Title 1 — it can be as high as 33% of those qualifying –it’s costing tax payers a lot of money and isn’t really going to the kids — particularly in the way that the funds have been spent in DCSS (this may be changing based on this weeks developments with the departure of Ms.Berry) but we really do need audits for qualifying for free and reduced lunch, penalties for misrepresenting that you qualify, an asset component to qualifying (I know folks who were retired with significant assets who qualified because they had no income) and some checks and balances for how the funds are actually spent. This is another example of good intentions and big government really gone awry.

say what?

December 1st, 2011
7:50 am

jOY must not work in DCSS. When the reminder comes from Title I that the deadline to spend money is weeks away, you would see the Staples and Office Depot truck coming to deliver paper daily.

This is an opportunity for all schools to re-evaluate what resources are necessary to succeed. I believe the new DCSS superintendent wants to put an IPAD in every child’s hand (I think 1 per hh address would be fine) then use the title I funds to support the first phase of her IPAD program. In this first phase of bringing technology to title I families, she could evaluate the return on the investment by tracking test scores of the kids in the hh, by seeing if there is a high incidence of lost/stolen technology. Classes should be offered to teh adults in the hh prior to issuing the IPAD, and said class should be several sessions, not just one for 1.5 hours. Classes should be offered continuously with families so that the families are learning the same things kids are learning. It could do done as you reallign the school systems mission and vision, and new direction of the title I department.
Great information to consider.

sloboffthestreet

December 1st, 2011
7:59 am

I don’t understand why teachers hate Arnie Duncan. Here is a man who has been involved in minority education since he was a child. He was born into minority education. He has seen what the battlefield looks like, the effects of programs implemented and is attempting to bring a new vision of teaching children into the classroom. Perhaps even one that may work. I would hope even people with their 3 digit IQ realize the system is failing at present and very few bring anything that resembles a corrective solution to public education today. The first comment by Ron is correct. If educators do not find a way to pass very basic knowledge on to their students so they can survive and earn enough money to support the public education system thru the payment of taxes then it most likley will be dismanteled, but not by distrust. It will come down to basic economics. Nothing more.

I understand why the NEA is against everything he says simply because charter schools will not and cannot provide the compensation and benefits their members now enjoy in the current public education setting. Also the fact that if districts spent federal dollars as they were intended to be spent there would be a financial vacuum in many districts that would directly affect salary and benefits. Could it be that every education union and association are just like corporations with their only goal in mind being to provide a profit to their shareholders {Teachers in this case}? Place your answer here,,,,,,

lyncoln

December 1st, 2011
8:02 am

Interesting report. I don’t like the statistics when they lump all schools together in the analysis because the number of elementary schools overwhelms the number of middle and high schools in the data set and seems to skew the results.

Like Exhibit 7; in districts with a Title 1 high school and a non-Title 1 high school. 61% of those districts spent more money at the Title 1 high school on personnel than at the non-Title 1, but if you look at all types of schools together in the same chart, only 33% of Title 1 schools spend more on personnel because the elementary school numbers overwhelm the high school numbers.

I’m interested in knowing more about Exhibits 14 and 15 that have breakdowns on costs of just teachers between the categories. I would love to see deeper analysis if they could also show experience levels of teachers (number of years teaching) in the Title 1 vs non-Title 1 schools and then relate that to if a school spends more or less on teachers.

Like, Title 1 schools have X% of teachers with 1-3 years of experience vs. non-Title 1 schools have Y% of teachers with 1-3 years experience and so on. If you controlled for years of experience of the teachers at Title 1 vs. non-Title 1, would the disparity in teacher expenditures be changed? That is, is the reason non-Title 1 schools have higher teacher spending because they have more experienced teachers who make higher salaries than a Title 1 school?

Judge Smails

December 1st, 2011
8:32 am

Well, the world needs ditch diggers, too.

williebkind

December 1st, 2011
8:56 am

Judge Smails

December 1st, 2011
8:32 am
My sentiments exactly! These future workers will help illiminate illegal immigrants by taking those jobs. However, this is another example of government trying to cure a problem that is created at the base level–the home. Can we make the parents of the kids take more responisblity and yes pay more to get their kids caught up. We see how difficult and expensive socialism has become.

carlosgvv

December 1st, 2011
9:04 am

The rich get the best doctors, lawyers, dentists, cars, houses and even highway lanes. So, why shouldn’t they get the best public schools? It’s the American way.

bessbear

December 1st, 2011
9:04 am

Ditto on Anonmom’s comments. Why doesn’t anyone seem to be talking about the issue of how schools qualify for the Title 1? There seems to be no accountability in verifying who qualifies for the free/reduced lunch (and breakfast) program. And from today’s blog, I’m wondering if the truly deserving schools of Title 1 money is losing money to schools who really shouldn’t qualify. In Gwinnett county, 54% of students qualify. Even in these tough economic times, that can’t be accurate. I wonder what the other counties stats are.

MiltonMan

December 1st, 2011
9:14 am

In Georgia, don’t we spend more per pupil in the crappy APS than any other district???

Yes let’s just keep throwing money to “resolve” this issue.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

December 1st, 2011
9:19 am

The phone number of the USDOE’s Office of the Inspector General is:

1-800-MIS-USED.

Folks, how much of the “well-intentioned” Title I monies finance educrats’ lavish lifestyles and not effective educational programming for poor and minority kids? A lot, I figure.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

December 1st, 2011
9:21 am

(S)ots,

Most are self-serving. But I’d submit that MACE and GEE are not.

Logic 88

December 1st, 2011
9:21 am

Just another reason for vouchers.

SoGAVet

December 1st, 2011
9:23 am

Arne was a Superintendent – and he’s amazed folks aren’t using federal dollars like they were intended!?!

What does he think is going on with Race-to-the-Bottom money?!? Wake up and listen to the teachers for goodness sake.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

December 1st, 2011
9:30 am

“Resources by themselves never equate to achievement,” Duncan said. “But when you have disadvantaged children, you want to make sure they have a chance to get a great education. For children coming from at-risk neighborhoods or homes, it takes more resources, not less. Too many disadvantaged children living below the poverty line are getting shortchanged.”

We are all short changed with Arne Duncan in charge.

sloboffthestreet

December 1st, 2011
9:43 am

It appears the Duncan family has made a commitment that follows what they believe no matter what anyone says.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sue_Duncan_Children%27s_Center

sloboffthestreet

December 1st, 2011
9:48 am

Perhaps what we really need are more people like Sue Duncan?

http://www.sueduncanchildrenscenter.org/

SoGAVet

December 1st, 2011
9:58 am

Laura Bush is a super-nice lady, too. That doesn’t mean we needed her husband forcing bad education policy on us.

catlady

December 1st, 2011
10:12 am

Our county is 76% free lunch. They do a very limited amount of “verification” on parental claims of income. It would be nice to do a few systems at 100% verification of those who claim low income, just to see if the “urban legend” about free lunch and fancy SUVs is true.

Fred in DeKalb

December 1st, 2011
10:15 am

Anonmom, there is a point in your comment. Yes, some of those at DSW discussed the lack of a tangible return on investment of Title 1 funds with respect to student performance however they focused their wrath on a ‘compliance officer’ that merely followed mandates as prescribed by this federal program. They did not consider how ‘Title 1′ status was considered, who determines it, and who benefits. The short answers to above are the number of free and reduced lunch students at a school., the food and nutrition departments manage that, and the USDA benefits from this.

Perhaps 1-2% of free and reduced lunch applications are audited for accuracy so this may be the reason why many are encouraged to fill them out. Farmers and conglomerates are some of the largest recipients of subsidiaries and tax breaks in the country. There are many elected officials who are protective of this constituency. This is not a secret. So blaming a Title 1 compliance officer in DeKalb is not the cause of the ills with this program.

If Arne Duncan wants Title 1 to have a greater impact on those who it is supposed to help,he would recommend more stringent audits of the free and reduced lunch program, provide more targeted assistance in the form of additional classroom teachers and offer PK3 services as early learning initiatives to areas with high poverty rates. Maybe census data combined with tax returns could be used over free and reduced applications. All of this will be moot if there is not greater accountability from parents whose children receive the services.

Dekalb Taxpayer

December 1st, 2011
10:24 am

One major concern is that Title 1 funds do not follow the student. So when a student transfers out of a school that has not made AYP (only Title 1 schools offer transfers), the extra funds for that student go away. Since many of these students who transfer are from a low income family and are not on grade level, the burden on the receiving school is greater while any extra funding goes away.

Gifted funding on the other hand follows the student. In DCSS schools with lots of gifted students, they end up with more teachers and a lower pupil teacher ratio than schools with low performing students. It’s ironic that in DeKalb, schools with high numbers of gifted students get extra teachers while schools with high numbers of struggling students get extra non-teaching personnel.

Crawford Lewis brought almost all Title 1 and federal funding decisions back to the Central Office under the Office of School Improvement. He and the head of the Office of School Improvement hired many, many highly paid non-teaching personnel and used tens of millions of Title 1 dollars to purchase learning programs that promote a one size fits all learning approach. No one held Lewis or the Office of School Improvement or the department it reported to (Office of Teaching and Learnng) accountable for student progress even as they spent the funds and set the policies, procedures and processes for teachers and students. As a consequence, DeKalb had the lowest rate of Title 1 schools in the metro area making adequate yearly progress (20%) for 2010-11.

Hopefully, Dr. Atkinson will be asking for accountability data before she continues the millions in federal funding going in the same direction it has for the past 6 years.

DeKalb received close to $500,000,000 (yes half a billion dollars) in federal funding in the last 6 years. Title 1 accounted for a substantial part of this. But the remainder was supposed to improve the achievement of struggling students. And where do you those find struggling students – mainly in Title 1 schools.

Teachers, parents and school administrators need to be making more of the decisions on the educational needs of their particular school. One size never fits all. Money needs to be spent on direct instruction for students. DeKalb has way too many non-teaching personnel funded with Title 1 funds (100+ coaches with average salary and benefits of close to $100,000 a year per Coach) and scores of coordinators paid $100,000+ a year. Our Parent Centers have more personnel and higher pay than demographically similar systems while DCSS achievement has declined in relation to those systems. Adding in scripted learning programs like America’s Choice along with the salaries of the non-teaching personnel and there is very little left over for any personnel who would directly interact with students who are struggling with math and/or reading and little left for scarce instructional equipment and supplies.

The entire Title 1 mindset needs to be changed in DeKalb.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

December 1st, 2011
10:59 am

“Our county is 76% free lunch. They do a very limited amount of “verification” on parental claims of income. It would be nice to do a few systems at 100% verification of those who claim low income, just to see if the “urban legend” about free lunch and fancy SUVs is true.”

WOW…lots of morally bankrupt, shameless individuals.

Beverly Fraud

December 1st, 2011
11:03 am

You know, when you come down to Atlanta TWICE for the express purpose of propping up Beverly Hall, you kind of sacrifice your moral indignation card, don’t you?

Anonmom

December 1st, 2011
11:07 am

the guy

December 1st, 2011
11:34 am

Instead of throwing more money at the lowest common denominator, why not pour some money into our top achievers and start generating a more competitive work force in the global economy.

There will always be a demand for un-educated labor in the form of manual labor.

yuzeyurbrane

December 1st, 2011
11:37 am

Basically, the same story as all those state gas tax funds supposed to go to transportation which ended up in General Fund. And it is what they have been doing indirectly with Lottery funds. The legally required 35% has not gone to HOPE in years. And multi-billion cuts to education budgets have been shifted to more tax cuts for wealthy including subsidies for parochial schools. Public college budget shortfalls have been covered by huge tuition and “fee” increases, all of which are limiting access to higher education for the middle class. It would be a good expose’ for the AJC to look at what actually happens to all special use fees across the board.

sloboffthestreet

December 1st, 2011
11:41 am

@ SoGAVet,

OK, so you don’t like the Bush NCLB? So with Georgia at the bottom of the pile in 2001 and many other states not far behind graduating @ 50% of their students what would you have done to prod the locals along to the road of student success? NOTHING?

Now we have a Democrat in office bringing with him his man from Chicago and you don’t care for that either? So someone out there please just fix this mess so children can move into the workforce and live a productive life. It’s true, we do need ditch diggers, but first we need ditches that need to be dug and we need people who can understand the job at hand and perform it properly. Most ditches are dug by machines these days and it takes a certain amount of knowledge, training and skill to perform even what some may consider a simple task.

Free and reduced price lunches? If you have 2 parents that earn minimum wage and they both work a 40 hour week, 52 weeks a year with 2 children, they qualify for reduced price lunches. There are many people who work full time that earn minimum wage. After all, they attended Georgia Public Schools, didn’t they? McDonalds Much?

See, Georgia teachers average salary per 190 days worked, $53,000 plus benefits. Many of the students they taught and mentored earn $15,000 per 260 days worked with no benefits mainly because of a lack of basic skills. Many do not possess any of these basic skills and will never be employable. It’s only a matter of time before the well will run dry and then you won’t need to blame anyone because it just won’t matter any more. Joni Mitchell says it best in her clever tune Big Yellow Taxi. “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”

Please, one of you with this 3 digit IQ I’ve heard so much about, please fix it! It’s obvious you don’t like anyone elses ideas presented as solutions to the problem. So step to the front and take the lead!

Fred in DeKalb

December 1st, 2011
12:16 pm

Dekalb Taxpayer, a majority of the Federal dollars that come into school districts is for the free and reduced lunch program, i.e. food and milk. Title 1 makes up about 30-35% of those dollars. Also, funding decisions are still made at the local school. How the money should be spent is done through the local school improvement teams. They are the ones that know the needs of the students in their school. The central office merely ensures whatever spending decisions are made are in compliance with the law. Do schools collaborate to purchase programs such as America’s Choice? Yes, that is where the central office gets involve to help with the logistics. There are many schools that indicated this helped both the teachers and students although not enough to make a passing grade on the CRCT. Unfortunately that is the only measure some use to determine whether a program is effective.

Anonmom posted several very good links. If a reporter wanted to Pulitzer Prize, they would do an investigative story on the National School Lunch Program. Yes, it is a good idea to make sure children are not going hungry but there are many people making money off of this. Do they have a right to make money? That could be the angle of a story.

bessbear

December 1st, 2011
12:36 pm

I agree with Fred in Dekalb – There is a HUGE story here and I just don’t understand why someone hasn’t jumped on it. Making sure children are being fed needs be separate from educating them. Both are important, but unfortunately, our tax dollars are being misused when these two issues get confused by linking them.

DawgDad

December 1st, 2011
1:20 pm

Money does not educate. Federal money breeds dependency and is an open invitation to fraud and waste. Take the Federal money out of the equation. How much taxpayer money is being wasted on all these programs, studies, and administrators who do NOTHING to educate the kids?

Dekalb Taxpayer@Fred in DeKalb

December 1st, 2011
2:02 pm

DCSS should be publishing an online check register.

Looking at the federal funds spent in 2010 at Open.Georgia.gov, Dekalb spent around $129,000,000 in federal funds, $37,000,000 of that was for School Nutrition and Food Purchases.

“The central office merely ensures whatever spending decisions are made are in compliance with the law”…..
The Central Office costs $73,000,000 annually and has 1,200+ employees for 6,500 teachers (support to teacher ratio is 1 non-teaching support person for every 5 teachers). The DCSS Central Office is vastly overstaffed and overpaid if all they do is rubber stamp the schools’ decisions.

It is impossible to hide the fact that DCSS had only 20% of their Title 1 schools making adequate yearly progress last year. Look at the metro area schools systems with comparable demographics and what percent of their Title 1 schools made adequate yearly progress: Rockdale – 100%, Marietta City (with more low income students than Dekalb) 73% and Clayton – 55%.

The problems with student achievement lie mainly in the Title 1 schools which is why it is and always has been so critical to use these dollars for a decent return on investment in the education of these students. The DCSS Central Office has hired all of the teachers, allocated the funds, and set the policies, programs, and procedures throughout the schools. When our student achievement lags so far behind demographically similar systems, there is a problem with our leadership. Accountability must start at the top because those are the personnel controlling the expenditure of funds and driving the educational process.

However Title 1 and federal funds have been allocated, student performance in our Title 1 schools shows these funds have not been spent effectively.

The Central Office has never been held responsible for student achievement, but that appears to be changing.

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Lee

December 1st, 2011
5:39 pm

“Fixing the comparability provision … would cost only 1 percent to 4 percent of their total school-level expenditures on average.”

My guess: the more experienced and therefore higher paid teachers do not want to work in a Title 1 hellhole and prefer to move to a school that doesn’t have armed guards and metal detectors at the door. What is left is the fresh-out-of-college-looking-to-get-their-foot-in-the-door-until-they-can-escape newbie teacher who makes less than the experienced teacher. That alone can easily account for the 1-4% variance.

The politically correct haven’t achieved their equal outcomes utopia in sixty years. What makes you think a few million more is going to do the trick?

[...] Progressive PulseDistricts Pay Less in Poor Schools, Report SaysNew York TimesWRAL.com -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -al.com (blog)all 82 news [...]

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Dekalbite@Lee

December 1st, 2011
8:05 pm

“My guess: the more experienced and therefore higher paid teachers do not want to work in a Title 1 hellhole and prefer to move to a school that doesn’t have armed guards and metal detectors at the door. ”

Armed guards and metal detectors? Where are you getting your ideas – Hollywood?

Students in Title 1 schools are not thugs and gangsters. These schools are classified Title 1 because a defined percent of students come from low income families. Low income families have many challenges, none of which are under the control of the children. Due to a host of factors outside the control of the children, many students from low income families are behind their more affluent peers in educational attainment. Title 1 dollars have not been allocated in the most effective manner. Taxpayers may have lost billions, but the students are the real losers here. They have been robbed of the educational opportunities Title 1 funds are supposed to provide as money has been diverted to a whole host of non-teaching personnel and ineffective learning programs.

dekalbed

December 1st, 2011
8:22 pm

Unfortunately, this isn’t new information. According to Charles Murray in Real Education, there has been no credible evidence of any significant impact of Title 1 on student achievement ever A 2001 study Department of Education study already told us this.

In a system like DCSS, Title 1 has served as a way to subsidize its jobs program. At the same time, the achievement gap appears to have widened.

Why can’t the federal government mandate smaller reading classes in exchange for some of this money? Am I the only teacher who finds that most of these costly iniatives or policies-America’s Choice; promeathean boards; word walls; data walls;RTI-offer little benefit to the many middle and high school students reading severely below grade level?

Anonmom

December 1st, 2011
9:47 pm

To come full circle – I spent tonight speaking with the Fulton County Judge about a criminal sentencing — I asked if anyone tracked just how many of the defendants in the criminal justice system are high school drop outs –he wasn’t sure but his sense is that the vast majority of them are high school drop outs. Interestingly, the further sense is that most of them have “decided” on their “path” by middle school…. we need to take these millions and figure out how to “divert” these kids away from prison and into something productive before they become criminals and the school system is the best place to do it and, at the risk of not being politically correct, the title 1 schools see the vast majority (but not all) of these kids…. we’re in a crisis and we really do need to do something about it (sorry if I sound like a broken record). Did you hear the story about the single mom in Tampa (I think) with 15 kids and the dad of some of the kids is in prison and she’s living in a single bedroom apartment saying the goverment has to do something for her and her kids?

say what?

December 1st, 2011
10:00 pm

@Lee, stop looking at TV and listening to horror stories. It is sad that adults now in charge of shaping the society these students will enter for jobs or college study, have preconceived (STEREOTYPES) of minor children. Now many of then may not have the most desirable manners, but assuming those behaviors are the reason for metal dectectors is assinine. Fear is what drives hates.

On to another issue, parent resource centers. Each metro area school district has centers. The centers have been around for years in higher achieveing states, and recently making their way South. If you notice DCSD, is the only district to have centers across the county, and parents come to them. Workers do work with other schools in the feeder pattern or nearby. The complaint that DCSS has 22 staff ( 11fulltime and 11 partime, no benefits) compared to other systems is possibly coming from people who have never used a center, never attending the workshops or parenting classes offered by the centers. Yet you want to get rid of them even if families in T1 schools need the assistance.

Oh and other counties, such as Gwinnett hire fulltime, non retired teachers with contracts to work their centers. Shouldn’t their experience be in a classroom as they are earning the same pay as other teachers stuck in a classroom? APS and CCPS hire a parent community specialist for EACH T1 school, with salaries from $25k-$65K depending on connections and experiences. I would hope that the people who are in need of this resource are the determing factor if they remain, not the people who are the most vocal on blogs.

Dekalbite@say what

December 1st, 2011
10:51 pm

“On to another issue, parent resource centers. Each metro area school district has centers….parent resource centers…DCSS has 22 staff …”

Parent involvement is extremely important for students. No one disagrees with that. However, while DCSS Parent Centers have been operating, DCSS has seen dramatic declines in student achievement in the very schools the Parent Centers have been serving. Moving students forward is the reason for the school system.

DCSS
!. DCSS (98,000 students) has 79 Parent Center personnel which cost taxpayers $4,500,000 in salaries and benefits.
2. 20% of DCSS Title 1 schools made AYP.
3. DCSS spends $57,000 per employee for DCSS Parent Centers.

Rockdale
1. Rockdale (16,000 students) has 13 Parent Center personnel which cost taxpayers $263,000 in salaries and benefits.
2. 100% of Rockdale Title 1 schools made AYP.
3. Rockdale spends $20,000 per employee for Rockdale Parent Centers.

Clayton
1. Clayton (49,000 students) has 45 Parent Center personnel which cost taxpayers $1,700,000 in salaries and benefits.
2. 55% of Clayton Title 1 schools made AYP.
3. Clayton spends $38,000 per employee for Clayton Parent Centers.

DCSS moved $4,500,000 out of the classroom from teachers who actually instruct children into the non-teaching Parent Center employees. DCSS lost 600 teaching positions in the last 2 years while these employees who do not teach students were untouched.

The DCSS Parent Centers cost too much for a poor return. DeKalb must get our cost in line with other counties, and Parent Centers must assume a degree of accountability for student performance.

Look at the numbers on DeKalb School Watch blog:
http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-11-22T07:00:00-05:00&max-results=6

Any poster can verify these numbers by going to:
Georgia DOE
Georgia Salary and Travel audit

[...] on additional classroom daysWRAL.comDistricts Pay Less in Poor Schools, Report SaysNew York TimesAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Huffington Post -al.com (blog)all 84 news [...]

Jennifer Falk

December 2nd, 2011
12:10 am

Well, well. Seems like details do matter.