Contracts delivered today to DeKalb teachers

I am hearing today from DeKalb teachers about contracts and letters, which appear to the source of confusion to some folks.

One teacher wrote:

We were informed today that we are receiving a 6.25 percent pay cut for the next academic year. Today, teachers were presented with contracts that are due on May 9th. The explanation for the pay cut was explained as an effect of a $70 million dollar budget shortfall. Teachers were given no other explanation or choice. This comes after we received a confusing email from the district explaining a “calendar change.”  In this message, it appeared that teachers would be receiving pay increases of $1,000-$1,200 per month. This was later explained as an error.

But DeKalb spokesman Walter Woods said: “All contracts of employment for the 2012-2013 school year have been delivered to schools. Employees will either receive a contract or a delay letter. Teachers also received a letter today explaining that all contracts are printed with a 6.25 percent reduction in pay.  This has been the standard practice for the last three years. Teachers are being reassured that after the Board of Education has approved the budget, their salaries will be adjusted.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

141 comments Add your comment

Disgruntled Employee

April 30th, 2012
3:52 pm

Until I know whether or not I’m receiving a deduction, I’m am limiting after school tutorial and all other work to no longer than the contracted time. We do too much above and beyond to be faced with this while just a year or so ago the then Superintendent received a RAISE. Atkinson needs to make the tough calls now. We have too many admin, security, secretaries, and other central office bloat. My morale is totally shot.

Dr. John Trotter

April 30th, 2012
4:18 pm

We we can “confused” for DeKalb County and it new administration from Little Lorain, Ohio?

Now do you guys think that Superintendent Atkinson is operating out of her league? We tried to warn this school board that it needed to hire this year’s Georgia Superintendent of the Year who is located right next door in Rockdale County, Dr. Sam King.

Guys, you have a real mess on your hands in DeKooter Kounty. A real mess. Will the school board be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again?

DeKalb, Clayton, Atlanta, and Fulton school systems. They are the Four Horsemen of What The Much Ballyhooed School Reform brings. Nada. Absolutely nada.

Dr. John Trotter

April 30th, 2012
4:19 pm

Please forgive the typo: “its” administration, not [it] administration. Excuse me, please. Ha!

G

April 30th, 2012
4:28 pm

My wife and I live in Dekalb county and she has been a teacher there for 5 years now. She has a interview coming up, not in Dekalb, and we hope to get out of this mess!

disgruntled in dekalb

April 30th, 2012
4:40 pm

This is no way to treat your employees. We have had our pay reduced for the last 7 years. Add to this reduced benefits, and being blind-sided by another 6.25% reduction in pay? What kind of loyalty to Dekalb or morale in Dekalb is being built with actions such as these?

skipper

April 30th, 2012
4:53 pm

Yet another of edition of the long, sad saga ………..

Dekalbite

April 30th, 2012
4:57 pm

According to the recent compensation audit by the MAG advisory group, teachers are among the employees paid lower than market compensation at the greatest rate. Interestingly enough, the groups MOST below marketplace compensation are teachers, school nurses, school secretaries and paraprofessionals – ironically these are the personnel who interact the most with our children. Are parents happy with this arrangement? See the link to the MAG report:
http://dekalbschoolwatch.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/full-report-phase-i-dcss-audit-jan-2012.pdf
(See page 95 for teachers)

Employees paid higher than market compensation should have been addressed rather than crude across the board cuts if Return on Investment is driving this process. In the 2004 “missing” Compensation audit, the Ernst and Young consultants stated that 2,500 non teaching employees were making in excess of $15,000,000 a year in salaries that were not on level with the marketplace. DCSS teachers were paid at and below marketplace compensation. Salaries were NOT adjusted (per Crawford Lewis in the minutes from the Work Session/Business Meeting December 5, 2005 BOE meeting “He (Lewis) stated that at the beginning of the study, 15,000 employees were told that they would not lose salary as a result of the study and he plans to stay true to his word. “)

DCSS has never adjusted salaries “down” to marketplace value for the overpaid non teaching employees. This is apparent to anyone who took the time to read the entire MAG report.

Simply making a 6.25% cut across the board is a very lazy and inequitable way to go. Why did taxpayers pay over $300,000 for the 2004 study and then another $170,000+ for the most recent study? Data and finance is not the BOE’s strong suit and it is really hurting our children as well as our property values.

Disgruntled Employee

April 30th, 2012
5:09 pm

I think the public should have some say in how the district spends their money.

mountain man

April 30th, 2012
5:20 pm

Makes all the best and brightest aspire to be teachers, right?

Anonymous

April 30th, 2012
5:34 pm

Let me understand this. Teachers must sign a contract accepting a 6.25% cut in pay, but they shouldn’t worry about this because their pay will be adjusted after the budget is approved, more than a month after the deadline to sign the contract.

“Trust me” – I think not!

It’s even worse that this is the way it’s been done for three years. Issuing contracts is a standard part of running a school system. It’s not rocket science.

And don’t get me started about “delay letters.” Two of the best teachers at our school, who don’t teach core subjects, didn’t get a contract today. Is this a sneaky way of cutting programs by not hiring those teachers?

If we had transparency on the true budget situation then we might could understand that drastic steps are needed.

However, it seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to cut teachers and their pay, and even then DCSD can’t implement it smoothly.

I feel so bad for the majority of our teachers, who go above and beyond and then get treated this way.

crankee-yankee

April 30th, 2012
5:56 pm

“You get what you pay for” will become a painfully stark reality in just a few more years when retirees cannot be replaced because there are too few new teachers being turned out by the colleges & universities. Why? If you have to ask that question, you haven’t been paying attention.

bootney farnsworth

April 30th, 2012
6:17 pm

don’t feel alone guys. some of your local colleges are deeply in the red as well, mine included.

by the end of the week, if not sooner, they’ll be telling you to be grateful to have a job.

it’ll be a cold day in hell – or an honest one in DCSS admin – when we see these “temporary” adjustments returned.

Eric

April 30th, 2012
6:19 pm

Why is teacher pay always cut first and not some of the bogus technology purchases and upgrades?

bootney farnsworth

April 30th, 2012
6:31 pm

@ Eric

2 reasons, one valid, one bogus

1-valid: the vast majority of education costs are people. pure and simple. its the place where the smallest cuts can make the biggest fiscal impact.

2-bogus: do you really expect admin types to give up their shiny toys?

Atlanta Media Guy

April 30th, 2012
6:37 pm

As a parent I’m outraged! Clew and Tyson balanced the budget on the back of teachers for the past four years. No steps, no pension match, furlough days and our “leaders” expect them to succeed or be fired. Good grief. Close the Palace, stop paying so many people 6 figures to “coach” teachers and patrol bulletin boards. How many friends and family will get the pink slip? I know Atkinson is cleaning up a budgetary mess of biblical proportions, but to punish the teachers AGAIN is abhorrent and should not be tolerated. Too bad the teachers are not represented by anyone. Wow !

DeKalb Teacher

April 30th, 2012
6:37 pm

What makes me so upset about this whole thing is that we do so much more than teach each day. I understand districts are cutting jobs and we should be grateful to have received a contract. However, how are we supposed to maintain a standard of living when the cost of living is going up so drastically? Principal and district-level position salaries are also public knowledge, and we know these people are NOT taking pay cuts, while the teachers- arguably those who do the most work and work the hardest for kids- are the ones receiving pay cuts. How does that make sense?

As a side note, the comment from DCSS about “salaries being adjusted” was NOT explained in the letter we received with our contracts, nor with the emails we’ve received about pay thus far.

FutureTeacher

April 30th, 2012
6:41 pm

I am approaching 40, doing a career change from a children’s mental health counselor at a residential center to a Special Education Teacher. I have 15+ years of experience working with children from an array of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. My kids experience everything from violent behavior disorders to chronic depression to Autism Spectrum Disorders and a multitude of learning differences. I am well -schooled in educational techniques (part of therapy involves learning!), creating behavior plans, and forming respectful, open communication with the families I work with. It may sound conceited, but I think I’d be an awesome SpEd Teacher! Then I read information like this, and the many, many stories of how horribly teachers are treated. I expect a pay cut from my current position (I’m at 50K after 16 years), but I’m really, really scared that a decent wage can’t be made. I’m really scared that I’ll be judged and vilified if I am not “perfect” in every aspect of my job 110% of the time. I chose to make this change because I realize that school is the best opportunity to mold children into happy, productive human beings. Am I crazy? Seems like it.

But apparently not as crazy as DCCS. Unbelievable. Embarrassing.

bootney farnsworth

April 30th, 2012
6:46 pm

I wonder if this is finally the tipping point which sinks education in Georgia

bootney farnsworth

April 30th, 2012
6:51 pm

@ future teacher

for the love of God, don’t make the change!
gargage men get more respect, and probably better pay

Disgusted

April 30th, 2012
6:52 pm

Clayton’s school board meets tonight. Clayton has plenty of those coaches and bulletin board police as well. Sorry, yall, I know Republicans don’t like to raise taxes, but seriously, what else is there since the central office bloat isn’t going away?

bootney farnsworth

April 30th, 2012
7:01 pm

lets review, shall we?

note-this this is an overall summary, individual situtations will vary

1-stagant wages since 2001
2-repeated pay freezes, the current lasting 4 years
3-furloughs
4-skyrocketing benefit costs and plummeting coverage
5-rampant cronyism
6-more six figure salaries than at any time in history – during a massive recession
7-massive widespread cheating
8-once respected school systems in SACS hot water
9-record amount of complaints of abuse and harrassment
10-record lawsuits against the system
11-massive expansion of facilities and programs
12-social engineering
13-Beverly Hall
14-CRCT run wild

and this is off the top of my head

Ron F.

April 30th, 2012
7:02 pm

bootney: it’s tipping hard and about to capsize, if this is how it’s going to be. You know, this is part of what gets me to the point of thinking that if we have to go to charters or vouchers to purge the fat from the county level budget, then we just might have to do it. I know teachers all over the state are facing anywhere from 3-10% possibly in paycuts, and we all expected some. But juxtapose that with the overblown mess in Dekalb’s county office, and you might be able to sway some folks. In my system, we’ve cut everything to the bone- county office, transportation, and maintenance included. We’ve got some old buses that they’ve patched with spit and bailing wire, but they’re still running. I’d love to see Dekalb just try to cut as deeply.

dekalbed

April 30th, 2012
7:08 pm

1. Why is the proposed salary reduction the same for all of us, when many of us teachers make half of what the coordinators, directors, etc… do?

2. When is Dekalb going to publish the number of jobs let go? If Dr. Atkinson is concerned about image (change in name; newly appointed head of finance) and efficiency, then why not announce which of the 300+ superfluous positions (determined by the audit), have been eliminated?

3. How, exactly, has the DCDS cabinet and its financial advisors examined financial responsbility in all areas of business? Why just recently was any money invested in paper announcements of a new alert system, as an example?

Maureen, Can you please run a story detailing the amount of money DCDS has “lost” in the past year, the amount of money DCDS has spent in legal fees, and the amount of money DCDS has committed to employing new administrative staff while still employing the former ones?

What about the minimum State Salary Schedule?

April 30th, 2012
7:13 pm

@Maureen help me out here because many teacher’s contract’s offered an amount BELOW the MINIMUM state salary listed on the State Salary Schedule. Is that legal?

Dekalbite

April 30th, 2012
7:14 pm

DeKalb has 1446 (504 administrators and 942 support) personnel who have teaching certificates and NEVER teach a child. They supervise and support 6,136 full time teachers and 484 part time teachers.

BTW – that leaves almost 7,000 other employees who are not certified in teaching who are employed by DeKalb Schools.

So we have around 6,500 employees who teach kids (only around 6,000 full time) and around 8,500 other employees who do not teach kids.

And parents wonder why their children are in classrooms with 33 or 34 other students?

To verify these numbers go to:
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=644&T=1&FY=2011
(Click on the Personnel and fiscal tab)

Enough Already, We feel the pain

April 30th, 2012
7:18 pm

Atlanta Media Guy and the like are the type of people seemingly that will nag a fly to death. He is stuck on his ideology of “coaches”, however as a parent, would he come in contact with this personnel to know their effect? If he is from the north end, they don’t have instructional coaches, so his attitude is reflective of the gossip that has contributed to this mess. If he was/is a subpar teacher, that would explain his disdain engrossed with inadequate facts. It is the attitude of his/her type that prefer teachers not to take a summer break as a necessary part of their mental stability. It is easy to sit at home, complain about things that you are ignorant, obviously, and feel powerful behind the pseudonym. Atlanta Media Guy/Girl, your crew was successful in getting EVERYONE, not just those who deserved it, reduced to your level of disrespect and poverty with a 6.25 % pay cut. So celebrate and then consider letting the dead horse lie. You win already.

Brandy

April 30th, 2012
7:33 pm

@Future Teacher, It sounds like you are going into EBD?

If so, please, please, please! stick with it. There are almost no qualified, certified, and experienced EBD teachers in this state–and most other states. My mother has been teaching EBD for thirty years after getting her Bachelor’s in Special Education, EBD, from USF. Unfortunately, in most states there is NO degree program for EBD or only a master’s level program. Also, successful EBD teachers frequently move into lower-level Special Education jobs once they have a few years of experience. Plus, EBD teachers (generally) have to be certified in every single subject area, because they frequently teach in self-contained classrooms.

We desperately need more EBD teachers. Trust me, if you go into EBD, you will always have a job, no matter what–they are the first jobs listed, the last to be filled, and rarely (if ever) are cut. No, you will never make great wages, unfortunately, but you will have job security.

Blip

April 30th, 2012
7:40 pm

This sickens me. Teachers’ salaries should be cut only when everything else has been cut first. Here, this simply doesn’t seem to be the case. Without clear, precise information from Dr. Atkinson, we just don’t know what else has been cut. For example, Walter Woods said last week that DCSS would never follow the consultant’s recommendation to eliminate 133(?) redundant, unnecessary jobs. Yet I have also read that more than 150 scool-based emloyees are being terminated. The consultants also recommended a large decrease in Central Office, non-school-based personnel. Yet we’ve only heard about a reclassification of job titles. Were the excess personnel terminated before Dr. Atkinson considered the necessity of reducing teachers’ salaries? How can we demand teachers give their best when it appears they’ve been so disrespected? Abhorrent. Teachers, I am so sorry for what you’re going through. I will be writing my board representatives.

Ron F.

April 30th, 2012
7:41 pm

Future Teacher: If it’s a passion, and you obviously believe in what you do, then by all means go for it! We need a LOT of special ed. teachers, especially those with your skill set. Despite the complaints, the time with kids is what most teachers here enjoy and keep coming back for, in spite of all the bad news. It’s worth it, and I’ve been at it for twenty-plus years working with struggling, poor children with reading levels all over the chart. You’ll be good at it if it’s really a conviction you hold. Great teaching is a matter of heart and mind, not just content knowledge.

Ron F.

April 30th, 2012
7:43 pm

@What about the mininum: If you are a member of a professional organization (or those people you mention are), then contact the legal dept. at that organization. You pay for that service and it’s offered. I would check the legality of that before signing.

My Opinion

April 30th, 2012
7:47 pm

Teachers have been informed they will receive a cut. Well, the recently board approved and published pay scale did not reflect any pay cuts for the superintendent’s cabinet-chief level positions although it deceptively reflected annual pay for persons who will never work 12 months. As a matter of fact, the difference between the chief-deputy pay and that of the highest any administrator may earn who is not a chief or deputy is $37,000. Yes, can you believe that the BOE approved for such a difference in pay between those who lead and those who are led? This is short-sighted for many reasons. As leaders, if those they lead are expected to take a pay cut, then the leaders should take the same pay cut. Such a pay difference will not contribute to long-term improvements. The decision to adopt such a pay scale appears to be short-sighted. The employees and community should demand more from the BOE.

Dekalbite@Enough already ....pain

April 30th, 2012
8:02 pm

Re Atlanta Media Guy
“He is stuck on his ideology of “coaches”, however as a parent, would he come in contact with this personnel to know their effect? ”

To put this in perspective, DCSS spends around $410,000,000 for teachers in salary and benefits. A 6.25% decrease in teaching salary represents around $25,000,000.

1. $15,000,000 for non teaching “Coaches”

DCSS has around 190 non teaching “Coaches”.

In the state Salary and Travel audit, this non teaching group is listed as:
Graduation Specialists
Instructional Specialists
Literacy Coaches
20 of the Parents Coordinators hold the title of Prevention/Intervention Coach

This group consumes around $15,000,000 in salary and benefits or $79,000 for each “Coach”. And this does not even include the Staff Development group. They are a whole other group even though “Coaches” are supposed to be doing staff development as a majority of their job function.

Can we really afford to spend $15,000,000 for 190 “Coaches”? Where is the ROI? We have had continued to add to the “Coaching” staff (we added substantially in the last two years). Meanwhile, academic achievement is at an all time low.

2. Fernbank Science Center – $7,000,000

Fernbank Science Center which costs around $7,000,000 a year. NO OTHER school system pays for a science center like this and our science scores are the lowest in the metro area with the exception of Clayton County. Over half of our 8th graders do not know the most basic science concepts:
8th grade SCIENCE CRCT: 7.5% Exceeded, 39.7% met and 52.8% did not meet expectations

3. $7,000,000 America’s Choice
America’s Choice is a scripted learning program DCSS pays almost $7,000,000 a year for. No data showing improvement for DCSS students in student achievement.

4. Special Education Lead Techers
That would be be the special education lead teachers, coaches (not to be confused with the Instructional Coaches), and coordinators (not to be confused with the Instructional Coordinators). There are 90+ DeKalb Special Ed Lead Teachers, Coaches and Coordinators (termed Special Education Specialists on the Salary and Travel audit) serving 130+ schools costing $8,000,000+ a year in salary and benefits. They are in charge of paperwork for the special education program and never teach a single child.

By contrast, Gwinnett Schools has 20+ Special Education Specialists serving 130+ schools costing them around $1,7000,000.

DeKalb has 7,500+ Special Education students while Gwinnett has 16,000+ Special Education students.

These Special Education Specialists have never reported to principals in the schoolhouse so they have always been considered Central Office personnel. Contrasting this group of personnel (90+) with Gwinnett numbers (20+) and their respective costs, perhaps there is room for some “rightsizing” in this cost center.

Parent Centers – $4,500,000

DCSS spends $4,500,000 for 79 Parent Center involvement Center personnel who do not require 4 year degrees or certification in social work, counseling or teaching. Look at how much more we spend than other schools systems:
http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2011/11/73000-dcss-secretarial-positions-are.html

Other areas that DCSS spends millions more than comparable schools systems are: Security $11,000,000:
http://dekalbschoolwatch.wordpress.com/dcss-spending/the-cost-of-security/

Maintenance:
$12,000,000
http://dekalbschoolwatch.wordpress.com/dcss-spending/the-cost-of-maintenance/

Why has the Board of Education approved ALL of these expenditures and NEVER, EVER asked for any Return on Investment?

DeKalb seems to have money for everything but the members of the classroom – teachers and students. Teachers have a right to be angry. So do parents and taxpayers.

Mikey D

April 30th, 2012
8:13 pm

@Maureen
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it legally required to give teachers 30 days to review contracts before signing them? If so, DCSS is breaking the law if it’s requiring the contracts back before May 9.

Fedd Up with DCSS

April 30th, 2012
8:13 pm

Why is the adjustments after the contract deadline? Ajustments could go either way. We haven’t had a raise in almost seven years, yet our benefits premiums are still rising, and let’s not even talk about what’s going on with TRS. Yet, we keep having more put on our plates which have nothing to do with direc teaching. We are becoming the working poor. The kids at school are paying the price as well as our own families. I am officially on vacation.

Fed Up with DCSS

April 30th, 2012
8:15 pm

That’s Fed up not Fedd. Sorry!

Sculley

April 30th, 2012
8:16 pm

Teachers!
No union, no power? How about this: Arrive on time, not a minute earlier. Sit in your car if you have to. Leave exactly when your time is up. Drop the unpaid tutoring. Let the website shrivel on the vine. Cancel all meetings and conferences outside of school hours. Plan lessons at school during your planning time and not at home. Weekend festivals? Evening programs? Skip them all.
Our unpaid work is supporting this county. And they know it.

Ron F.

April 30th, 2012
8:45 pm

Dekalbite: some of the positions you mention are paid out of Title I funds and federal special ed. monies that have requirements for their use. As ironic as it is, even if the local budget is bottoming out, you can’t divert funds that have specific requirements. That is done to keep crazies like the bunch in Dekalb from using funds willy-nilly. When we were getting the federal money to protect teacher jobs, because congress (I used the small c on purpose) refused to strengthen the language to make sure the money was used as intended. In many place, it went into general funds instead. While the need for many of those positions can be debated, in my small system to coaches have to actually do the job and they’ve been a big help. Dekalb is just a mess!

Ron F.

April 30th, 2012
8:48 pm

Sculley: I thin that’s happening already. In my small school out in rural GA where things aren’t nearly as bad as Dekalb, I generally stay at least a little while after school to get things done. Today, I stayed an hour. When I left, there was one teacher’s car in the parking lot out back besides mine. Looked like a ghost town. Dekalb is certainly on its way to problems.

dekalbed

April 30th, 2012
8:52 pm

My neighbor says that when his finance company implemented pay cuts, the managers’ cuts were the highest. Why isn’t this taking place in Dekalb?

Why is it that the superintendent and the board claim the inflated salaries of out-of-school personnel are a result of “competetive market value,” yet those in this competetive market are not given the same security the DCSD educrats are provided: contracts and pensions. So which is it? And what are the educational and career experiences of so many of these people worthy of $80,000-$160,000 salaries? And if the primary mission of DCSD is to educate children, then how, specifically, are their jobs designed to benefit students? And how are they to be measured in the new RTT system Dekalb and Georgia was so quick to embrace?

Does anyone know exactly how many teachers were given “letters of delay”? And how many other school-based personnel like graduation coaches and computer its have been notified they no longer have jobs? How does these numbers compare to the number of central office personnel (in body not just in payroll) delayed or dismissed?

Dekalb taxpayer

April 30th, 2012
9:02 pm

A true leader would begin by taking a pay cut him or herself—at a minimum of 6.25%. Then salaries should be reduced and/or positions eliminated for non-teaching personnel based upon the consultant’s recommendations. Only then should any consideration be given to changes in teachers’ pay. Strictly from a PR standpoint, this is a disaster.

Trying to make it Ten Years

April 30th, 2012
9:04 pm

Just one more year and I’m ghost. Fortunately, I have other skills and can find a job making twice as much. I think I’ll move to Athens or Senoia. They are building new plants and businesses there. Anyone care to join me?

alm

April 30th, 2012
9:06 pm

Sad to say but the BOE cannot be trusted. No one else would be expected to sign a contract on the promise that it would change. They didn’t pay into their pensions and didn’t bother to put the money aside. Maybe the cut is due to the fact that the county is going to get sued yet again.

Dekalbite@Ron F

April 30th, 2012
9:09 pm

“some of the positions you mention are paid out of Title I funds and federal special ed. monies that have requirements for their use”

Yes. I’m aware of that. For example, the requirement for Instructional Coaches expenditures in order to receive Title 1 funding is 10% of Title 1 spending for coaches. For DCSS this comes to around $4,000,000 (DCSS receives around $40,000,000 a year in Title 1 funding). Yet DCSS spends around $15,000,000 annually for 190 coaches or around $79,000 per coach in salary and benefits. DCSS teachers are paid an average of $65,000 a year by contrast (well – before the 6.25% decrease).

The same goes for Parent Center personnel, many of them “family and friends” of DCSS administrators. DCSS spends way in excess what they must for this parent involvement group (per Title 1 rules), and their numbers are much greater than demographically and numerically comparable school systems. The Parent Center personnel are not required to be 4 year degreed personnel or have any professional certifications.

These ancillary non teaching personnel have not produced results for students, nor has there even been a suggestion that they should show some value added.

All of this spending on family and friends has excessively diverted money from the classroom and driven DeKalb student achievement into the ground.

Ron F.

April 30th, 2012
9:20 pm

“All of this spending on family and friends has excessively diverted money from the classroom and driven DeKalb student achievement into the ground.”

Absolutely right!! That’s why I left the metro area, at a considerable pay loss, to work in a one horse town where the entire county office is about the size of my house. Definitely not too many chiefs here, and I wouldn’t leave that for any amount of money in the metro area again. The sad reality is that Dekalb gives good positions a bad reputation. We have a fantastic graduation coach and literacy coach at my school and both work their tails off for their jobs. They have made a very important difference in our community. It’s sad to see a place with ample resources be so manipulated and abused. Keep up with the numbers- it helps to see them in print.

Ron F.

April 30th, 2012
9:27 pm

@Dekalbite: I typed something a minute ago, and either it hit the filter or my computer sneezed…anyway, it’s sad to see a system with the resources Dekalb has become so overwhelmed with useless people. That’s one reason I left the metro area and would never go back. I took a big pay cut, but it was worth it to get out. In my school, we have an incredible graduation coach and a wonderful literacy coach who work their tails off and earn every penny. We’re a one horse town with a county office that isn’t much bigger than my house, and you can walk in and actually talk to the superintendent! We’re even allowed to e-mail him!

Keep up with the numbers, as sad as it is to see them. I’m just glad I’m not there.

Enough Already, We feel the pain

April 30th, 2012
9:41 pm

@Dekalbite, yes we are obviously fed up with what is going on, but generalizations no matter how elaborately stated, are not factual and are distractions from finding a solution. For example, I am a teacher, and my salary was reported wrongly on that state site. When I inquired it was stated by HR to overlook that site because they don’t know where they recieve those numbers, yet you continue to use it as a reference. It seems as though you are lumping all categories of support personnel as useless, then you are lumping all under one umbrella without consideration for their roles. Are all effective? maybe not, are all teachers effective? maybe not. Are all parents effective? maybe not. Are all support roles paid out of the general budget, or do some receive their salaries from grants? Would this make a difference in the numbers you are reporting so blatantly. Yes, there are elements of truths in your statements, but let’s be careful of repeating the non-factual generalizations that just drive home your point. I know hardworking people in many roles. I have teachers on my team that never teach. What school system exists where teachers were the only personnel, that would not be logical. One day I would like to use my experience as a teacher in another role where I would like to feel what I do is appreciated and needed. Why shouldn’t I aspire to do different things within education? We could continue this conversation at another time, however, I want us to stay focused on the FACT that MS. Atkinson has CUT our salaries 6.25%, WITHOUT WARNING, yet she and her employees have recieved substantial raises. It seems that HR and the NEW Superintendent of DeKalb County STILL are out of their league! We need to start looking for the next group that can get it right. This is not the one. Next time, let’s find one with more respect for teachers.

bootney farnsworth

April 30th, 2012
9:55 pm

in a lot of ways, the without warning – while not suprising- is the most disgusting part of all this.

as incompetent as DCSS is, this financial lump did not come as a suprise. the honest and decent thing to do would have been to come clean at the time

but honest and decent is not compatible with educational administrators

bootney farnsworth

April 30th, 2012
9:57 pm

@ minimum

is it legal? probably not.
can they get away with it. hell yeah.

unless we as educators rise up and stop them.
and rising up is the one thing we won’t do

Whatever

April 30th, 2012
10:03 pm

Until the teachers decide to follow the contracts quite literally (8 hours a day, regardless of need), this will NEVER change. Our love for the students and the job has been used as a manipulative long enough. We MUST stop dontating to DCSD or they will not budge. We MUST use the power we have and not be manipulated by our feelings. I know that sounds counter productive, but it wouldn’t take long for the district to realize who really makes change happen in this disctrict. The teachers are key to success, and we must make everyone (parents, principals, Atkinson, the palace) sit up and take notice of our importance. Until we stop, things will never change.

Anonmom

April 30th, 2012
10:14 pm

and why is it that most of the blog is against vouchers at $8k or $10k per child to infuse into the school house at the local level with a certain percentage to “filter up” for administration (say, oh, 20% just for argument sake) and then let the principal manage said school house like, oh, a business and be actually responsible for everything that takes place in it. Require the state to conduct forensic audits every year to make sure funds aren’t walking away….. and then if the parents don’t like what said principal is doing, take the money the next year to a different place…. What is so awful about getting the dollars down to the school house level in tiny increments so that the BOE can’t do this every year?