DeKalb teachers group: Sign that contract if you want your job

I thought this memo from David Schutten of the Organization of DeKalb Educators to his members about the contract mess in DeKalb was worth sharing as it clears up several points.

While his memo speaks to the plight of DeKalb educators this week, his comment about the failure of administrators to spend the required time to do the new, more comprehensive teacher observations underscores a statewide concern.

When the state unveiled its plan for new teacher evaluations that will consider student performance and require increased classroom observation, I asked DOE whether it was a realistic, whether principals would be able to find the time to go into classrooms and watch teachers at work.

Schutten’s comments suggest that they are not finding the time –  even under a limited pilot model involving a handful of teachers. How can we expand this model to every teacher in every school?

Here is Schutten’s memo, which was written for members of ODE:

I met with Dr. Tekshia Ward-Smith, Director of Human Resources today. I also talked with her on the phone several times. I hope the information in this e-mail answers many of your questions.

Sign Your Contract if You Want to Keep Your Job!

Although your contract does not have the correct salary, if you do not return the contract on time, you will not have a job. You will receive a letter with your correct salary amount once the DeKalb School Board approves the budget. This is what happened back in the days when we were given COLA and Step Increases. The current salary was listed on the contract, and you were notified of your correct salary once the budget was approved by the BOE.

Contract Delays

A contract delay is not synonymous with non-renewal. There are 5 basic reason for contract delays.

1. Non-renewal for performance. (Your principal should have notified you already.)

2. Non-renewal for certification problems. (You should have been notified by Human Resources already.)

3. Delay due to an ongoing or pending investigation by the Office of Internal Affairs. (You should be aware of this situation.)

4. Delay due to allotment overages. This applies to Assistant Principals, Media Specialists, PE and Health Teachers, some foreign language teachers or other special area teachers.

5. Delay due to pending salary adjustments. An example is teachers who are on 9 hour minimum day contracts, who are being moved to 8 hour minimum day contracts. I use the terminology 8 hour minimum day contracts because that is the language used in the applicable state laws for certified, full time employees: OCGA 20-2-168(c) and 20-2-240. This is also covered under DeKalb School Board Policy GBRL.

I will add a 6th reason. Retired teachers and administrators who are double dipping, i.e., drawing their full TRS as well as their full time salary based on their years of experience. There was a bill passed by the legislature this year now on the Governor’s desk, making the 2012-2013 school year the last year for double dipping. The bill will still allow retired teachers to work 49%. Although I have friends who are double dipping, I am not sure how any school system can in good conscience justify double dipping by retired teachers and administrators when they are laying off people who have not retired. Is this fair to the teachers and administrators who have yet not retired and who have received contract delays, or may not be renewed because they are in over allotment areas? This is a practice that was started by the previous administration. I believe Dougherty County no longer allows people in the TRS to come back full time.

I asked Dr. Smith this evening about German and Latin teachers. She said that all German teachers will receive contracts, and it is highly likely that all Latin teachers will receive contracts. Contracts were delayed for German and Latin teachers due to allotment overages, but it appears that resignations have solved this issue. (I accidentally deleted the e-mail a high school parent sent me about this concern.)

In previous years, every certified teacher and administrator who was not recommended for non-renewal was given a contract, even if there were not positions available. This year DCSS moved to Zero Based Budgeting. Contracts were not automatically awarded in areas that were determined to be over allotment, or the number of authorized positions. This has resulted in the contract delays.

(I do know from anecdotal evidence, principals who had their contracts delayed are being scheduled for one on one meetings with Ms. Kendra March, at which time they are apparently being told if their principal’s contract is being renewed.)

Reduction In Force

The RIF policy should apply to assistant principals and to teachers in areas over allotment. Three factors are taken into account with a Reduction in Force:

1. Performance

2. Professional expertise

3. Seniority

Seniority is defined as continuous work experience in DeKalb, not in your present position. If you had a break in service in DeKalb, your seniority starts when you were rehired. For example, even if you have 18 years total work experience in DeKalb in two employment periods, and you took a break and came back in 2008 your present seniority started at that time, and you only have four years seniority.

Instructional Coaches

Dr. Smith is in the process of setting up a meeting with Dr. Kathy Howe and the Instructional coaches prior to May 9. At that time, they should be prepared to explain how Instructional Coaches will be placed in teaching positions.

Graduation Coaches

I asked Dr. Smith to set up a meeting with Graduation Coaches. There are no counselor vacancies as it is one of the allotment overage areas. However, graduation counselors who are still certified to teach should be able to be placed in a teaching assignment.  Dr. Smith is hopeful that almost everyone whose contract was delayed should have a job. The biggest challenge is for Graduation Coaches who are not certified in other areas.

Also, Dr. Atkinson has not hired permanent replacements for principals who either retired or were demoted this school year. Retired principals were hired as “place holders.” When these positions are advertised, there should be APs moving to principal positions, which should provide positions for Assistant Principals who were classified over allotment. In any case, Assistant Principals who are not placed in other AP jobs, should be offered teaching contracts under the Georgia Fair Dismissal and Due Process provisions.

Professional Development Plans and Teacher Evaluations

If you are placed on a PDP, you should contact the ODE/GAE office immediately. We are very concerned about the number of teacher evaluations in which the GTOI and/or GTEP procedures have not been followed. At a recent non-renewal tribunal hearing, virtually every administrator testified under oath that they did not follow the GTOI/GTEP manual and/or did not effectively provide needed assistance under the PDP as well as admitting to not sufficiently monitoring the PDP. I find this highly disturbing. We cannot provide effective assistance two or three months after a teacher has been place on a PDP. I shared my concerns with both Dr. Atkinson this week, and Ms. March last week.

Class Keys Pilot Program

I also shared my concerns with Dr. Atkinson and Ms. March that some schools have failed miserably in the new teacher evaluation Class Keys Pilot Program. This evaluation requires one 30 minute scheduled evaluation, and one 30 minute unscheduled evaluation. If you are in the Pilot Program, and you were asked or instructed to sign your annual evaluation without two 30 minute observations, please contact ODE/GAE immediately. I have had teachers share with me that they only had one observation, or in some cases, 10 minute observations.

This is a very time consuming evaluation process. If some school administrators cannot effectively administer a Pilot Evaluation Program with 4 or 5 teachers, how will they manage 30-100+ teachers next year? It is clear to me, DeKalb is not ready to move to the new evaluation system.

ODE is requesting through GAE that the Georgia Department of Education delay implementation of the Class Keys Teacher Evaluation. As I said, I already find it extremely frustrating that there are too many administrators who cannot effectively and correctly complete teacher evaluations under a system that has been in place for over 20 years. Let me also add there is no acceptable excuse for spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes on teacher evaluations. But let me also say thank you to those administrators who are performing and completing teacher evaluations correctly.

Where Are the Other Organizations?

The other organizations have been strikingly silent about the contract issues. ODE is the only organization that is working both out front and behind the scenes every day to resolve these issues. By the way, we are helping some former members who joined other organizations and have received assistance with PDPs after they request assistance, as long as they rejoin ODE/GAE/NEA.

Have Dave Schutten and ODE Sold Out?

I very rarely read the education blogs anymore as they are so negative and counterproductive. Every once in a while, I check out Maureen Downey’s blog when there is an ongoing controversial issue, which I did this week. Lo and behold, one of the regular, cowardly, anonymous bloggers, Beverly Fraud, gleefully quoted another cowardly, anonymous blogger on DeKalb Schools Watch “Clearly Dave Schutten and ODE have sold out.”

What does this mean? I cannot take seriously the comments of anyone who does not have the self respect to put their real name to their comments. I challenge these anonymous bloggers to a public debate. Do you have the courage and integrity to talk to me face to face? Come out from under or behind your rocks, or out of your caves, or out from under you white robes, i.e., your anonymous screen names, and be man or woman enough to own your opinions and put your real name behind your comments! It would be far easier for me to throw rocks and bombs and hide my hand like these pitiful people do, than putting myself out in public on behalf of ODE/GAE/NEA members to try to work through these issues. The blogs are depressing. Some of these anonymous bloggers are so negative, I do not understand how they make it through a normal day.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

90 comments Add your comment

Howard Finkelstein

May 3rd, 2012
9:23 am

OH YES!! Even the Messiah-ette, “Doctor” Atkinson, cant save Dekalb.

Dunwoody Mom

May 3rd, 2012
9:39 am

You know what? This is the first time I have something positive to say about David Schutten. He explained in a clear and concise manner the issues many have asked. Now, David, just cut ties with Eugene Walker and you just may get your reputation back.

Dr. John Trotter

May 3rd, 2012
9:54 am

David: As you know, I use my real, given name when I post on a blog. I appreciate anything that anyone does on behalf of teachers. The situation in DeKalb is a real mess. MACE went on record several times calling the DeKalb School System “a gangsta system,” even while Crawford Lewis and his top lieutenant were still in power. The Office of Internal Resolutions thinks that it can shut down a grievance whenever the evidence is so strongly against the administration. In the Spring of 2009, before the cheating scandal hit the fan in DeKalb, we had a teacher who was about to testify about systematic cheating at Clarkston High School, and he also had several fellow teachers lined up as witnesses. But, lo and behold! The grievance was abruptly shut down! A total violation of the State Code (O. C. G. A. 20-2-989.5 et seq.).

We have consistently been out front on the corruption, systematic cheating, etc., in DeKalb. We at MACE were totally up front about not believing that Cheryl Atkinson was up for the challenge in DeKalb. The issues of the DeKalb School System are probably much larger than anything that she may have faced in Little Lorain, Ohio. We spoke out strongly about this BEFORE the school board hired her. In fact, this year alone, the MACE Team has addressed a couple of issues on the street (Mountain Industrial Boulevard) in front of the DeKalb Central Office. We have found that embarrassment is a great tool. It is called “Direct Action,” and this is one of the fundamental measures used in any movement or cause where people are distressed and oppressed, and I submit to you that the DeKalb County teachers are disenchanted, disheartened, and demoralized.

I am sorry that someone is ripping you anonymously. I don’t know who this person is. I have been ripped hundreds (if not thousands) of times anonymously…right here on the Get Schooled blog alone. Granted, it’s not a lot of fun. But, this too shall pass, David. You and I may have different styles, but I do appreciate you and all others who are fighting for oppressed teachers now. Remember our mantra at MACE: “You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.”


May 3rd, 2012
10:25 am

I very rarely read the education blogs anymore as they are so negative and counterproductive. Every once in a while, I check out Maureen Downey’s blog when there is an ongoing controversial issue, which I did this week. Lo and behold, one of the regular, cowardly, anonymous bloggers, Beverly Fraud, gleefully quoted another cowardly, anonymous blogger on DeKalb Schools Watch “Clearly Dave Schutten and ODE have sold out.” Well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The one comment that I have is that this contract that we have just received shows a 6.25% reduction in from our current pay. This means in plain ENGLISH that IF there is a salary correction it is will NOT involve an increase in pay. Even if Atkinson is granted her proposed calendar remaining the same as this school year (2011-2012). This means that we will have many furlough days WITHOUT PAY. DCSS has not given teachers a raise in seven years be it merit or cost of living. Either way with a salary correction back to our currect pay with furlough days or with the currently printed salary on contracts, there will still be a reduction in our pay.

As someone stated on the other blog “the board always approves what the super is requesting.”

Those who believe that all will be corrected, I hope that it does. However, talk is very cheap and I am almost positive that the first noticed we signed with our contract was correct. What was not expected was the up roar. Therefore, HR comes back with a retraction to calm teachers. This is because testing has been going on.

We would like to be positive in our jobs, thoughts, comments and lives outside of DCSS. However, DCSS is the only school system that is in the news more than any ocean has in water. The sad thing is 99.9% is factual negativity.

How do you fix a county that has so much corrution and seems to continue with false information and corrution.

I am more than positive that when ever, if ever we get a salary correction that we/I will be here to state the facts. This will be grammatically correct or incorrect, tactful or tactless, either way the facts will be stated.


May 3rd, 2012
10:30 am

Good God this man is a clown & it is a reflection of the crappy school system known as DCSS.

“Come out from under or behind your rocks, or out of your caves, or out from under you white robes, i.e., your anonymous screen names, and be man or woman enough to own your opinions and put your real name behind your comments!”

Nice to see you play race card David. Idiot! Continue to wallow in your failed school system DeKalb County residents.


May 3rd, 2012
10:32 am

I want to agree with the point made by Dunwoody Mom. David provided a clear and concise response to a matter that was spinning out of control.

I thought is was especially interesting about his point regarding going to a zero based budgeting model, which some in the community and on the Board asked for. We are seeing some of the consequences of going to that with this contract renewal. By that, I don’t mean that it is wrong, it simply means things won’t happen they way we are accustomed to from years past.

I’m glad he shared more information about the Class Keys evaluation process. I have a hard time seeing how a quality evaluation could be done for schools with a large teaching staff. He is correct that employees should not tolerate poorly written evaluations.

I expect there will be RIFs and some employees will have their salaries right-sized before this is over. Hopefully this letter by David will help to calm the storm that has positioned itself over DeKalb Schools this week.


May 3rd, 2012
10:37 am

The Master…@Angela, @Dunwoody Mom, and others

May 3rd, 2012
9:40 am
Lets not lose focus on the issue(s) in front of us. Yes, Angela made some grammatical errors, but this is an informal blog; she is NOT writing a research paper. I consider myself to be a pretty good writer, but even I make errors; this is the reason why we have “spell check” and people who are paid to critique work…they are called editors. At this point, Angela needs no editor. Teachers are certified in specific areas and not all of them. Would you go to a Spanish teacher to teach you English, or would you go to a dermatologist to treat your heart condition? With that being said, you don’t know Angela’s area of certification…her language may be a cultural thing and not a lack of not knowing. Also, many Asians use the singular rather than the plural form in articulating their words…again a cultual thing. The English language is made-up anyway. The fact remains that OUR school system is regressing. Are we all on the same page here? Dunwoody Mom, I know that you are passionate about the education of the DCSS students, but I assure you that the environment south of 285 is OUT OF CONTROL….maybe you and a group of parents from your end should select a school, perhaps a middle school, and go volunteer for one day…just walk the halls during class change. At that point, you will have the awakening that you need to understand where Angela is coming from. It that point, maybe YOU GUYS could bring the issue(s) that you see ‘to the table’ at board meetings; it would help those lil’ darling from the south from invading your schools. Angela speaks volumes of what some of my DCSS co-workers feel, but are afraid to place on this blog or to speak publicly about. If the “POWERS THAT BE” ever found out, you would be lied on, stabbed in the back, receive unwarranted NI’s on evaluations, blackballed, etc. I love the DCSS, but I want to know: what happened to my money (other counties pay more than the DCSS-I can’t continue working here with this pay), what’s going to happen to my TRS, what’s going to be the outcome of the trial with our forner SUPER, and last, but most importantly, when will we get ALL get to the business of educating our students? Lets work together to make the DeKalb a better place for (1) students to learn, (2) teachers to teach, and (3) people to live. Parents aren’t going to be attracted to move to this area until we (parents, teachers, and citizens) help “right” the “wrong” that has been hindering our district from florishing for years. It may start with elections of school board members, knocking on doors, etc. Are any of you with me? I still love the DCSS, but right now, it is a troubled child….it needs a Kunta Kinte “beat down” to get it together…..

Thank You!!!!!

Where in the world is Beverly Fraud?

May 3rd, 2012
10:47 am

Beverly? Oh Beverly Fraud?


May 3rd, 2012
10:50 am


David did provide a clear message of what was told to him. However, again, be it negative or positive we will see what will happen.

I truly believe that because none of this directly affects most or many of you on this blog you cannot begin to truly comprehend. If many of us continuly get cuts in pay this begins to affect our lives outside of DCSS. When this affects us in this way it does affect our performance and even concern.

Other professions never get the flack that we do. When others are laid off or fired it affects their livelihoods too. We have livelihoods that we want to maintain. We cannot do that with all of these pay cuts and still be expected to come to work and perform or even care. No other profession works for the pennies that we do and take the crap off of your children and still be expected to perform an outstanding job.

Pardon My Blog

May 3rd, 2012
10:50 am

Mr. Schutten’s memo seemed to be clear, concise and professional until he put in the phrase “out from under you white robes”. Shame on you.

I think, as @Angela pointed out, that the real issue here is the compensation part of the contract which the teachers must sign thereby agreeing to the terms of the contract. There is no guarantee that a budget will be approved to raise the compensation level back to the original amount much less any increases. A verbal assurance is not binding and the system knows that.

Unfortunately, education today is no longer about the students. It has become a bureaucratic nightmare and seems to grow each year.

Another Math Teacher

May 3rd, 2012
10:51 am

David Schutten:

“Have Dave Schutten and ODE Sold Out?

I very rarely read the education blogs anymore as they are so negative and counterproductive. Every once in a while, I check out Maureen Downey’s blog when there is an ongoing controversial issue, which I did this week. Lo and behold, one of the regular, cowardly, anonymous bloggers, Beverly Fraud, gleefully quoted another cowardly, anonymous blogger on DeKalb Schools Watch “Clearly Dave Schutten and ODE have sold out.””

He can not be that ignorant, can he? Many teachers would lose their jobs or have extra required duties if their real names were used. Mr. Schutten, go throw your tantrum elsewhere.


May 3rd, 2012
10:51 am

Maureen, David raised several great points in his letter than I believe are worthy of blog topics. Specifically the new evaluation process, the bill regarding the use of retired teachers and the impact of using zero based budgeting with school budgets. Please consider ‘pro-con’ discussions on each of these as a separate topic as I believe it could be educational.

Maureen Downey

May 3rd, 2012
10:53 am

@Ernest, I agree and have already suggested that we follow up on those issues.

Pardon My Blog

May 3rd, 2012
10:54 am

Also, on another blog @SOS asked if there were any attorneys willing to help the teachers, does the teachers’ organization have an attorney that can review these contract on their behalf before they sign?

Dunwoody Mom

May 3rd, 2012
10:58 am

Good idea Ernest – the more we know about these issues, the more educated we can be and perhaps head-off some of the angst many are feeling about zero-based budgeting and evaluation.

Dr. Proud Black Man

May 3rd, 2012
11:00 am

“Mr. Schutten’s memo seemed to be clear, concise and professional until he put in the phrase “out from under you(sic) white robes”. Shame on you.”

Like we say in GA; “a hit dog will holla!”

Ron F.

May 3rd, 2012
11:04 am

“Come out from under or behind your rocks, or out of your caves, or out from under you white robes, i.e., your anonymous screen names, and be man or woman enough to own your opinions and put your real name behind your comments!”

He had me until that comment. He was really doing a good job up to that point rationally explaining contract issues many in the state will face this year. While anonymous posters here may aggravate someone, surely a person is allowed to express an opinion without being accused of being “under a white robe.” I don’t think that adds anything productive to the debate, and I’m surprised a person in his position would let comments on a blog reduce him to such a level. I’ve been on the receiving end of the intellectual gnats who seem to enjoy buzzing and attempting to aggravate. It can be irritating, but what does it achieve to add such a phrase in a public communication? What we don’t need right now is for everyone to fly off the handle, especially those representing the few groups supporting educators at this point. If I were a member of ODE, I’d revoke my membership.

The Deal

May 3rd, 2012
11:04 am

I was with David until he started that crazy rant. And I am with Angela, who is rightly suspicious and upset over the way teachers have been treated throughout this process. I don’t know how many times I can say this about the same entity (DCSS, DCSD), but, just when you think they’ve reached the bottom…


May 3rd, 2012
11:07 am


Fair response. One can only assume the same things will happen based on history. The reality is that due to events beyond our control, property tax revenues are still declining. The cost of goods and services are increasing. Compliance laws restrict schools of the ability to make alternate decisions on how some funding can be used. Schools are required by law to pass a balanced budget. When you also factor in that compensation makes up about 90% of school budgets, we find ourselves in the position of making tough decisions.

The only way I am aware of to pass a balanced budget when you consider my aforementioned points is to eliminate, slow down and/or hold salaries. These are not popular solutions but must be considered. If anyone can suggest a workable solution that will work, I’m sure everyone is listening.

I agree with the points made by Dr. Trotter in other blogs that if we don’t address discipline in an open and transparent manner, our schools will continue slipping. Citizens are holding you accountable for the education of our children. It should be reciprocal that citizens are held accountable for the actions of their children, especially when they compromise the learning process for others.

Lastly, teacher compensation impacts many of use also because we are married to educators. As spouses, we see how it impacts you every day as we are the sounding boards regarding your frustrations. We also have to make changes in our household budgets because the same increasing expenses that impact schools impact our households. Factor in those of us in private industry that have also experienced pay and benefit cuts or possible job losses (which are many), it makes it tough on everyone.

Beverly Fraud

May 3rd, 2012
11:44 am

David, you are resorting to the classic ad hominen attack, with a twist, as it were. Whether one is anon on a blog doesn’t bear one whit to the rightness or wrongness of what they say, ESPECIALLY if it is a question.

If it’s a STATEMENT, perhaps that has merit. Perhaps that poster should provide evidence that you have “sold out”. But a question doesn’t assert something as FACTUALLY true, it just asks a question. Kinda why they call it a ‘question’.

I asked a simple question:

Do you, or do you not represent teachers AND administrators? And as such, IF you fully advocate that teachers get their full 6.25% (and they did) MIGHT a consequence of that be that others in DCSS that YOUR organization represents end up losing THEIR jobs?

And if it is true, does that NOT create a conflict of interest?

Now you can get on your ad hominen high horse all you want, by that does NOT change the legitimacy of the question, whether I ask it, Maureen Downey asks it, or Bob from AccountTemps asks it.

Then again, if I had such a blatant conflict of interest, I might end up resorting to ad hominen attacks as well.

Or, I might try being HONEST about it, and explain how I still feel my organization can represent teachers and administrators FULLY even with a conflict of interest.


May 3rd, 2012
11:52 am

What are next steps for eduators of Dekalb who are trying to hang in there? If there is no higher level of expertise or legal counsel other than opinions on this blog, it is unfortunate. So frustrated, all of this just does not seem right.

Beverly Fraud

May 3rd, 2012
11:52 am

From Ron F: “surely a person is allowed to express an opinion without being accused of being “under a white robe.”

Ron F, I didn’t even notice that upon first glance. Was that really as hackneyed and ham-fisted an attempt to play the race card as it appears to be?


May 3rd, 2012
11:54 am

unions never tolerate this kind of foolishness.

Dekalb taxpayer

May 3rd, 2012
12:51 pm

I saw Mr. Schutten on the news the other day and was not at all impressed. This memo, however, does an extremely good job of giving a context for the teacher contract debacle. What I don’t understand is why teachers had to receive this information from a third party (ODE). Why didn’t the school system release this information through their overpaid spokesperson? Why is he there? All he has done so far is muddy the waters.

Dunwoody Mom

May 3rd, 2012
12:59 pm

@Dekalb Taxpayer, agreed, though I would have thought this information would have gone out with the contracts or letters and would have been communicated to the Principals who could communicate to their staffs. The memo contained some helpful information that would have gone a long way toward heading off some of the mis-information that has been flowing in the last few days. Sometimes this school system is its own worst enemy.

Ron F.

May 3rd, 2012
1:06 pm

“Was that really as hackneyed and ham-fisted an attempt to play the race card as it appears to be?”

It was ham-fisted and it was an out and out an example of what my granny would call “unmitigated gall”…took me a while to understand that if you got nailed for unmitigated gall, you were so definitely NOT entitled to the ever-presnt “well bless his heart.” Schutten gets no blessing for that statement.


May 3rd, 2012
1:20 pm

I’m not speaking for David but he does represent the largest group of employees in DeKalb Schools. His memo was for his constituents however I’m sure it was shared with all employees. From a communications standpoint, it is easier to deal with one person on behalf of many than deal with many. David also shared things that politically speaking, school representatives probably could not say.

Excluding his comments regarding other teacher organizations and to Beverly Fraud, principals could probably use this as ‘talking points’ to help explain the current situation to their staffs. I like the specificity he included regarding contracts, RIFs, board policies, retired teachers, and the new evaluation. I doubt if someone else could have articulated these important issues with context in an illuminate session to principals then have them concisely explain this to their staffs.

Kunta Kinte

May 3rd, 2012
1:54 pm

I ran across this document some time ago. I would like to see the DCSS provide us our state salary and local supplement on our contracts….show us the money, or explain to citizens why other districts have been able to pay their teachers a supplement or at least state salary. What happened to the money? Why is there such a disparity in what DeKalb pays vs. what other counties pay?


Complete in Duplicate Revised April 2001
Contract of Employment
State of Georgia
County of______________________

This Agreement is made and entered into as of the dates indicated below, by and between the

____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Board of Education (hereinafter called employer), and
City or County

Last Name First Name Middle Name Social Security Number

____________________________________________________________________________________________________, (hereinafter called employee).
Street City State Zip Code

IN CONSIDERATION of the promises hereinafter stated, the employer has offered and the employee has accepted employment, as a member of the

teaching or administrative staff of the public school system of __________________________________________________________________________ .
School System Name
1. Scope of work: The employee is assigned to the duty of_____________________________________________________________________ located at
Staff Position
________________________________________________________________________ in said school system but the employer reserves the right to effect
School Name and City
a transfer to any other location under the jurisdiction of the employer. The employee agrees to perform such duties as assigned, observe and implement such curriculum, standards and policy, and abide by such rules and regulations as may from time to time be put in force by appropriate lawful action either of the employer or the State Board of Education.

2. Term of contract: The employee shall be employed for the period from ___________________, 20___ to _____________________, 20____. The employee hereby agrees to complete a full school year for certified staff, as defined by the rules of the State Board of Education, and in accordance with the annual school calendar and regulations adopted by the employer. If this contract commences subsequent to the beginning of an academic school year, the employee agrees to perform designated duties on the remainder of employee work days in the school year, as defined by the rules of the State Board of Education and in accordance with the employer’s annual school calendar and work schedules.

3. Payment: The employee’s annual salary is based upon a _________ certificate level and _____________ years of creditable service in accordance with the official salary schedule, approved by the State Board of Education for certified personnel employed for a full school year, as defined by the rules of the State Board of Education and in accordance with the official work schedules adopted by the employer. The employee will be compensated as follows:

$_____________________ State base salary (based on State Salary Schedule)

$_____________________ State supplement*

$_____________________ Local supplement

$___________________¬¬__ TOTAL *State supplement (Check as appropriate):
___ Principal’s supplement ($_________)
___ Teacher of the Year ($_________)
___ National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification (min. 10% of state base salary) ($_________)
___ Other____________________________________ ($_________)

The salary specified herein may be subject to adjustment according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, Title 20, applicable to the classification and type of service to which the employee has been assigned, without obligation by the employer to make up any deficit beyond such sum as shall become uniformly applicable to all employees of the same group, classification, type and length of creditable service, as determined by any law or laws now or hereinafter in operation regulating the financing of public school systems. The salary is conditioned upon the continued availability of state funds under appropriations acts, as well as all amendments thereto, of the General Assembly, with all salaries subject to upward or downward adjustment according to increases or decreases in state funding from the level provided for at the time this contract is signed. The salary stated herein shall be subject to an adjustment on a pro rata basis for the number of employee work days the employee does not complete during the annual school year due to employment after the start of the academic school year, resignation, termination, or employee’s absence when there is no accumulated leave to cover such absence, in accordance with the following formula:

 Number of Days in Pay Status  x Annual Salary – Amount Paid = Amount Due
 190 

The number of days in pay status shall be equal to the actual number of employee work days completed by the employee, as defined in the rules of the State Board of Education, and in accordance with the official work schedule adopted by the employer, during the term of this contract. In the event the employee is eligible for and participates in instructional programs for which extended-day or extended-year salaries are earned in accordance with rules of the State Board of Education and the employer, compensation for such services shall be in accordance with the terms and conditions of an addendum to this contract. In the event of the death of the employee during the term of this contract, earned but unpaid salary or other monies will be disbursed to the authorized representative of the employee’s estate in accordance with Georgia law.

4. Certification: This contract is contingent upon the employee’s securing and continuing to hold a valid certificate issued by the Professional Standards Commission, as listed above; however, if the employee is unable to be properly certified, the daily rate of pay may be adjusted to that of a substitute employee retroactive to the beginning date of employment under this contract or to the date the certificate became invalid, whichever is more recent.

5. Termination: This contract shall not be terminated by the employee without the written consent of the employer. In the event that the employee does terminate this contract whether by formal notice or by willful failure or refusal to continue duties without such written consent, the employer may recommend to the agency designated by state law to investigate complaints of ethics violations by educators, that action be taken against the employee’s certificate or application for certification. This contract shall not be terminated by the employer except as provided for in any law of the State of Georgia presently in force or hereafter enacted pertaining to the retention and dismissal of employees of local boards of education and as provided for in the regulations of the employer.

6. Other: Amendments to this contract shall be in writing and signed by both parties. The terms and conditions of this contract are made expressly subject to provisions of the Constitution, laws, and regulations of the State of Georgia and the federal government. The employee hereby certifies that he/she is not under contract to any other board of education, unless such other contract provides no conflict with the duties required by this contract and addendum.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have executed the CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT in duplicate on the dates shown by each party’s signature.

______________________________________________ Board of Education, ________________________County, Georgia
City or County

By___________________________________________________ By _________________________________________________
Signature of School System Superintendent Signature of Employee

Date of Offer __________________________________________ Date of Acceptance____________________________________

The Public School Employment Oath of Allegiance on the reverse side must be executed by the employee.

another comment

May 3rd, 2012
2:34 pm

WOW! WOW! with that white hood comment David just made it clear that he is a raciest just like Eugene Walker. He truely does not represent any teacher or employee who is not black. He needs to resign right now. Looks like he was part of the Dekalb Mafia who leaked the contract negotiations of the White Superintendent Candidate.

Every white employee needs to quit and joined MACE right now. They are clearly not being represented by the Raciest. The parents who fund Dekalb with their higher taxes and their volunteer hours, in Dunwoody, Chamblee, Lakeside, and the Emory/Fernback area need to call for his resignation right now too. How raciest can you get, with White hoods.


May 3rd, 2012
2:37 pm

@Kunta Kinte,

If I remember correctly when I was in Clayton County that is how my contract was worded.
Good Point!

Beverly Fraud

May 3rd, 2012
3:13 pm

Ok David, you want to take umbrage at something an anon blogger said on DeKalb School Watch?


Let’s focus on something YOU said.

ATLANTA (May 14, 2010) – State Sen. Ronald Ramsey (D-Lithonia) was recently named Legislator of the Year by the Organization of DeKalb Educators (ODE) because of his commitment to public education in Georgia. You can see the pic at the following link:

You-or your organization to be more precise, awarded a state senator alleged to have ILLEGALLY SHUT DOWN a grievance hearing when a teacher was about to testify to SYSTEMIC cheating in a DCSS school?

And you don’t think it is FAIR and LEGITIMATE to ask if your organization has been compromised in its mission to FULLY represent teachers?


May 3rd, 2012
3:29 pm

I feel that Dekalb Teachers have been through enough. I retired in June 2010. The School where I worked had a Principal who had no elementary teaching experience and did not understand the methodology of teaching elementary age children and had no idea how young children learn. She tried on several occassions to tell me how to teach my class. Her suggestions were rejected, because I was the expert in that position and her suggestions made no sense. Because of her inexperince, she allowed her assistant principal to take over the school. The two of them together would do evil things to teachers and staff. You cannot reprimand a person for attendance when your attendance is poor. You can’t reprimand a person for being late when you are late most days. I don’t know what Dekalb have in mind when they place school level administrators. The worse of all, you cannot reprimand a teacher for trying to boost the morale of teachers who have been consistantly abused, threatened and intimidated by school level administrators when the admistrators attend private parties set up by the admistrator and only for admistrators. Teachers who have worked six years with no pay increase must consistantly observe administrators receive bonuses. The current superintendent is considering salary decreases for teachers, while her salary remains the same. I feel that it would be a great gesture if you would also consider decreasing your salary as well. Teachers are already at the bottom othe totem pole when it comes to pay, but they are the foundation upon which the pole stands.


May 3rd, 2012
3:31 pm

this is a mess of biblical proportions. ive personally spoken with some of the people who are going back into the classroom. they cant wait to do nothing just like the people they tried to help who did nothing. the reason is: nothing is going to happen anyway. d@mn shame.


May 3rd, 2012
3:32 pm

ODE is not a union. a union would not tolerate this mess.


May 3rd, 2012
3:55 pm

David Schutten is white. Why is he talking about the white robed KKK coming after him? I don’t mean to make light of his discomfort regarding the criticism he is taking, but that’s just not a very good analogy to use. Chances are, many of his detractors are African American. Doesn’t he understand that African American teachers are just as upset and vocal about this 6.25% pay cut?

He did not stand up to Lewis and Tyson when they eliminated hundreds of teaching positions. He has a lot to answer for all teachers in DeKalb – IMHO.

A Conservative Voice

May 3rd, 2012
4:12 pm

I see no reason whatsoever to keep the DCSS open. WOW, WOW and double WOW,WOW, why aren’t you parents with children in the system in front of every school demonstrating 24/7? IMHO, this is a school system in such a mess that it needs to be shut down, everybody fired and started over from scratch. As a DeKalb County Taxpayer of over fifty years, I am absolutely appalled that my tax dollars were used in such a manner. To the DCSS Board Members – You should all be ashamed!!!!!!!

Beverly Fraud

May 3rd, 2012
4:32 pm

Where in the world is Beverly Fraud?

Right here…now perhaps David is busy. But there is what, hundreds if not thousands of teaches in ODE?

Can even ONE of them explain, (if nothing else than for some advocacy of ODE) why the questions raised in the 11:44 am and 3:13 pm posts are NOT fair and legitimate questions to ask of him and ODE?

Maureen, care to take a stab at it?

Beverly Fraud

May 3rd, 2012
4:52 pm

From David at ODE

What does this mean? I cannot take seriously the comments of anyone who does not have the self respect to put their real name to their comments. I challenge these anonymous bloggers to a public debate.

Well actually David, I do believe I have read on these very blogs, on Dr. John Trotter who has said words to the effect of you can’t serve two different masters, and trying to represent administrators and teachers is a clear conflict of interests.

Now I see that Dr. Trotter was indeed cordial to you in this blog, but still, I must say, I don’t see MACE naming an OIR administrator who allegedly ILLEGALLY SHUT DOWN a grievance hearing any sort of “Legislator of the Year Award” as ODE did.

Maybe one of your hundreds (thousands?) of teacher members can come on here and explain why ODE should honor a legislature who (allegedly) violates state law designed to protect teachers as part and parcel of his day job.

Any takers ODE members?


May 3rd, 2012
5:06 pm

David has such a following of black female teachers and he is very well liked by them. Beleive me, he is not racist. I have know him for years and I used to teach with him.


May 3rd, 2012
5:07 pm


Beverly Fraud

May 3rd, 2012
5:26 pm

Well @anonymous321 maybe you can explain why the questions raised aren’t legitimate and fair.

Pardon My Blog

May 3rd, 2012
5:27 pm

@ A Conservative Voice – my sentiments exactly!


May 3rd, 2012
6:14 pm

For goodness sake people. I’m not sure all David’s political decisions have turned out well over the years (I remember how Zeporah Roberts lit into him after ODE had the backbone to endorse a candidate that wasn’t her). He and I have on many occasions been the only person that was not either an employee or elected official present at a subcommittee mtg or in the hall outside one of the legislative chambers. He is doing his job as best he knows.

In this case it involved sending out an e-mail at 10:40 at night in an attempt to provide what clarity he could. Many of us are guilty of being frustrated. If he let it show a bit, at least we know from his opening paragraph what he had been trying to accomplish on behalf of the teachers. I expect many of them will be glad to know the contents of that e-mail, which is the point.

I’ve pretty much stopped checking DSW2, as have many of my friends. No news only opinions.


May 3rd, 2012
6:34 pm

@ Angela and @ Kunta Kinte—-David addressed paying teachers the state salary minimum years ago. I received a letter explaining that I was to receive a $20 stipend w/ every check this year to bring my pay to that minimum. Next year, they will have to pay an even larger stipend due to my advancing to an Ed.S. and moving up a step on the state salary schedule. If you are supposed to be receiving a stipend, you should contact ODE and let them know. They will help you to right your pay. I am signing my contract, knowing that by law, they will have to pay me about $7000 more than what is listed. Your contract does state that the pay may increase or decrease depending upon the budget or other issues. One year they gave us a contract and then gave us furlough days afterward and it was completely legal due to that statement.


May 3rd, 2012
6:38 pm

@ Beverly Fraud—I don’t know what you are talking about, but as an ODE member I don’t really care. I am concerned about my professional organization being an advocate for me and meeting my needs. When ODE does me wrong, I will leave. Until then, they have done the best they can as an organization (not a union) and their voice is heard (sometimes ignored) but at least heard, in the county office.


May 3rd, 2012
7:00 pm

“I’ve pretty much stopped checking DSW2, as have many of my friends. No news only opinions.”

But the teachers and parents have not stopped checking and commenting. And neither has the AJC or obviously – David Schutten. Blogs may be noisy and opinionated, but reading is a very good way to check the pulse of public opinion. Public opinion is that nebulous wave that comes in to sweep politicians and public and private organizational leaders away just when they think the waters are calm.


May 3rd, 2012
7:02 pm

One thing I’ve noticed is that as a whole Dekalb is very disorganized and people do what they want regardless of rules. They are disorganized and have no plan, and no strong leader to say hey you messed up three times or four times or even fives times. I don’t think this is the position for you. I don’t see how money is not kept with a tighter control. I don’t see how people don’t see a conflict of interest. If I were Dr. Atkinson I’d want to find leaders who buy into my vision, and who listen to me. I would want honest principals who don’t hold personal grudges or who bully their staff. The worst she is going to walk away in three years is almost a million dollars. Id cut the top staff by 10%, send a message, next year 10 %, next year another 10% until you get the results you want, but not do any harm to your organization. You have to set a clear message of I want honest leaders and those that have integrity. Also look at teachers the same way. It starts at the top and works its way down. Spending .. ask yourself do i need this and if I do, how am I going to use it to improve student learning? Dekalb is a mess, and full of cronies, you need to cut those ties. Yes its hard, but don’t you think that that is why the school board hired her. They can’t tell their friends and family their fired, but hire someone who can and pay them a boat load of money. Problem solved. This walter wood also commenting on we would never fire 133 assistant principals! Oh really, but you would lay off 300 teachers? Whose going to get you the results you need? The AP or the teacher???? If your car is fixed right who do you thank the mechanic or the owner of the business? You thank the mechanic. If you get good service at walmart who do you thank the waltons or do you thank the associate who took care of you? Simple questions, sometimes hard decisions, but stay strong and get rid of the mess.

Name One

May 3rd, 2012
7:19 pm

David Schutten, as a member of eduKALB, endorsed Gene Walker. Enough said.

Girl from down under

May 3rd, 2012
7:59 pm

I know several people who received their job or “promotion” in the DCSD because of who they knew. I am not saying that all of them were not qualified, but I am saying that they were given preferential treatment, such as answers to interview questions and/or a promise of “getting the job” before its ever placed on PATS. This sort of procedure has weeded out other honest candidates for ever being able to interview.

ATTENTION DR. ATKINSON: You have our (the teachers and taxpayers’) full support; that’s if you do the right thing. BOE members will come and go, but the taxpayers will always be here. How do you want your legacy in the district to be viewed. We need to see some changes, and you need to begin making changes in that bloated place on Mtn Industrial….some like to refer to it as THE PALACE.

I would like to see all of those qualified candidate apply for those positions that will be posted to soon. I would also like to see a new hiring process; one that will not favor one candidate over the other before the interview.

Also, I will like to see an administrative shake up. Don’t allow a principal to stay at a school longer than a certain amount of years. I have witnessed so much nepotism and cronyism until I’m sick. Talk to the teachers, they can tell you everything you need to know to find out who certain people got their jobs.

Once upon a time, DeKalb was a wonderful place to work. To those people in the central office who walk around with your fancy suits and drive your fancy cars, APS has numerous OPEN positions.

Ron F.

May 3rd, 2012
8:07 pm

“He is doing his job as best he knows. ”

Marney: That is what raises an eyebrow from me. I understand frustration, but when you’re sending out an official communication, you need to keep it as professional and unbiased as possible…if you are to be taken seriously and professionally. I don’t envy the man his job, and I’m sure his stress level right now is off the charts! His discussion of the contract issue was spot-on and I can imagine a lot of people are better off for his explanation. His comments beyond that needed to be kept in a less public context.