The vortex of DeKalb: A long, slow flush

As Yogi Berra used to say, “It’s déjà vu all over again!”

ToiletYes, folks, welcome to the perpetual vortex called DeKalb. We have been living one long, never-ending Groundhog Day for over a decade now. We’ve enjoyed a 10 year history of headlines exposing the corruption, graft, waste, fraud and abuse alternating with a cycle of new ideas, new staff, new board members, new laws, new interest from ‘the powers that be’ and other forms of hope for the taxpayers that only continue to get squashed by the aforementioned overlapping cycle of corruption, graft, waste, fraud and abuse.

Recapping the last decade:

July, 2002: The DeKalb Board of Education hires Dr. Johnny Brown of Alabama as our new superintendent. Brown implements some ideas (at the encouragement of the board!) that really make parents angry – like uniforms, Algebra 1 in 8th grade with no prep for students and messing with the magnet programs. He also started to make cuts at the Central Office after results of a $341,000 salary audit by Ernst & Young showed massive amounts of waste and over-payments (ironically, one person at the top of the list of overpaid staff is a newly elected board member, Melvin Johnson!)

Whoa! Can’t have that! Bye Bye Johnny! Johnny exits stage left with a nearly half million dollar parting gift from the board.

Oct. 2004: The DeKalb Board of Education then turns to long time administrator Crawford Lewis. Lewis promptly sets to work protecting his highly paid insiders by eighty-sixing the Ernst & Young salary study. Well, at least waiting until after he cited it as a reason to give a select few people a raise!  Then he does things like tell all DCSS employees to write a letter of support to a principal (friend) discovered to have cheated on the CRCTs, and pay a former judge (friend) nearly a half-million dollars to ‘investigate’ a case of bullying that resulted in a 5th grader’s suicide.  She only offered an oral statement that she ‘found no evidence of bullying’. Cha-ching! Thank you very much Crawdaddy!

Lewis also ‘hired’ a new head of construction, Pat Pope (posing it as ‘an emergency’), who we later find out was already serving as a consultant, as well as Vice-President of her husband’s architectural firm (doing school system projects).  Lewis and Pope (who actually never formally divorced her former husband whose last name is ironically, “Clark”) then (in an emergency) ask the board to fire the current construction manager, Heery Mitchell.  The board agrees and Heery files a lawsuit for $1.5 million for unpaid work and contractual obligations. Lewis asks the board for $3.6 million to do a ‘study’ to determine a cause of action. The board agrees!! (A $3.6 million ‘study’ over a $1.5 million claim!)  Of course, the study determined that the school system should countersue for up to $120 million and we all know the rest of the story.  The only true beneficiary is King & Spalding as they collect millions from taxpayers representing us in this suit.

Lewis then drove away our best and brightest (which he never replaced) after he cut hundreds of teachers and hired massive numbers of people to ‘coordinate’ the remaining teachers (while being paid significantly more than teachers), building the Title 1 department at Central Office to levels never seen before and doing no good for students as test scores take a nosedive. Oh, and the head of that department? We later find out that primo position is held by his secret lover who he spends tax dollars to spend time away with at the Ritz Carlton and other places (still, ‘allegedly’, as the ‘trial’ for this crime and others has not yet begun and the prosecution’s key witness has died.) Lewis (as well as Pat Pope, his chosen COO) is eventually indicted on charges of racketeering and the board allows him to resign – just a month after granting him a raise. The Lewis timeline is a long and bumpy road.

Feb. 2010: Enter Ramona Tyson, a former business ed teacher (for about three years at Lakeside) who took a job for a while with IBM helping them ‘sell’ the Writing to Read program. She was able to return to DeKalb and eventually parlay that vast IBM experience into a job as Deputy Chief Superintendent of Business Operations – a position far beyond her Peter Principle.  But when Lewis resigned (due to those pesky racketeering charges mentioned above), he recommended Tyson be placed as interim – and the board complied! Tyson, with the support of the board, then proceeded to drag her 15 minutes of fame out for nearly 18 months – heading the biggest deficit spending spree in the history of DeKalb Schools, ignoring the board approved budget cut mandates, except to increase class size and cut teachers, while watching helplessly as test scores continued to plummet into the abyss.  But lo! She kept the vortex swirling by introducing the “Triage” attempt at recovering student achievement.  (What ever became of that ‘leadership group’ anyway? As far as we know, one person was fired, one person was demoted and one was moved into a position to monitor the use of temporary federal funds (the laughable ‘Race to the Top’).

To her credit, Tyson, after a great deal of pressure, finally released 4 boxes of papers relating to the Ernst & Young study. We posted our findings in the hope that it would inspire a new full forensic and salary audit. It has not. The board is unconcerned with inflated salaries in administration. Tyson promised a new audit, complete with a timeline, but it never came to fruition (surprise!)

Tyson, despite her utter ‘Fail’ as an education leader for children and their teachers, managed to cobble together a golden parachute that would even make the Governor drool!  In fact, the 2012 salary schedule shows that she made more than her replacement that year! Let’s not even think about how much this little stint will inflate her pension for years to come. Pretty impressive for a leader who left us literally broke. (And just wait until the teachers win their lawsuit!)

Speaking of… The DeKalb Board of Education (with hopeful newly elected members, Nancy Jester and Donna Edler) after a great deal of political maneuvering and leaks to the press, eventually hired Cheryl Atkinson.  Former board member, Don McChesney, who was a part of these ‘negotiations’ informed us of what really went on behind the scenes to ensure an Atkinson hire (despite our published concerns regarding her personal bankruptcies, inaccurate information on her application and the fact that her former system is broke and has financially been taken over by the state of Ohio.)

Atkinson brought 90 days of “Fireside Chats,” followed by her “Excellence in Education”, her “Five Guiding Principles,” “Theory of Action for Change” and her “Victory in Every Classroom” chatter to the podium, yet she implemented a vast pile of nothing. At times, she seemed more interested in her county-issued car, her personal security and her text messages (requiring the services of yet another taxpayer-paid attorney, Mike Bowers, former Georgia Attorney General!) than any kind of real work focused on educating children.  We believe it is these ‘missing’ text messages that caused her to vacate her post.  She exited quickly and quietly, slipping away to tend to her ailing father, and the details of his reported January 23, 2013 death, but never returning, instead sending her (taxpayer funded) attorney to negotiate her exit package – literally imposing a checkmate on the Board and leaving a school system of nearly 100,000 students without a leader.  Nice lady!

Overall, we as parents and taxpayers, have suffered a laundry list of corruption, waste and ineptitude, punctuated with alternating news of the latest ‘solution’ posed by the board and administration in the form of Charrettes, Blue Ribbon Task Forces, Citizens Task Forces, Triage, Elections, a proposed law attempting to reduce the Board, Grand Jury ‘investigations’,  (or not), reapportionment, SPLOST IV, SACS, the State Board, the Governor, etc., etc., etc. Those ‘programs’ and legal maneuverings have only proved to be Smoke and Mirrors designed to provide cover for the administration as they darn well do as they please, hire as they please, pay as they please and make cuts to the schoolhouses as they please.

The newest ‘action’ the Board is taking will probably be voted on in “Executive Session” today, as they vote to hire yet another new superintendent — in secret. We are not going to fall for any of these latest empty promises. Not the empty promise of a state ‘intervention’ or the sudden appearance of this latest “new superintendent candidate” (who, by the way was the former Labor Commissioner of Georgia, so where do you think his focus will be? JOBS of course!) Wake up and smell the coffee! We have been trumped by this Board! There will be no hearing on Feb 21. There is no work being done to address the SACS report. They have proven that they are untouchable – and now they are considering secretly hiring a third superintendent in as many years without even advertising the post. And this new candidate is a life long friend of the board chair who worked very hard with him to attempt to gerrymander political districts in order to create a third “max black” voting district for Georgia. … Brace yourselves… here we go… round and round in the vortex… take your Dramamine!

But due to the laws of physics, all swirling cycles of clogged waste succumb to gravity and the big flush is imminent. I, for one, am dizzy. I am ready for the big flush. The one that finally sends the clog of waste off into the free-flowing sewers allowing us to get out the Lysol and get to work scrubbing and restoring the system to a functional level. Bring it on!

Yes, this latrine will soon be flushed as there is no way to continue on the path of spending our dwindling tax base at the current rate, while using fake budgets that are never monitored or followed ending in year after year of deficit spending requiring massive cuts to the schoolhouse in order to maintain the bloated Palace employment of friends-and-family. Teachers cannot flex any more than they already have – they are ready to move yoga style from the Downward Facing Dog to the Warrior pose!

We need to demand support of the classroom. We need to demand a full forensic audit and salary audit. We need to demand that ‘bottom up budgeting’ so hollowly promised by Atkinson. Unless and until we see true, bonafied, transparent action (like the Open Check Register) we cannot back down in our demands.  Do not fall prey to this latest scam. Heed Dr. King’s advice: Do not allow yourselves to fall victim to sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Action is what we want to see and actions are what we will judge. Advice to the new super: Keep your wordy, empty promises to yourself and take some serious action: Flush.

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Gallery | This entry was posted in Board of Education Meetings, Budget Cuts, Crawford Lewis, Criminal / RICO Trials, DeKalb County [GA] Board of Education, Education in the South, Fraud & Corruption, Friends-and-Family, GA Legislature / Laws / O.C.G.A., Gene Walker, Georgia State Board of Education, Heery Mitchell Civil Case, Ramona Howell Tyson, SACS/Accreditation, Superintendent Cheryl Howell Atkinson, Teacher Contracts, Title 1, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to The vortex of DeKalb: A long, slow flush

  1. And now, for the latest news in the never-ending spinning vortex:

    BOE accused of secretly trying to hire new interim superintendent

    The DeKalb County School Board is trying to secretly hire an interim superintendent.

    “She may be on vacation or whatever they want to call it, but they have been interviewing people since last week for her position. So I would say that she’s basically gone,” state Sen. Fran Millar said at the state Capitol on Tuesday.

    Millar, who represents DeKalb County, told Channel 2′s Erica Byfield he personally knows someone the board tried to recruit. He added he doesn’t understand why the board is trying to hire anyone.

    “To be hired by this board, which potentially may not be the board in another 45 days or something, is a little bit silly, they need to focus on the accreditation issue,” Millar said.

    Ha. Ha. We are not going to fall for either one of these latest empty promises. Not the empty promise of a state ‘intervention’ or the sudden appearance of this latest “new superintendent” (who, by the way was the former Labor Commissioner of Georgia, so where do you think his focus will be? JOBS of course!) Wake up and smell the coffee Fran! We have been trumped by this board! There will be no hearing on Feb 21. There is no work being done to address the SACS report. They have proven that they are untouchable – and now they are secretly hiring a third superintendent in as many years without even advertising the post. And the new hire is a life long friend of the board chair who worked very hard with him to attempt to gerrymander political districts in order to create a third “max black” voting district for Georgia. … Brace yourselves – here we go… round and round in the vortex… take your Dramamine!

  2. Guy Midvale says:

    Thank you. That made up for your previous post which I felt was over “the line” and in poor taste.

    I think this is an excellent recap of the goings-on that have been made public. The truly sad part is we know there is much more that has been made public yet.

  3. Concerned Citizen says:

    It is absolutely unacceptable that Thurmond be allowed to meddle and interfere and most of all insure that Walker is still runnng things. As for Melvin Johnson, he rose to the height of Deputy Superintendent, with minimal administrative and people skills. He did earn a lot of money running gas stations while on the company'[s dime, and there’s not a high-ranking retiree who didn’t buy a house from him. Mustt we continue down this same old road? Nobody who ever worked with him said MJ was smart.

  4. Great timeline! There is so much more too! The cut and paste demographers report is one of my favorite hits from the past!

    By the way, with the latest news from New Birth, which broke on WSB-TV tonight, DCSD needs to cut all ties with New Birth immediately!

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/documents-show-warning-eddie-long-over-scheme-ephr/nWHpb/

    DCSD Mired in the muck of mediocrity, at the Palace, since 2002!

  5. Concernedmom30329 says:

    So they are considering hiring Michael Thurmond… Look at who his friends are.

    You are here: Home \ Events \ Race Relations Symposium
    Race Relations Symposium:
    “Are We There Yet?”
    Thursday, January 24, 2013 | 6:00pm

    Hyatt Regency Atlanta | Centennial Ballrooms 3 & 4

    In an illuminating dialogue, community, civil rights and political leaders examine race relations in 2013. We have come so far as it relates to race relations in America it begs the question, “Are we there yet?”
    Open to the public.
    MODERATOR

    Steen Miles
    PANELISTS

    Constance Curry
    Dr. Melvin Johnson
    Dr. Hilton Smith
    Dr. Charles Steele Attorney
    Michael Thurmond
    Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock

  6. howdy1942 says:

    If Atkinson is not gone, then this school board is way beyond its ethical bounds by interviewing Thurmond or any other candidate for any interim superintendent position. However, I agree with Senator Miller – Atkonson is apparently gone. I just hope that we don’t have to provide her with an enormous severance package – the very fact that our school system has gone so far downhill and her poor decision to protect Ralph Taylor are sufficient grounds to terminate her.

    State Law gives the State School Board the authority to recommend to the Governor that the Dekalb County School Board be replaced based on its “earning” the recent probation status. I hope that the State Board will not be intimidated by any threat from the few members of this Dekalb school board. My sense is that there is little support among our people for the Dekalb Board – period! I don’t think it would be supported by the Dekalb Legislative Delegation nor the business community.

    You pointed out that this Board has done more damage to our school children and to the school system than any other board. Just since the Lewis/Pope indictment, our property values have plummeted. This means that the tax base is likewise plummeting. Any loss in police protection or fire protection threatens our communities. Our schools will face far less financial support and will soon become a ward of the State. This cannot continue. It is in the best interests of our children, the residents of Dekalb County, and the State of Georgia if we act quickly to stabilize this situation and our property values that support our schools and county. Clearly, the State Board must remove the Dekalb Board. I don’t think that the State has much to fear from any lawsuit – there is simply no money to support it and there is little stomach for it among our people.

  7. dekalbite2 says:

    @ concerned citizen

    Nice symposium, but look at the 6 panelists and you can see who probably brought Mr. Thurmond on board:

    http://trumpetfoundation.org/events/race-relations-symposium/

  8. Concernedmom30329 says:

    Just a reminder — it appears almost certain that Orson is supporting Thurmond for interim and probably McMahan is as well.

    That leaves Jester and Speaks as the only ones unlikely to support him. If Orson and McMahan are your reps, you might consider emailing them and discouraging them from supporting Thurmond. He is close to Walker and has no knowledge of how a school system should work. Dangerous combination.

  9. Boy — looks like yet another community is going to do their best to ditch the county – and probably eventually the school system — Check it out!

    Citizens Group Announces Cityhood Study Initiative for Northern DeKalb County

    ATLANTA, GA — February 6, 2013— A group of DeKalb County citizens announced today the formation of the Lakeside City Alliance, a non-profit group created to study the possibility and feasibility of establishing a new city in northern DeKalb County. The Alliance is chaired by Mary Kay Woodworth, a lifelong DeKalb County resident, who lives near the Northlake Mall area. The Alliance released a draft map of the proposed parameters of the new city, which would be bounded roughly by Interstate 85 to the west, Clairmont Road to the south, Chamblee-Tucker Road to the east and Pleasantdale Road to the north.

    In announcing the creation of the Alliance study group, Woodworth noted that the proposed boundaries represent the Alliance’s efforts to define the community of interest that encompasses the proposed city. “After years of being 50,000 citizens without a voice, we are excited about the prospect of examining a form a government that is both closer and more responsive to the people it represents,” Woodworth said. “The Alliance will study the type of government best-suited to our area with an emphasis on allowing for more local control of police services, parks and zoning.”

    Woodworth noted that “members of the Alliance are all citizens of DeKalb County, and we look forward to assessing the feasibility of a local government that integrates efficiently with the current county government. We will study ways to fund and sustain a new city that provides services best overseen locally, while ensuring that the County can continue to provide the services it delivers best for all residents of DeKalb.” Woodworth explained that the group will host a series of public meetings to introduce the proposed map, discuss its plans with area residents and receive feedback from interested stakeholders. The first meeting will be held at at Lakeside High School on Wednesday, February 13.

    “Today begins a careful study of the best means to provide local control to taxpayers,” Woodworth declared, “who have felt for far too long that they were powerless to control their own destinies. It is our hope that with the formation of the Lakeside City Alliance, help is finally on the way.”

    Additional information can found regarding LCA by visiting LCA’s Facebook page
    (https://www.facebook.com/LakesideCityAllianceGa), website (www.lakesidealliance.org) and Yahoo! Group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lakesidealliance/)

    #####

  10. Betcha the City of Druid Hills isn’t far behind…

  11. DCSD FOR DUMMIES says:

    Where oh where is Carmen Santiago??

  12. Gregory Walker says:

    I’ve been fortunate enough to have conversations with several of the DeKalb legislative delegation over the past week – my impressions are: they are very concerned about the school system’s current state. None of them believe that the Governor will allow it to lose it’s accreditation. But, as all of them indicated independent of one another, it’s not a simple matter to replace them. Beyond the technical/legal aspects, they’re all very aware that we’re asking to replace elected officials (and whether we like it or not, we, collectively, elected them). Does anyone think they’re doing their jobs? No. So, that may be the straw that breaks their backs. One of the legislators thinks that the Governor will release all of them, but reinstate the 3 new ones that were just elected last fall. Best available compromise.
    As for cityhood… there’s bills being introduced by our delegation to actually make it a longer, harder process to just split cities off as fast as Brookhaven did. In the end, this ‘movement’ is really a reflection of how Fulton and DeKalb (specifically) are currently being managed, especially given the last 10 – 20 years. Their feeling is that, if there’s a true desire to form a city, it shouldn’t simply be a temporal (and 5-10 years is temporal in the long view, no matter how excruciating a stretch it’s been) reaction that can be gunned through the Legislature in less than 8 months. It should reflect a deeper level of planning, coordination, desire, etc. that is pro-active in nature. So, my personal take is that Brookhaven was the last ‘quickie’ we’re going to see for a long time. “Lakeside” won’t happen in this session, nor probably the next. The appetite within the Legislature as a whole just isn’t there right now.

  13. The results of the board meeting today —

    DeKalb school board can’t find a majority for new chairman

    Pam Speaks is the most logical, responsible choice. But these buffoons are too egotistical to do the right thing and vote her in as board chair so that they have a decently respectable person representing them.

    Apparently, they couldn’t pick a superintendent either. We are still quite leaderless.

  14. Plus,

    Next, came a grim update on finances.

    For fiscal year 2014, which begins in July, Chief Finance Office Michael Perrone projects a further decline in revenues coupled with rising costs for expenses such as health care. He told the school board they can anticipate receiving $18 million less in state and local revenue with a $6 million increase in fixed costs. The current budget is $730 million.

    Half a decade ago, it would have taken a couple minutes to trim that kind of expense from a comparatively plump budget, Perrone told them. “But after compounding cuts for five or six years, that twenty four million is going to be very difficult.”

    There was some good news: the deep cutbacks approved last summer put the system on track for a $10 million surplus at the end of the current fiscal year. But, Perrone said that will need to be applied to last year’s budget deficit of $16 million.

    It’s illegal for local governments, including school systems, to run a deficit without a repayment plan. Any surplus, Perrone said, must go toward paying down that debt.

  15. Continuing…

    After the public meeting, school board members retired to a private room for another in a series of closed sessions. The topic: “legal and personnel matters.”

    A couple hours later they emerged, and Walker said he had no response to rumors that the board was planning to replace Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson. On Wednesday, the school system responded to an open records request from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for any agreement terminating Atkinson’s contract by saying no such documents existed.

    “We want the public to know, but we don’t want the public to know prematurely,” Walker said.

    On Monday, former Georgia labor commissioner Michael Thurmond emerged from a similar closed session and said the board asked about his leadership philosophy and that the words “interim” and “superintendent” were used. Atkinson has declined to address the rumors.

    At the conclusion of Wednesday’s meeting, the board called another executive session for 3 p.m. Thursday.

    Many thanks to Ty Tagami at the AJC for his diligent reporting on the school board. It must be exhausting.

  16. Thanks Gregory for the interesting update. We had a short discussion recently on the legislation being dropped by Mary Margaret Oliver attempting to slow down the rush to citihood. We disagree with her efforts and feel that people should be allowed to forge their own destiny as a community. The legislature may succeed in slowing the process, but these people will not be stopped from escaping the grip of corruption in DeKalb and the school system.

  17. howdy1942 says:

    Just saw that the Dekalb School Board could not elect a leader. My hats are off to the five who did not vote for Walker – thank you, thank you!! Hang in there and don’t change your vote. Congratulations to Jim McMahon on being elected vice-chair. Even if Walker had been elected with five votes, that would not be a positive sign for his longevity in the position.

    I also urge you not to support Thurmond for interim superintendent. We deserve and expect better.

  18. dekalbite2 says:

    @howdy1942
    I suspect insider Melvin Johnson had something to do with that. He certainly knows Thurmond looking judging from a post on the get schooled blog:

    http://trumpetfoundation.org/events/race-relations-symposium/

    Look at the six panel members.

  19. concernedmom30329 says:

    Got a first hand report from someone who was at the board meeting. What Ty’s article left out, was that Johnson nominated Edler for chair and then voted for Walker. Who does that? And why?

    In the first round it was Jester (two votes, Speaks and Jester), Edler (three votes, Edler, Orson and McMahan) and Walker (Copelin-Woods, Cunningham, Johnson and Walker). Jester then out. Next vote, Jester and Speaks don’t vote. Everything else stays the same.

    Pathetic.

  20. The only logical and respectable person for Board chair is Pam Speaks – or Nancy Jester. Gene should be a big boy and do the right thing – nominate and vote for one of them. The fact that he does not see that he was a big problem for SACS is shocking. The fact that he chooses to dig in his heels to feed his own ego over doing what is best for the Board, the school system and the children of DeKalb is very very sad.

  21. DeKalb Inside Out says:

    Process of elimination
    No way they elect Ms Jester to chair. I’m happy to go into that further, but I’ll assume we can agree on that. For the same reason, to a lessor extent, Speaks will never get elected to chair.

    Where does that leave us?
    Jay – Illiterate felon
    SCW – Can’t speak in complete sentences
    Edler – Represents everything wrong at DCSD
    Walker – Ring leader
    Or one of the 3 new people

    If not Jester or Speaks, then who?

  22. DIO started it.

    Cunningham – We deliver.
    SCW – Say what?
    Edler – The dog ate my homework.
    Walker – I’ve got my PhD and I’m not afraid to use it.
    Orson – For the Glory of Fernbank. Excelsior!
    McCahan – What Orson said.
    Johnson – A World of Change!
    Speaks – Let’s get down to business.
    Jester – I’ve got my calculator and I’m not afraid to use it.

  23. psdad says:

    We could have unloaded a few of these clowns by now if DeKalb (and the state of GA) had a few additional eligibility requirements for board candidates/members.
    1) Any potential board candidate cannot have a relative (“relative” means father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, son, daughter, aunt, uncle, son-in-law, and daughter-in-law) employed by the school district;
    2) Any potential board candidate cannot qualify/serve if they have been found guilty of a felony;
    3) If, after the election of any member of the board, he/she becomes interested in any contract with or claims against the board or does anything that would render him ineligible for reelection, he/she shall be subject to removal from office;
    4) If a board member attempts to influence the hiring, advancement, or removal of any school employee, except the superintendent of schools or school board attorney, he/she shall be subject to removal from office;
    5) All board members must have completed at least a minimum level of education (college/high school).

    Kentucky put several of these requirements in place during the 90’s and they survived all legal challenges.

  24. I guess Marshall is the one then… why not – Marshall as chair and Jim as vice-chair? Oh wait… that won’t fly…

  25. bettyandveronica1 says:

    Thanks for comedic relief, we need a bit every now and then!!

  26. educator90 says:

    Just on WSB radio, Atkinson out of as tomorrow and a school board meeting has been called for tomorrow afternoon (not sure time).

  27. SRO says:

    I have made up my mind as a educator in DeKalb that I will NOT be renewing my contract at the end of this year. All of this FOOLISHNESS has finally worn the teachers down and enough is enough!!!! The Board and the central office has made it almost impossible to focus on educating students. Love the profession, but hate what it’s become…..GOTTA GO!

  28. Does anyone know when the next board meeting is supposed to be held? We were told Monday, Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. Didn’t know about the one where they elected the vice chair. Is the public only being informed after the fact now?

  29. educator90 says:

    I am very SRO. I know exactly how you feel and is why I stopped teaching 2 years ago. Many blessings to you!

    There is a meeting tomorrow, but the time I cannot find.

  30. Jester – You don’t know? Okay, can you get back to me on that one?
    Speaks – I’m surrounded by idiots.
    McChesney – Just let me know when you’re ready for me to come back.
    Orson – money, money, money.
    Walker – jobs, jobs, jobs.
    SCW – I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.
    McMahan – I need a drink.
    Cunningham – Just don’t leave me holding the night deposits, okay guys?
    Johnson – Just making sure everyone’s tithes are in order.
    Edler – Can we wrap this up? I’ve got a bus to catch.

  31. UnderPaidTeacher says:

    RE: There was some good news: the deep cutbacks approved last summer put the system on track for a $10 million surplus at the end of the current fiscal year. But, Perrone said that will need to be applied to last year’s budget deficit of $16 million.
    Nice to know there is a “surplus”. I heard that teacher’s won’t get paid for the two summer months due to budget problems. Like most, I can’t afford to work for nothing.

  32. UnderPaidTeacher says:

    @ GETtheCELLoutATL Next board meeting depends on who you are: general public – check the published schedule. Candidates for superintendent – we’ll send an email to the address on your resume with your interview, er, the next PRIVATE meeting date.

  33. AE says:

    First time commenting on this board, but I’ve been following it for a while. Can someone tell me why Marshall Orsen is the devil? I get that he’s very focused on his school (which I’m assuming once he has a dog out of that fight he’ll focus on the county as a whole) but since when is it a sin to be focused on your personal school? It seems like instead of hoping to work with the new members (who IMO will hopefuly NOT be new members in two weeks) instead of bashing them when, so far, they have no current public record to bash.

    I notice LHS posters on here defend their school and same with Dunwoody. Why wouldn’t he have done the same?

    I’m not exactly defending him. I’m not really a fan but at the same time the negative comments only fuel more bitterness. Why not try to approach him and the other two new members as potential allies instead of as enemies?

  34. I’ll give you one reason why we are skeptical about Mr. Orson… SPLOST IV vote, a one cent tax on every single thing you buy in DeKalb County for the next five years, including utilities, groceries, you name it… and Orson outright lied to the public and the media to make everyone believe that we had no choice but to pass the SPLOST tax in order to have the number of board members reduced from 9 to 7 (which still has not happened, btw) and that we would have a “monumental opportunity” to make them all stand for re-election. When, in fact, this reapportionment of districts happens every 10 years due to the census.

  35. Just so that he could get a new $15 million school in his neighborhood (because the $2 million new wing and renovations at the old one were not good enough…. we all get stuck with the bill of $475 million and who knows how many more years of legal battles.

  36. We have heard this before! Perrone — who came to DCSS via Atkinson — is not even able to move DCSS finances from a cash basis (that contributed significantly to DCSS’s financial woes) to the more accurate accrual basis. Ten million dollars? We don’t think Perrone even has a clue.

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