The Cost of Security

The expenditure data for DCSS Security personnel shows that DeKalb is considerably out of line when compared to metro Atlanta school systems. No other school system except Atlanta Public Schools comes close to the massive expenditure of DCSS regarding Security personnel. Demographically similar school systems with much higher student achievement spend a great deal less per pupil for Security than DCSS. In an economic climate that must make every dollar count, DCSS needs to evaluate its expenditure for Security personnel.

School year 2004-2005:
DeKalb Schools employed 164 Security personnel to serve 97,282 students.

School year 2010-2011:
DeKalb employed 204 Security personnel to serve 95,481 students.

The charts below compare DeKalb School System’s current number of and expenditure for Security personnel with other metro Atlanta school systems (* references demographically similar systems).

Every Per Pupil dollar spent for Security is a Per Pupil dollar NOT spent for Instruction.

Comparison Summary (including benefits calculated at 20%):

DeKalb County Schools – 95,481 students – $10,844,887 for 204 Security personnel

Security Cost per pupil – $114

*Atlanta Public Schools (APS) – 48,805 students – $5,126,593 for 282 Security Personnel

Security Cost per pupil – $105

*Clayton School System – 49,551 students – $1,020,186 for 180 Security Personnel

Security Cost per pupil – $21

Gwinnett County Schools – 159,814 students – $2,755,802 for 48 Security Personnel

Security Cost per pupil – $17

*Rockdale County Schools – 15,582 students – $101,582 for 5 Security Personnel

Security Cost per pupil – $7

Fulton County Schools – 89,920 students – $4,292,198 for 66 Security Personnel

Security Cost per pupil – $48

Cobb County Schools - 106,619 students – $2,313,225 for 44 Security Personnel

Security Cost per pupil – $22

*Marietta City Schools - No expenditure in school budget for Security personnel

Marietta City Schools contracts with the Marietta City Police Department for 191 days of SRO services
SALARY RANGE BREAKDOWNS by District

*DeKalb County Schools – 95,481 students – $10,844,887 for 204 Security personnel
Salary Range   Number of Security Personnel in Salary Range   % of Personnel in Salary Range
$100,000+ 5 2%
$90,000 to $100,000 5 4%
$80,000 to $90,000 11 5%
$70,000 to $80,000 22 11%
$60,000 to $70,000 25 12%
$50,000 to $60,000 20 10%
$40,000 to $50,000 80 39%
$30,000 to $40,000 22 11%
$20,000 to $30,000 4 2%
$10,000 to $20,000 3 1%
Less than $10,000 7 3%
Total Personnel 204

*Atlanta Public Schools – 48,805 students – $5,126,593 for 282 Security Personnel
Salary Range   Number of Security Personnel in Salary Range   % of Personnel in Salary Range
$100,000+ 2 1%
$90,000 to $100,000 1 <1%
$80,000 to $90,000 1 <1%
$70,000 to $80,000 2 1%
$60,000 to $70,000 1 <1%
$50,000 to $60,000 9 3%
$40,000 to $50,000 8 3%
$30,000 to $40,000 19 7%
$20,000 to $30,000 53 19%
$10,000 to $20,000 85 30%
Less than $10,000 101 36%
Total Number of Personnel 282

*Clayton School System – 49,551 students – $1,020,186 for 180 Security Personnel
Salary Range   Number of Security Personnel in Salary Range   % of Personnel in Salary Range
$100,000+ 0 0%
$90,000 to $100,000 0 0%
$80,000 to $90,000 0 0%
$70,000 to $80,000 0 0%
$60,000 to $70,000 0 0%
$50,000 to $60,000 0 0%
$40,000 to $50,000 0 0%
$30,000 to $40,000 1 <1%
$20,000 to $30,000 15 2%
$10,000 to $20,000 22 18%
Less than $10,000 142 80%
Total Number of Personnel 180

Gwinnett County Schools – 159,814 students – $2,755,802 for 48 Security Personnel
Salary Range   Number of Security Personnel in Salary Range   % of Personnel in Salary Range
$100,000+ 10 21%
$90,000 to $100,000 11 23%
$80,000 to $90,000 0 0%
$70,000 to $80,000 0 0%
$60,000 to $70,000 1 2%
$50,000 to $60,000 1 2%
$40,000 to $50,000 1 2%
$30,000 to $40,000 3 6%
$20,000 to $30,000 8 17%
$10,000 to $20,000 7 14%
Less than $10,000 6 13%
Total Personnel 48

*Rockdale County Schools – 15,582 students – $101,582 for 5 Security Personnel
Salary Range   Number of Security Personnel in Salary Range   % of Personnel in Salary Range
$100,000+ 0 0%
$90,000 to $100,000 0 0%
$80,000 to $90,000 0 0%
$70,000 to $80,000 0 0%
$60,000 to $70,000 0 0%
$50,000 to $60,000 0 0%
$40,000 to $50,000 0 0%
$30,000 to $40,000 0 0%
$20,000 to $30,000 3 60%
$10,000 to $20,000 1 20%
Less than $10,000 1 20%
Total Number of Personnel 5

Fulton County Schools – 89,920 students – $4,292,198 for 66 Security Personnel
Salary Range   Number of Security Personnel in Salary Range   % of Personnel in Salary Range
$100,000+ 1 <2%
$90,000 to $100,000 3 5%
$80,000 to $90,000 8 12%
$70,000 to $80,000 16 24%
$60,000 to $70,000 19 29%
$50,000 to $60,000 10 15%
$40,000 to $50,000 2 <3%
$30,000 to $40,000 3 5%
$20,000 to $30,000 1 <2%
$10,000 to $20,000 1 <2%
Less than $10,000 2 <3%
Total Number of Personnel 66

Cobb County Schools – 106,619 students – $2,313,225 for 44 Security Personnel
Salary Range   Number of Security Personnel in Salary Range   % of Personnel in Salary Range
$100,000+ 1 2%
$90,000 to $100,000 0 0%
$80,000 to $90,000 1 2%
$70,000 to $80,000 3 7%
$60,000 to $70,000 7 16%
$50,000 to $60,000 14 32%
$40,000 to $50,000 14 32%
$30,000 to $40,000 1 2%
$20,000 to $30,000 0 0%
$10,000 to $20,000 2 5%
Less than $10,000 1 2%
Total Number of Personnel 44

*Marietta City Schools – No expenditure listed for Security personnel
Contract with Marietta Police Department for 191 days of SRO service

*Demographically comparable school systems

Sources:
Open Georgia (Salary and Travel Reimbursements):
http://www.open.georgia.gov/

Georgia DOE (Report Cards for Districts):
http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&StateId=ALL&T=1&FY=2011

6 Responses to The Cost of Security

  1. IneedAnswers says:

    Like my previous comment on the Vehicle. Why do we have people in the central office that are working like secret service and we have no idea what their position is and how much they are being paid. There is a guy named Mr. Greene that patrols the central office along side of a resource officer and both are in undercover clothing. Is the security issue that crucial? I see both men at board meeting and I think the public deserves answers. This is a school system not the white house.

  2. Mr. Bates says:

    Every dollar spent on security is a dollar not spent on instruction? Wtf is wrong with you? So, the cost for a man to take a bullet for a child should be $10 an hour? You think the guards at Obama’s daughters school are paid like mall cops? How much would the Sandy Hook parents have paid to spare 20 children. A teacher can choose to be a better a better teacher at any time for free. If they want more money to be better then they should be fired. Security is paramount. School security should be making double or triple what teachers make to keep children alive. The state of teachers in this country is joke. They ought to work for free based off of test scores in Atlanta.

  3. dekalbite2 says:

    @ Mr. Bates
    Are the children in DeKalb safer than the children in Gwinnett, Atlanta, Clayton, Cobb, Marietta, Fulton and Rockdale because we spend so much more for security? DeKalb spends $114 per pupil a year for Security. Rockdale spends $17 per pupil a year for Security. Are Rockdale students less safe or is DeKalb less efficient? DeKalb has no security personnel in the elementary schools. They depend on the same buzz and enter system as the Sandy Hook school. Why is Security a 12 month job even when students are not in the building all summer? Why are there security guards in all of the administrative offices in DeKalb that have no children while the elementary schools full of children have none? Does anyone really think DeKalb’s schools are the safest in the metro area?

  4. Mr. Bates says:

    You don’t pay for what security guards “don’t do” at school. You pay for what they “might have to do”.

    An armed guard stopped a child shooter at Price Middle School. The child still made it past the metal detectors, (for those of you who think guards are a waste, the metal detector didn’t prevent anything, the guard did.)

    I’d like to see your numbers of “wasted” dollars after parents start suing and winning against the district (they always do, always win).

    Talk about millions spent on guards? How about multiple millions in the double digits schools will pay out in law suits that could be prevented by guards.

    Since when did teaching stop being a noble job and a complaint about money? When was teaching suppose to be a six figure job? How about you address the national test scores from Atlanta? Your ranking is terrible and the International Student Center in Atlanta ranks NUMBER 1 out of 100 ranked schools for worst performing. Once again, you deserve less money because the children are ill prepared to function in the world. High school drop out rate in Atlanta? Are you guys blind? More money for you? Laughable and sickening.

    What if you fools got paid 100k and a child is killed because you have no security? No big deal right because you got yours?

    Answer the questions instead of making ridiculous points with no bearing on the matter in hand.

  5. dekalbite2 says:

    Actually, the cost of security versus the safety of children has a lot of bearing on the subject. DeKalb has around 200 security personnel and around 120 schools. Over 80 of those schools (elementary) have no security guards. Yet the Central office, the Bryant Center, Sam Moss, etc. where only adults are housed have security guards. Security, like any other cost center needs to be held accountable for providing good value (keeping all students safe) for the money. With 200 security personnel and only 40+ middle and high schools receiving security guards, it appears that our tens of thousands of elementary students and their teachers are indeed “on their own”.

    Iif we spent more on the number of teachers we need to have manageable classroom sizes, we would be spending less money on altercations between students and have more students participating in the learning process. Making our schools lockdowns like prisons is not the solution to student achievement or student safety. Packing high school classrooms with 40 students is just asking for physical fights and little learning taking place. Turning out undereducated students just moves the problems from the schools into our streets and that’s where it really turns dangerous. That is why EVERY dollar in education from transportation to administration to maintenance to security needs to be run as efficiently and effectively as possible. Our kids don’t have any do overs. This is their one shot at a decent education which leads to a decent life.

    No department needs to be above scrutiny. Can it be run just as efficiently and effectively for less cost or can it be run more effectively and efficiently for the same cost should be the question. In depth studies and comparisons with other systems need to drive this train. Scare tactics and crisis management has not proved effective for DeKalb and therefore not proved effective for students.

  6. psdad says:

    I think Mr. Bates’ passion for defending the jobs of DCSS security staff has clouded his reason. Mr. Bates’ nasty response leads me to wonder if this is the type of individual that we are paying to protect our children? I hope not. As for the dollars spent on security, if we actually saw the presence of security officers at our schools, I think we would be less concerned about the money spent but the amount of money spent would still be a problem.

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