Board scheduled for FY2013 budget meeting Wednesday afternoon

DEKALB BOARD OF EDUCATION
CALLED MEETING

***Thursday, Wednesday, June 20, 2012
1:00PM

J. David Williamson Board Room
Robert R. Freeman Administrative Center
Administrative & Instructional Complex
1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard
Stone Mountain, Georgia 30083

This meeting will be streamed online, NOT televised.

We sent an e-mail to EVERY board member, Walter Woods, and Superintendent Atkinson asking if this critically important board meeting would be streamed and/or televised.  Their silence says a lot.  NO RESPONSE from the people who are elected by us and paid a salary by us.

By the way, how much is Margaret Francois paid to make errors?
D. ACTION ITEM
1. Approval of DeKalb County School District Budget for 2012-2013 (FY2013)
Presented by: Mr. Michael J. Perrone, Chief Financial Officer, Division of Finance

*** NOTE – this is a typo that was on the meeting agenda sent out via email from the board secretary. The meeting is actually on WEDNESDAY, June 20 at 1:00 PM.

The Proposed Budget Cuts:

Proposed budget cuts DCSS FY2013 – Click to view larger

The REAL Proposed Budget Cuts – Click to View Larger

: (Hidden Rows Revealed!)

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323 Responses to Board scheduled for FY2013 budget meeting Wednesday afternoon

  1. Former Dekalb Teacher says:

    You are mistaken. Dekalb has already laid off teachers. I am one of them. Back when contracts were issued, and some of us had our contracts delayed? Many of those contracts never came, and we were delivered termination notices instead. But they aren’t being particularly transparent about it.

  2. Terry says:

    Well, John, take a good look at where DCSS is today and couple that with the fact that it’s been nepotism that’s SUNK our school system!! And YES! From personal experience with this school system I KNOW they don’t hire the “best qualified”…. they hire friends, bridesmaids, next door neighbors and FAMILY.

  3. justwatch says:

    I am sorry – I meant teachers who received contracts. I realize that DCSS did not renew the contracts of teachers, especially those in areas where we had too many teachers. Are you a special area teacher or a subject area teacher? (I understand there were layoffs in PE and music, curious where the other layoffs were.)

  4. Former Dekalb Teacher says:

    Music, but the only music teacher at my school. And why the distinction between teachers who received contracts? Or do you just mean that there won’t be any *additional* layoffs?

  5. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Check that. We’re told they will stream the meeting. You can find it online here:
    http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/pds-tv24
    Click the little tv icon that says “Watch Live, Click Here”

  6. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Not only that, they have not left enough time for private entities to tap the pre-K lottery funds and set up free pre-Ks in their churches, etc. This is how it’s done in Cobb and elsewhere and it works out pretty well. Pre-K students actually harm our FTE funding, as they take up space in buildings, but do not count for FTE credit with the state, therefore lowering our credits for construction funding from the state as well as other state monies.

  7. justwatch says:

    I meant additional layoffs. I had heard that we had too many PE and music teachers in the system and that there were layoffs in those areas.

  8. justwatch says:

    Also the “patch” papers will be live during the meeting if you want to chat with others —

  9. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    The Technology Department – hmmm. Isn’t that under Ramona Tyson? I would bet we still have an ‘old guard’ nepotism problem in place.

  10. Dawg93 says:

    Per today’s AJC article by Ty Tagami, pre-K won’t be cut, which seems to confirm Dunwoody Mom’s post below that they’ll keep it and just cut the # of days. I guess we’ll see:

    http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-school-board-to-1460773.html

  11. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    @South DeKalb: You are SO RIGHT! No – you are not dreaming! The budget has been a vast wasteland of smoke & mirrors for years now – and things have not improved. I will repeat a comment from above, because it is critical to your point. The board makes “cuts” but the staff never implemented most of those cuts, thus NO savings was ever realized!

    Anyone who has been paying attention the last few years will notice that we have had to revisit budget cuts every single year – and the last two years to the tune of $100 million! That said, one has to wonder if the cuts ordered by the board were ever really enacted. Something strange is going on with the ‘books’.

    Click on our TAB at the top labeled “FACTS & SOURCES”. Pull down to “AUDITS & BUDGETS”. View or download some of the items we have stored here. Curious: Last year, we went round and round with the same kind of budget cut discussions. In the end, the board voted to make over $30 million in cuts to the 2010-11 budget, and $100 million in cuts to the 2011-12 budget. Now, they’re saying we need to cut yet another $70-$85 million for 2012-13. But oddly, when you compare the budgets, in the document labeled “Budget Detail” found in the Audits & Budgets” tab, the total budgets ring up as below:

    2010 – $836,598,734, 201 (actual)
    2011 – $807,823,774 (actual)
    2012 – $774,598,089 (budget)
    2012 – $799,259,065 (projected)
    2013 – $801,402,815 (budget)

    So – where are all of the supposed “cuts” that were made? In total, we are not that far from our 2010 budget, but that budget included a one-time $42,460,080 ARRA federal grant. So it’s basically the same. We’ve stayed the same!! Not only that, enrollment has DECREASED during this time and buildings have closed and consolidated! Where are the savings?

  12. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Yes, of course cutting pre-K is about cutting teaching positions. Although, with pre-K the cut may only be to the bump from the DeKalb-funded portion of the program (they may cut back to only the funding supplied by the state via the lottery.) The board uses euphemisms like “points” and “positions” and “allotments”, but what they really mean is “teachers”. These jobs COULD be reopened if private entities were given the time and the help to implement lottery-funded pre-Ks in private facilities. But I think the board may let these folks simply blow away. I hope private entities pick up the ball and start up lottery-funded pre-Ks in their facilities.

  13. robinseek says:

    The high salary employees in MIS are never touched. It’s always the lowly paid CTSS that is cut. They are the people out in the local schoolhouse making sure the equipment is working for the students, teachers and admin. I think more attention should be given to reducing more of the high salary employees in MIS. By the way, the title of CTSS was eliminated and the new title is Information Tech 1. Same salary….same responsibilities…..smh

  14. Interesting… so it “looks” like the CTSS that were slated to be cut in the board’s cuts last year were cut – but most were simply renamed. How many of them were cut? Any pattern to who got cut and who stayed with a new job title?

  15. Fandango says:

    I did that as soon as I got my + $30,0000 new assessment.
    My assessments have never gone down because whenever the building decreased the land increased to keep it the same.
    Just researching the other properties for my appeal and the wacky disparities and land $ hikes is crazy making stuff.

  16. Nepotism says:

    @ John Hope and Thank you Terry for the clarifications. Hey didn’t you see where the DA’s office bought up additional charges on CLewis for using his power & position to promote friends, family & obtain goodies?
    So there is a law in place if a family member use their power & position to hire & then rehire family and friends, even after their job was eliminated. There is simply no fear because no one is stopping this corruption. How in the world does a person with no family member to watch their back have a chance with getting a fair chance. All I talking about here is being fair and stop wasting our time with interviewing when you saving this job for your sister. What goes around comes back at you.. Please Mr. D.A. read this because it is still happening.
    Truthfully, out of the seven family members who are ALL in the I.T. Dept., there are only two(2) who are qualified.
    How does any HR manager allow that many family members of former employees in the I.T. Dept. in the first place. I forgot because the HR manager has a family member in the IT Dept.
    It is an unfair cycle that must be stopped.

    Excuse me but DeKalb Public School District (DCSD) is not a family”Owned business here and no one is the CEO of DeKalb County school but the taxpayers. Therefore, your sons, daughters, brothers or sisters should not be easily afforded a piece of the rock here, especially when they are not qualified. This is a public school, where other families’ are left the pay high taxes to foot their salaries. Please get this message out, because this is not fair to anyone. We tend to think that there is not a problem until it affects you, or someone in your family.

  17. Nikole says:

    At the Board Meeting where they approved it, the cost was about $300,000. The rest was funded through a grant from SFA. I assume that when that grant is over, the program will be over.

  18. Nepotism says:

    @DekalbSchoolwatch
    Ramona Tyson used to be the head of that Dept. who somehow, someway know how to cover up those high salaries that she allotted to the I.T. Dept. She is still running things at DCSD, don’t be fooled. It was a year ago they cut/R.I.F, nine(9) CTSS, but then rehired them back. This FY, there were 91 CTSS(s) who work directly with the students and teachers in the various schools, some had two(2) schools, and supposedly 18 were going to be cut and they were. This just happened with this budget. These CTSS were the first level and immediate access to the students and teachers to provide immediate computer training and repairs on contact. Now the new guy has pulled all of the Elementary CTSSs out of schools. He wants them to travel to get to point A and B. How much time will the students have to wait for anyone in DeKalb’s traffic to get to point A and point B. A teacher does not have time to wait for a CTSS to arrive to their school to get her Interactive Board back up and running after a mishap. The teachers need has lessons to teach by the minute. Can they stop and wait for a techie to arrive over an hour.

    The “New guy” from Lorain County threw the lowest level paid CTSS(s) under the bus by restructuring them under the MIS Dept. Therefore, it appears that MIS really met their quota to Atkinson for the Budget cuts.

    Unless you have other resources look at http://www.open.ga.gov and search for DeKalb’s Technology Dept. to see those salaries for Management Information Systems (MIS) or Educational Information Systems or Instructional Technology Specialist – there are so many names Ramona made up, we can not keep up with them. Look at how many Managers there are within that small dept. who manages 4-7 people. When one manager could manage all of them.

    Ramona used her position and power to hire the many contractors from the companies who had bids with the county to supply their technology equipment. Let me say she slid them in without any job posting of a position. Therefore, after these companies folded from those low bid-dysfunctional computers they furnished us, but Ramona aided them by hiring their employees.

    I beg the tax payer citizens of DeKalb County who voted for SPLOST, that someone need to investigate how the I.T. Dept have used those SPLOST funds to hire outside contractors that do not go through HR or background checks. There are so many contractors sitting over there now with jobs that those 18 Certified Technology Support Specialist(CTSS) who were eliminated could be doing. There is so much corruption to type about now.

  19. educator90 says:

    Nikole, Never assume anything like that with the DeKalb School System.

  20. educator90 says:

    Wonder what other jobs this has happened to. Also what are the true cuts that have been made, not this smoke and mirrors of changing job titles around.

  21. jnj says:

    What is the link for the “patch” live blog. The meetIng is not being streamed online. Last week’s meeting is being shown.

  22. Tit For Tat says:

    Where on line can I watch this Budget Meeting?

  23. Terry says:

    Ramona Tyson was the head of IT for several years… then she got her wish…. she gets to “sit in the big chair” now!!!

  24. Educator688 says:

    It looks like the meeting is about to be broadcast on PDS24.

  25. robinseek says:

    For clarification purposes, the CTSS’ new title Information Tech 1, will become effective July 1. The title has remained CTSS up to this point. This is part of the new guy putting the former CTSS under MIS and removing those assigned to 1 or 2 elementary schools from being assigned to the elementary schools and putting them at the Bryant Center to travel back and forth to an assigned region. From what I understand, those assigned to middle and high schools will remain assigned to those schools. I don’t understand how removing the former CTSS from elementary schools will be cost saving. With gas prices being as high as they are, I’m sure those new CTSS will do mileage reimbursement. It’s going to be interesting to see how this is going to work when a teacher has a problem with his/her interactive board, telephone, or computer.

  26. Terry says:

    I understand that of the 90 positions that WERE there are going to be reduced down to something like 60 or so. Years of work do not count for the new position. However, the “CTSS” folk were “fired”?? and then had to reapply for their jobs, take a test and go through the interview again. Was it an outside source that was in charge of the interviews? No…. same ole, same ole. “You are my buddy, I like you, you get the job.” Was anyone else in the county treated this way….. I have no idea.

  27. Nikole says:

    There will be fewer of these positions. They found that this new model would be more effective and the techs’ jobs will be evaluated based on how quickly they respond to requests for help. I will be sure to report back next year whether or not this system is working.

  28. Terry says:

    WOW!!!!! Hit the nail right on the head. I could never understand this either. I often heard that this person or that person was being “let go” in the MIS building, but lo and behold, a few weeks later that person was right back making the same salary!! YES, MANY people knew Tyson was making up new titles for her buddies. If anyone (on the outside) were able to look at the incredible number of people that work for DeKalb county schools they would probably throw up. Look it up…. there IS a Georgia website that lists every government job by person’s name and work title and how much they made last year….. it’s eye-popping! OH, there it is… open.georgia.gov….. drop down window to dekalb and have fun reading.

  29. Miss Management says:

    I am convinced that Purgatory consists of listening to Sarah Copelin Wood ramble on and on forever…

  30. For those who can watch television, the budget meeting is televised on TV24, as well as streamed. We would have told you sooner, but — again — there was NO response from Superintendent Atkinson, Walter Woods or ANY of the board members to our question about whether or not this critical meeting would be broadcast or streamed. Please remember when you go to vote this year, and next, that the people who salaries you pay could not be bothered to answer a simple question put to them by DeKalb School Watch.

  31. Yes, go to open.georgia.gov. You can download the DeKalb budget to Excel. You can use the sort feature of Excel to see how many people are in specific divisions. You can check how many people are in specific budget categories. There is a lot to be learned from open.georgia.gov.

  32. Miss Management says:

    Sarah blasted Nancy for saying that an audit is not an investigation… Sarah relies on the audit done by the state. Let’s see… Nancy has a Master’s degree in finance – Sarah’s been ‘Attending” Clark Atlanta for 40 years… who knows what they’re talking about? Sarah, the state just does a basic audit, like balancing the checkbook. That doesn’t mean that money isn’t being spent somewhere that it shouldn’t.

  33. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Mr. Perrone updated us as to the ‘changes’ to the recommended budget. Something about keeping magnet transportation, but eliminating transportation costs elsewhere. Also, taking money from Fernbank.

  34. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    McChesney objects to cutting real teachers who teach real students (Fernbank Science Center staff) in exchange for diesel fuel to keep transportation that is above and beyond what is mandated by the state.

  35. The published budget cuts do NOT match what they are discussing. Typical.

  36. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Obviously, they are using a different budget cut sheet than the one posted as supporting doc on the board’s website.

  37. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    OMG! Jay is admitting that Arabia was originally intended to alleviate over-crowding but instead became a ‘choice’ program. We made it countywide choice. Satellite transportation was required – 891 students ride the bus. Without transportation, we will have to close the school. (Arabia is waaaaaayyyy out in the furthest corner of the county about 30 miles from Dunwoody – 25 miles from Lakeside – not much of a choice for a lot of kids.) Jay fought for satellite transportation last round of budget cuts (the ones that never happened anyway) – he voted to cut 100 parapros and Tech staff and Media clerks in order to keep those special buses. Misplaced values if you ask me.

  38. educator90 says:

    Cunningham doesn’t seem to understand what choice is. When you’re not going to your neighborhood school, and you’ve applied and won a lottery to another school, it’s a choice program.

  39. I have gone through the budget and have “unhidden” a whole lot of hidden rows. Very interesting. I am going to save it and send it to my co-editor so it can be published on the blog.

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