Board scheduled for FY2013 budget meeting Wednesday afternoon


***Thursday, Wednesday, June 20, 2012

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?
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!)

About dekalbschoolwatch

Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students. ~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
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323 Responses to Board scheduled for FY2013 budget meeting Wednesday afternoon

  1. educator90 says:

    Why did the board go to a leadership conference in another city? We have paid for a beautiful palace with expensive furniture and pretty nice digs, why couldn’t it be held there or stay home?

  2. Just a Mom says:

    this meeting is a train wreck!

  3. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Donna obviously didn’t understand Don’s comment. He said why cut real teachers teaching real children… She responded by saying ‘as opposed to ‘non-real’ children in other schools?’ Boy, she really digs deep to make up insults that WERE NOT SAID. Stop being so divisive Donna!!!

  4. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    It’s statewide – held by the GA School Board Assn. They set the place.

  5. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Interesting! Donna put the idea out to move the Fernbank Science program to Arabia! That was Dr. Lewis’ original plan… he tried very hard to move that planetarium, etc to Arabia. Donna’s been talking to someone…

  6. Tit For Tat says:

    How is this discussion helping to establish a budget…so frustrating!!

  7. educator90 says:

    Agreed. That is not what I heard from Don.

  8. They went to the Georgia School Boards Association conference which meets the SACS-MANDATED “continuing education” for the board members. SACS is a completely useless piece of garbage that costs us waaaaaay too much money for NO benefit. Unfortunately, the annual SACS dues payment was on the “Consent” agenda for last week. A board member told us that item would be requested held out for separate discussion — and then the same board member sat silent. One of MANY reasons why the Georgia General Assembly needs to eliminate consent agendas — at least for school boards.

  9. educator90 says:

    Thanks for this info. Just because it’s held, doesn’t mean that we have to attend, or that everyone has to attend. We don’t send teachers to the Math, Science, English, and History conferences to get more knowledge and keep them fresh. If they attend these things, it is done at their own expense. Why are the school board members special?

  10. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Aha!! We figured out what they are looking at! There were several ‘hidden’ rows in the Excel document they uploaded. We have created a new jpg for you to review so that you can see those hidden ‘changes’… It’s in the post above, called “The REAL Proposed Budget Cuts”. Have a look so that you can see what they’re discussing.

  11. educator90 says:

    Why do we pay for the continuing education of school board members and not for teachers? What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    SACS needs to go, as they have done nothing to help the children of DeKalb get a good education and have sat silent while money is constantly wasted and thrown away and the quality of education continues to decrease.

  12. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Bowen says there are TEN SROs assigned to the Admin building!! He wants them out in the schools. (of course, there are 2 alternative schools in that building – they may actually need those SROs).

  13. Lewis absolutely DID make an attempt to move Fernbank Science Center from the middle of the county to the very edge of DeKalb County at Arabia Mountain — with the assistance of Sally Sears who he appointed as the chairperson for the committee evaluating the future of Fernbank Science Center. The co-chairs for the Institutional Advancement sub-committee refused to sign off on Sally Sears’ final report because of the issues found with the Fernbank Science Center lease and deed. The co-chairs brought that to Lewis’s attention, explained why the final report was tremendously flawed and provided a separate final report. Any of that can and will be made available through this blog and/or on request to the blog e-mail:

  14. TeachingHS says:

    Furlough days and a pay cut through benefit cuts…let’s see, that’s over $800 a year in additional out of pocket for the employee on the health care element alone. Anyone here have $800 additional dollars just laying around?

  15. justwatch says:

    sarah is horrible. Just horrible.

  16. educator90 says:

    What part does Sarah not understand that there is NO RESERVE!!!!! We are in the hole over 80 million right now, and maybe even more if law suits are lost.

  17. Just a Mom says:

    makes me want to bang my head (or hers!) against a wall

  18. John Hope says:

    Actually if Arabia went back to what it was originally sold to the community as, a new high school to relieve overcrowding in the southeast DeKalb corridor, you could redraw attendance lines and probably eliminate several SPLOST projects at the same time. The choice program could remain if parents choose to provide transportation for their children.

  19. Dawg93 says:

    Sarah Wood should never serve on a school board anywhere, EVER. She’s an idiot, period.

  20. Student achievement will NEVER improve until classroom discipline improves. How difficult is it to see that?

    Plus, consider just this one thing — 40% of the science portion of the Georgia High School Graduation Test is biology. Students take biology in 9th grade and the overpaid science oversight personnel refuse to look at that and let students take biology in 10th grade, not 9th grade (2 years — and two full summers — before the GHSGT). A plan for utilizing technology to spread the educational benefits of Fernbank Science Center throughout DCSS — and, by paid subscription to bring in outside funds to FSC, across the state of Georgia was presented to Crawford Lewis AND to Nancy Jester, among others. No response.

    Further, if your child has never seen a Fernbank teacher at school, you should look hard at the teachers in your child’s school who apparently never bothered to schedule FSC teachers to come to the school. If your child has not participated in any after-school or weekend science activities at Fernbank Science Center, then take a hard look in the mirror. Education is more than just what happens in the classroom.

    The very next Grand Jury needs to call Debbie Loeb, Crawford Lewis’ original chief of staff and right-hand person, who quickly retired and moved out of state, but who knows about all of Lewis’ wrongdoing. Loeb and Lewis were joined at the hip. Ramona Tyson, one of Lewis’ 4 direct reports, not only knows — she had to have participated.

  21. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Dr. Atkinson touched on the personnel reductions so far: 817 have been non-renewed (via retirement, rif’s, dismissals, etc.) of those, 537 are TEACHERS, 77 from Central Office, 56 from Music, PE, and other Coaches.

  22. VictimofDCSS says:


  23. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Dr. Atkinson comments:: She said she took another look at the Fernbank Science Center in order to keep it open at $1.5 million (only saving $3.2 million vs $4.7 to close). They discovered that if they closed it, the Center would revert to the Museum and be lost forever. They are trying to save it for a different future. Also, students signed up for certain programs thinking they would have transportation, so instead of $1.5 million savings we will save $700,000. We have far fewer buses than surrounding counties: Cobb has over 1,000, Fulton has over 1,000, DeKalb has only 800. Fernbank needs to move to a self-sustaining operation – the $1.5 million will allow them to operate at some level while they work on securing outside funding. We MUST make this budget work to deliver services for all 98,000 students. Re: SRO, there are administrators for the program. We can cut them instead of reducing officers. We have never said we’d take an officer out of a school. We are doing our best to bring the best decisions we can. If we DO NOT make some decisions, this situation will continue to get worse financially. Can we reduce the school calendar by 10 days? Answer is Yes. We can do it by adjusting the school day by 20 minutes.

  24. justwatch says:

    Womack just suggested taking 10 days off the calendar –which is a huge pay cut for teachers. He is an ASS.

  25. Womack. Too confusing! He got off somehow on the budget and was reading from the wrong lines, as far as we can tell.

  26. Teacher/Parent says:

    Unbelievable. Womack is completely indifferent to what 12 furlough days translates to in $$ to teachers. His attitude shows he can care less!

  27. John Hope says:

    The would essentially be a reduction of 12 days of pay for school employees. Would that put their pay below what the state provides, at least for the lowest paid teachers?

  28. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Womack’s suggestions:
    Eliminate any millage increase.
    #1 $5 m (Central office layoffs)
    #2 $2.7 m (eliminate pre-K)
    #3 $3,640,000 (eliminate add’l magnet allotment)
    #4 $1.4 m (eliminate extra montessori pts)
    #6 $1.8m (eliminate special transportation)
    #7 – $4.7 m (eliminate bus monitors)
    #10 $700,000
    #11 $1.6 m
    #14 $7m
    #15 $1,750,000
    #16 $85000
    #17 $650,000
    #19 $5m
    #22 Reduce FB by $2.5 m
    #24 $975,000
    #25 $815,000
    #26 $876,580
    #27 $250,000
    #28 $4,695,240
    #29 $2,114,640
    #32 $6m furlough 2 days
    #33 $7m (increase class size by 1)

    Delete 10 days from school calendar (save Approx $30 m)
    This balances the budget leaving about $5+ mil extra

  29. How long is the break? 50 minutes or 15 minutes?

  30. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Walker vehemently opposes. Says ‘what will it do to teacher’s pay?’ ‘What will it do to student’s time on task?’ These additional 10 days will have a significant effect on teaching and learning. Answer: Time on school would be 20 minutes longer each day to make up for the 10 days taken off.

    Walker discovers they haven’t had a motion and a second so they can’t formally discuss yet. Got those – now they’ll take a 15 minute break to get the numbers.

  31. justwatch says:

    15, but they almost never come back on time

  32. What if the savings was made up not from teachers and other employees’ salaries, but from the attendant expenses of keeping the school buildings open and operational — i.e., utility costs, etc?

    What if whole lot more Palace employees were RIF’d?

    What if the Palace employees were moved back to Buildings A & B and the Palace was sold or leased?

    What if the schools located at the Palace were moved into some unused DCSS facilities?

    What if we had an online checkbook so everyone would see where revenue is coming from, who gets it credited to their accounts, and where expenses are coming from?

  33. What if we started school AFTER Labor Day?

    What if the CRCT tests and the EOCT tests happened the last week of school?

    The school year would be tightened up, the day extended some, and money would be saved without cutting teachers’ and employees’ salaries.

  34. Terry says:

    AWESOME!! So… when are you running for school board?

  35. pscexb says:

    Wow, further reducing the pay of teachers sounds close to what Fran Millar suggested. I wonder if Grover Norquist is helping with the recommendations since the millage increase was taken off the table.

  36. Tit For Tat says:

    It seems to me that different budget scenarios would have been created BEFORE this meeting…so they could be voted on. This meeting has now passed 2 hours and not much is accomplished.

  37. Just lots of grandstanding.

    Perrone really should provide much more detail than this:
    General Operations – $759,706,033
    Special Revenue – $95,146,114
    Debt Service – $52,439,750
    Capital Outlay – $149,290,048
    Food Service and Athletics – $54,013,769
    Trust and Agency – $19,625,500

    However, perhaps Food Service could be dimininished considerably and everyone could bring sack lunches from home. Students on Free-or-Reduced-Price Meals could get sack lunch and sack breakfasts in the cafeteria.

    Debt Service can be laid at the feet of long-time board members who allowed borrowing against SPLOST funding.

    What is Trust & Agency? What is Special Revenue?

  38. Concerned DeKalb Mom says:

    Taking 10 days away from the school calendar–this late in the summer–so negatively impacts families that I can’t even begin to count the ways.
    Womack is choosing to balance the budget on the backs of our teachers and students. No Central Office staff will be impacted with this choice. Unbelievable. Just absurd. And if he sincerely thinks that 20 minutes each day is going to make up for 2 lost weeks…well, perhaps he’s never worked with kindergarteners in a classroom. And the schools on the block, unless they split these 10 days, are going to get slammed.

  39. educator90 says:

    It’s NOT about the teachers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT”S about the KIDS and educating them to the best of the ability of the county!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. Thank you for clarifying. I do apologize. Actually, I was unaware that FSC enforces a limited number of visits per school. I do want to say that cutting Fernbank Science Center does NOT mean that there will be fewer children in the classrooms. It is a BIG mistake to believe that one leads to another.

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