NOTICE OF THE CONTINUATION OF THE BOARD CALLED MEETING: Re: THE BUDGET

The Called Meeting held by the DeKalb Board of Education on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 recessed at 4:02pm, and will re-convene on Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 6:00pm in the J. David Williamson Board Room in the Robert R. Freeman Administrative Center at the DeKalb County School System’s Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain.

Tune in. According to an email sent out by Nancy Jester, this continued meeting will be streamed live online as well as broadcast on Comcast 24.

Click here to access PDS 24.

Click on the little TV icon to view the meeting.

Certainly, the good reporters at the Patch will be once again blogging live from the meeting as well.

Join in the discussion below.

UPDATE: Below is a jpg of the budget that was actually discussed at the meeting – changes are not indicated. Changes made include reducing para pros by 200 rather than 300, taking 2 additional furloughs instead of 3, and leaving the SROs as is (not reducing them to 10 month employees).

So, to recap:

  • The property taxes in DeKalb county were raised by one full millage point.
  • All employees are subject to 2 more furlough days on top of the already scheduled furlough days.
  • 70 more people in the central office will lose their job
  • Pre-k programs will be reduced to only what the state funds provide
  • 52 magnet teachers will lose their magnet job
  • 28 Montessori teachers will lose their magnet job
  • Transportation to special programs: DECA, magnet, themes AMS and STT remains unchanged
  • Transportation for field trips will be cut by $1.6 million
  • Additional transportation (efficiency plan) will be cut $700,000
  • 200 general ed parapros will lose their jobs
  • 25 media specialists will lose their jobs
  • 29 (all remaining) media clerks will lose their jobs
  • 10 SROs will lose their jobs
  • Overtime pay for extra activities will be reduced by $5 million
  • Fernbank will have to cut $1.9 million from its programs budget
  • 10 Asst Principals lost through attrition will not be replaced
  • 10 counselors lost through attrition will not be replaced
  • 20 interpreters will lose their jobs
  • The summer work schedule is reduced to 4 – 10 hour days
  • Employees will have to subsidize health insurance by an additional $35.57/month
  • Employees will have to subsidize dental insurance by an additional $16.02/month
  • Regular Ed Class sizes will increase by 2
  • Special Ed Class sizes will increase by 2

SECOND UPDATE: Below is the original Excel spreadsheet with all of the columns expanded.

The REAL Proposed Budget Cuts FY 2013 (EXPANDED)

Also, we are unable to get a true handle on exactly how many central office staff have been cut. Many of the magnet teachers and maintenance workers were considered CO staff, and were moved out from under the CO budget into other budgets. We cannot tell if the administration has performed the cuts recommended by the study commissioned last fall. Results were released in January. Some of the documents can be found under our Facts & Sources tab. The AJC report is below:

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/report-dekalb-schools-have-1307169.html

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290 Responses to NOTICE OF THE CONTINUATION OF THE BOARD CALLED MEETING: Re: THE BUDGET

  1. High School Teacher says:

    Can someone please post a link that can be viewed from an iPhone? I see the story on their website but not the live feed. Thank you!

  2. Just a Mom says:

    why can’t they start on time? I know several people who planned an early departure from work to get there on time!

  3. What'sNext says:

    Did I click on the right thing. Just see a sign announcing the meeting at 6:00 (it’s 6:18 now) so have they not started or am I in the wrong place? Thanks. (Waiting with baited breath!)

  4. Help says:

    does anyone have a copy of this budget they are discussing

  5. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    They started about 20 minutes late. First thing, Womack moves to drop his former budget proposal and adopt in two parts the superintendent’s alternative option — super asks to drop item #19 (SROs?)

  6. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Nancy Jester just revealed that there are items on the budget that she is just seeing tonight for the first time – additional options in a column.

  7. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Womack: I’m not going to vote on something blind – and I’m not going to be railroaded into voting for a tax increase…

  8. What'sNext says:

    The Board Chair does not know Robert’s Rules of Order? Really?

  9. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Alternative: 1 mil tax increase $14.8 million in revenue – they are going to vote on this separately from the budget.

  10. Fandango says:

    It would be so great to be able to see what they are voting on.

  11. Pat says:

    Jester needs to keep up!

  12. educator90 says:

    Not sure there is enough wine in my home for this meeting.

  13. I am truly embarrassed to be a DeKAlb employee but whatever they decide when August starts… I will start making sure that I can work at another county. This is totally ridiculous!

  14. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Whoa! Womack is saying that Fraud was committed – that the Finance and HR Depts didn’t carry out the edicts of the board to make over $100 m in cuts. He is asking the state to investigate. Walker says no – and how can the chair of the finance committee (Womack) not know? When Walker himself was finance chair, the fund balance was $58 million (in 2011) – you can’t have that kind of fund balance … Revealed that they used $37 of the stimulus money to offset the cuts. The state auditors would have had a problem with these moves if it was wrong. They had NO findings. Big argument ensues. Womack: If you understood auditing – they only look to see if the money is in the accounts we say they are. But the super tells us that between $40-60 million was never cut. Starts to complain – $453,000 was removed from the agenda — but he was stopped by Walker.

  15. momfromhe11 says:

    Isn’t the fighting/animosity on the Board what SACS yanked Clayton’s accreditation for? Isn’t this sort of thing what caused SACS to jump in on the APS Board? This crap is hurting DCSS, and the Board’s animosity is making the ensuring the damage gets worse.

  16. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Jester: We recently had a downgrading of our bond rating. Moodys downgraded 15 global banks. Debt crisis in Europe. Oil prices under $85. Deflation worries in the markets – all point to things getting much worse in the future. We live in an interconnected system – to raise taxes in this environment is very unwise. Asks: Were the cuts made? Perrone has no information. Asks again, but he says he hasn’t looked deeply, but expenses look to be the same as last year. (Could have been due to increases elsewhere.)

  17. PublicSchoolDad says:

    Eugene Walker just makes me furious. “We made the cuts… we had a surplus… we worked within the budget” WHAT! There was a surplus because they weren’t paying (or accounting for debt/interest on the hundreds of millions of dollars in outstanding debt). EW claims they made cuts to the budget every year, but the actual amount spent each year never actually decreased. Who are the lemmings in the crowd that are encouraging his nonsense? There needs to be an audit, and whatever Eugene Walker is trying to hide will come to light.

  18. Who voted how? They conveniently did not show that.

  19. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Cunningham; why downgraded? Tax digest going down plus fund balance drawn down.

    Sarah – we cannot obligate another board (to resetting the tax in the future?) Says she’s threatened by people all the time cause they don’t like something. Tired of it. We should respect each other and we have a right to our opinions and our votes. Walker interrupts her. Takes the vote for the 1 mil tax increase: 5 to 4 YES.

  20. Terry says:

    They just sunk DeKalb with the 1 mil tax increase…. WHY isn’t Jester the Superintendant?????

  21. I am no fan of Paul Womack, but I believe he is correct about fraud in Finance and HR. Further, PLEASE NOTE that there have been virtually NO cuts in the Palace.

  22. What'sNext says:

    Is there a way to get this on an iPhone? I need to go pick up my child & want to continue listening!

  23. Terry says:

    I thought that was dirty and underhanded!!!

  24. Which comment are you referring to, Terry?

  25. Terry says:

    I think he’s hitting the nail on the head and should request an investigation of the board members, ethics, finances, MIS….. all of it.

  26. Terry says:

    THAT is sickening!!

  27. Absolutely. But, meanwhile, I believe that we ALL must talk with our Georgia General Assembly elected representatives about removing the 8 words from the Georgia Constitution that prevent us from breaking up this corrupt, failing school system.

  28. A DAY LATE and a DOLLAR SHORT, Don McChesney. The budget is passed, essentially, and the taxes have been increased — just to keep the Palace flush.

  29. momfromhe11 says:

    I am glad to see McChesney pointing out savings that have repeatedly been skipped over. PLEASE people, pay attention!!!!!

  30. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Changes to the previous budget recommendation – (in addition to the other cuts):

    200 parapros cut raised to cutting 300
    SROs changed somehow
    Fernbank – $1.9 million reduction
    30-31 – health and dental contributions increased
    3 furlough days
    increase class size by 2 students for special ed

    Jester: Did we consider consolidating legal services to reduce that cost?
    Did we consider cutting salaries of people over top teacher pay ($80,000)?
    Atkinson: As I understand it you can do a certain class cut – but you can add furlough days by 10, 11, and 12 month employees. Jester asked again: Was a salary reduction considered or are you saying that is discriminatory. She says you can only do furloughs for 10, 11, month.

    Proposals for furlough days:
    current 4+3 for 10 month
    current 4+3 for 11 month
    current 5+3 for 12 month

    Jay clarified that the 2 firms share the same pot of money – cost is the same regardless of if it’s one firm or two that share the work. McChesney: But we do have duplication of services – because we have one firm can do the work by itself. Argument ensues.

    McChesney: What is cost of operating DOLA program? Atkinson doesn’t have it in front of her – has not ever been on the table. We are looking at reorganizing so it’s more user friendly. McChesney: State’s program almost makes our obsolete. Also, we didn’t touch MS athletics. We don’t need to fund that. Plus, we kept $700,000 of transportation cuts that leaves a million dollars in transportation costs that we are not mandated to provide. (Clearly an entitlement.) Disappointed that we didn’t look at all areas to cut. I don’t want to vote for a budget that’s totally clear of bulk.

  31. Terry says:

    That the vote was NOT shown

  32. momfromhe11 says:

    After talking a good game during the campaign, I am disappointed that Edler drank (apparently gallons of ) Kool-Aid.

  33. Weary worker says:

    How do we move ahead on the state audit? Walker is afraid of something. You could see fear and anger on his part.

  34. educator90 says:

    One isn’t available to the public. Nancy asked.

  35. Highlights, Donna Edler? How about lowlights when you talk about ANY cuts to keep the Palace fully employed.

  36. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Edler: Re: legal fees: we are not getting a duplication of services – they are distinct. I just heard transportation as an entitlement? I think our transportation runs with our programs and with schools. If transportation is an entitlement, then the programs they serve are also entitlements. (STT and magnet and theme schools – are they entitlements? Doesn’t really think so.) Distressed at number of furlough days. As well as additional paras. But I trust that the admin put the due diligence to find the best places to cut and we are just looking at the highlights you brought to us. (?!) Share: Line item 24: Fernbank modifications: I got quite a few emails. My children attended Fernbank ES, and participated in programs at Fernbank Science. But 18-26 personnel at FB cost about the same cost as 100 parapros. Doesn’t understand why.

  37. educator90 says:

    Even when you speak to her, she talks the talk, but when she votes it’s opposite of what she says.

  38. Yes. You are right. Thank you. It was so typical of this corrupt board and school system to hide votes.

  39. educator90 says:

    I thought the same thing.

  40. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    SCW: Regarding attorneys: We have always had two firms; when I came on, there was Candler & Weeks. (Asks Josie Alexander for the name of the other firm). Then Alexander & Assoc took the spot the second one vacated.

Comments are closed.