Continuing the conversation: Discussion: Who has been cut at your school?

Our lengthy discussion on the blogpost, NOTICE OF THE CONTINUATION OF THE DEKALB BOARD OF EDUCATION CALLED MEETING has become very long and cumbersome to read. Let’s start a new angle and a new discussion on the topic of the cuts.

Who has been cut at your school? Last year? Guesses for next year? How will these budget cuts effect student performance at your school? Teachers, please share your perspectives. We want to hear from you and the librarians, interpreters, parapros, etc who are on the chopping block approved by the board on Wednesday.

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

To access the relevant documents, read the original post.

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107 Responses to Continuing the conversation: Discussion: Who has been cut at your school?

  1. Miss Management says:

    CRIMINAL charges? For real? How uptight have we all become?

  2. PublicSchoolDad says:

    Remember this… “My focus will be on our students and student success first with adults and political issues taking a distant second. Children must come first. Our decisions, my decisions, must first and foremost focus on what is good for all children. My intention is to create an internal structure that will allow effective educators to focus on the core mission improving academic performance. We do not have the luxury of allowing non-academic related issues to consume the attention and focus of all our educators,”

    … Now guess who said it.

  3. The link to Eddie Long is from her bankruptcy. One of the creditors that Dr. Atkinson had on her bankruptcy was a private christian school in Virginia where her children went to school. It is part of the Eddie Long web of churches throughout the US. You can find her bankruptcy paperwork in the data section of this blog, I believe.
    It is intresting that Dr. A chose to send her children to a private school system rather than the public school system where she worked. (In Virginia)

  4. Miss Management says:

    Right. And if they don’t like leaving it open, alternatively, they could just change it to read,”“…No independent school system consisting of fewer than 1,000 students shall hereafter be established”. This would alleviate the fear of rural counties sub-dividing into ridiculously tiny school systems than they already are.

  5. tired of them all says:

    that would be Dr. Atkinson! We can’t afford to trust our children to these people!

  6. Wondering says:

    It really seems quite cruel and cavalier to hold people’s very livelihoods captive. This is actually what the DeKalb Board is doing. These are uncertain financial times for many. Imagine the angst for those who jobs may or may not be on the cutting block. Even those whose job classifications have not been identified as potentially being cut should not rest easy. When deceptive and callous practices are the modus operandi, you too ought to be leery as well.

    The school board had an idea of the cuts it intended to make. There should have been preparations ongoing, in order that upon approval of the budget, employees could have been notified in a timely manner. Ones’ job future should not be left to innuendo and speculation. It is unprofessional and well as uncaring to be placed in this quandary. There are no winners here; the very atmosphere of this school system would evidence that we have all lost. (teachers, workers, students, parents, citizens)

    This is not the time to judge each other harshly or negatively, the powerful have already done so. It is wise indeed to know who your “true” enemies are.

  7. Jim McMahan says:

    My immediate solution for overcrowded classrooms are video cameras in all of the classrooms!
    We already have them in the halls, common areas, gymnasium and cafeteria.
    Why not in each classroom?
    I think the students will realize that they are being monitored and make better behavior choices while in the classroom during instruction time.
    I think EVERYONE in the classroom will make better choices knowing that the “Eye in the Sky” is monitoring them.
    I have already spoken with our Director of IT, Mr. Brantley, and he has stated that we have the infrastructure to support video. Let’s make it happen!!!
    Another request of mine is to stream EVERY school board meeting so parents do NOT have to attend in person. I have seen parents WASTE their time by coming to meetings and even taking a day of from work, arranging childcare for their kids and be a complete waste of their time because the school board members don’t even show up for the meeting!
    There are many accountability measures that we can put in place to change the culture of the board and the school system. I hope to be a part of the culture change in DCSD.
    Respectfully your District 4 School Board Candidate,

    Jim McMahan

  8. guest says:

    I don’t know if it will make any difference how it all shakes out, but if you look yourself up on opengeorgia it will identify you as a special ed para if that’s what you’ve been doing most recently (2011).
    That is not a special “sticky” classification though , and paras can move from general to SE and back again at a moments notice. Also, If there are two more SE students per class, that will cause additional job displacements or losses, either in teachers or paras.
    My feeling is that they will shake everyone up into one classification and then cut, using some absolutely horrid to 200 of us method. (this is where TPTB want us to heave a sigh of relief and say, “At least it wasn’t 300!”)
    I just want to wish everyone the best of luck, and my deepest sympathies to those that are cut.
    It’s a sick situation to be in.

  9. dekalbite2 says:

    @ Fred in DeKalb

    Here is the exact language:
    “2. Electronic Communication Devices, Including Paging Devices, Cellular Phones, Walkie-Talkies and Similar
    Students shall not use any electronic communication device, including but not limited to paging devices, cellular phones, smart phones, walkie-talkies, and similar devices, during instructional time or on school buses (O.C.G.A. § 20-2-1183; Board Policy
    JCDAF). Parents and students should refer to page 36 for important information about cell phones and other electronic communication devices. Confiscated devices will be returned only to the parent/guardian.
    1st Offense: Warning and confiscation of the device.
    2nd Offense: Confiscation of the device, detention, community service/work detail or comparable consequence, and required conference with parent/guardian.
    3rd Offense and Subsequent Offense(s): Confiscation of the device and In-School Suspension (ISS) pending a Local Formal Hearing, which may result in up to 10 days of ISS.”

    Where are the prison stripes in this language?

  10. Mildred says:

    “I hope to be a part of the culture change in DCSD.”

    What kind of culture change? Big Brother? Are we really ready for Orwellian control of the school system?

    Here’s an idea: How about continuous streaming video available 24/7 by DeKalb County voters of ALL the educrats at the Central Office doing their daily tasks? Or do you think it would bore people to death?

  11. dekalbite2 says:

    @ Jim McMahan

    Are you having any “meet and greets” in the Northlake area? I’m very involved in my community organization and will be willing to go door to door to the 100+ neighbors in my neighborhood to ask them:
    1. To please vote
    2. To vote for someone that puts the classroom first

    In an election with a low turnout (almost assured in this July timeframe) it is almost assured that the candidate that can “get out the vote” has a very good chance of winning.

  12. Wondering in DeKalb says:

    I am one who does not know if I have a job or if I will be at multiple schools. I would much appreciate even knowing when I will be informed one way or the other and what the procedure will be for deciding who will not get his contract back.

  13. bettyandveronica1 says:

    Yes, I saw it a week and half ago, that is why I was screaming at the computer when Dr. A said the numbers (jobs) she did when finally pushed. She failed to mention the 115 people she was hiring. Of course they didn’t ask her but then it may have taken her six months to answer this question too. She’s no fool. She is not going to volunteer anything.

    I still want to know what law she was refering to that makes it illegal to lower someone’s pay.

  14. Jim McMahan says:

    I will consider ALL possible solutions for overcrowded classrooms.
    If you would like to make an alternative suggestion, please feel free to.
    I will squeeze every penny and dollar from this school system to reach the teachers and students in the classroom.
    I am aware of the Orwellian, Big Brother connection to video in the classrooms but I feel we need to take drastic measures to help our teachers and students with overcrowding.
    I would love to be able to monitor all of the CO workers in their cubicles and offices but I doubt very seriously that would ever happen. Maybe another solution is we find employees who can work effectively and efficiently within DCSD?

    You can reach me via email @
    or contact me via cell at 404-808-0945. I would appreciate the help.
    I plan on attending various Candidate forums being held throughout the area this next few weeks. Here is the initial list of meetings I plan to attend.

    July 9th / C.A.N. candidate Fair at the Greek Church on Clairmont 7-9pm.
    July 10th / Edukalb Candidate Forum @ Westwood College @ Northlake 6:30 – 8:30pm.
    July 12th / Tucker Civic Ass. Candidate Forum @ Tucker Baptist Church 7pm – ?
    I would be open to additional meetings or gatherings if requested.
    Thanks for your support.

    Jim McMahan

  15. I Agree says:

    From “The Patch”

    Tom Lockwood

    9:31 pm on Thursday, June 21, 2012

    The problem will not go away, will it? This board will have to face the same issues again and again until we wise up to two truths: 1. DeKalb County Public Schools cannot afford to educate (and babysit) all constituents’s children from 2-21, operate a private school system within a system, and hold its teachers responsible for all the ills of the system without equitable recompense. 2. Neither this board, nor this administration has a prayer of ever leading DeKalb back to a position of respect. They are too busy tripping over each other in some misguided attempt to be more inept than is believable.

  16. Mildred says:

    My very simple suggestion would be to move hundreds of individuals from the Central Office and, since they ARE educators, place them in schools to assist with teaching students. Most of these Central Office employees began their educational lives in the classrooms, so put them back in the classrooms to assist in the primary objective of any school system….the instruction of children. Four or five teachers in math, science classes could easily divide the overcrowded classrooms into manageable groups. The problem with video in classrooms for instruction purposes would, taking it to its logical DCSD conclusion, result in even more crowded classes with students passively being “taught” by watching a video streamed from the Department of Curriculum at the Central Office. DCSD would not have to pay “real” teacher salaries, just babysitting fees for a certain type of adult to “monitor” the passive intake of knowledge by the students in the overcrowded classrooms receiving “instruction” via video feed.

    Would you like another suggestion?

  17. teacher abc says:

    It has been announced that Robert Mosley will be the principal at Jolly Elementary. Terry Segovis has been reassigned as a principal also.

  18. No. Not Big Brother. It’s just the next step up from the intercom call button that is in most classrooms. It’s not really that different from the cameras that are posted along the interstates and cameras that are found in and around most workplaces. And it does provide some back-up for teachers who are faced with undisciplined, unruly students and gutless administrators. It’s hard for a parent pitching a fit about their little darling’s behavior to deny the video evidence. Plus it’s very useful for Student Evidentiary.

    Great idea, Jim! Also, it was good that you followed through to make sure that your idea about using video cameras in classrooms was do-able.

  19. Thank you! Fred often overstates the case. It’s best to just take what he says with a grain of salt.

  20. Just to clarify — Atkinson has had three (3!) bankruptcies. That we know of. Anyone at her salary level who has 3 bankruptcies has no clear grasp of how to set a budget and manage money successfully. And the board knew this about Atkinson before they hired her.

  21. Atkinson probably was not referring to any law. We rarely follow up on anything she says because she has a reputation of lying for her own benefit. It’s just easier to assume that whatever Atkinson says is a lie. Although we do wish we had time to follow Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s practice, “I consider it a public duty to answer falsifications with facts. I will not pretend that I find this an unpleasant duty. I am an old campaigner, and I love a good fight.”

  22. Peachy says:

    That would probably be covered by O.C.G.A. § 16-11-62, eavesdropping on conversations without prior consent and § 16-11-63, possession of eavesdropping devices.

  23. Fred in DeKalb says:

    @ dekalbite, you forgot the very next paragraph,


    Reading is Fundamental….

    @ dekalbschoolwatch, even when I follow the rules you set forth with posts to this blog (providing a source), you are still critical of my comment. It was true and you can read it for yourself. I believe this calls to question your objectivity again. Atlanta Media Guy could probably confirm there is an expected right to privacy in the classroom. Why do you think they have parents sign media waivers at the beginning of each school year? I’ll have some of that crow you are eating, deep fried.

  24. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    I think that part of the code is referring to sending sexually explicit photos and texts – not recording bad behavior in the classroom and posting it on You Tube. Kids don’t realize that sending sexually explicit photos and texts is illegal. J. Tom Morgan has given very interesting talks to teens and parents on the subject of what is illegal that kids don’t realize. He has a book called, “Ignorance is No Excuse” – everyone should have a copy.

    There’s ‘reading’ and then there’s ‘comprehension’. Please don’t imply that recording the bad things that go on in a classroom could be illegal – when in fact, it’s quite the opposite – it could help prove a case in court.

  25. Oh, puh-lease. Could you be any sillier? Who are you? There is no expectation of privacy in a public school. Besides, any time the school office wants to they can flip the switch on the intercom to any classroom and listen in to what is happening in the classroom.

  26. Fred in DeKalb says:

    dekalbschoolwatch, I can acknowledge that WHAT is recorded plays a key part in determining if it is subject to criminal charges. You said, **Perhaps some surreptitious videoing would be a helpful. We will publish properly documented video clips.** Based on that, I referenced and shared the language from the Code of Student Conduct manual as one could interpret that you were soliciting for recordings. Your intent could have been honorable but students still need to be aware of the code and possible repercussions of sharing videos taken during instructional time.

  27. Fred in DeKalb says:

    Could you share where this announcement was made? I’ve heard the same things but have not seen anything documented. I assumed we would see the principal assignment lists after July 1, the start of the new school year.

  28. no duh says:

    How many years does Mosley have in the system? I shouldn’t speculate about his personal choices, but jeez, I would think his retirement package is pretty comfortable.

    Segovis is a good man trapped in a crappy system. He made an excellent principal before, he’ll make an excellent one now.

  29. dekalbschoolwatch says:

  30. Fred in DeKalb says:

    dekalbschoolwatch, nice of you to post those videos from various TV stations. One thing they have that this website probably does not is a legal team to review the videos before they go on the air. I did not look at them but I bet some have faces blurred out to protect the privacy rights of those also recorded. As I stated earlier, you openly solicited videos from the classroom and indicated you would publish properly documented video clips. Students need to know the rules hence why I referenced the Code of Student Conduct. Even Peachy referenced Georgia Code.

  31. I’m sorry Fred. I’ve lost track of your point. Jim’s point was that putting up video cameras would deter bad behavior – by teachers and by students. I shared videos to show that all kinds of horrible things go on in classrooms. If someone records something bad and can’t get any traction with the school system, then yes, we would post it if it came to that. And you’re probably right – we would probably blur out some juvenile faces or get releases. But the text in the Code really is about something very different. Kids need to know that ‘sexting’ is illegal and can land them in jail. It’s a totally different thing.

  32. Whoshelpingthekids says:

    Segovis has been assigned as principal of the International Center and DOLA – with all the failing schools in DCSS, his skills might have been better used elsewhere

  33. Hey, Fred — thanks for the tip. Really. We might not have thought of it. If we do get any videos of questionable classroom behavior, we definitely won’t post them. We will take them straight to CNN. Thanks!

  34. The End of the Road.... says:

    Yes, teaching in South Dekalb is like teaching in “hell”. We often refer to the better schools as those north of 285. The work conditions at my school as with other schools on the south end is terrible. I know from experience. I have been dedicated to teaching students in the DCSD for more than a decade. I am speaking on my experience teaching in several schools on this end. If you taught in any of the schools on the south end of the county, you would know that many of us do believe that the grass is greener on the other side. I still do believer that the “powers that be” do not care about the children on the south end. Many parents on the north end of the county have a “voice”. There are many things that they will not tolerate; however, many of those on the south end do not use the same voice. For instance, parents on the north end of the county would advocate for the learning and teaching conditions to improve. I have witnessed teachers completely “stress out” due to the work conditions. APs normally turn a blind eye to misbehaviors throughout the building. Further, I didn’t suggest that anyone sell their house; I said that I am leaving. Many of you on this blog have absolutely no clue about the horrible teaching conditions at schools in South Dekalb. The horror stories would sicken you.

  35. North Dekalb Teacher says:

    As will Mosley……” a good man trapped in a crappy system”

  36. concernedmom30329 says:

    To me, this speaks volumes of this administrations’ incompetence. How in the world is this a good use of Segovis’ talents?

  37. If you think the “better schools” are north of I-285, then what do you think of Chamblee Charter High School, Chamblee Middle School, Montgomery Elementary School, Lakeside High School, etc?

    There are a number of reasons why DeKalb County School system should be split into 2 or 3 independent school systems. One of those reasons is that the “powers that be” don’t care about ANY of the children — especially not black students (whether you want to hear that or not, it is true). But it is the voters on the south end of DeKalb County who continue to re-elect the “powers that be” to the board while the taxpayers on the north end continue to pay the exhorbitant bills. The “powers that be” are interested only in pocketing as much money as they (and their friends) can while maintaining their “base” to make that possible by taking care of friends-and-family — making sure they have well-paying jobs within DCSS doing whatever. Parents on the north end do NOT have a voice.

  38. dazed says:

    It is unconscionable that the majority of the budget pain is falling on the backs of teachers. Within the next few days, people who thought they had jobs at one school or another will discover that they will have to move, or worse, have no job at all. Most teachers believe the county office to be over-staffed, over-paid, and underwhelming. Even within the schools, most of us see too many people in non-teaching roles. I ask only that by the first of the year, the county plan well enough to determine what programs will be kept and what will go, so that people can make intelligent decisions, not this last minute farce that’s being inflicted on us.

    Despite all this, in most schools, teachers will still do their jobs well.

  39. educator90 says:

    Wonder who he pissed off!

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