Without Library Media Specialists, Students Thirsty for Knowledge Will Dehydrate


This is the link to the Board Schedule and webcasts: http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/External-Affairs-and-Policy/State-Board-of-Education/Pages/Meetings-Minutes-and-Webcasts.aspx

BTW, If you can go and get a chance to speak with them, Linda Zechmann, the board member from 1st District, worked as a middle school parapro, and Elizabeth Ragsdale, Helen Rice, Wanda Barrs, and Mary Sue Murray either are or were teachers. Brief bios on each representative are linked through the Board home page http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/External-Affairs-and-Policy/State-Board-of-Education/Pages/default.aspx

From a library media specialist in another Metro Atlanta school system:  Thank you for your support of library media centers on your blog as instructional areas in schools. Unfortunately, it seems that DCSS finds library media specialists — and their supporting library media clerks — even more dispensable than classroom teachers. However, I am encouraged by responses teachers and parents made to this DeKalb School Watch post: https://dekalbschoolwatch.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/calling-the-supers-own-words/. Please tell your readers:

RIF’ing DCSS’s library/media specialists (librarians) – and library/media center clerks — is NOT a done deal. The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) still has to approve DCSS’s request for a waiver to staff media centers below the state minimum requirement. If granted, that waiver would mean school libraries would be closed to students for half (or more) of each school week. This waiver makes NO sense, especially in a failing school system which has ignored independent staffing reviews documenting high personnel overhead in non-student-contact positions.

Your quick response is needed. TODAY! Time is of the essence!

TODAY (7/18/2012) please send an e-mail to the GaDOE board and ask them to NOT approve the DCSS waiver request.

Please write or call Dr. John Barge, Georgia Superintendent of Schools, and Daniel Israel, DeKalb’s state school board representative, about DCSS’s request to RIF library/media center specialists due to “hardship.” The GaDOE board will meet today(7/18/2012) in committees and as a whole on Thursday (7/19/2012) so timeliness is critical.

• Mr. Israel is a product of DeKalb schools, so this should be of particular interest to him; his e-mail is disrael@doe.k12.ga.us

• Dr. Barge may be reached at state.superintendent@doe.k12.ga.us or 404-656-2800.

• Please also copy Judy Serritella, GaDOE’s Coordinator of Library Media Services, jserrite@doe.k12.ga.us, on the e-mails you send to Dr. Barge and Mr. Israel.

If you are uncomfortable about sending an e-mail because you fear having your identity revealed, please send your e-mail to DeKalb School Watch (dekalbschoolwatch@gmail.com) by 2:00 PM today (7/18/2012). We will redact all identifying information and send everything via e-mail to Dr. Barge, Mr. Israel and Ms. Serritella. Or, you may use DSW blog comments to ask the GaDOE to deny the DCSS request. E-mails, however, will carry more impact.

Let’s flood Dr. Barge, Mr. Israel and Ms. Serritella with e-mails, telling them how important library media specialists and library media center clerks are to DeKalb County School System teachers and students.

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"
This entry was posted in Budget Cuts, DeKalb County [GA] Board of Education, Don McChesney, Donna Edler, Fraud & Corruption, Friends-and-Family, Gene Walker, Jay Cunningham, Library Media Center, Library Media Clerks, Library Media Specialists, Nancy Jester, Pam Speaks, Paul Womack, Superintendent Cheryl Howell Atkinson and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Without Library Media Specialists, Students Thirsty for Knowledge Will Dehydrate

  1. Someone needs to tell Kendra that we’ve been hosting curriculum nights for many years. Generally, they aren’t held until school gets going so that the classes are in full swing. This is especially fun in high school where parents run through their children’s schedules and meet the teachers, learn about the classes/expectations.

  2. DJ says:

    This is one more proof (like we need more) that they are a bunch of IGNORANT people running the school system (sorry, district).
    They have no clue what it’s like at Open House, specially this year that the Int’l Ctr didn’t register the ELL students.

  3. Goodteacher says:

    It’s okay, we love working til 6:30 on a Friday evening. I wonder if I will have a contract by then?

  4. teacher/taxpayer says:

    Some schools are having so much SFA training the first week that there is barely time for registration, let alone a Friday night (unpaid) Open House. I wish that Kendra ‘s job could be eliminated so her pay could be used for reinstating the interpreters who actually provide an indispensable service. Our parents will be stunned to see our interpreter/parent liaison is gone, but we have no one who can explain to them what happened, let alone translate at Open House, if they even bother to come!

  5. Dura lex sed lex says:

    From the other blog, we find this post below so you can put pressure on ODE, PAGE, and the Board:.


  6. Dura lex sed lex says:

    “CTPAT to @ David Schutten
    July 19th, 2012
    10:47 am

    David, I’m an employment lawyers and my understanding is that pay cuts have to be applied equally to all people within a certain class, so we could not just say the CO takes a pay cut. Instead, all 12-month employees would have to take one (which would include some school-house personnel and some lower-paid employees in functions like maintenance). What I’m not clear on, and which someone who specializes in the rules related to public education employment practices would need to answer, is whether you can tier the cut within a class based on income. Meaning, all 12-month employees take a cut but those earning less than x$$ take a lower % cut than those earning more $$. I think that statements that everyone in the system would need a cut are inaccurate and could be overcome by saying that everyone takes a cut and then instituting special bonuses for those categories where you don’t want the cut to apply, like teachers, so that at the end of the day, they don’t take a cut at all.”

  7. dekalbite2 says:

    @Dura lex sed lex

    For the 2009 – 2010 school year, all Central Office personnel making above $100,000 (none of them teachers of course) took a 2% pay cut.

    Here is the the quote from and link to the DeKalb Schools website saying they singled out one “segment” of employees for a 2% pay cut. This is only part of a “class” of employees. Not even all of the Central Office employees. Some were Coordinators – those making above $100,000 took a cut, those below did not. Some were Directors – those making above $100,000 took a cut those below did not. Same job title – the only difference was their income level.

    From the DCSS website:
    “Additionally, DeKalb County Schools will implement a modified Transportation Efficiency Plan: cut central office equipment, travel, and supplies budget; cut by 2% central office employees making $100,000 and above; rescind the $2.00 per student supplement to principals; and eliminate three programs.”


    So they can cut the Central Office pay or any group of employees if they want to. That argument of it’s against the law is not really relevant.

  8. dekalbmom says:

    @dekalbschoolwatch. Ms. March is announcing that all the curriculum nights are in September. I don’t understand your objection.

  9. No objection – just saying that it’s not some ‘new’ idea brought here from North Carolina. Plus, I guess September could be enough into the school year — depends on exactly when — early Sept or late Sept. Teachers need time to get in the groove before ‘hosting’ parents – especially with the lack of planning time.

  10. Skeptic DeKalb Teacher says:

    I will NOT be there. Anything beyond my “contracted” time (and I use the word, contracted loosely), will not be done. Maybe it’s the wrong attitude, but I will be using all of my spare time to find another job! I am sick of DeathKalb!

  11. Miz Merty says:

    It is a shame that teachers are always expected to ‘donate’ their own time any time the system requires. It is that “and any other duties as required” phrase in the contract that opens the door.
    But then again, nobody has a contract.

  12. whoshelpingthekids says:

    Back to the original topic of this thread – what happened to the waiver request? Did I miss that? Can you remove the nesting feature – it is hard to track/find comments that get added as replies to another comment earlier in the string.Thanks for considering!

  13. justwatch says:

    The waiver hasn’t been presented to the state board yet, but I believe the state board has until October or even later to approve it. Generally systems don’t have to be in compliance until the FTE count, which takes place in early October for schools, but I am not sure when systems actually have to turn it in. I have seen the state board approve waivers for all kinds of things, after the fact, so not sure of timing requirements.

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