The Law of Unintended Consequences: Here We Go. Again.

For just about any other school system, these stories would be unbelieveable.  DeKalb School Watch has been receiving emails telling us about the incredible, unorganized, insensitive, haphazard, and highly unprofessional RIF’ing and rearranging of school staff the week before they must report to work.

There are stories like the para who just received an email via First Class titled “Transfer,” and it informed her she was to report on August 7 to another school. She immediately called her principal, who said they had just gotten that email too. Principals have been on the phone for hours informing employees that they were RIF’d or transferred. For many teachers and paras, the principal’s call was their only notification.  We wonder how many such notifications have been made callously via voice mail?

In addition, pre-K teachers are quitting, because their pay was reduced. Many of the kindergarten paras have been moved to Special Ed, so kindergarten classes have 25 kids, one teacher, no para. The media clerks have all been RIF’d, too.

We also heard from several Lakeside parents that only Spanish and French will be offered, and AP classes may be cut. And Terry Segovis, former area superintendent was, oddly, assigned as principal for two elementary schools.

Adding to the confusion, First Class has a “claw back” function, so HR has been pulling back emails, with no explanation, after sending mistaken decisions .  Note to employees:  Immediately print hard copies of all e-mail notifications you receive from DCSS HR.  If possible, make sure the header on the e-mail is showing so it prints, too.  This will be vital evidence if any legal action is taken.

Obviously, the ill-conceived cuts-by-attrition “plan” didn’t pan out. Then the board would not approve last-minute, additional cuts to the classroom requested by the superintendent. Atkinson is obviously in crisis mode — as is Tekshia Ward-Smith — the new head of HR, recently promoted to that position by Atkinson. Naming Ward-Smith to run HR was a very serious mistake. There is no more critical job in which to place a true, experienced professional. However we have Ward-Smith, an educator who learned HR under Jamie Wilson, also a former educator. We have said for a very long time that the egos of these “Educrats” are astounding — and insulting to the real world. These Educrats continue to believe that they are qualified to do ANY job, while no one else is qualified to teach or serve as a principal unless holding teaching “credentials” — regardless of which diploma mill they come from.  A “real” HR person would not handle this like Facebook friending and unfriending.

We desperately need a majority board who considers themselves stewards of taxpayers’ money — all taxpayers. To begin with, a fiscally responsible board would not have voted on a list of budget cuts and called those cuts a budget. (Nancy Jester has been stating this issue publicly. She refused to vote on a “budget” that was merely a list of cuts and cost adjustments. Don McChesney and Pam Speaks also voted no, but the Block of Five ruled and classroom cuts were made without looking deeper or even revealing the full budget to the board.)

A fiscally responsible board would not have chosen to fund so many specialty programs along with special transportation to those programs over evenly funding all classrooms and schools.

A fiscally responsible board would not continue funding small, expensive programs and unnecessary programs like DOLA, along with too many SROs (school resource officers) — and paying them over the summer, even though they have nothing to do — instead of properly funding ordinary classrooms.

A fiscally responsible board would not have cut teachers when our students’ test scores are already in the tank because of the cuts made to the classroom under Crawford Lewis (now indicted under RICO [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations]) and Ramona Tyson (un-indicted, so far).

A fiscally responsible board would have insisted on seeing an actual budget, not a list of cuts. A fiscally responsible board would have insisted that Atkinson make every single cut possible outside of the classroom FIRST before heading into the classroom.  Atkinson and the Block of Five are harming the very children whose education is the board’s only mission.

DCSS is very obviously a system of haves and have nots — bigs and littles — insiders and outsiders — special and not-so-special  — well-connected and “who?”.  And, it has nothing to do with north vs. south or black vs. white.

The DCSS reality is black-on-black classism — the vast majority of the negatively affected students are black.  Classism is the systematic oppression of subordinated class groups to advantage and strengthen the dominant class groups.

Please share what’s really happening to our teachers and school staff in the comments below. Do NOT use your real name; DO use your home computer.  Or you may send your stories to  Either way, your identity will be kept completely confidential.

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205 Responses to The Law of Unintended Consequences: Here We Go. Again.

  1. dekalbite2 says:

    This can’t all be laid on Dr. Atkinson. The BOE would not cut where they needed to cut, so they need to bear most of the responsibility.

    We have plenty of places to cut $13,000,000 rather than cut teachers who directly instruct teachers and pack kids into classrooms in unsafe and educationally detrimental numbers.

    Security – $12,000,000
    Look at the $12,000,000 DeKalb spends for Security as compared to other metro systems including demographically comparable and the same size. No other system even comes close.

    Maintenance – Close to $13,000,000
    Higher than most metro school systems in per pupil dollars

    Fernbank Science Center – $3,000,000
    Still being funded at $3,000,000+ even though transportation for students has been cut from the center, the forest reverted to the Fernbank Museum, and they lost the SEMMA (NASA) funding.

    Transportation to “choice” schools – $1,800,000
    Almost $2,000,000 for transportation funding for “choice” schools as parents decide they do not want to use local neighborhood schools.

    Special Education Lead Teachers – $8,000,000
    There are 90+ DeKalb Special Ed Lead Teachers, Coaches (not to be confused with the coaches named below) and Coordinators (not to be confused with the coordinators named below). They are termed Special Education Specialists on the Salary and Travel audit. They serve 130+ schools and cost $8,000,000+ a year in salary and benefits. They are in charge of paperwork for the special education program and NEVER teach a single child.

    By contrast, Gwinnett Schools has 20+ Special Education Specialists serving 130+ schools costing them around $1,700,000. DeKalb has 7,500+ Special Education students while Gwinnett has 16,000+ Special Education students.

    Coaches (not even including the Special Ed Coaches) – $13,000,000
    Instructional, Instructional Change, Graduation, Literacy, Math Coaches, etc. are all certified personnel who could teach but do not teach. There are 165 of them (called Instructional Specialists Literacy Coaches and Graduation Coacheson the state Salary and Travel audit), and they consume around $13,000,000 in Salary and Benefits. DCSS is only obligated to spend around $4,000,000 on Instructional Coaches per Title 1 guidelines. We are not required to have all of those other coaches.

    Coordinators – $5,500,000
    We have 50 coordinators which make around $100,000 a year per employee in salary and benefits for a total of $5,500,000. DCSS used to have less than 20 coordinators. Programs and services were consolidated and good clerical support allowed them to wear several hats.

    Travel – $1,500,000+
    DeKalb spent $1,500,000+ in travel in 2011. This summer administrators have been traveling all over the country, and we are paying for airline tickets and hotel rooms in large cities while we borrow to make our payroll. Ms. Tyson reinstated travel this past year.

    Legal fees – $5,335,858


    KING & SPALDING $348,183
    KING & SPALDING $1,360,306

    Amazing that we can’t find any place to cut but teachers.

  2. bill bratton says:

    was unable to send an email to the blog so placing a question in the comment section.
    I saw on the evening news a story on Channel 5 news I beleive it was of a story about a middle school in Dekalb that was being investiaged about unaccounted funds of $66,000. Have seen nothing on here or in the AJC or any follow up on the tv news about this. Wondered what the news blog knew about this story?????? I am a former teacher of DeKalb of 24 years.

  3. AmyP says:

    The SRO’s are not being paid to not work over the summer. They, like the teachers, are paid a yearly salary for 10 months work and receive this as 12 paychecks to distribute the money in a more convenient format.

    I wonder how much money would be saved on the electric bill if they did not start school back up until after Labor Day. One whole month of scorching heat to overcome. Leave them in school in June when it’s cooler, and take out some of those long breaks in the fall and winter.

  4. Any lawyers out there? says:

    I am a Pre-K teacher. I have heard nothing except teachers frantically mass emailing each other to share rumors/news. I went by my school for information yesterday. There were 2 people there. (a fellow teacher and one custodian). I do not see how any of this can be legal?

  5. Mildred says:

    Segovis has not been assigned principal of two elementary schools. He has been assigned as principal of DOLA and as principal of the International Center.

  6. Merry says:

    I found this on the DCSS site yesterday. The date on the URL is 7.18.12 (last week). This is the ONLY “news” I have heard about a Pre-K schedule, and I just happened across it. If this is accurate, Pre-K will end about a week before K-12, and there’s an additional no-school day for the kids on Nov. 5. I am a Pre-K parent…and am nervous that I’ve heard absolutely nothing other than to report to registration. I feel for our DeKalb teachers…and all of us who are lost in the dark.

    Click to access 2012-2013%20DCSD%20PreK%20Program%20Calendar%207.18.12.pdf

  7. dawg93 says:

    Our daughter is going into pre-K too. Only thing we’ve confirmed is that the teacher she was slotted to have when she got a pre-K spot will, in fact, be her teacher this year. That’s per emails from the teacher earlier this week. A few weeks ago she couldn’t say if she was the teacher or not, but that changed.

    My wife & I heard pre-K would get out 2 weeks earlier than K-12 so hopefully this pre-K calendar you found is final and they’ll only get out 1 week earlier.

    Thanks for finding it and posting.

  8. teachermom says:

    How much is even left of the International Center? As for Pre-K, I have heard of at least 1 Pre-K para being let go, she only had a few years I believe, no word of her replacement. I also heard of a Pre-K teacher who is trying to transfer into one of several other teacher openings at her school but is in limbo.

  9. Confused DCSS teacher says:

    I taught Pre-K for the 2011-2012 school year as well. I have seen the calendar for the pre-k teachers and students and there is not as much of a reduction in days as once believed. However, our salaries are still very much in question. Many of us have several years of teaching experience (not all in Pre-K) and advanced degrees. We were hired as DCSS employees not specifically as pre-k teachers. Will our salaries now be funded at the state level of 30K for pre-k teachers? That means my salary will be less than that of my first year teaching, 15 years ago! But I would still be working virtually as many days as a K-5 teacher. Why aren’t we being allowed to move to other K-5 positions that were vacated through attrition?

  10. Yes, apparently there is over $66,000 missing from Cedar Grove MS. It’s been lingering for over 2 years. The former principal (Flanagan) and bookkeeper are under investigation. Both have retired and are collecting pensions.
    Look for the story in the video carousel.

  11. Give the woman a chance! says:

    The media clerks I know were not notified AT ALL in person. They received their separation paperwork in the mail about three weeks after the vote. Their principals didn’t call them, No one in HR contacted them. They were just sent paperwork in the mail. I guess they assumed that everyone follows the news and they knew their jobs were gone.
    One of them called me to ask when she should report. I am a teacher in the county who does follow the news and can usually find the reporting calendar which DeKalb will often hide like it is gold. Media Clerks always had weird reporting dates and they would be told one thing by the principal and another by the calendar.
    I am NOT an administrator and don’t get paid as one. I didn’t appreciate having to be the person telling someone they lost their job but I also didn’t feel right about saying “I don’t know call HR” when I know HR isn’t answering the phone. I told them the Board voted to get rid of the position and to call their principal to verify that their job was gone.
    I am appalled that anyone was treated this way. And sadly, it is not the worst story I have heard about how they are RIFing people.

  12. Clarice Whiting says:

    I worked for DCSS for over 30 years. The changes that are going on are needed, plus more. Don’t blame Dr. A. She is trying to clean it up, at least make it better. In all my 30 plus years, she was the only superintendent who volunteered to meet with all the employees at various “campfire” meetings and I believe she listened. The Fab (un) Five of the board need to get their act together and do what is right and correct for the students of DCSS. CUT THE BLOAT/FAMILY/FRIENDS. We, as a county need to get it right and quit the bickering amongst ourselves. I truly understand where the employees are coming from. When my school was closed, I was not notified of where I was to report until a day or so before I had to. It takes a toll on your mind and body with all the uncertainty. I truly hope that Dekalb can once again become a system to be proud of, but as of right now, I hate telling people where I worked and live.

  13. nanayh says:

    This is what I have learned about the Pre-K situation from Dekalb County School Watch (Thank you so much for all of the links to board meetings, facts, etc.) and a little bit from the AJC Get Schooled blog: In the original budget that Dr. Atkinson proposed Pre-K was supposed to be eliminated in Dekalb County Schools. However, the budget decisions took so long that this option would have been a gross injustice to the 2200+ Pre-K students who already have spots in DCSD Pre-Ks. During the July 11th board meeting Dr. Atkinson proposed RIFing all Pre-K teachers (nobody is reporting that half the proposed RIFs were Pre-K teachers and I have no idea why this is). I’m guessing that this might have made it legal to cut our salaries to the $31,000/yr state level because we would have had to reapply for our jobs knowingly signing up for the reduced salary (there are little to no other teaching jobs available to fill so I’m sure it would have been sign this contract for the reduced salary and Pre-K or put in your resignation- forget about any kind of unemployment benefits). The board postponed the July 11th meeting and later told Dr. Atkinson that they would not vote to RIF any more teachers (Thank you BOE and I hope you all don’t have a change of heart after July 31st). Now DCSD is in a precarious position. What to do now? They could just give us our regular salary as they did last year and revamp Pre-K next year. We all know the budget problems will not magically disappear with next year’s budget. They could simply not have a lottery next year and do something novel for DCSD- Plan Ahead. They could give us the option to move to other grade levels (as David Shutten claimed they were doing for his members on AJC Get Schooled although I haven’t heard of any teachers being given this option. I have heard if Pre-K teachers want to change grade levels they must resign and reapply). This option would be total chaos this close to the new school year. Treat us like human beings not like “the property of Dekalb County schools.” It seems like they have chosen to do nothing and let the 103 Pre-K teachers sit and sweat it out until school begins. We have not been sent emails nor have we received letters about the Pre-K situation. The above link to the new Pre-K calendar popped up in recent days and still we have heard nothing. Our principals are also not being given information and it seems are being told to hold us in Pre-K. We are trapped at this grade level and do not know what kind of salaries we will receive this year. Many of us have taught other grades and we were all hired as DCSD teachers NOT as Pre-K teachers. We are trapped, forbidden to communicate with one another, and not being given any kind of information. I know that many people misperceive Pre-K as an easy grade to teach. I assure all of those people that it is not. It is the most difficult grade I have ever taught because of the bureaucratic hoops we must jump through and the massive amounts of paper work. I have had to use most of my personal days in the past few years just to get caught up on paperwork/filing/progress reports but that is another story. No teacher should be treated as the DCSD teachers have been treated. We are human beings and some of the finest teachers I have observed teaching. I am appalled that we are being treated as less than human and no body is calling DCSD out on their cruelty.

  14. concernforthekids says:

    Any employee that commits a FELONY should lose their pension! PERIOD, end of story!
    Why do you think people/employees choose to commit these criminal acts?
    Because the consequences are not severe enough to deter them.
    I hope a newly elected school board member would create policy for theft of school funds and forfeiture of the employees pension and jail time!
    Why are these two not in jail?
    Misdemeanor theft is any amount under $500? These criminals stole $66,000 TWO YEARS AGO and are retired?
    I heard the secretary is still working in another school system while she is receiving her DeKalb pension and has not paid the money back!!!!


  15. concernforthekids says:

    Nobody has left because of the economy or you are not a member of the right sorority….
    There has not been an HR report at any of the monthly school board meetings to determine where everyone is currently located.


  16. no name says:

    Segovis is now running the International Center, but has no translators to work with — remember, they were all fired.

  17. no name says:

    Here is another sign of the disarray: DCS’s “Bus Routes” page: currently says “! 2012-2013 School Bus Routes will be posted on Monday, July 30”

    That is only a week before school starts!

    The rumor inside DCS is that nobody even looked at the bus routes until parents started calling, asking when the new schedules (for the new year) would be posted!

  18. dekalbite2 says:

    @ Amy P

    That is very interesting. The SROs pay is comparable and in some instances higher than teachers (starting salary is higher) and their total days worked is comparable to teachers while their education requirements for the job and the stress is much less. In addition, they receive overtime while teachers are expected to take work home and stay after their workday for professional development and meetings without compensation.

    Per the DCSS MAG audit, the salary for SROs is $40,654 to $57,415 with $47,986 being the mid range. The job requires a high school diploma or equivalent GED with six years in law enforcement or a degree with two years of law enforcement.

    At $12,000,000 a year NO other metro school system even comes close to the massive expenditure of our Security force. Take a look at the comparison of DeKalb with EVERY other metro school system with respect to Security including demographically comparable ones to see how badly we need to rightsize our Security expenditures.

  19. Jim McMahan says:

    In addition to the pre-k departures in mass, I received a letter from my daughter’s elementary school letting me know that they are only going to have 2 5th grade classes instead of 3.
    That is the result of increasing class size on our students and teachers. That means even more time and volunteers are needed to help our teachers.
    I will work my tail off as a member of the school board to turn this school system around and make sure all the resources are in the classroom for our students!!!
    BTW, my answers to the questions on the AJC 2012 Voter’s Guide are finally on the web.
    Take a look and see how I compare to the other candidates. I’ll be at the Tucker Farmers Market from 6-8 this evening if anyone wants to come by and say hi. As a citizen and not a vendor.
    Thanks for your support and your vote on July 31st.

    Jim McMahan
    District 4 candidate for DeKalb County School Board

  20. no name says:

    The rumor going around inside DCS is that your salary, as a pre-K teacher, is going to be slashed to 30K, the amount that the state pays for…. so, yes, it does appear that your salary is going to be slashed down to 30K.

    I have also heard that you will *LOSE* your HEALTH INSURANCE and ALL OTHER BENEFITS! This is because the state only sends the district 30K and all of that 30K will go to your salary; there is not any money left to pay for the health insurance and other benefits.

  21. no name says:

    Actions speak louder than words.

    Dr. A’s words are pretty meaningless considering what what she is doing to DCS teachers right now.

  22. DeKalb Inside Out says:

    The biggest sign of confusion at DCSD is the lack of communication coming from the administration!

    According to Don McChesney’s website, he has a coffee talk tomorrow (Fri) morning at 10am. He’s the only out there inviting people to talk to him. I’ve got some questions for him … let’s see what he says.

  23. justwatch says:

    Two weeks. And there is a new head of transportation who knows how to use the software so let us give him time to get routes that make sense.

  24. fedupindcss says:

    So they still gave him two “schools,” which indicates they feel neither of them is of enough importance to rate a full administrator.

    Maybe as principal of DOLA he can work to eliminate it. Total waste of time.

  25. dawg93 says:

    Nancy Jester will be there and she announced it in her newsletter via email. I think you have to go to her Facebook page to see it posted on the web.

  26. Tsk_Tsk says:

    As a Pre-K teacher, I too have heard nothing official about what my salary will be or even that we were on a different schedule then the rest of the county. I found our new calendar on the DCSD website, there was not an e-mail/phone call/letter sent stating that this was occurring. Also, we Pre-K teachers are certified and under contract, so I too wonder about the legality of cutting our pay to the state salary, I also wonder if our contracts mean anything, since they never returned them to us after they issued them and we signed them. So, am I to assume that I’m free to interview/move to a new county????
    I’m hoping to hear something soon as I, and the rest of the 103 Pre-K teachers have some major life decisions to make if we are cut to only the state salary.

  27. no name says:

    I said one week because the routes really need to be in place when the teachers come back on August 6, so that the teachers and principals will have time to go over which kids are going on which buses. Having the route information will also allow schools to answer phone calls from parents that call during the week (Aug 6-10) to ask about which buses their kids will be on when schools open on August 13.

  28. Just a Mom says:

    did early voting today (easy and no lines) – you got my vote!

  29. Augustus says:

    Special Education Lead teachers are actually critical. The teachers in the classroom could not do anything if they had to handle all that those folks handle. Special Ed teachers have a TREMENDOUS amount of paperwork and hoops (including parents0 to go through. I cringe to think of not having the Lead Teachers.

  30. Jim McMahan says:

    Coffe talk has been Don, Nancy and Pam and about 20 visitors.
    I have been to two of them as well as Marshall Orson.
    See you tomorrow at 10am.

    Jim McMahan

  31. justwatch says:

    You are absolutely free to move — every day I am hiring of teachers moving to other systems. DCSS doesn’t care, one iota.

  32. So frustrated says:

    The bookkeeper was the secretary for the Discipline principal at EAHS last school year…not retired nor in another school system!

  33. sosad says:

    If anyone feels as though they have been wrongly terminated, wrongly eliminated, or lost their job for no valid reason as part of the RIF, I advise you seek an employment/labor attorney asap. Gather all evidence, letters, correspondence from HR or emails from First Class. Many of you are scared or don’t know where to start. You must speak with some type of legal team. This can’t continue to go on.
    The main reason why were are in the current mess and state of confusion is because the chief of HR has no idea how to run HR. As the headline stated, Ward-Smith was the apprentice of Dr. Jamie WIlson. She started off overseeing the certification dept. She was promoted by Wilson and moved up quickly and is now the chief of HR. From my understanding, there were different sections in HR. Ward Smith worked in the section that include certification, retirement, and benefits. The other section that deals with hiring and terminations, Ward Smith did not work in. There was another woman in that position who I hear has retired. So now we have Ward Smith as the chief, trying to handle the hiring and terminations part of HR in which she has no experience in doing.
    The strange thing is, I heard Dr. Atkinson recently hired new personnel in HR with HR backgrounds and HR certifications but these individuals are in positions that are beneath the chief position. How is it that those under the chief have HR experience and certifications and experience but the chief does not. Ward Smith is creating havoc and confusion in the district because she has no idea on how to run HR for such a large organization. Nobody in the school house should have been terminated. The cuts could have been made to balance the budget but instead of eliminating central office positions, they reposted them and rehired with current and new employees. So where are the savings? There needs to be a deep audit and investigation in HR. I have heard numerous stories of certain employees in HR receiving up to $15,000 raises while on the other end of the spectrum, we have media clerks cut, teachers cut, AP’s cut, people who have been dedicated and hard working employees are being let go with no understanding, no compassion, no explanation, not anything.
    Another friend of mine told me that Pat Carter is no longer with DeKalb and was replaced. She said that Pat Carter was one of the most helpful people in HR when she had to take time off for a medical condition. Why is Robert Mosley being demoted to Principal? How in the world is Beasley back in a top paying position? Segovis should have never been demoted. I head Lisa Doumzel (Might be misspelled) received a teacher contract. I am hearing about so many people that are no longer with the system that did nothing wrong, who had the knowledge and skills to do their jobs, and were replaced with new employees that have to be trained. That is why nobody knows anything, nobody answers phones, and everyone is in the dark. I also heard from some teacher friends of mine of how they were in a meeting with Ward Smith and were being intimidated and harassed to resign from their jobs. These eliminations and demotions are based on favoritism and friends being hired. Ward Smith is in on it. Dr. Atkinson is in on it too. For those of you trying to still give Dr. Atkinson a chance, you are blinded but time will show what her true intentions are.
    Those of you who have been treated unfairly and illegally must not let this slide. Take legal action and show them you will not stand for this! These type of people have been getting away with this mess for years but the time is now to expose them all. Secrets, lies, manipulation, unprofessionalism, bullying, intimidation, nepotism, etc. It is time to stand up and if anyone knows any other things that are going on behind close doors, speak up!

  34. DekalbELMom says:

    You amazing teachers should go out and see how you could do with a home school group. I’m thinking there are families who could and would pay a teacher (I would!) to work homeschooling. With all of the news this week, I think I’ll pull my kids out and Home School but would love a teacher’s support. Maybe start a new business getting teachers together…or form some new Private Schools. If I knew I was getting a great teacher, I would get out of Dekalb Co schools and pay a LOT for it. I know this isn’t an option for everyone, but we have to start thinking outside of the box here…WAY outside of the box. I know of two TOP teachers who have left our school in the past month. I mean, how much can you folks stand? Unappreciated by entitled parents, higher #s in the classroom, testing, ungrateful superiors…I truly don’t know how you can do it. I was in the school all of the time last year, and it’s one of the best ones. Look at the Finland model folks (and by folks, I mean The United States!) and start revering teachers. When teachers aren’t revered, things get ugly. Yes, we are in a horrible financial crisis, and that is primarily to blame. Teachers, start putting your ads out for Home Schooling. I will answer! I can’t believe I would be the only one.

  35. DekalbELMom says:

    Would 7K a child up to 8 children be a better freelance job if you home schooled some kids? Just saying…it may be an option! Any great teachers retiring, please start a new home school business. I think it’s a great idea…or band together and start a new private school. Paideia was started by parents and teachers…as well as so many other great schools. Remember to look for the rainbow at the end of the storm! I have been researching Home School a lot lately due to all of the news.

  36. Complete Chaos says:

    I have been researching sites to see my options as a Pre-K teacher:

    #1 There are NO elementary teaching listings on ANY county websites within an hour of Atlanta. (Atlanta Public Schools has a listing to be added to their candidate pool–But, it doesn’t sound like they have any position either.) Had we known at the BEGINNING of the summer, we may have had a chance to find something elsewhere.

    #2 There seems to be some special rules about teachers filing unemployment. It sounds like if you are Rif’d due to budget cuts with a proposed huge salary reduction, you can still file unemployment. However, the representative at the DOL states that they make those judgements on a case-by-case basis.

    #3 I am still researching to find a lawyer. Even though the contracts are worded to protect only the school system, all tenured teachers have a right to a fair dismissal hearing. The way this has been handled seems like it has to be illegal. We were supposed to have written documentation by May 15th as to intentions for employment/salary etc. By not receiving our contract back nor a dismissal notice, they should be required to place us in the county somewhere based on seniority. My contract did not state Pre-K… It stated employment as a teacher.

    If I am offered a job at 50% pay at the last minute, I can NOT guarantee an immediate response. They will probably have quite a lot of substitutes starting that first week of school. That is a complete shame for the precious 4 year olds not knowing what they are doing– much less having teachers that have no clue what the first days of school in Pre-K are like either. I would recommend NO Pre-K child ride a bus while substitutes are running the class… There will be certain to have someone get on the wrong one. There will be a LOT of crying… mostly from the students… probably some from the new teachers! If there isn’t a VERY structured routine in place for the kids to learn from day one, the anxiety of not knowing what to do is terrifying for 4 year olds. The children are already upset that they don’t have their parents. Then, you add that they cry just because you take their lunch box to store on the shelf until lunch time… they panic if the bathroom door is too heavy.. they cry because parents try to comfort them by staying in the room rather than making a quick departure. These are things that seem minor. However, that is just the first 5 minutes of the day. Only experienced teachers know how to handle these situations without causing more chaos. If it were my child, I would definitely NOT send my child to school until they have an experienced/permanent teacher in the room. I usually start contacting parents to get my transportation planning/ scheduling / routines weeks in advance because it takes a LOT of preparation. I was about to do that today. I guess I will wait to see if I actually have a job first.

  37. dedicated and frustrated says:

    I don’t know of many Pre-K teachers leaving. We signed our contracts as Dekalb teachers and expect to be paid as such. We are not being allowed to change grade, nor given any information. What is the point of resigning and reapplying if there is a hiring freeze and schools will all have fewer positions than last year? If they plan to lower the pay so dramatically, they need to assign the newest teachers to Pre-K and find positions for us. I understand that Pre-K is not mandatory and not fully funded, but DCSS did not think this through with respect to teachers, salary and contracts.

  38. Disgusted DeKalb Teacher says:

    Where is the coffee talk? I would like to go.

  39. frustrated says:

    I spoke to my media specialist today who is still not sure if she has a job as her principal hinted that those cuts may not be finished. She will be alone this yr handling a school of 1000 students or more and with all ctss removed from elem school many of the duties ours had will go to her as well. So she and other librarians like her will do the job of 2 to 3 people. She found out that our school will have a new title I coordinator to handle nothing but data. They will not assist with teaching small groups but data only. We also have success for all coordinator who will have their own assistant. So you get rid of those who work for peanuts and directly with students and hire people who have no contact with kids who will make $80 to $ 100k!?

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