Back to the calendar

Calendar-dekalb-schoolsThis email came to us from a teacher. We are hearing that teachers are feeling disenfranchised over the Board’s decision to postpone implementing the much-debated ‘balanced’ calendar approved by our former Board. When Dr. Atkinson made the change from the current ‘traditional’ to the new, ‘balanced’ school calendar, she first surveyed teachers, staff and parents [a SACS recommendation]. The consensus was an approval of the balanced over traditional calendar, thus the change was made. However, it seems our new Board has thrown out the teachers’ opinions and reversed the decision, creating yet another round of schedule changes and reactions. They questioned ‘buy-in’ for the Success For All program at their last meeting, but on the calendar issue, it appears that stakeholder buy-in isn’t as important as the Board’s desire.

Read on>>

…”Is the same decision that caused such upheaval just one short year ago (on this blog and elsewhere), actually happening again? As of April 1st, the new and improved “Board Almighty” has voted to stay with the traditional calendar for next school year (now just 4 months away). I was thinking it to be an April Fools prank… but no. Low and behold, it really happened. They are calling it a “delay” but we all know better than to believe that.”

***”Side note: Can this board also choose to “delay” the nice brand new fleet of cars they have granted to the area superintendents while cutting mileage compensation to teachers who must travel from school to school in their own cars. Can they also “delay” the removal of all interpreters (necessary by federal law mind you) and ESOL registration/testing services that are now placed on the individual schools. Sorry…that’s another topic altogether.”

“Just a year ago, Dr. Atkinson was attempting to make changes to the school calendar and there was complete upheaval, so she surveyed parents, teachers, students, etc. resulting in approval of the new “balanced” calendar for 2013-2014. Now, whether the survey results were actually counted or if it was still an executive decision, the decision was made and the stakeholders of the district have spent time preparing for the new calendar; summer schools have been adjusted, and October and February vacations have been planned!”

“I continue to believe that the balanced schedule is better for teaching and learning. It is more teacher AND student friendly, allowing more frequent breaks. However, I do understand the concerns of working parents.”

“We needed to give the balanced schedule a trial run. Why did they decide against this? I will never understand it. The DCSD “big wigs” are back to doing the same things they have always done. If you support this move because you are in favor of the traditional schedule, then you should still be concerned about the process. How can the schedule be changed only 4 months before the beginning of the 2013-14 school year? The board cannot change things without the process, since that is, as I recall, what the dispute was about previously.”

“I know with certainty that faculty burnout, low morale, and poor staff attendance will surely remain or increase next year. I know with certainty that teachers and children were willing to exchange a shorter summer for more breaks throughout the school year. Who are these nine (10 counting the Super) people to decide in haste to change this with such little time before the next school year? If a need for process was the argument before, then it needs to be an issue now as well. After all, why bother to ask for opinions if you’re just going to discard them?”

“I recognize with every new leader comes new beliefs and initiatives, but allowing one to do the same thing the other was scorned for cannot stand. We must see stakeholders with a voice, and insufficient notice for drastic changes to the operation of a school system should not be tolerated at any time—not just when you agree with it.”

“Please let the board members know if you are for or against this most recent decision. I, for one, am against it, as I was last year. Though I prefer a balanced schedule, the ability to change with such short notice should not be a decision made at this time. If we had to wait a year before, then we should have to wait now.”

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90 Responses to Back to the calendar

  1. September says:

    Noise is a problem. It can be overwhelming. Large classes in small, poorly designed spaces make it worse. Sometimes, you can hear the class next door through the walls. I find noisy situations to be stressful. I have trouble with my voice if I have to spend the day talking over classroom noise. Noise makes it difficult for some students to concentrate. It can affect reading comprehension, problem solving, and writing. If you have a minor hearing problem, it will get worse in a noisy room. How much work can you get done on a group assignment if you can’t hear the people you are working with? What if you can’t hear the teacher? Some group work is appropriate and you have to tolerate certain amount of noise to do it, but not as a steady diet in a classroom.

  2. d says:

    I know of only one teacher in my school (in South DeKalb) that wanted traditional. She retired with the November 30 group anyway. Most of my colleagues didn’t care about the start date. We were excited at the prospect of being able to stay refreshed and ready for students -especially in the spring semester.

  3. Does anyone know who proposed changing the calendar back to the traditional one? Or who proposed postponing implementing the new one? Was there a reason stated? What (or who) made the Board revisit the calendar? Just curious as to why this became an issue – again.

  4. dekalbite2 says:

    Thurmond or one of his advisees may have thought like Atkinson thought – it looked like an issue that could be solved without making any personnel cuts in those hard to cut areas.

  5. John Hope says:

    More than likely, Thurmond thought this action would win bonus points with parents and be good for public relations. Unfortunately he did not listen to most of the teachers on this. Most teachers were in favor of the balanced calendar, especially those that work in schools that have students needing additional instructional assistance. I can understand the already achieving school staffs not being in favor of this. The original recommendation was made with students needing more assistance in mind.

  6. Yes, that’s probably true, John Hope, but I have to wonder who exactly brought it up to Thurmond as being an issue he needed to put on hold… I mean, he certainly would not have come up with this idea on his own. Was it a group of parents? A board member? A community group? Staff?

  7. DSWparticipant says:

    Back to the calendar. The calendar as a solution to teacher stress and remediation of students who do not make adequate progress. Here’s one possible piece of the puzzle for some teachers, an article on how a teacher’s voice affects students.

    http://www.teachingexpertise.com/articles/your-voice-your-job-669

  8. dekalbite2 says:

    “More than likely, Thurmond thought this action would win bonus points with parents and be good for public relations. Unfortunately he did not listen to most of the teachers on this. ”

    Mr. Thurmond needs to start engaging and listening to teachers who teach the content areas of math, science, language arts and social studies, the content that students must master in our schools.

    It is critical for students that BOE members ask Mr. Thurmond for our teacher attrition numbers as compared to other systems and to Georgia as a whole as well as the average number of sick days for DeKalb teachers. It is Mr. Thurmond’s job to attract and retain high quality teachers since high quality teachers is the MAIN predictor of student success for students who are in title 1 schools. Student success is the only job he MUST do correctly. If Mr. Thurmond fails to move students forward academically, he is a failure in the superintendent position. Moving students forward is the only reason the school system exists, and moving students forward is impossible unless Mr. Thurmond can attract and retain high quality teaching personnel.

    So far, Mr. Thurmond has not shown teachers that they are the most important personnel with respect to student achievement, particularly in low income schools where students are not making adequate yearly progress. If he does not realize that, he should be replaced with a leader who understands that we cannot have a high quality system without high quality, motivated teaching staff.

  9. concernedmom30329 says:

    I think that parents were constantly asking him about it and some were raising concerns about Atkinson’s data collection methods.
    I want to point out again that there was no plan to use the breaks next year for remediation. In fact, the calendar wasn’t really balanced liked the systems that remediate during breaks. Also, teachers and others have to be paid if they are working those days. Title 1 funds can be used in those schools, but what about the non-Title 1 schools? There are plenty of those schools with students who need extra help — and those students really aren’t getting that help.

  10. enough already says:

    A simple equation for DCSS to consider:
    Valued teachers= More Effective teachers= More Successful learners

  11. @John Hope: I still say there is no way Thurmond thought of this on his own. The school calendar would not be on his radar. Who on earth coached him to make this change? [Or rather, to ‘hold off’ on the change to the calendar approved by the previous Board.]

    Find the answer to that question and you will find who Thurmond is ‘really’ listening to.

  12. concernedmom30329 says:

    DSW
    From his early speeches he told the following – he said that the first day after he was announced as interim super, he was getting the mail and a neighbor came over and said “the first thing you should do is change the balanced calendar. My wife hates it.” Thurmond said at the time he didn’t even know what a balanced calendar was. Also, it was a consistent question at every place I was where he spoke to the parents.
    That doesn’t make the change right and I still wonder if there is a fiscal reason behind this, but I do think he was very aware of the issue.

  13. Thanks concerned. So apparently the decision was made anecdotally – just due to pressure from those who took the time to speak to him about it or who are fortunate enough to be his neighbor (unlikely this was a teacher!). No surveys. No research. Just actions in response to community pressure. Seems like things aren’t much different in that arena.

    I took copious notes of Thurmond’s meeting at Brookhaven. He didn’t mention the calendar at all. Yet a few days later, he and the Board made the big decision to hold off on implementing the new – published – calendar.
    https://dekalbschoolwatch.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/breaking-news-live-video-of-michael-thurmond-addressing-brookhaven-city-council-meeting/

  14. Another comment says:

    Work schedules aren’t made to accommodate the employees in the real world teachers. This is why you all are not respected as Professionals. It is all me, me, me. The Balanced calander sucks for the majority of the stake holders the tax paying parents and students. Most parents work in the real world and can not schedule their lives around all these teacher refreshment breaks. We realize that our kids loose a lot over these breaks and it costs us a fortune so you can have these refreshment breaks. Teacher’s put on your big girl and big boy pants and suck it up. Many of us worked for low wages for 60-80 hours a week for years in our career. We take work home, we get called 24/7/365. If you want part-time work go to work as a Wallmart Greater or something. Your comments on these boards indicate that you are over your pay grade anyways. You are probably one of the ones that say at open house “I don’t like Math”.

  15. Embarrassed Employee says:

    @ another comment….teachers may be surveyed, but trust and believe the decisions are not based upon what “teachers want” alone. Your comment is full of disgust, why its directed towards people with no fight left in them is completely beyond me. In most professions you pretty much know what the schedule looks like, firemen do 48 hour shifts then 48 hours off, or something like that, doctors same thing, you pretty much know what you are in for. With DeKalb, you have no idea how many furlough days you will have, you don’t know which calendar we are working with, no stability. So again, why are YOU so upset?

  16. Dedicated Teacher says:

    @another comment

    Just a few questions: What time is your doctor or your children’s doctor’s office open? Do they open at 6pm? Do they revolve around your work schedule or do you have to take off work to go?

    It’s a shame that many parents agree with your sentiments. This “everything is the teacher’s fault” mentality is the very reason I did not sign my contract. This ideology is shared by some parents, most building level administrators, and all central office executive staff members. I don’t need a parade of thanks everday but I don’t need to be slapped in the face everyday either.

  17. Very true Dedicated Teacher. School is in place in order to educate children – not to babysit them. There are babysitters, day cares, co-ops and camps for that. Everyone, please do something extra for a teacher this month and next. We are winding up a very stressful school year and teachers have borne the brunt of the budget cuts and increased work load. Flowers, treats, gift cards, reams of paper, classroom supplies – anything that you can afford to do for a teacher – please do it now. And continue into the future. Teachers are professionals. If you need childcare outside the school day, there are many, many resources to help with that – for every budget. But hear this: Teachers are not free day care providers sent by the government so that parents can work.

  18. dekalbite2 says:

    @another comment
    “We realize that our kids loose a lot over these breaks and it costs us a fortune so you can have these refreshment breaks”

    When I became a parent, my child was/still is the most important person in the world to me. Her welfare took precedence over everything to me. I would have sacrificed anything for her (still would). I wanted my child to have the best teachers who were competent, caring and liked teaching. After all, she spent more time in the classroom with that adult than she did with me. I wanted the best learning environment possible so she could flourish educationally and be self supporting with a job that was satisfying to her when she grew up. I recognized that an intelligent, dedicated, refreshed teacher with low stress who enjoyed his/her job was enormously important to my child’s well being and success in the classroom.

    It seems any parent would want teachers who have high morale, enjoy their profession, and look forward to coming to work to teach your child. These are the people you want to entrust with your most precious possession – your child. As parents we protect our children. No matter what level of stress we go through at work, we should not want our children to experience that same level of stress. The teacher and the children share the exact same environment so if the environment is degraded for the teacher, it is degraded for the children – your child as well. They cannot be separated. The teacher and his/her students are the only “members of the classroom”. That is where the teaching and learning take place or in too many cases in DeKalb does not take place. Consider this as you want your child’s teacher to”put their big boy pants” on and undergo an unpleasant environment. What you want for your child’s teacher is what you will get for your child.

  19. September says:

    @another comment

    I didn’t get into this business to be a babysitter. When school is not in session, parents need to make arrangements for their children. It doesn’t matter how the calendar is arranged.

    A school system pays its teachers for 190 days of work (less with furlough days) and that includes required PTA meetings, the Saturday morning grounds cleanup that the PTA organized, or the Friday night dance. There are the regularly scheduled staff meetings that start after the 8-hour day is finished. Teachers arrive early to supervise children who come to school before staff members are expected to report. The school system wants teachers to show up for that Saturday morning class or spend time during the summer for needed staff development. Stipends are sometimes paid, but a lot of that time is uncompensated. Oh, and if you happen to call your child’s teacher after the school day is over, you won’t have to leave a message if she is still at school, she will take the time to talk with you.

    You will be happier with your child’s school/education if you partner with the teacher instead of picking a fight.

  20. It’s always surprised me that people like @Another Comment who had jobs they hated, feel that other people should be subjected to the same conditions they were. What possible benefit could it be for anyone to work for “low wages” and be on call “24/7”? Sadly, the response to oppression is all too often a “do it to Julia” approach, rather than a passionate desire to make things better for future jobholders. One of the worst things about being a teaching in DCSS is the unpredictability and lack of control, it’s true:but until some form of a union takes hold and teachers start refusing to work without some say in working conditions, that won’t change. But two of the next-worse things are the low pay and parents like Another Comment, who have little sensitivity to what it’s like to be in an overcrowded classroom day after day, often with weak administrative support and several students with significant behavioral and/or medical problems. Try dealing with the child in the front row who’s just fainted while the remaining 39 kids erupt around you and the front office doesn’t answer your emergency call, Another Comment. You’d need a “refreshment break”, too–except you’ll probably never be in such a situation, will you? And teachers are entitled to voice their views on their own work schedules without having to be subjected to ridicule: one obvious fact is that views may change depending on which level (E, MS, HS) they teach.

  21. I don’t think @another said those jobs were hated, they are just jobs. You do the best you can and hope they keep giving you a paycheck at the end of the week. Parents have a difficult time at work already with the need to take time off when their kids are sick, or there is a conference at school, etc. The balanced calendar sounded like it could cause problems whereas the old way is the traditional way and everyone has gotten along just fine with it. This was an Atkinson “fix what isn’t broken” distraction to make everyone feel like their opinion might actually count when there were so many bigger issues that we should have seen coming.

  22. dekalbteacher says:

    You will probably not publish this, but I have to say that “Another Comment” should hope that his/her child’s teachers have a better command of the English language than (s)he does. As a Professional, I do care whether student’s loose some of what they have been taught during Breaks. Anyways, sometimes being a Wallmart Greater doesn’t sound half bad.

  23. Concerned Citizen says:

    I agree with what some many of us are thinking: the calendar is only a distraction for the supt. You can be sure he has been told it will throw the teachers and parents off the foul stench of “administrative behavior.” Be very sure we need to know who suggested it to him because he certainly isn’t that smart (or maybe he is- smart like a fox!) The calendar is NOT the problem in DeKalb, supt., and I still haven’t seen you do anything but smile and giggle and eat up slaps on the back. ugh

  24. dekalbite2 says:

    Speaking of trimming costs – Looking at the 2012 state Salary and Travel audit:
    Counselors and Assistant Principals – DeKalb is overstaffed and/or pays over the school day in hours for counselors and assistant principals. 270+ Assistant Principals cost $25,000,000 in salary and benefits and 320+ Counselors cost $25,000,000 in salary and benefits. This is a total of $50,000,000 for 590 Counselors and Assistant Principals. Counselor hours need to be reduced from 9 to 8 and position numbers need to align with other school systems. If need be counselors in very small elementary schools can share a counselor. Assistant Principal numbers can also be aligned with the marketplace numbers.

    Here are the current salaries:
    Look at the salary schedule for DeKalb Assistant Principals –
    Elementary Schools – $54,303 – $86,450 (194 days)
    Middle Schools – $54,303 – $95,450 (207 days)
    High Schools – $54,303 – $95,450 (207 days)
    http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/human-resources/salary-ranges/

    Now look at Gwinnett’s Assistant Principal salaries:
    Elementary Schools – $51,338 – $73,505 (200 days)
    Middle School Schools – $51,855 – $76,155 (200 days)
    High School Schools – $54,085 – $78,860 (200 days)

    Click to access School_Administrators_Assistant_Principal_FY2013.pdf

    Also, please remember that Gwinnett Assistant Principals have many more students to be responsible for since their schools are so much larger than our schools.

    Which system has better student outcomes for their disadvantaged students?

  25. hopespringseternal says:

    @dekalbteacher, 3:34. Now THAT is hilarious. I thougt I’d loose my late lunch. And be Greated by a clean-up effort. Then I’d have to visit Wallmart to buy more Professional clothing. Maybe something with Perdue on it (“I know, I was there”). While shopping, I’d notice all the ethnic groups, remember that I’m African American, and “axe” someone for help, since no African American I know can “ask” anything. When I’m finished axing for help, I’ll think of all the government work I’ve done and how I’m such an expert at it, along with all the bitterness I’ve amassed over the years, and I’ll start posting on every blog available to me. My bitterness will show, and I’ll loose more of my lunch.

  26. As far as grammar goes – we aren’t all that uptight about it here, as we’re having a conversation – albeit a written one. If anyone has questions regarding the correct word to use or other grammatical challenges, try going to Grammar Girl online. She answers all of your questions, like the difference between ‘lose’ and ‘loose’…

    😉

  27. Further, speaking of trimming costs – check out these published numbers (found here in the “Budgets, Cuts and Audits” page under the “DCSS FILES” tab at the top of the blog).

    SALARIES & BENEFITS
    2012: $699,371,612
    2013 – projected: $ 698,797,048

    OTHER COSTS
    2012: $99,887,453
    2013 – projected: $102,605,767

    Which begs the question, “What happened to all the ‘cuts’ made by the Board last year?” Our costs have not decreased much – even after Riffing hundreds of school staff like librarians, IT, media clerks, parapros and teachers (through attrition). Not only that, the ‘savings’ incurred by cutting staff was more than trumped by the increase in “other costs”… which begs the next question, “What other costs?”

    Now, look at the detailed budget report (it’s only one page, not that detailed…)

    With all of the schoolhouse cuts, the schoolhouse salary budget barely budged last year and actually increased a bit for 2013. But — the “Division” budget decreased significantly – over $25 million. Which begs yet another question, “Did the line items ‘cut’ from the Division section of the budget, simply get mostly reassigned to the schoolhouse section of the budget?” If true, that report is making things appear to be severely cut in ‘Division’ and not cut at all to the schoolhouses—which we ALL know is simply not the case.

    To see how 600 jobs were recoded from the Central Office to the schoolhouse, (which is probably what Thurmond is referring to when he says 600 jobs were ‘cut’ from the CO)…PLUS 1,000 from transportation recoded to the schoolhouse, click here:

    Click to access central-office-positions-synopsis.pdf

    We have to wait for the 2013 actual budget to make any more reports, but we are very concerned that the books are being juggled to make appearances that cuts have been made where they really haven’t. And we don’t have a detailed HR report to check our hunch against as Tekshia Ward-Smith didn’t track the RIFs – although after questioned, she stated that she would ‘moving forward’, however, that’s useless, as the shell game has already been played and no one recorded it. Oh, and the forensic audit that was to have been completed long ago so that we could evaluate the budget and reallocate properly? Well, our ‘leadership’ thus far has shown that they’ll have none of that!

    More talk. More dancing. More drama. No action.

  28. Here’s one place that the ‘savings’ from the schoolhouse cuts was respent.

    Click to access division-summaries.pdf

    Notice that the Superintendent’s Division went from $ 4,664,009 in 2012 to $ 8,075,933 in 2013 (projected). That is mostly due to “Purchased Services” (ie: contracted consultants, etc) went from $ 3,480,958 in 2012 to $ 6,900,000 in 2013 (projected).

    Oh, and by the way, we all know how good our administration is at ‘projecting’ costs. Just look at their electricity and legal ‘projected budgets’ year after year.

  29. From the 2013 Budget Cover Letter:

    Therefore, the following actions are recommended to balance the budget:
    • Reduce Central Office/Division personnel ($5 million)
    • Reduce Central Office budgets ($10 million)
    • Reduce overtime expenditures ($5 million)
    • Increase the student teacher ratio by three students (approximately $21 million)
    • Increase the millage rate by 2 mils (approximately $32 million)

    With these measures, the recommended budget for FY2013 will be $760 million.

    The FY2013 budget recommendation does not change the number of work days for10-month, 11-month or 12-month employees.

    BUT — we just aren’t seeing a cost savings in their ‘reduction’ of Central Office. All they did was ‘move’ most of these staff members to schoolhouse budgets. They still get paid the exact same amount of money. (The Powerpoint presentation on the budget cuts said, “The FY2013 budget includes the reduction of 73 central office personnel for a savings of $5.1 Million”. First, not saying they didn’t happen, but we haven’t seen those cuts, and second, we aren’t so sure that many of these employees weren’t rehired under another – new – job title coded to the schoolhouse.

    Click to access approved-budget-presentation-%282012-2013%29.pdf


    Click to access presentation.pdf

    Also NOTE** The cover letter states an increase of three students per classroom, however the Board only approved increasing by two in regular AND special education (line items 38 and 42 – for a savings of $14 million and $10.2 million respectively). Maybe they figured out that special education classes are quite small – 6-8 students – and increasing them by 2 is far more impactful than increasing a regular class of 28 to 30. (Neither one is a good option.)

    Click to access approved-budget-%282013%29.pdf

    AND – the Board approved cutting 10 Assistant Principals – but the LETTER says nothing about that specifically.

  30. Embarrassed Employee says:

    Again,how easily we digress from the important stuff. Thurmond has not earned a dime of his outrageous salary. All he has done is network. That’s it folks. When re we going to get to the meat of this problem.? I have heard there are numerous great and talented educators seeking better and more stable employment opportunities. This is really going to hurt in the fall. Parents will only become outraged when their “favorite” teacher doesn’t return in the fall. I don’t know when the employees are going to become visibly outraged. One employee outraged is just someone having a tantrum,many outraged employees is a front page article in the AJC.

  31. DCSD FOR DUMMIES says:

    Thurmond mentioned that the 2015 budget will reflect his plan. Why bother to wait until then…I mean, shouldn’t we have a new superintendent by then? He also mentioned not having any money for the teachers in this district. Why hasn’t he realized that the bloat continues in the central office? I wonder if Mr. Thurmond would be willing to furlough himself for the good of the district, or why not bow out gracefully? The fact remains that the money is too good to pass. Mr. Thurmond, teachers are tired of hearing your politics. We want real answers. Elgart used a system in Kentucky as a model for us to get our fiscal house in order. I googled them and found that their organizational chart is online. They have have a budget similar to DeKalb’s, with 99,000 students, but their pay scale is significantly different from ours. Has anyone else on this blog researched this? Why can’t Mr. Thurmond make the tough decisions? He mentioned that there were “teacher non- renewals” this year, so why can’t he reduce the central office staff? I really want to give this guy a chance, but I am tired of waiting on a SUPER to “right” the “wrongs” of the previous one(s). I can only conclude that Mr. Thurmond does not care about anybody’s child, but his own. Otherwise, he would make the tough decisions NOW. On another note, I pray that the board does not approve ANY furlough days for anyone. This would force Thurmond to make the needed cuts in the central office. I would not feel sorry for anyone who is RIF’d. They, the F&F, have made enough money off of taxpayers, and the backs of teachers and other staff.

  32. And — it’s interesting that the Planning Dept posts all of the budgets – including the proposed 2013 budget – but there are no budgets – proposed or actual – posted at the site for FY 2012 (the 2011-2012 school year – Tyson’s biggie).
    http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/budget/index/planning

  33. dekalbite2 says:

    @DCSD for Dummies
    ” Elgart used a system in Kentucky as a model for us to get our fiscal house in order. I googled them and found that their organizational chart is online. T”

    Can you provide that link. It would prove interesting for commenters and readers of this blog.

  34. Teachers — according to what Dr. Lewis always complained about — cost an average of $65,000 each – including benefits. We are down to around 6,500 teachers. That’s a cost of $422,500,000. The proposed FY 2012-13 budget includes $669,735,433 for ‘salaries’. That leaves $247,235,433 to spend on non-teachers – some of which are essential – like librarians, tech support and parapros. In addition, this line item includes $99,970,600 for “other costs” totaling $759,706,033 for general operations. When you add this general operations budget together with the rest of the fund budgets, you get a CONSOLIDATED budget that totals over a Billion dollars! In FY 2011, when Ramona Tyson supposedly made over $100 million in cuts, the total CONSOLIDATED budget was still $1,203,231,594! (Yes, that’s $1.2 BILLION!)

    Thurmond should be bright enough to see that there is PLENTY of money to pay teachers! In fact, he obviously thinks there’s plenty of money to shell out about $300,000 for him, another $200,000 for Ramona and over $200,000 for Atkinson for FY 2013! How can he possibly say there isn’t enough for teachers?!!! There is enough – just balance enrollments and fund the classroom!!!

  35. JustSaying says:

    A dear friend who is an excellent teacher was honored and happy about being selected the TOTY for her school. Both her parents and siblings arranged to come to Georgia for the event. I know this must be a joke, but she informed me that she got an e-mail that informed her that the TOTY celebration had been changed to May 20th, which is a Monday night,
    On Sunday night, her family is flying home to be back for work on Monday. Her husband will be working that night. He changed his schedule to be off on the 17th, which is the orginal date.
    Please tell me that the county would not change the date of an event that is so important. There are still teachers that do an excellent job and are very proud of being TOTY

  36. DCSD FOR DUMMIES says:

    Yes, when a board member asked Elgart for an example school system. Elgart mentioned the Jefferson County Kentucky School District as a model. He stated that the student population and budget is similar to ours.

  37. Geesh. That is heart-breaking. How can these ‘leaders’ be so all-fired, completely incompetent so as to not even throw an awards banquet on schedule?

  38. Not seeing the ‘big’ cuts… Thurmond, where are the 600 you said were cut from admin/support???
    From the GA DOE:

    Year – Student enrollment – general operations budget:

    2001-02 >> 97,887
    2002-03 >> 98,538
    2003-04 >> 96,875 students >> 6,463 FT + 208 PT teachers: 500 Admin; 708 support
    2004-05 >> 97,282 students >> 5,926 FT + 741 PT teachers: 491 Admin; 700 support
    2005-06 >> 99,544 students >> 5,782 FT + 1,078 PT teachers: 494 Admin; 747 support
    2006-07 >> 98,713 students >> 6,765 FT + 386 PT teachers: 529 Admin; 852 support
    2007-08 >> 97,580 students >> 6,631 FT + 441 PT teachers: 541 Admin; 880 support
    2008-09 >> 96,907 students >> 6,539 FT + 418 PT teachers: 528 Admin; 857 support
    2009-10 >> 96,678 students >> 6,374 FT + 438 PT teachers: 518 Admin; 911 support
    2010-11 >> 95,481 students >> 6,136 FT + 484 PT teachers: 494 Admin; 880 support
    2011-12 >> students >> 6,374 FT teachers
    2012-13 >>

    *If anyone has the missing data, please post or email it to us… thanks.

  39. Regarding the references to the possibility of central office staff simply being moved to the schoolhouse budgets instead, this is quite interesting. At my school, we must sign in and out daily. They are very strict about this and our bookkeeper must send in this “book” to the central office for record keeping….why we don’t “punch in” by signing into a computer or scanning our employee ID I’ll never know (the sign-in book is so antiquated).

    What has been noticed at my school is a page of 5-8 “professionals” who are not nor have ever stepped foot in our school, but they’re somehow listed in our sign in book…very peculiar. Could these be the central office staff who only sign in once the book is sent in for official record keeping? Our bookkeeper called to ask about this oddity at the beginning of the year and she was basically told to leave them on the roster and to mind her business. This has never seemed right to me. I’m only imagining that there are other schools with the same “extra employees” on their rosters as well. I suppose, in a way, that it is clever in that no one outside of the schools would have access to these books (I.e. Parents, news reporters, 😉 ).

    Very sneaky indeed DCSD… I’m sure the well compensated central office fluff worked incredibly hard to create this scheme. An excellent use of our taxes, resources, and time. I can see the conversation now.
    Superintendent: “so, we are under a lot of pressure to trim the central office and some of y’all might need to look for new work….unless of course one of you can find a way to place you in the schools while you really aren’t. I look forward to your creative ideas.”
    Central office staff: ” got it chief. We won’t let you…or us…down.”
    (Diabolically evil laughter ensues)

  40. Vewwwwwy interwesting worldunitenow! Thanks for sharing that tidbit! Made me stop beating my head against the wall for a minute…

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