The new cars are here! The new cars are here!

New-Rides-for-Administrators

We found this on Nancy Jester’s Facebook page:

You know what will help remedy the problems in DCSS? Some shiny new sedans for administrators! Remember back on March 20th our new BOE voted to approve the purchase of approximately $1.7 million in new vehicles, including “15 service sedans”. Just in time for school to begin, they are here. My intrepid, investigative reporter took this photo* before being asked to leave the public, taxpayer maintained property. I count 14 so one must be parked elsewhere. Hmmm. I hope that DCSS will put forth equal effort and attention to making sure that our children and teachers are properly provisioned for the beginning of school.

Nice work Nancy.

Note: These cars were paid for with SPLOST IV penny sales tax dollars.

*The photo was taken by Don McChesney, former board rep for District 2 (who lost the last election to Marshall Orson). Thanks Don!

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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"
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99 Responses to The new cars are here! The new cars are here!

  1. unknown says:

    I pray that our students have enough textbooks this year.

  2. Free from DeKalb says:

    1.7 million for new cars? There must be more cars hiding around than 15. There’s probably 50 other cars we don’t know about. Who is being given these cars besides the 6 or 7 executive directors? What was wrong with the Tauruses they drove? Just another shining example of waste and an additional slap in the face to the teachers who are stuck with 5 or 6 furlough days. But hey at least the top management will be riding in style. These peope are truly tone deaf.

  3. Free from DeKalb says:

    I guess DeKalb is like Oprah Winfrey now….”you get a car and you get a car!!” Everybody gets a car!!!

  4. idabelle25 says:

    Are you serious!!!!
    Talk about adding insult to injury. I can’t afford insurance as a teacher. I haven’t had anincrease in pay in years. I have some colleagues that have taken hits to their salaries in the thousands. I can’t even dig into pockets to get things I need for my class this year. There are teachers, principals and parents painting and doing repairs to their own classes and schools because of cuts to our maintenance budget. We don’t even have enough trailers for the kids to have classes. They were confiscated by the county because they said we didn’t have enough for the rental. Thank you for this. This is shameful to me as a teacher and taxpayer!!! Investigative news are you watching. You know as an employee, we cannot talk to the media but they forget that employees are taxpayers!

  5. Free from DeKalb says:

    Those are Ford Fusions.
    $21,900 Starting MSRP1
    EPA-Est. MPG City/Hwy: 22/342
    ——————————————————————————–
    ◦SYNC® with MyFord® voice-activated communications and entertainment System27
    ◦Automatic headlamps
    ◦AM/FM stereo with CD player, MP3 capability, four speakers

    Not bad taste Dekalb…..The palace employees will be riding in comfort and style.

  6. concerned citizen says:

    unknown, you KNOW we will not have enough textbooks for the children; seeing these cars is purely disgusting. Shame on those in DeKalb who did this. I wonder if school will open with no teachers, and I hear some schools in Gwinnett are still holding their arms open for a big number of DeKalb teachers trying at the last minute to get out. Of course, I don’t blame them at all.

  7. The $1.7 million was for a whole host of vehicles — originally under the umbrella of ‘service and maintenance’ vehicles. These 15 sedans were slipped in as a perk for area superintendents and other administrators as a purchase under this same SPLOST IV line item. Our newly appointed, supposedly ‘better’, more ‘fiscally responsible’ board blatantly approved it in a public meeting. Nice statement to the teachers in DeKalb, who still suffer furlough days, no STEP raises, and no retirement match as well as larger classrooms and more work with fewer support staff like paras and library clerks (riffed).

  8. Free from DeKalb says:

    I simply do not understand…what does giving people a fleet of new cars have to do with educating students? Do they NOT UNDERSTAND while they’ve been cutting salaries and benefits that there are teachers out here struggling to pay their bills? This picture is tasteless, ill-timed, ill-advised and a total waste of money. The public should be outraged!!!!

  9. And so should SACS. But they won’t be.

  10. Below are links to our posts on the original vote for the vehicles:

    https://dekalbschoolwatch.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/serious-concerns-about-tonights-agenda/
    https://dekalbschoolwatch.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/recap-on-the-march-20-new-board-meeting/

    Here’s the original line item:

    Check out the list of new car purchases up for approval using SPLOST IV money – cars for area superintendents and police officers as well as trucks, etc for maintenance. This is in addition to the millions for new buses.

    https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/ViewMeetingOrder.aspx?S=4054&MID=30513
    Rationale

    The voters of DeKalb County approved SPLOST funding to replace the District’s obsolete vehicles and modernize the fleet. The acquisition of these vehicles will improve operational readiness, driver safety and fuel efficiency.

    Quick Summary / Abstract
    Presented by: Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Division of Operations

    Summary
    This vehicle acquisition supports the requirements of SPLOST IV. The district will use the respective state-wide contract for the purchase of 23 utility trucks, 2 refrigerator trucks, 19 public-safety sedans, 2 dry box trucks, and 15 service sedans. 6 security carts will be purchased using best-price of three quotes. The attached spreadsheet outlines vehicles to be replaced, purchased and associated cost. Following Board Policy DO (School Property Disposal Procedures), all vehicles are valued under $5000 per blue book value (or equivalent), vendor appraisal or bid through govdeals.com. Consequently, all vehicles are declared obsolete for disposal by the Chief Operations Officer.

    Financial Impact
    This purchase is funded under SPLOST IV under charge code (422.74.00.00.620422.752.0000). There is no budgetary impact to the general fund.

  11. Concernedmom30329 says:

    If the money really came from SPLOST, then it couldn’t be used for textbooks anyway. However, it could be used to make sure that no roofs leak, that schools have new air conditioning/heating units, functioning security systems, ceiling tiles that are falling apart, bathrooms that work, windows that can open, etc etc etc.
    Not to mention classroom space in buildings for students….

  12. Refugee from DCSS says:

    Fred from DeKalb is strangely quiet on this topic.

  13. idabelle25 says:

    Well I am so gladdddd that they can afford the luxury of thinking of fuel efficiency and organizing a way to take TAXPAYERS money which I am thinking is SPLOST money too when their school house employees can’t afford basic needs and gas to get to the schoolhouse. COLD BLOODED as usual.

  14. idabelle25 says:

    Or kids stuffed in closets but the efficiency of their nice air conditioned vehicles aren’t worthy of SPLOst aka taxpayer dollars please do not speak of this money as if it comes from a benevolent donor.

  15. idabelle25 says:

    Thank you @concernedmom for clearing that up. I am sorry for my angry rant and I am glad that cooler heads are prevailing. I agree with you that the funding could have been used to improve air conditioning in the classrooms or even building the class space. I am not saying that the cars couldn’t use an upgrade. I don’t know, but at least the kids should come first.

  16. FWIW, these vehicles are not an ‘upgrade’ or ‘trade-ins’, these are brand new, shiny vehicles for people who never had them before — mostly six-figure salaried people who used to simply turn in their mileage for expense reimbursement.

    Interestingly, the very first order of business Dr. Atkinson asked for was to trade in her county-issued vehicle for a brand new one.

    What is it with needing a county-issued car? Corporate America does not do this anymore. Why does the government?

  17. ShooShee says:

    God knows, the Atlanta media aren’t going after any stories if it’s not a sink hole, apartment fire or SW Atlanta shooting. But luckily in DeKalb, we have Don M on the scene!!!

  18. Viola Davis says:

    DeKalb County Schools have 949 buses and 111 buses needed to be repaired. Superintendent Michael Thurmond proposed an extra $250,000 in the budget for bus mechanics (4 jobs).

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/official-brokenl-buses-cause-dekalb-student-tardine/nXqQz/

    How many bus mechanics could we hire with the money “wasted” on these cars?

    Thanks Jester for the information.

  19. howdy1942 says:

    Once again, I can’t understand why the people who drive these cars could not drive their own and be reimbursed on miles driven for school business. I understand that these cars will be driven by these administrators to/from their homes – that is a slap in the face to all of us who pay taxes and also drive our own cars to/from work with NO reimbursement. Just think what we could do if we eliminated these administrators’ positions AND returned these cars! We could replace air conditioners, fix leaking roofs, etc. AND give our teachers a small raise!

    As a taxpayer, I can assure Dekalb County that they don’t even need to bother even thinking about another SPLOST! I will oppose it and hit the streets to encourage others to oppose it. We will copy this picture and distribute it along with a caption saying that these vehicles were not authorized by SPLOST but SPLOST funds were used to reward these administrators. I’m just absolutely sick, tired, and outraged that our School Board (even the new one) can’t seem to think about the classroom, the taxpayers, or our students and put the priorities there.

    In virtually every post I have made, I have expressed my sincere hope that our Legislature and Governor will allow us to create new school districts and free ourselves from the wasteful, inefficient, corrupt, poorly managed Dekalb County School System. We will have a smaller, more efficiently funded, much less bureaucratic system whose short distances between schools will avoid any need of such vehicles as those that have been given to these administrators. We won’t have any area superintendents nor any directors – just schools, principals, superintendent, and KEY personnel. Let’s not forget these cars nor the people who spent the money for them.

  20. C Petersen says:

    Wow. I remember that the SPLOST tax money was supposedly for only the projects listed. I was “solicited” by our neighborhood leadership to vote for it because my school was going to get a new roof and it still doesn’t have it. I was definitely “duped” by the Parent Council to support the amendment and the tax, but now we have Marshall Orson, who was head of the SPLOST charge, on the Board. I can’t vote for him, but he spoke for my school and in fact for my community, so I thought for sure we would have a new roof before my son starts school in a few years. I guess not. I have to blame myself for being naive to think that the people behind the PAC that even put signs in my neighborhood would actually fight for the items on that list. I can only blame myself for thinking that these “advocates” are worth anything. I would have been better served with a cell tower in the area because there is no reception on a main thru-way AND no new roof!!! There is no representation for my school even after we moved here when we heard how active the PTO was and how it “made things happen.” We have now been here almost 3 years and nothing has happened – shows that there really aren’t leaders in the community – just special interest groups.

    Can we hold the SPLOST committee accountable for any of this? This seems to be suspicious on all fronts between the committee and the county.

  21. Unknown says:

    Truly disgusting. When will DeKalb EVER have a leadership team with the true priority of educating children? Dollars should go to classrooms and teachers, CLASSROOMS AND TEACHERS~!!

  22. Good Times, Good Times says:

    Has anyone read the resolution to verify that it really was in the approved resolution taken to vote? It seems really sketch to me.

  23. Below is a link to the text of the actual referendum. The original DSW strongly opposed voting for it, as it was too vast and unspecific … virtually everything but the kitchen sink was promised …

    http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2011/10/splost-iv-referendum-just-about-covers.html

    This is the text from the ballot — what the voters actually saw:

    Shall a special one percent sales and use tax for educational purposes continue to be Imposed in
    DeKalb County for not longer than 20 quarters, beginning July 1, 2012, to raise not more than
    $645,000,000 in the aggregate for the purpose of (A) developing sites for constructing and
    equipping new schools, support facilities and athletic facilities; (8) making additions to, acquiring
    or renovating and equipping existing schools, support facilities and athletic facilities and
    greenspace associated with such facilities, and demolishing portions of eXisting structures In
    connection therewith; (C) making system-wide renovations, additions and improvements to bus
    and parent pick-up driveways and facility parking lots and purchasing school buses, schoolrelated
    vehicles and other transportation eqUipment; (D) making existing leaselpurchase payments
    with respect to the acquisition of new and eXisting schools and support facilities; and (E)
    modernizing technology and making system-wide technology improvements, Including the
    acquisition of computers and similar technology for students and staff; not to exceed $607,384,422
    for the DeKalb County School District, $18,115,116 for the City Schools of Decatur and $19,500,462
    for the Atlanta Independent School System, all as more fully described in the Notice of Election? If
    imposition of the tax is approved by a majority of the voters within the DeKalb County School
    District, such vote shaH also constitute approval of the Issuance of general obligation debt of the
    DeKalb County School District in the prinCipal amount of not to exceed $200,000,000 for the
    purpose of funding a portion of the above projects of the DeKalb County School District and if the
    tax is approved by a majority of the voters within the City of Decatur, such vote shall also
    constitute approval of the issuance of general obligation debt of the City of Decatur In the
    principal amount of not to exceed $10,000,000 for the purpose offunding a portion of the above
    projects of the City Schools of Decatur?”

    YES
    NO

  24. bettyandveronica1 says:

    It seems stupid considering…just got a letter from my kids middle school asking me to pay for mailing fee of$6.00 so they could mail me 2 progress reports and a final report card. Anyone else pay for this? Ok I can pay it but postage is what .46/.50 at most. So that is maybe $3.00 for the whole year, why double that? Am I paying for those who simply won’t pay? Maybe I just shouldn’t pay it. Just the idea of paying to receive a report card pisses me off. Just give it to my kid.

  25. Another comment says:

    Fulton County Middle Schools did not send out the CRCT scores to Rising 7th and 8th graders, only rising 9th graders. They told you to come to school to get them, via e-mail, so they could save the mailing cost. Well, I didn’t bother to go get them. Why should I spend my gas to make a special trip to the school in the summer? That is more than 46 cents. I pay over $7,000 in School taxes.

  26. Here is the link to the school system’s webpage showing the SPLOST IV timeline:

    http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/splost-iv

    The service vehicle purchase is almost first up. However, it’s doubtful that anyone considered a fleet of brand new cars for administrators as part of the service vehicle package… We were certain ALL of the money would go to replace the tired, old trucks the maintenance staff have to drive around.

  27. AParent says:

    Speaking of things on wheels, does anyone know what is up with all the trailers disappearing? All the modulars are gone from Vanderlyn ES. Supposedly they are going to be replaced with other trailers. The old ones were semi-permanent, with plumbing and everything (very nice, as trailers go). Wondering how this is all going to work. Does anyone have the scoop?

  28. dsw2contributor says:

    These cars get an (EPA-estimated) 34 miles to the gallon, so the Superintendent is going to need a really good explaination for why he had to fill his three times in the same day…

  29. dsw2contributor says:

    concerned citizen @ July 27, 2013 at 12:22 PM: “I wonder if school will open with no teachers, and I hear some schools in Gwinnett are still holding their arms open for a big number of DeKalb teachers trying at the last minute to get out.”

    Go to DCS’s PATS online application:
    https://pats.dekalb.k12.ga.us/

    and click on the “View Job Postings, by Location” link on the left side of the screen. That will show you DCS’s listing of unfilled jobs, sorted by school.

    As you scroll thru the listings, you will see many teaching openings that were posted just last week (7/22, 7/23, 7/24 and 7/25). These new listings are all jobs that have come open at the last minute because DCS teachers were hired away from DCS.

    You may wonder how this is possible since, at the end of a school year, teachers sign contracts that commit them to return and teach for another year. It turns out that they are allowed to break their DCS contracts when they are offered promotions in other district. As DCS teachers have not had a pay increase in a decade, equivalent teaching jobs in other districts are effectively “promotions” over DCS promotions.

    Think of it from the teachers’ perspective: Do the same work you’re already doing, get a raise for it, and you will also start receiving social security credits…. you would have to be crazy to not be applying to Gwinett, Fulton, Clayton, Decatur and Atlanta.

  30. idabelle25 says:

    You are right. I was trying to see good in them but it is pointless.

  31. Unknown says:

    I am outraged as a tax payer! These administrators could use their personal vehicles, and receive reimbursement for actual miles travelled like the rest of us government contractors based on the federal mileage rates. We are required to keep accurate documentation for reimbursement and we are accountable to the American tax payers, anyone spending public money should be so accountable. It is simply surreal to me some of the approvals granted by the Board regarding expenditures. I think the money would be better spent on tablets because the text books become obsolete within one to two years of purchase. I believe tablets with licenses to digital content would have been a child focused purchase; nnew cars for the invisible area superintendent– not so much!

  32. Murphey says:

    A brief check of PATS shows DCSD is looking for 18 high school math teachers and 10 high school science teachers. That could be a disaster for many, many students. Wow.

  33. dekalbite2 says:

    From the AJC opinion page this morning:
    “But while APS spends more on administrative costs per student than any other school system in metro Atlanta, it’s not the region’s worst offender for “extra” non-teaching staff costs according to the Friedman Foundation’s methodology.
    That, ahem, honor belongs to the school system in DeKalb County, where non-teaching staff grew more than twice as fast as student enrollment between 1994 and 2009. Using that modest estimate of $30,000 a head, DeKalb’s excessive administrative spending came out to $50.7 million in 2009. Next on the list in terms of “extra” dollars spent?
    › Gwinnett, at $47.7 million; › Cobb, at $38.4 million; › Muscogee, at $24.8 million; › Fulton, at $21.1 million. APS comes in “only” in 12th place, overspending by $13.8 million. In each district, those dollars would have gone a long way toward avoiding furlough days, layoffs and shortened school years. And cutting that extra administrative spending wouldn’t have been so difficult if the growth hadn’t come so steadily during the good years.
    Kyle Wingfield, an Opinion columnist, writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His column appears Sunday and Thursday. Reach him at kwingfield@ajc.com.”

    Perhaps Mr. Thurmond and the BOE need to call or email Mr. Wingfield to get the data that drove this column. Especially when Mr. Thurmond keeps insisting we have no more non teaching staff than another county.

    Actually, any interested taxpayer could email him at kwingfield@ajc.com to ask him for his data. It might be interesting to get Mr. Thurmond to comment on this data in his public meetings with parents who are concerned with the class sizes and teacher turnover students are experiencing, not to mention the declining rate of student achievement.

    Here is some historical background to make a correlation between Mr. Wingfield’s data and what happened in DCSS between 1994 and 2009:
    Hallford became superintendent in 1995 and established all those Regional Superintendents, each one with huge non teaching instructional staff. Many certified personnel at that time left the classrooms and became non teaching “support” personnel. Each super was to have bottom line responsibility for his/her area. The trouble was Hallford kept moving the boundary lines of the areas, swapping supers from one area to another, etc. so NO ONE was ever held responsible for student achievement or expenses. Within 5 years this structure was abandoned, but the non teaching support personnel were NOT sent back to the classroom. Their positions morphed into a multitude of different non teaching titles.

    Brown tried to get a handle on this with the 2004 Ernst and Young Classification and Compensation Study (that missing study that cost $315,000) as well as his attempt to send personnel back to the classrooms and the “buy out” those support personnel with 30 years in the system (40% of your annual salary as a bonus incentive to retire). The E&Y consultant estimated around $15,000,000 a year in savings just by making compensation for 2,500 non teaching personnel on par with other metro school systems.

    Brown was replaced with Lewis within months after the study came out. Lewis subsequently added an unprecedented number of non teaching support positions in addition to his now having a ton of positions due to the retirement of personnel we just paid to get rid of in the “buy out”. He paid for it with ever rising tax assessments which as we now know were part of the housing bubble and his zeal for increasing class sizes (less teachers meant more for the non teaching side). All of these superintendents since Lewis either didn’t deal with this problem or exacerbated it (including Thurmond).

    IMO – this is why this recycled idea of Regional Superintendent is not a sound idea for students. Mr. Thurmond has put forth no quantifiable measurable objective for improving academic achievement at the same time he is spending lavishly on an idea that by and large began the problem of too few teachers for too many students in DeKalb.

  34. Stan Jester says:

    AParent, Regarding the Vanderlyn modulars, DeKalb Schools Administration will only say
    1. The Vanderlyn modulars will be replaced with these Redan High School modulars.
    2. They will be ready before the first day of school.
    –Stan

  35. concerned citizen says:

    DeKalbite2: You have written one of the best of many great articles about the plight of our school system. I, too, read the editorial by Wingfield and strongly suggest that Thurmond do the same before he tells any more lies about the number of our non-teaching staff. The point and the problem is Thurmond truly doesn’t know what is going on; it’s so odd that he tries to give off an air of understanding the “facts.” Now, in Hallford’s case, these admin positions were “rewards” for services rendered; the same for Lewis; prior, Freeman, Adkinson, and now Thurmond. There is no end. Even knowing what so many of us know now, I at least feel powerless to stop the corruption and lying, Turn one way, Thurmond has made a thief and a fighter principals, turn another way, Thurmond has given everyone new cars, turn another way, Thurmond is lying about the budget, turn another way, Thurmond, Walker, Deal, Johnson, Brown, Bryant, Colemans, and many others, are feeding out of each others’ pockets. Wow, wow!

  36. Fred in DeKalb says:

    @Refugee from DCSS,
    **Fred from DeKalb is strangely quiet on this topic.**

    I was actually out enjoying the nice weather when I came in for a cool drink and read this. I’m glad to see someone would like enlightenment from another point of view.

    Common sense would say that a government agency wouldn’t do something like this given the current media climate unless it could be cost justified. Looking at this short term, it obviously does not make sense. For capital investments, you need to look at whether there are long term benefits.

    According to the IRS, one can get reimbursed .565 per mile for use of their personal vehicle. It went up by one cent in 2013. Let’s say conservatively that someone averages 75 miles per day for 200 days (I am also assuming they do not take the car home and pick it up each day. If not, the per day mileage could be higher). This comes to a reimbursement of $8,475 per year. As I understand also from the IRS, cars are treated as 5-year property for depreciation purposes. Let’s say the car was purchased for $30K off the GA Department of Administrative Services price list. A 5 year payout of mileage reimbursements per car would be $42,375. This mean for each car, the district would save over $12K after 5 years. This assumes that the mileage reimbursement amount remains the same over this period and that the vehicle isn’t sold on eBay after 5 years otherwise the savings would be higher.

    I’m expecting many down thumbs because of the messenger rather than the message. There are many smart people reading this, including those with accounting or tax backgrounds. I would ask them that if any assumptions above are incorrect to please point them out. If the assumption is correct however needs to include other considerations, I would ask that they provide that also.

    Thanks for asking about me Refugee from DCSS.

  37. dsw2contributor says:

    Murphey @July 28, 2013 at 1:36 PM – “A brief check of PATS shows DCSD is looking for 18 high school math teachers”

    Six (6) of those math teacher vacancies are at Towers High School.

    Here is a math problem that you won’t find on the CRCT: A high school math teacher instructs 5 classes a day with 25 students in each class. Towers High School is missing six math teachers. How many children of color are denied access to the math curriculum?

    As you suggested, Murphey, this is a disaster for many, many students.

  38. idabelle25 says:

    @fred
    While I am not an accountant Fred trust me I will be consulting one about your enlightenment on tax policies. However, I am sure that I am intelligent, smart and a caring human being and while I can appreciate your come back ( and I am sure you are very proud of yourself for your clever retort.) I want to ask you a very simple question. If you had a humanitarian choice of giving an opportunity to provide children with an adequate space for learning, complete with the luxury of air conditioning that worked or not so antiquated that it is blowing who knows what into our children and teacher’s lungs or a room that actually accommodated the legal requirements of their individualized educational plans about proper proximity and space. Something that a renovated closet turned classroom
    can’t provide (federal law by the way, I know you can appreciate that) or provide an over bloated administrative body with cars which would you choose?By the way, support teachers who have to commute across town and teach at more than one school in a school day because of the lack of teachers being hired or leaving must not be covered under your tax law BECAUSE THEY USE THEIR OWN CARS? Please ponder, but I warn you, your answer won’t be in the tax law book but try your own human conscience.

  39. dekalbite2 says:

    @ Fred
    ” Let’s say conservatively that someone averages 75 miles per day for 200 days (I am also assuming they do not take the car home and pick it up each day.”

    Where is your data saying they drive 75 miles a day for 200 days? The listed number of days for these personnel is 238 and most of them get 20 days of vacation leaving them with 218 working days. In addition, you neglected Time Value of Money, meaning that a dollar invested today would be worth more in 5 or 10 years down the road because it could be collecting interest.

    Perhaps most importantly you missed the point that students need working heat and air and ceilings that don’t leak and carpets that aren’t full of mildew. EVERY student deserves a decent learning environment – NOW – while they are going to school. Every extra dollar spent upfront on these cars is a dollar not spent to ensure students have decent learning environments.

  40. howdy1942 says:

    @Fred – the facts and figures you use to make your case should have been included in the presentation to the School Board so questions such as those by @dekalbite2 could be answered. As I understand it, these cars will be driven by these administrators to/from home each day – that mileage needs to be deducted. Exactly how many miles per day per vehicle were used in the cost justification? Also, you neglected to mention the maintenance for these vehicles, the cost of gasoline that will be paid for by the taxpayers in addition to the cost of these vehicles, the insurance for these vehicles, etc., etc. My point here is that this type of analysis should have been included in the proposal or have been required by the School Board. Unless the management of the vehicles is much better to which we have seen at the DCSS administration, there is a lot of room for abuse.

    It just seems to me that, given the image that most taxpayers have of the DCSS administration, that every effort would have been made to insure that administrative costs of the district would have been closely scrutinized before even being made. Also, given the fact that our teachers have received no raises and required to take furlough days, it also seems to me that extra efforts would have been taken to present justifications for the costs proposed. It would also seem that the administration would make every effort to explain what it says it is doing – such as identifying by position and by salary those 600 administrative positions that Mr. Thurmond says have been cut. It also seems that the documentation supporting the delivery of those textbooks would be made public – as of now, I only know of Dr. Howe’s word and the word of the DCSS administration doesn’t count for much these days. Right now, it is very clear that the people of Dekalb County don’t have a very high opinion (in fact, it is quite low) of the Dekalb Count School System Administration. You really, really need to address that. Not many organizations can continue to exist with such as negative view of its stakeholders.

    Somebody at the present School Board or Mr. Thurmond needs to understand that the people count for something. Yes, Mr. Thurmond came out earlier this year and promised all of us in countless meetings that restoring the confidence of the people was his top priority. So far, his words ring hollow.

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