Follow the money

by Nancy Jester
(Reprinted with permission from her blog, “What’s Up With That?”)

Follow the money. That phrase was popularized during the Watergate tumult. It is also a wise directive for all taxpayers in our state and beyond when it comes to how we spend your tax dollars on education.

So, what happens when you can’t “follow the money” because the government and the Iron Triangle Education Bureaucracy puts obstacles in your way? The Cato Institute has released a study about the transparency in spending by departments of education. It turns out Georgia earned an “F”. Click here to see their study. About Georgia, Cato points out, “Georgia is missing the most recent year of expenditures and fails to provide a table or graph that would allow citizens to easily compare changes in spending over time.” In fact, Georgia is missing the most recent 2 years. The financial data that is provided through the state DOE website is the 2010-2011 school year – a full 2 years behind our current fiscal year. (School districts have fiscal years that run from July 1 through June 30. The fiscal year is referenced by the year in which it ends.) So we are missing FY12 and FY13 on the fiscal reports.

Until we fix the financial issues that plague Georgia’s educational spending, we won’t fix education in our state. Unfortunately, Georgia’s Department of Education has not held districts accountable for how they spend your tax dollars. It appears the DOE’s only retort is to ask for more of your money. Our DOE continues to send hundreds of millions of your dollars to districts that do little to improve the educational lives of our children or even provide transparency in their expenditures. It’s all a bit cozy. Sadly, administrators have grown their take of your money over time and let smaller amounts accrue to the teachers in the classroom. Dr. Scafidi’s study, The School Staffing Surge, on how administrative staffing has grown over time in excess of student growth. In an upcoming “Coffee Talk”, we’ll cover the finances of education in Georgia and how they have hurt taxpayers, students and teachers all while benefiting the educational bureaucrats. Follow the money, indeed.

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30 Responses to Follow the money

  1. midvaledad says:

    Worse than the GaDOE is DeKalb County which uses a cash accounting system. The finance department has gone even farther and stopped reporting all of the invoices so taxpayers can not get a sense of how much money is owed, but not yet paid.

    It is bad when people feel they can not share factual information. Their motive is to be able to say things that are not true. What is that called…?

  2. Stan Jester says:

    Budget Trick #3
    How do you get your discretionary/non-teaching pet projects passed? Once you artificially inflate expected revenue, artificially deflate expenditures, magically erase deficits, then you’re left with a discretionary budget.

    The budget has been passed and these new non-teaching projects have left the station.

    Discrentionary Spending Channels
    Follow the money.

    * Parent Centers
    * Pathways To Success – At the 04/23/2013 TPC meeting, the Interim Superintendent brought up his relationship with Jabari Simama, President of Georgia Piedmont Technical College and named in the Burrell Ellis grand jury report. A $3M grant and a lot of DeKalb Schools’ money is going to the “Pathways To Success” project.
    * Non-teaching salaries, salaries, salaries.

    Crashing Budget
    When/How will the budget crash?

    * QBE – 1) Number of estimated students. 2) Estimated revenue per student. The first QBE count is in October and Austerity Reductions should be released any time.
    * Lawyer Fees – The budget for attorneys may have been cut, but the actual expenses have not. The administration will find something to pin it on … maybe the TSA lawsuit.
    * Salaries – Every month the board will get a financial report and every month salaries are going to be way out of whack.

  3. ESIS Monkey says:

    Case in point: ESIS. The software system has been terrible. Where did it come from, who got paid for this junk? Hard to use, can’t show whole classes or even complete names, doubles all absences, retains names of withdrawn students, etc. ESIS needs useless set up preparation by teachers called Preps and Strands (??) and is actually much worse than its predecessor called SMARTWEB. This week some administrator tinkered with the odd Preps and Strands files, and the entire Dekalb gradebook system crashed, or rather erased all existing assignments and grades! Seriously — teachers are now hand re-entering all assignments and numerical scores. An average Teacher is now busy entering 30 assignments and maybe a thousand scores that the county ERASED.

  4. dekalbite2 says:

    Ms. Tyson and Mr. Hunter found the eSis software and brought it to the Central Office personnel over six years ago. Ms. Tyson and Mr. Hunter both got promotions for bringing the eSis/SchoolNet software to DeKalb. It was sold as a real time assessment software system – i.e. students could take benchmark tests regarding specific learning objectives and the results would be delivered to the teacher and the Central Office coordinators by end of day so teachers could make modifications to their lesson plans and coordinators could get the data for reports they wanted to generate. eSis and SchoolNet were to work in tandem.

    The problem was eSis/SchoolNet needed programming that the MIS department could accomplish and the students had so little access to technology (computers) that the benchmark tests had to taken using paper and pencil, the students had to “bubble in” the answers and teachers had to scan in the tests (much like the 1950s). In addition, eSis was glitchy and the software did not deliver the promised results.

    Look at the BOE meeting for 5-18-07 where Ms. Tyson presented eSis/SchoolNet:
    “Quick Summary / Abstract
    Presented by: Ms. Ramona Tyson

    Summary
    K-12 public school districts nationwide are partnering with SchoolNet for comprehensive, Web-based Instructional Management Solutions that transform data into a powerful tool to improve teaching and learning. Since 1998, SchoolNet has been the leader in data-driven decision-making solutions that enable school districts to integrate, access, and analyze student demographic and performance data across their district, school, and classroom, as well as with the individual student. We are passionate about helping districts, educators, and students achieve extraordinary results: AYP goals met, achievement gaps narrowed, teacher proficiency enhanced, and learning accelerated.

    The SchoolNet vision is to Improve the World’s Education Systems, its mission is to Use Data to Increase Academic Achievement, and its values are Integrity, Customer Service, Passion for Education, All Children Can Learn, Excellence.

    Details
    Management Information Systems,in partnership and collaboration with the Division of Instruction, has spent over a year researching the education marketplace for a web-based instructional management solution that will allow us to use data to accelerate gains in district decision making, teacher proficiency, individualized instruction, student achievement, and school reform. MIS has researched demonstrable solutions around the nation with other school districts, conducted numerous vendor demonstrations, participated in workshops and conferences, and conferred with other public school districts comparable to DeKalb.
    Goals
    Goal #1-To narrow the achievement gap & improve the graduation rate”

  5. dekalbite2 says:

    Look at the cost of eSis/SchoolNet:
    DCSS BOE meeting notes (7-20-09):
    “All schools will go live with the core eSIS application July 22, 2009. The parent portal application for elementary, middle, and high school will go live October 2009.

    Quick Summary / Abstract Presented by: Mr. Tony Hunter, Director, Management Information Systems

    Details:
    The application was approved by the Board of Education on January 14, 2008 and the approval (RFP 8-11) included a five-year payment schedule with required annual BOE approval. The payment scheduled was approved as follows:

    Year 1: $ 800,000.00 (paid January 2008)
    Year 2: $ 900,000.00 (paid August 2008)
    Year 3: $ 850,000.00 (due August 2009)
    Year 4: $ 850,000.00 (due August 2010)
    Year 5: $ 662,779.00 (due August 2011)
    Total: $4,062,779.00
    Services which are included in the price include project management, database configuration, student data conversion and migration, application installation, implementation, testing, training and product support. The vendor also provides customized reporting tailored to the needs of state and federal requirements, district administrators, principals and registers.

    Goals:
    Goal #1-To narrow the achievement gap & improve the graduation rate
    Goal #3-To ensure quality personnel in all positions
    Goal #4-To ensure fiscal responsibility in order to maintain safe and healthy learning environments”

    II. SchoolNet – $7,000,000+

    DCSS BOE meeting notes (6/8/2009):
    “Rationale: The application was launched in 2008. Currently it is providing principals and administrators with real time data such as standardized test scores and student demographic data. Pilots are underway which provide the pilot teachers with student section data and benchmark assessment results grouped by class/school. Loading exercises are underway which will ultimately result in availability within the application of curriculum resources (lesson plans & weblinks) aligned to the Georgia Performance Standards.

    Quick Summary / Abstract Presented by: Mr. Tony Hunter, Director, Management Information Systems

    Details: This application was approved by the Board of Education on December 20, 2007 and the approval (RFP 8-12) included a five-year payment schedule with required annual BOE approval. Future payments are as follows:

    December 20, 2007 $1,600,000.00 completed
    July 1, 2008 $1,600,000.00 completed
    July 1, 2009 $1,600,000.00 current request
    July 1, 2010 $1,058,383.00 future
    July 1, 2011 $ 927,350.00 future
    July 1, 2012 $ 464,003.00 future
    TOTAL $7,249,736.00”

    “Goal #1 – To narrow the achievement gap & improve the graduation rate
    Goal #2- To increase rigor and academic achievement in Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies in Pre-K Mathematics, Science and Social Studies in PreK-12
    Goal #3-To ensure quality personnel in all positions
    Goal #4-To ensure fiscal responsibility in order to maintain safe and healthy learning environments”

    At this same BOE meeting:
    “Mr. Tony Hunter, Director, Management Information Systems, recommended that the Board of Education approve the purchase of up to four hundred printer\scanner units to support the roll out of the new Benchmark\Assess module from SchoolNet, Inc., at a cost of $189,364.”

    So Tony Hunter got the BOE to purchase $189,364 of scanners so teachers could spend hours manually “scanning in” the pencil/paper benchmark tests the students “bubbled in”. Hundreds of manual scanning every six weeks for teachers and many hours of instructional time lost as students “bubbled in” benchmark tests.

    These systems NEVER produced the desired benefits for students – just more lost taxpayer millions.

    Ms. Tyson had a nice write up from SchoolNet:
    ” “We are very excited about implementing this web-based Instructional
    Data Management System (IDMS). It will help us transform our data analysis
    from retroactive to real time,” said Ramona Tyson, Associate Superintendent
    of Management Information Systems. “IDMS will provide DeKalb’s teachers and
    administrators the power to make data-driven decisions and to better
    individualize instruction in technologically advanced and fresh ways that
    will undoubtedly help DeKalb build more efficient educational programs,
    thus positively affecting student achievement.”

    “We are proud to partner with the DeKalb County School System,” said
    Jonathan D. Harber, SchoolNet CEO and President. “Its commitment to using
    data to drive student achievement is commendable.”
    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-dekalb-county-school-system-dcss-chooses-schoolnet-for-data-driven-decision-making-56866592.html

    Over $11,000,000 (actually more since they just renewed eSis and SchoolNet for more millions) utterly wasted and NO ONE held responsible. As a taxpayer I am very tired of administrators being rewarded for poor decisions that cost taxpayers tens of millions and students missed opportunities in their education.

  6. dekalbite2 says:

    @ESIS Monkey
    Smartweb was less around $100,000 a year to maintain, but Ms. Tyson and Mr. Hunter in conjunction with the Central Office personnel decided to spend $11,000,000 on eSis and SchoolNet. Not doing your homework is not unusual in DeKalb:

    Invoice#: 62483

    Vendor: SmartWeb Technology, Inc.
    FIN#: 59-3616256 – Florida Corporation

    Customer:
    Name: DeKalb County School System, GA
    Date: 02/15/2007
    Attention: Austin Brown, Assistant Director, IS P.O. #:
    Address: 3770 North Decatur Road
    Decatur, GA 30032
    Phone: (678) 676-0749

    Description
    Maintenance purchase for SmartWeb Products
    Maintenance period, April 1st, 2007 through March 31st, 2008
    (Increase by 5.1% )
    Unit Price
    TOTAL

    Maintenance purchase for SmartWeb Classroom Management (SwCMS) Software.

    Maintenance purchase for SmartWeb Parent Portal.

    $97,903.10

    $5,000.00
    $97,903.10

    $5,000.00

    Subtotal
    $102,903.10
    Shipping& Handling N/A
    Tax N/A
    Total $102,903.10

  7. dekalbite2 says:

    oops!
    Should read:
    The problem was eSis/SchoolNet needed programming that the MIS department could not accomplish.

  8. dekalbite2 says:

    @Stan Jester
    Is this what you mean by following the money?

  9. Dekalb parent says:

    Speaking of money…Heads up Dekalb parents…Read below an example of the “rock and a hard place” situation our principals are finding themselves in because of not enough resources at the schoolhouse to go around…

    Last Thursday, I was informed that we must lose four teachers – one in each grade 1 through 4 – due to enrollment being lower than last year. To lose four teachers would impact our school and students greatly, as you know, and here is what the situation would look like:

    We ask for volunteers, but we don’t get volunteers. Then we go to the last hired. The last hired teachers are three teachers in first grade and one teacher in second grade. Losing these last hired teachers would wipe-out half of our first grade. We would then have to ask other teachers to step down into the first grade positions. There would be resistance to this possibility. Additionally, our class sizes in grades 1 through 4 would go to the maximum sizes of 27 (grades 1 through 3) and 34 (grade 4).

    If we are creative and use alternate funding models, here is the situation:

    Gifted and Early Intervention are programs that earn dollars outside of regular education. We determined the program to use in grades 1, 2, and 4 based on whether or not we have enough students qualifying to fill the seats. These classes have minimum and maximum sizes as well, and we don’t want to create a class that is under enrolled. The minimum class size for Early Intervention is 17 and for Gifted it’s 18. Because we cannot serve all Gifted or Early Intervention students in an alternate program, we did establish criteria for eligibility. For Early Intervention, we utilize Fountas and Pinnell reading assessment and the State EIP checklist. For the Gifted Resource classroom, we utilized a combination of CogAT and ITBS scores. As seats open in these classrooms, we can look to serve other students.

    The specific plan for each grade level is as follows:

    In grades one and two, we can create one alternate program classroom and only raise the class size for everyone by 1 student. If students do not want to be placed in the alternate class, we can then open seats to others.

    In grade 4, the class size is larger so we needed two alternate classes to compensate. Once again, criteria was established to enroll students in these classes. We chose Gifted Resource rather than Early Intervention because we did not have enough students qualifying for EIP service.

  10. midvaledad says:

    There is an RFP currently out for a system to replace ESIS. The last two Tuesdays reps have been showing their stuff to parents. Mr. Brantley, current head of IT, said, (paraphrasing) “My former school system was dumping ESIS when DeKalb was buying it.”

    That is an underhanded way of saying, “What dumbasses bought this crap?”

  11. dekalbite2 says:

    @midvaledad
    Ramona Tyson found and recommended ESIS as you can see from BOE minutes. That is how she got promoted by Lewis. It is disappointing that she is Mr. Thurmond’s right hand person, but then she was Lewis’s right hand person as well and his recommendation for Interim Superintendent.

  12. Ramona Tyson had no business being in charge of any kind of technology. She has no formal tech training or degree. She taught business ed at Lakeside for 2 years. She was a glorified saleswoman for IBM’s Writing to Read program. Somehow she parlayed that into something twisted that will reward her in the millions in total – esp when you consider her pension in perpetuity.

    Wasn’t the Esis sales rep a former DCSS area superintendent?

  13. concernedmom30329 says:

    Gwinnett did not choose Esis nor did several other systems at the time. Does it make anyone else scratch their head and wonder why, DCSS choose it? I worry that it is more than stupidity.

  14. ESIS Monkey says:

    Eleven million dollars to fix something that wasn’t broke. Now their phasing it out for another big contractor. With IDMS , TKEs and SLOs databases costing millions more — and yet teachers still are told to make PDF files of all their ESIS final grade files and email them in for backup…what a hoot! It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad….

  15. howdy1942 says:

    It is very obvious that the people of Dekalb County have very little respect or confidence in the management of the Dekalb County School System. Were it put to a vote, chances are that the public opinion in Congress might be higher than that of the school board and the administration.

    I would really expect that our school system would be above antics such as intentionally using substitutes to replace permanent teachers, above antics such as placing work limits of 29 hours per week on these substitutes to avoid paying health care benefits, above deliberately representing to CNN and other media that the DCSS has this great wonderful school security plan and that teachers and students are regularly trained when they are not, above buying new cars for administrators when our students don’t have textbooks to take home, above breaking a commitment to make contributions to the TSA if teachers would withdraw from Social Security, and on and on. The people of Dekalb County should not be expected to change our lack of trust and lack of respect for the school system until the school board can get out of their passive, do-nothing stance, and get on with finding a new superintendent who has the experience, education, and training to do the job, until the school board can demand real change in an administration that is hopelessly lost in administrivia (you read that right!) and is more concerned about their paychecks and their own well being at the expense of our students, and until the school board can right the powerless and sinking ship that is Dekalb by getting its priorities in order.

    Flipping my Rolodex, I asked both my daughters if they had textbooks to take home during their days in the Dekalb School System. In both cases, the response was yes. In that regard, I would appreciate your response to a few questions regarding this issue:

    1. Does anyone know if it is true in all schools of the same respective grade levels that students do not have textbooks to take home?

    2. If students do not have textbooks to take home, do they have access to an online textbook equivalent to their classroom text?

    3. If students do not have textbooks to take home nor online textbooks available, what do they do if a particular problem or question puzzles them and they need to look up an example or material in their textbooks?

    4. If online textbooks are, indeed, available to students, what is their cost to the County?

    5. Do other counties provide textbooks for students to take home?

    6. Is the reason that Dekalb students don’t have textbooks to take home temporary or is it by design?

    7. My understanding is that $21 million was supposedly available to purchase textbooks of which we spent $12 million on books that were purchased and delivered, according to Eugene Walker and Dr. Howe. If I divide $21,000,000 by say $150 cost per book, that yields 140,000. That is 1.5 new books for every student enrolled in Dekalb County.

    – Have we also bought textbooks in previous years? Assuming that the answer is positive and also assuming that we replace books every three years, we should have one book for every student in Dekalb County this year. Why, then, do we not have books for students to take home?

    I look forward to your comments. Thank you.

  16. hopespringseternal says:

    What exacerbates this is the merry-go-round of floundering. If I’m not mistaken, districts are required by the state to have cycles of textbook purchases. But the state may or may not have any involvement after that to see that the purchase actually aligns to its own ever-changing curriculum. Feel free to correct me or bring me up to date with that statement. So the district now has books which might or might not be usable; which come in classroom sets of thirty while the state approved an expansion of class sizes; which the district won’t be able to easily replace some years later because by that time it’s outdated and no longer resembles anything being actually taught; and for which Sam Moss center employees get paid to lug in and out of schools. OK then.

  17. concernedmom30329 says:

    The state has been lax in enforcing “rules and regulations” for years especially since the economy took a turn for the worse. Why? Because the powers that be in the state level don’t want to be in the position of having to fund things in the really poor (DeKalb is not one of these) districts that have very few students but even less revenue. So, if a system can’t genuinely afford text books (again, not DCSS) and the state says they must buy them — then it becomes incumbent on the state. Not going to happen. Thus, stuff is ignored.

  18. Dekalbite2 says:

    “The Cato Institute has released a study about the transparency ”

    While I’m one of the most vigilant commenters when it comes to the incompetence of a DeKalb administration that continues to have perpetuating itself as its primary goal, I am skeptical that the Cato Institute is quoted in the same sense as transparency. The Cato Institute was founded in part by Charles Koch and enjoys the support of the infamous Koch brothers, both notorious for their lack of transparency as they have provided seed money and constant financial for some of the most radically right wing groups in the U.S.

  19. Concerned taxpayer2 says:

    The latest waste is as follows. Some teachers have older computers in the classroom and use them everyday. A teachers was told by someone that came out from the Help Desk that her old computers were going to be leave the building under the auspice of C-50. The teacher told the person that she uses them everyday. She was told that the computers don’t have a lot of memory and the county was getting rid of them. This is another example of waste in Dekalb County.

    Last spring a principal told all the teachers to box up the Teacher’s Edition for Storytown, the reading series. Now the county decided to continue using Storytown and the teachers have no teacher’s edition for the reading series. It is hard to teach without this material. The school also used Success for All last year and they had a lot of expensive material with the program. The teacher’s were told to box up all that material to be sent away. Luckily, some teachers didn’t listen to either directive and still have the materials. All this waste in Dekalb County Schools continues to go on and really bothers the employees and it should be a concern for the taxpayer.

  20. Stan Jester says:

    eSis
    Dekalbite2, estute and right on the money (so to speak). It’s also important to note the “Educational Industrial Complex” that is driving the purchase of these money pits.

    04/03/2013 Board Meeting With Sacs
    Dr. Elgart spent a great deal of time at the 4/13 Board meeting pushing a bohemoth system which would require a bohemoth administration to run and monitor saying, “One of the things that’s missing from the system is required action 6: Ensure a robust district diagnostic assessment program which includes universal screener, progress monitoring, benchmarks that is systematic in a regular component of the district’s comprehensive assessment system including a variety of formative assessment tasks and tools to monitor progress and provide school personnel access to the state longitudinal data system.”

    Strategic Plan
    Dr. Elgart also stressed at that meeting the need for a new Strategic Plan even though we just spent millions on the last one.

    Old School
    Call me old fashioned, but we don’t need a comprehensive assessment system, longitudinal data system or a new Strategic Plan. We need to pay our teachers better, give them their TSA Board contributions back and HIRE A LOT MORE OF THEM!!

  21. dsw2contributor says:

    Concerned taxpayer2 @August 29, 2013 at 11:28 AM – “The school also used Success for All last year and they had a lot of expensive material with the program. The teacher’s were told to box up all that material to be sent away. Luckily, some teachers didn’t listen to either directive and still have the materials.”

    I share your frustration over the waste of tax dollars.

    That said, the “Success for All” program is GARBAGE — it should have never been purchased! Those teachers who are still using SFA, against the wishes of their grade coordinators and/or assistant principals, are lazy and ineffective.

  22. Another comment says:

    As Stan and Nancy Jester say, just follow the Money, from Ellis’ Jeff of Staff Jabari. Then I will give you one big hint of where the bribes and payback to Kaseem Reed and Certain Members of the Atlanta city Council will be Moody Construction. When I saw them listed as Part of the Hunt, Holder, Mitchel and then Moody Construction Joint Venture for the dome. I said that is where Kaseem and crew has hands on the money. I have worked in the Atlanta area Construction Industry for 30 years. I know Tommy Holder Personally, The Minority, they would put on the package is Mitchell. Mitchell is big enough, they have worked on the previous stadium I believe, the Fulton County Courthouse, the Jail, various runways at the Airport. Holder either used Mitchel or Russell. They never used Moody.

    Just look at who Moody is. He is who Pat Pope Reid had in on her little scheme after she terminated Heery ( Heery will win, Heery is a top notch firm, I know at least 50 Construction Professionals and myself, an expert in Federal court on Construction Law, who would gladly testify on behalf of Heery. Heery has very modest Audited Federal Task order Rates, less than 200%.. Which is virtually unheard of they are usually in the 200-250%), CEO Ellis was also making his telephone calls to shake down DeKalb contract holders for Campaign donations from Moody’s office. Another, Thing that really makes me suspicious, is that one of the companies that had their school contract stolen and given to another DeKalb Contractor perhaps one of the design build with Moody and Pope’s husband, is owned by a prominent Jewish man. Although the name of the company remains the Gentile name of the original owner from the 1960’s. Knowing this owner’s prominence in the Atlanta Jewish Committee, I am sure he made it well know in the Jewish community which includes Mr. Blank, how DeKalb stole the project his company won by a fair bidding process and was given to The Moody/Pope Connected Contractor. So I easily read all over the wall how Kaseem and his little munions on the Atlanta Board and the Atlanta Growth have inserted Moody for their piece of the pie.

    Having had children in both Cobb and Fulton Systems, Cobb has the superior parent/sudent grading portal. Fulton’s stinks. Cobb’s is Great.

  23. RICO says:

    You know why there is such a push for hiring Academic Coaches, don’t you? It is so the county can check the box called “professional development” when they apply for big federal grants like “race to the top” ….. Universally reviled, the coaches sit in an office earning more than teachers and REFUSE to interract with the students swarming around them. When fully funded they roll out trendy crap like The Thinking Maps and just waste teachers’ time. One of these moochers actually taught students for one hour while ten teachers sat and watched the “model lesson” — and was quite obviously the Worst Teacher in the Room… So, after the “model” lesson, the ‘Coach’ stated and I quote : “well, boys and girls, we didn’t learn any part of standard one, today, did we? “

  24. Quagmire says:

    I think these academic coaches should submit a log of their daily activities similar to the one title one funded teachers have to do twice a year. Professional learning should be supported by real documentation. Once a week grade level meetings or once a month faculty meetings doesn’t cut it. Some academic coaches are serving as “assistant” Assistant Principals. If these coaches are smart, maybe they should keep a log and then demand a real administrator job next year. They would have a good argument….

  25. Ella says:

    It is sad the Georgia Department of Education has not done what it needed to do regarding posting necessary documents. As taxpayers we should demand this items are kept up to date.

  26. Dekalbite2 says:

    @Ella,
    Why don’t you email and or call Martha Reichrath head of Curriculum and Instruction and Assessment and ask as a taxpayer and educator that this be kept up to date. I did that a few years ago and they ended up posting the current information for that area. I did have to email twice to tell her it had not been done (she had asked the IT people to do it and thought they had so she asked them again – I was persistent – the legislature expects that information to be published)

    ​​Martha Reichrath, Ph.D.
    Deputy State Superintendent
    Phone: 404-656-2804
    Fax: 404-651-8507
    Email:​ mreichrath@doe.k12.ga.us

    Other interested parties should do the same.

  27. Dekalbite2 says:

    It is interesting that the Information Technology budget went from $16,000,000+ in 2011 to $20,000,000+ in 2014. What is driving this? The netbook idea is not being implemented this year.

    See page 1 of 19:
    http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/budget/budget-summary-(2014).pdf

    Internal Affairs is also up. Who runs this division? Isn’t this the division that failed to investigate Lewis and Pope? Are the same administrators in place?

  28. Internal affairs is Ron Ramsey. IT has always been Ramona Tyson’s ‘baby’. We all pretty much agree that it is these two who are ‘really’ running DCSS.

  29. teachermom says:

    Thurmond was bragging about getting WiFi in the schools but it hasn’t happened significantly in mine. What is used by teachers in trailers is flaky at best and the rest of us have not been informed of having gotten it. Of course we are informed of very little…So I don’t think the increase in the IT budget can be explained by that. There is a teacher in my school who still cannot get on the network or ESIS (can you say, grades are due soon)! She is new and an IT person came out puttered around and left when she was out of the room, she is still not connected and he didn’t leave so much as a note. She would probably get an email from him, IF SHE HAD AN ACCOUNT. This is so crazy, I just need to move on.

  30. Dekalbite2 says:

    @teachermom
    So why is IT getting $20,000,000 a year up from $16,000,000 a year in 2011 why the School funding is tens of millions less?

    http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/budget/budget-summary-(2014).pdf

    Parents/taxpayers need to asking Mr. Thurmond and the BOE these questions.

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