Monday, July 7, 2014 Board Meetings

The DeKalb Board of Education will hold the following meetings on Monday, July 7, 2014:

11:00am 2nd Public Millage Rate Hearing
J. David Williamson Board Room
Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex
1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard
Stone Mountain, GA 30083

2:00pm Work Session
Cabinet Room

5:45pm Community Input Session
J. David Williamson Board Room

6:30pm 3rd Public Millage Rate Hearing

7:00pm Business Meeting

Meeting agendas can be accessed online by going to:, click on Leadership, go to eBoard Home Page and click on the date for the meeting agenda\information.

Below is the Business Meeting Consent Agenda:

1. Approval of Minutes
Presented by: Mr. Michael L. Thurmond, Superintendent
2. Approval of Monthly Financial Report
Presented by: Dr. Michael J. Bell, Chief Financial Officer, Division of Finance
3. Approval of Resolution to Declare the Results of the Competitive Sale of Tax Anticipation
Notes (TANs)

Presented by: Dr. Michael J. Bell, Chief Financial Officer, Division of Finance
4. Payroll PayCard Program, RFP 15-03
Presented by: Dr. Michael J. Bell, Chief Financial Officer, Division of Finance
5. Approval of Monthly Human Resources Report
Presented by: Dr. Tekshia M. Ward-Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer, Division of
Human Resources
6. Extension of Request for Purchase (RFP) 13-17R for Library Media Books/eBooks,
Instructional Resources and Support Services

Presented by: Ms. Rosalind Dennis, Director, Educational Media & Instructional Materials,
Division of Curriculum & Instruction
7. Annual Renewal of Licensing, Maintenance, and Subscriptions to Destiny Library Manager
Presented by: Ms. Rosalind Dennis, Director, Educational Media & Instructional Materials,
Division of Curriculum & Instruction
8. 2014-2015 Instructional Materials Purchase Recommendations
Presented by: Ms. Rosalind Dennis, Director, Educational Media & Instructional Materials,
Division of Curriculum & Instruction
9. 2015 Carl Perkins IV Improvement Plan for Career, Technical & Agricultural Education

Presented by: Dr. Delmas L. Watkins, Director, Career Technical & Agricultural Education,
Division of Curriculum & Instruction
10. MAXIMUS TIENET® (Technology for Improving Education) Software Maintenance and
Hosting Agreement Renewal

Presented by: Dr. Angela Crawford, Director, Special Education, Division of Curriculum
& Instruction
11. Sign Language Interpreting Specialists (SLIS) Contract
Presented by: Dr. Angela Crawford, Director, Special Education, Division of Curriculum
& Instruction
12. Procurement for all Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) and Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)
Materials and Scoring Fees

Presented by: Dr. Kathleen Howe, Deputy Superintendent, Division of Curriculum &
13. Flip-Top Computer Desks, Bid #14-426
Presented by: Mr. Gary L. Brantley, Chief Information Officer, Division of Information
14. Light Speed Web Filtering Solution
Presented by: Mr. Gary L. Brantley, Chief Information Officer, Division of Information
15. Student Information System Solution RFP #14-11
Presented by: Mr. Gary L. Brantley, Chief Information Technology, Division of Information
16. School Nutrition Services
Presented by: Mr. Joshua L. Williams, Interim Chief Operations Officer, Division of
a. Bid No. 15-17A Purchase of Fresh Produce & Eggs
b. Purchase Cold Storage Services, Bid No.15-25R
c. Purchase of Small Wares Equipment, Bid No. 15-26
d. Purchase of Grocery Products, Bid No. 15-397
17. Facilities
Presented by: Mr. Joshua L. Williams, Interim Chief Operations Officer, Division of
a. Grease Trap and Septic Tank Pumping Contract Extension Approval, Bid No. 14-446
18. Business Services
Presented by: Mr. Joshua L. Williams, Interim Chief Operations Officer, Division of
a. Transportation Agreement with DeKalb Path Academy 2014-2015 Approval
b. Transportation Agreement with Destiny Charter School 2014-2015 Approval
c. Transportation Agreement with International Community School 2014-2015 Approval
d. Custodial Supplies and Equipment Award Approval, Bid 14-38
19. SPLOST Programs
Presented by: Mr. Joshua L. Williams, Interim Chief Operations Officer, Division of
a. Emergency Generator Group F- Installation Only Contract Award Approval
b. SPLOST IV Project: Redan High School Addition and Renovations Construction
Contract Award
c. Redan High School Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment (FF&E) Purchase Approval
1. Approval of Resolution for Tax Levy
Presented by: Dr. Michael J. Bell, Chief Financial Officer, Division of Finance
E. OTHER\BOARD COMMENTS (2 minutes each)

1. Retirement Celebration for 2013 Retirees, 10:00am, Wednesday, July 9, 2014,
Auditorium, Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain
2. Retirement Celebration for 2014 Retirees, 2:00pm, Wednesday, July 9, 2014,
Auditorium, Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain
3. SPLOST Oversight Committee Meeting, 6:00pm, Thursday, July 24, 2014, Sam Moss Service Center, 1780 Montreal Road, Tucker
4. Title I Summit, 8:00am, Monday, July 28, 2014, Miller Grove High School, 2645 DeKalb Medical Parkway, Lithonia
5. Summer Leadership Conference 2014, 8:00am, Tuesday, July 29 – Thursday, July 31, 2014, Miller Grove High School, 2645 DeKalb Medical Parkway, Lithonia
6. Pre-Planning at Local Schools, Monday, August 4 – Friday, August 8, 2014
7. DeKalb Board of Education Meetings ~ Work Session (2:00pm), Community Input Session (5:45pm) and Business Meeting (7:00pm), Monday, August 4, 2014
8. First Day of School, Monday, August 11, 2014

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32 Responses to Monday, July 7, 2014 Board Meetings

  1. momfromhe11 says:

    Looked at HR report, as I always do, and the number of resignations was impressive – the number that “Resigned – Contract Not Accepted” was quite impressive. I had never seen that in the reason column. Does it mean that the teachers did not sign their 2014-2015 contracts, or am I misinterpreting?

  2. That is exactly correct, momfromhe11. By our count, this month’s HR report shows the following:

    Resignations ………… 637
    Teachers ………… 490
    Others ………… 147

    So that’s almost 500 teachers that QUIT for one reason or another just last month!

    The report says this is only thru 6/17/14, which leaves us to wonder how many will be added over the rest of the summer—from 6/18 to August, when school begins?

  3. dsw2contributor says:

    A few points about the “DeKalb County School District Human Resources Report Activity Until 6/17/2014” PDF:

    (1) The resignations listed are only for those teachers who did NOT sign one of DCSD’s “we’ll fill in the blanks later” contracts prior to the end of the school year.

    (2) The actual number of teacher resignations is higher than what is shown in the HR report — the report OMITS the teachers who resigned after they had signed a contract with DCSD. [Those teachers who will have to pay the $750 penalty ( are not listed in the report.]

    (3) Ward-Smith’s minions were actually REFUSING TO ACCEPT RESIGNATIONS from teachers. Teachers contacted HR to tell them that they were resigning and HR replied, no, we are not accepting your resignation. HR then screwed around with the teacher –and the district who had recruited that teacher away from Dekalb– for 2 or 3 weeks before finally releasing them.

    It appears to me now that HR was delaying these resignations until after 6/17, so that those resignations could be left out of this month’s report.

  4. DSW2Contributor says:

    Were the “Become a Dekalb teacher” billboards ever discussed or approved during a board meeting?

  5. mike thurmond says:

    Almost 500 teachers left in one month and the summer isn’t even over yet. When will Dekalb realize that the teachers were fed up with this foolishness? In a minute it won’t be anyone left except F&F

  6. When will we have Ramona Tyson’s resignation? Until then do not expect much change, the CLEW crew is still entrenched at DCSS/DCSD aka Eugene Walkers personal hiring agency. Clew Crew knows how to fudge the numbers, they have been doing it for over 10 years! 1.2 Billion dollars a year and we are still wondering where all that money goes… FOLLOW THE MONEY!

  7. Billboards? Do you have a photo to send us?

    FWIW – here is an online place for people to post reviews about working in DCSS >>

  8. Anyone know if Beaseley is planning to attend this? Speak at it? >>

    Georgia’s Race to the Top Summit July 15 – 16

    The Georgia Department of Education’s Race to the Top (RT3) Implementation Division is collaborating with Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL) to host the 2014 Race to the Top Summit. The Summit, which is July 15-16, will start at the conclusion of the GAEL Summer Conference at the Jekyll Island Convention Center in Jekyll Island, GA.

    This two day event will offer a variety of sessions led by education leaders from around the state. General sessions will cover topics such as: updates on teacher and leader evaluations, changing landscape of assessments, GA Awards and the Innovation Fund, the convergence of internet and technology to increase student learning, and the next steps after Race to the Top.

    There will be a number of breakout sessions highlighting how the state and local districts have successfully implemented initiatives related to:

    Data Systems to Support Instruction
    Great Teachers and Leaders
    Innovation Fund
    Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
    Standards and Assessments
    Turning Around Schools

    The final day to register online for GAEL and/or Race to the Top Summit is Monday, July 7th. There will be an opportunity for “walk up” registration at the Jekyll Island Convention Center.

    For more information and registration for GAEL Summer Conference and/or the Race to the Top Summit, please visit the GAEL Summer Conference page.

  9. concernedmome30329 says:

    Shame on John Evans for inserting race into the law firm selection process. We have done that before and it hasn’t worked out so well. Does he ever really care about the students of DeKalb?

  10. concernedmome30329 says:

    Also the SWD parents are doing a great job calling out DCSS officials for the clear retribution that clearly happened after a few teachers dared to call out some issues and were transferred out of SWD.
    Can anyone tell me who was area super when all that mess happened with Chelf at Lakeside?

  11. concernedmome30329 says:

    Is anyone else watching. I can’t tell for sure, but it looks like neither Orson or McMahan are at meeting. Can anyone confirm or refute?

  12. concernedmome30329 says:

    I was partially wrong — McMahan is present. Orson is not.

  13. Ha. And it was Marshall that pushed for a once a month meeting! But it appears that he is actually in attendance via telephone (from his vacation at the beach!)

  14. Ba da bing! It’s unanimous – There goes the property taxes – up up up! (By increasing so many of the property values, and by keeping the millage at the increased rate that was set during the “Great Recession” – not rolling it back as is encouraged by taxpayer advocacy groups) But hey, as Mr. Bell says, they ‘really need’ the money!

  15. And here we are – 7:27 – adjourned! Record short meeting!!

  16. FWIW, we think this article is relevant to DCSS and our lackluster leadership over the past couple of decades >>

    Why Mediocre Bosses Get Promoted

    “… firms that pay their CEOs in the top ten percent of excess pay earn negative abnormal returns over the next three years of approximately -8%.” Conclusion: Higher paid CEOs do a worse job.

    So, if you are like me, you have seen this time and again – where the mediocre, or even inept rise to the top. Many are the empty suits. So, my question is, “Why do these men and women, who do a less than stellar job, get promoted?”

    The answer is usually found at the level above your boss. Boards and “bosses of bosses” are frightened about hiring the best people. They pick the best, “safe” choice. They often default to “taking no chances” giving the company little chance to truly excel.

    What happens is that you end up working for a “do-nothing.” And that does nothing for you.

    When boards or executives are faced with hiring, a typical pool of candidates includes primarily (but not exclusively) two groups:

    Up and comers, new stars who haven't run an organization, or
    Experienced people who have run companies but performed at a mediocre level

    So, who do they hire? Do most in charge of hiring want to make something happen, or make sure nothing bad happens? The answer is usually the latter. So, hiring becomes a game of playing it safe.

  17. Ty Tagami has these new articles about tonight’s meeting >>

    Parents angered by teacher transfers at DeKalb high school

    Staff changes at Southwest DeKalb High School have angered parents, with scores turning out to complain to the school board.

    The DeKalb County School District transferred the high school principal recently after several teachers complained openly about her management style at a school board meeting last fall. Now, some of those teachers have been transferred in “what looks to us like retaliation,” Byron Merritt, the school’s PTSA president, said at Monday’s school board meeting. “These are the model teachers we want standing in our schools.”

    District spokesman Quinn Hudson said the teacher transfers were necessitated by a drop in student enrollment. He said the district could not comment about why the specific teachers were chosen because it was a personnel matter and therefore private.

    DeKalb school board approves flat millage rate

    keep the same property tax rate as last year, which will boost revenue during the 2014-15 fiscal year because of increasing property values.

    The school board voted 9-0 to set the millage rate at 23.98. A tax of 1 mill equals a levy of a tenth of a penny on each dollar of assessed valuation.

    In Georgia, governments must advertise a tax increase whenever they adopt a millage rate that generates an increase in revenue over the prior year. Not everyone will pay more — only those whose property values increased in the opinion of the DeKalb tax assessor.

  18. And Mark Niesse has this article about the increases in tax collections around metro >> [premium access]

    Tax hikes hit as homes gain value

    Residents’ taxable property values jumped in each of Atlanta’s four core counties this year, with increases ranging from less than 4 percent in Fulton County to nearly 17 percent in Gwinnett County, according to tax documents. The value of residential properties went up 11 percent in DeKalb County and 7 percent in Cobb County.

    … Georgia’s “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights” law, passed in 1999, was designed to protect homeowners from back-door tax increases created by escalating property values. The law forces local governments to slash property tax rates to account for rising assessments unless they hold three public hearings, then vote on a tax increase.

    After going through that process, most county commissions, city councils and school boards in the region voted this year not to reduce their property tax rates.

    The law increased transparency, but it didn’t place a limit on annual property tax increases, said Kelly McCutchen, president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

  19. Samantha says:

    Does anyone know what happened to Stephen Wilkins?

  20. DeKalb Teacher 1999 says:

    Rumor has it that the SW DeKalb principal is being transferred to Cross Keys. The CK principal is leaving for APS. If this rumor is true, CK once again becomes a dumping ground for the county. Is it too much to wish for that the county would put some thought into who would be a good fit for CK? Or for the county to seek input from the staff and community before hiring the principal? It would be wonderful for Cross Keys to get administrators who embrace the school’s diversity and who can relate to the community. Heck, at the very least, it would be great to have administrators who take the time to learn how to correctly pronounce their students’ names! Someone told me that there are now more Latino students than white students in the county yet I cannot think of one single Latino in a leadership role in DeKalb.

  21. We couldn’t agree more. Cross Keys has been a dumping ground for far too long. They should at least have a leader who can speak a bit of Spanish. And yes, the school system has more Hispanics than whites. Our post “The Numbers Tell the Story” details DeKalb’s enrollments.

    Overall, we discovered that there are 98,298 students enrolled in DeKalb schools. If you subtract the 2,996 Pre-K students (since they don’t earn FTE dollars), we only have 95,302 students enrolled in K-12. Of the larger total which includes Pre-K, 66,256 or 67% are Black / 10,881 or 11% are White / 13,410 or 14% are Hispanic / 5,773 or 6% are Asian / and 1,978 or 2% are ‘Other’.

    [Note to our readers: FWIW, you don’t really have to ‘remember’ what you’ve heard, we generally have some data on most every topic. Just do a quick search in our Search Bar at the top of the blog or for historicals, check under our tab “Best of the Oldies” under the DCSS Spending tab or “Our Favorite Posts” under the About DSW tab at the top of the blog.]


    For new documents from the state, check their website. Links we find interesting are below >>
    System Salary & Operations Detail :
    System Allotments :

  22. Here’s a way for a recent graduate to get a FREE $100! [Offer is good until August 31]

    From the Lockheed Federal Credit Union [LGE] >>

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    Even better, if a graduate opens a youth savings account, they will earn a generous rate of 5.00% APY** for the first $500 until age 23. What a great way to encourage good savings habits! And LGE offers convenient banking, with 48,000 free ATMs, free Online and Mobile Banking, and free Snap Deposit*** for members 18 and over (deposit a check using your smartphone).

    This offer is good for new members only. So if you have a son or daughter that just graduated high school, or know someone who does and they don’t already have an account, give them a Great Start at LGE today! To open an account, stop by any one of our branches and mention promo code GREATSTART14. Or open it online and use the same promo code.

  23. Mr. Chips says:

    Duh, of course Cross Keys is a dumping ground; I used to refer to it as unconscious racism, but no longer………I do now believe that it is conscious. Feeder schools to Cross Keys are bursting at the seams and still there is no talk of new buildings, why?

  24. d says:

    From what we’ve heard, SWD principal isn’t going to CKHS. Don’t want to spread unfounded rumors, but the school we were told is no where near CKHS.

  25. Stan Jester says:

    Why does Cary Reynolds ES have 18 trailers?
    Why does Cross Keys have a track you can’t run around without breaking an ankle?
    Answer: Politicians take advantage of uninformed and complacent electorates.

    The list of SPLOST IV projects was voted on by the public. Nov 8, 2011 election results.
    Doraville North – Yes: 49%
    Doraville South – Yes: 59%

    Ashford Park ES in Brookhaven should be on the project list but isn’t. The irony is that Ashford Park ES is a voting precinct and they voted 61% ‘yes’ to pass the project list.

  26. deecab2bad says:

    @ Stan Jester: In addition to the “uninformed and complacent electorate” playing a role in the disgraceful treatment of Cross Keys, the other factor is the relatively low percentage of residents who are eligible to vote due to their citizenship status. Sadly, resources may not be allocated fairly in this county until enough CKHS grads and residents become eligible to start voting.

  27. The teleconferencing was originally set up for people who are too ill to make the meeting. It also includes the option to phone in if you are ‘absent from the jurisdiction’. You can only use the phone option twice per year.

    DeKalb County School District
    Policy BC: Board Meetings

    E. Electronic Participation of Board Members

    So long as a quorum is present in person, any members may participate in Board and committee meetings by teleconference if necessary due to reasons of health or absent from the jurisdiction. Members present at a duly constituted meeting of the Board must approve a member’s request for participation under the provisions of this Section E. Such participating member shall be included in votes recorded during the meeting. Absent emergency conditions or the written opinion of a physician or other health professional that reasons of health prevent a member’s physical presence, no members shall participate by teleconference more than twice in one calendar year under this Section E.

    There shall not be a majority of the Board members participating in any Board or committee meeting by electronic communication. Any provisions under state law which contradict the foregoing shall be controlling.

  28. niah says:

    Yes, there are billboards,
    I saw one in Atlanta getting off at Windsor Avenue and almost wrecked.
    Really, you are recruiting in Atlanta and teachers there make 10,000 more dollars then we do. Save the money for the billboards and give a 2% percent raise instead of 1%. lol

  29. concerned citizen says:

    Great irony, Niah – well said!

  30. MrsWhite says:

    Can someone tell me if or when the teacher days will be voted on or confirmed? 185 or 190 days? I cannot find this information on the DCSS website. Thanks.

  31. We found this >>

    The proposed budget of about $800 million will eliminate four furlough days for all employees, leaving teachers with no furlough days and year-round employees with three to four. A furlough is a missed day of work without pay, so it’s essentially a pay cut. Since three of the four teacher furlough days are affecting class instruction this year (the fourth is a training day), the academic calendar will grow to the state minimum of 180 days under the proposal, and students will no longer be shorted three days, as the state has allowed under a hardship waiver.

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