In our post about last Monday’s board meeting, DSW moderators shared the ‘discussion’ we witnessed among Board members when Stan Jester proposed making a budget change. Apparently, upon reviewing the mid-year budget, the administration requested an increase in spending of $9 million, keeping classroom spending steady, while increasing non-classroom spending. Stan explained his motion as follows >>
I explained to the board and administration that Classrooms First for Georgia requires, at a minimum, 65% of a system’s total operating funds to be spent in the classroom. Dr. Bell said the current budget directed less than 65% to the classroom and the Mid-Year Adjustment directed 33% into the classroom.
I like the proposed 33%, but I would like the non direct classroom expenditures to be revenue neutral. That is, I would like to see non classroom dollar cuts for every non classroom dollar appropriated somewhere else.
At the board meeting, I moved that we keep all the direct classroom expenses proposed in the Mid-Year Adjustment and with the other 67% of the proposed $9 million make TSA contributions. I explained to the board and administration the history of TSA contributions.
Sutherland is handling the current TSA lawsuit and assured the board back in December that making TSA contributions going forward would not affect the lawsuit. However, at the board meeting, Nelson Mullins couldn’t confirm that. The board pushed back on making TSA contributions so I withdrew my motion.
Teacher Pay Raises
After withdrawing my TSA motion, I moved that we use the 67% of the proposed $9 million to give teachers a Mid-Year raise. I started to explain how many teachers had their daily rates reduced this year when a call for the vote was made.
First the chair asked for a vote on Joyce’s call to question (which requires a 2/3 vote to table the discussion). Then, before that vote could be taken, the chair asked Stan to repeat his motion that Morley had called to question. Stan recapped but then stated that he thought it had been called to question by Morley who ‘didn’t really want to hear about this’. And that’s when Joyce Morley went off. After her one minute, ten second dressing down of Stan, including mocking his name, the chair thanked Dr. Morley and the board voted on Stan’s motion. Stan was the sole ‘yes’ vote to support teacher raises. The rest of the Board voted to close the discussion, opting to take it up ‘sometime’ in the future in executive session.
UPDATE >> To recap for those who can’t access the video >>
After making a new motion to use the increase in funding to give teachers a mid-year raise instead of spending it on non-classroom expenses, Joyce Morley called it into question. The Chair got confused as to what they were voting on, and asked Stan to repeat the request. He did but stated that he didn’t think Dr. Morley wanted to discuss it (referring to her motion to call it into question, which ends discussion).
Morley then proceeded to give Stan a personal dressing down in a public meeting >>
I think you’re totally out of line. And as someone new to the board, and if you’re for children, I would like to see you really be for children, stop lingering and languishing in stuff. Your personal stuff has nothing to do with it ok? And so we’re not here for this, and I don’t engage in this type of rhetoric. I’m going to be respectful and I’m professional. So whatever your game and your posturing is all about, and if you’ll notice me, I don’t ever call anyone’s name unless it’s something positive I have to say. You can’t read minds, and you sure don’t understand mine. So I need for you, and I’m going to expect that the chair would enter to this, or there will be legalities coming about. And we’ve had a board that has run quite well before, and it seems as if you have a personal, whatever the vendetta, or whatever your problem is, but I’m asking you to please respect me, and put it aside. Because we don’t ‘go there’. We’ve never gone like this before until you’ve come on this board. Now, I know what a board is, and I’ve been a professional for many, many years. And I’m going to be respected and not disrespected. You can have the Jester grin – whatever you want, and be one – but not here today.
And rather than calling her out of order, the board chair said, “thank you”.