Just Say NO to Waivers

Originally posted at The Fact Checker on February 28, 2015 by Stan Jester

SayNoToWaivers“Classrooms First for Georgia” – Requires, at a minimum, 65% of a system’s total operating funds to be spent in the classroom. The statute was enacted in FY2008 and DeKalb Schools has never been in compliance.

On Monday the board will vote to waive the 65% rule for FY2014.

School districts are considered compliant if they increase their direct classroom expenditures as a percent of total operating expenditures by two or more percentage points over the previous fiscal year.

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Fiscal Year 2014
The FY14 operating expenditures increased by $50 million from the previous year. Unfortunately they spent the exact same percent on classroom expenditures.

Fiscal Year 2015 – Budgeted
FY15 will see an estimated increase of $66 million in operating expenditures and should move classroom instruction to 62.40%.

Fiscal Year 2016
The budgeting season is approaching us. We can’t do anything about FY14 or FY15. Moving forward, shouldn’t the school board’s top budget priority be to construct a budget with at least 65% of the operating expenditures going into the classroom for FY16? As Nancy Jester use to say, “More classroom, less bureaucracy.”

#JustSayNoToWaivers #MoreClassroomLessBureaucracy

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This entry was posted in Board of Education Meetings, Budget Cuts, Michael Thurmond, Ramona Howell Tyson, SACS/Accreditation, School Funding, Stan Jester, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Just Say NO to Waivers

  1. overandout2 says:

    Tired of teaching in this county, tired of reading about the same problems, over and over again. My salary was funded entirely by the state of Georgia for 2015 – not one red penny from the county. Fourteen years and a master’s degree gets you nothing. DeKalb chose to put all the money into luring new teachers. What other reason would anyone choose to work for this county? The vote will go 4-2 on anything and everything, right down racial lines. The Dr. Morley’s will win, no matter how hard the other side tries. It’s been over for awhile. I won’t be back in August!

  2. formerdekalbteacher says:

    Good for you. I saw the writing on the wall last year and left. Don’t agree on the racial comments just think we have the wrong people in charge. I am now in th private sector and thriving.

  3. howdy1942 says:

    This wavier should be denied outright and a full audit ordered of the Dekalb County School System by the State Government. The Dekalb County School System has the highest millage rate in the State of Georgia and is one of the most affluent in the State. There is absolutely no reason why the Dekalb County School System cannot budget 65% of its operating funds to the classroom – period!! As Stan pointed out, Dekalb has never been in compliance since it came into existence in 2008 and it never will be until the State denies its endless waiver requests. The State should just stop it once and for all and tell the Dekalb County School System to grow up, be responsible, and get its house in order.

  4. We find it very curious that DeKalb is seriously asking for a waiver AFTER they already did not follow the law – for years. What is the point? Why have laws? Why follow the state’s rules if all you have to do is ask for a waiver after the fact? If the waiver is denied, then what will be done about all the years past that were not in compliance? There is not even a hand slap in their future. What good is the state anyway? Their laws are barely even recognized as suggestions by people in power in DeKalb.

  5. dsw2contributor says:

    On today’s (March 1, 2015) edition of Fox5’s Sunday public affairs show “The Georgia Gang”, Dick Williams (Dunwoody Crier) and Jeff Dickerson both called for drafting Michael Thurmond for permanent Superintendent.

  6. ^ P.S. Please click the thumbs down — I did!

  7. Frustrated Dekalb Parent says:

    Does anyone know how the vote went on the waiver?

  8. thedeal2 says:

    Frustrated, I only saw a little of the meeting, but something was said about there not needing to be a vote because it wasn’t a board issue. Maybe Stan Jester can chime in?

  9. Stan Jester says:

    I wanted to recognize the past but focus on the future. To paraphrase, I asked where the $140 million in additional revenue went. They said some tough choices had to be made and instead of putting the money into the classroom, they used it to dig us out of the hole and build up the reserves. I said moving forward I would like to see us at 65% when they put the FY16 budget together in the next few months. Marshall Orson echoed those sentiments and said 65% is a floor and not a ceiling. Dr. Erwin agreed and asked what it would take to get us to 65%. Dr. Bell said about $50 million. Vicki Turner said she would also like for us to be at 65%.

    Mr. McMahan said we seem to be on the same page and moved that over the next few months the superintendent construct the FY16 budget with at least 65% of the operating expenditures going to the classroom.

    It was a climatic ending from there with a couple of twists. I can’t give it justice in the comments. I’m putting the video and transcript together now. I’ll try and post it later this evening.

  10. Mad teacher says:

    Teachers are fleeing DeKalb county. This is a sinking boat. I can tell you that if they hire Thurmond as the permanent Super there will be a riot in the schoolhouse. I don’t know who the two down thumb trolls are, but I can guess. This money MUST go into the classroom or else with the healthcare crisis and the charter system crisis there will be no more teachers left to hire, period. Public education is teetering on the brink of disaster and if people don’t get involved and contact their representatives we are all going to be in big trouble.

  11. Pingback: So, exactly how did Michael Thurmond ‘balance’ DeKalb Schools’ budget? | dekalb school watch two

  12. concerned citizen says:

    I don’t know how anyone could be respectful of Thurdmond. He’s a sick little puppy who likes to have his ____ kissed, insists on it. He actually is a little bully and needs to be disciplined. He has further helped DeKalb sink when it was already lost at sea permanently. The school system has been no good since about 1975; but amazingly so many truly wonderful teachers and school employees have stuck around and then decide all they can do is leave. It seems that nobody cares about the students or the teachers. The situation is intolerable for everyone in it except for the three or four schools where the parents run the school and won’t accept the administrative bozos.

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