Updates from the Monday, June 1 Board Meeting

The Monday, June 1 Board meeting was held and a few items of interest are listed below.

Of course our main news item is the hiring of Dr. Stephen Green as our new superintendent. Below are links to his resume and contract. You can read his bio at Stan Jester’s post on the Fact Checker blog.

StephenGreenResume05292015

StephenGreenContract05292015

Employment Contract Overview

  • Salary – $300K/year
  • Length – 3 years (Pursuant to § 20-2-101)
  • Expenses – $2,600/month
  • Car allowance – $750/month
  • Supplemental retirement plan in addition to TRS
  • Retention bonus – $15K/year

For more on the subject of Dr. Green’s generous pay, read our post, Superintendent Green’s Contract: Giving Away The Farm?

Dr. Green has a lot of work to do and a lot of house cleaning in order to win the support of most of us in the community. We are withholding enthusiasm for now. We hope to have news of bold initiatives and personnel replacements. Time will tell if Dr. Green really has what it takes or if he will simply try to convince us that he can work with the current administration to make miraculous change as he collects a lovely salary and monthly stipend. In fact, we would question the character of a person who would accept an additional retirement package, when hired to lead teachers who have had theirs taken away. We will be watching to see if Dr. Green makes the teachers pay [proposed raises], annuities, benefits, and workload [class size and professional support] a first order of business.   DeKalb continues to rank at or near the bottom in student achievement and hiring and retaining the best teachers is the only way to improve student outcomes.

Dr. Green does sound enthusiastic in his first video interview for PDS24.

Additionally, the 2nd Public Budget Hearing, Community Input Session & 1st Public Millage Rate Hearing was held at 5:45. The DeKalb School Board is about to vote to keep your property tax millage rate at the very high [temporary] rate set by the previous board when property values declined during the recession. Read our post on the subject below. We strongly urge you to attend these millage rate hearings and voice your concern. Your ‘rate’ may remain the same, but your property value will definitely increase when set by the county tax assessor. This is very hard to contest once set.

Yes, your property taxes are in fact increasing, as values increase and the Board refuses to lower the millage rate accordingly. Can you say, “Windfall”?

News has been swirling that the school formerly known as DSA, Open Campus and Briarcliff High School is now on the docket to be rebuilt in order to house the burgeoning student growth in the Cross Keys cluster. Read Mr. Thurmond’s plan here:

Over Capacity in the Cross Keys Cluster_619548chejyz22amkkvu552432rgf1

Below is a link to the school district’s proposed very healthy, $875 million FY2016 budget, due to the increased property tax rate as well as a substantial increase in FTE credits from the state.

fy-2016-proposed-budget

fy-2016-proposed-budget-detail

QBE Budget Analysis FY 2008-2016_619553chejyz22amkkvu552432rgf1

Further, Mr. Thurmond, after nearly three years at the helm, finally ‘discovered’ that DeKalb has no curriculum! Better late than never. He has committed $500,000 to develop one. Of course, he thinks this is possible using the very same people who have happily ‘led’ the system sans curriculum for over 15 years. Bear in mind, Michael Thurmond allocated over $72.5 million* to his “Bridge Initiative” which has no measurable goals and from what we can tell, is essentially a tv show.  [Look up cognitive dissonance theory.]

And if you’re wondering what is going on with the deadline to choose which kind of school district DeKalb will select, read this post: DeKalb Charter System Update, at the Fact Checker blog.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
1. DeKalb Board of Education 2nd Millage Rate Hearing, 11:30am, Wednesday, June 17, 2015 and 3rd Millage Rate Hearing & Called Meeting, 6:15pm, Wednesday, June 17, 2015, J. David Williamson Board Room, Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain
2. SPLOST Oversight Committee Meeting, 6:00pm, Thursday, June 25, 2015, Conference Room, Same A. Moss Service Center, 1780 Montreal Road, Tucker
3. DeKalb Board of Education Work Session (2:00pm), Community Input Session (5:45pm) and Business Meeting (7:00pm), Monday, July 13, 2015, J. David Williamson Board Room, Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain

For more information on meetings, click here.

 

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* We originally reported this number as $3 million, but that is only the ‘unbudgeted’ amount of the Bridge Initiative. The true budget for the program was $72.5 million — virtually the ENTIRE Ttitle 1 budget for ALL schools — proposed by Michael Thurmond and rubber-stamped approved by the DeKalb Board of Education!!

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This entry was posted in Board of Education Meetings, Budget Cuts, Charter School Amendment, DeKalb County [GA] Board of Education, GA Legislature / Laws / O.C.G.A., Michael Thurmond, Stan Jester, Superintendent R. Stephen Green, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Updates from the Monday, June 1 Board Meeting

  1. Ivan Gottasecret says:

    Sawyer……..the science department at Lakeside has been extremely stable for years. It was inevitable hat it would lose several teachers at once. This year, one science teacher retired. One moved to Athens because her husband took a position at UGA. One took a job at Morehouse. One took a job closer other home……..20 hours in your car trying to get home on a snow day will do that to you. There are two teachers that were brought in under the foreign teacher program that many on this blog are critical of. Who knows what their future is. Yes, Lakeside has lost teachers, as have all Dekalb schools. Perhaps some because of differences with administration, but most because of other reasons. One teacher over last summer went to APS. Between an advanced degree and a more generous salary structure, this teacher got close to a 20% pay increase. Is Lakeside any worse than any other Dekalb school? No. Is it difficult for any school in Dekalb to fill science positions in a timely way……..yes. Why teach in Dekalb if you can go someplace else? But if you are going to teach in Dekalb, there are few better locations than Lakeside………..

  2. Peace says:

    I had a child who attended Stephenson Middle school. Many parents were not happy with the administration and these parents were very involved in their kids education. It was no secret that parents were yanking their kids out of the school in addition to making calls to the Area Sup about the issues. At the end of the 1st semester in 2012-2013 school year, a bunch of kids did not return for the 2nd semester. The district had a survey for the parents to take on the school website and stated that the results would be published for the parents to see. Never saw it. One parent was a teacher in DeKalb and when she took her kid out she told me the school did not even bother to ask why. Most companies do exit interviews with employees who leave. Why does the school system have someone other than the school itself follow-up to find out why kids are leaving their schools. It was known in my neighborhood that Stephenson Middle was not the great school it was known for prior to Ms. Hall’s tenure. It seems to easy to benchmark the reasons why students are leaving schools if you really want to make the changes that are necessary.

  3. sawyerbrown68 says:

    Ivan

    This is terrific and refreshing insider information. All is well then. The departure of the science teachers was expected and most likely unrelated to school morale. Accepted!

    In your explaining, you have noted with an administrator’s precision there are at least 4 science positions to fill…..even possibly 6. You correctly state that science positions are very hard to fill.

    Are all 4 or 6 positions already filled by able teachers? Yes or no? When? How?

    I didn’t see any of science position posted on the Dekalb Employment website? Were they igotsecretly hired under cover of darkness? Or waiting for….the July 8 job fair?

  4. ivan Gottasecret says:

    Sawyer, not being an administrator, I wouldn’t know if those positions were filled or not. I do know that STEM teachers are at a premium and it would take a special person to go into teaching if they had a STEM degree and could financially do much better in the private sector. And as to your question, what exactly is qualified? And also, how effective can one be when the county overloads classes?

  5. dsw2contributor says:

    There are NO Science Teacher vacancies at Lakeside HS.

    If there were Science Teacher vacancies at Lakeside HS, then those vacancies would be posted on PATS….. and there are no Lakeside Science Teacher vacancies posted on PATS, as of right now, 12:30 PM on June 11, 2015. Check for yourself here: https://pats.dekalb.k12.ga.us/

    These are the posted vacancies at Lakeside HS:
    Assistant Principal (HS) 1
    Basketball, Varsity boys/Head 1
    Bookkeeper, 12 Month 1
    Custodian II 12 Month (High) 1
    Manager, School Nutrition 1
    Teacher, English – HS 1
    Teacher, Mathematics – HS 1
    Teacher, Spanish High School 1

  6. Of course, if a community happens to know that there are 4 to 6 Science vacancies at their local HS school and the community doesn’t see those vacancies posted on PATS, then the community should feel free to email their board members to ask why those jobs are not posted.

    Preplanning week begins on August 3, according to the approved 2015-2016 calendar, so there are only seven weeks left to get teachers hired!

  7. And in other relevant DCSS news >>

    No new trial for convicted ex-DeKalb school official Reid

    A judge Thursday denied a request for a new trial by Pat Reid, the former chief operating officer for DeKalb County schools who was convicted for manipulating construction contracts.

    She and her architect ex-husband, Tony Pope, will continue serving their sentences. A jury found them guilty in November 2013, with Reid sentenced to 15 years in prison and Pope to 12 years.

    “The evidence was more than sufficient to enable a rational trier of fact to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant was guilty of the crimes for which she was convicted,” wrote DeKalb Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams. “The weight of the evidence was heavily in favor of the verdict.”

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