In the FY ’15 budget, the division of Strategic Management & Accountability had a budget of $228,066 and did not show up on the organizational chart of the district. It had no employees.
In the FY ’16 budget $215,016 is budgeted for the division of Strategic Management & Accountability. This division still is not included in the organizational chart of the district and still doesn’t have any employees.
You wouldn’t think that could get any worse, but the amount budgeted for travel in FY ’15 and FY ’16 is $9,500. Remember, no employees.
There is a reason for this division to show up in the budget even if it doesn’t exist. On August 5, 2013, the BOE voted to outsource the creation and monitoring of the district’s strategic plan to Georgia School Boards Association at a cost of $250,000. This cost was to be allocated to the Division of Strategic Management and Accountability. The cost was $45,000 more than the total budget for the division, but the BOE doesn’t look at the details of what they are asked to approve. The agenda item which the BOE approved lists ten services the Georgia School Boards Association are to do as part of the contract. None of them are currently uploaded on the BOE’s eBoard Strategic Plan 2019 page. It has only been 22 months. No sense in rushing into something like this. (Please reread the previous sentence as sarcastic.)
Math shows us the district has spent $478,066 for Strategic Management and doesn’t have a strategic plan. Stan Jester posted a link in the comments of a post on his page to what used to be the Strategic Plan web page, but the district took the link to that page down after he posted it. That page promised the strategic plan would be presented to the BOE for “Final Approval” before June 30, 2014. Stakeholders are still waiting for that to happen.
On a side note, in place of the strategic plan, the district’s website is currently referencing the Comprehensive Restructuring Plan from 2008. Another example of communication by C.Y.A.
Add in the FY ’16 budget and the total budgeted for a strategic plan will be $693,082. What are the odds of Dr. Green being able to put a strategic plan together within his first year? I would say close to zero if he doesn’t remove the central office staff who don’t want to be held accountable for results. The current administration doesn’t believe in Accountability.
For example, Dr. Smith, the head of HR, told the BOE that the district’s goal for teacher retention is 93%. However, using the monthly HR reports and a little more math, you can see the teacher retention rate for the last twelve months is just under 85%. This is worse than it was for the 2013-14 school year. The district’s media machine is saying teacher morale has been restored, but they don’t say how that was measured. Clearly, teacher retention is not part of the equation.
Dr. Smith doesn’t report the teacher retention rate to the BOE and they don’t bother to ask or do the math.
The absence of accountability within the DeKalb County Schools administration would laughable if it wasn’t so sad.
The only thing more sad is how the BOE lets them get away with it.