Better late than never?

michael-thurmond-mighty-mouseHere he comes to save the day!

It looks like Mr. Thurmond is recommending spending $10 million on a campaign contribution retirement “option” [tax-sheltered annuity?] contributions for teachers!

JUST RELEASED by Thurmond’s campaign manager turned communications officer for DeKalb County Schools >>


DeKalb County School District Considers Restoring Retirement Options for All Employees

Superintendent Michael Thurmond recommends “assignment” of $10 million in the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2015 – 2016 to reestablish a DeKalb County School District supported retirement option for all employees. The funds have been identified in the District’s fund balance, which is expected to exceed $80 million at the beginning of the new fiscal year, which begins on July 1, 2015.

The DeKalb Board of Education will consider this recommendation on Wednesday, June 17, when the final budget for FY2016 is adopted.

“We have been working diligently for the past two years to find ways to help our loyal employees, who have been the victims of a bad economy and poor management decisions in years past,” said Superintendent Thurmond. “With the new budget, the District will have the ability to assist employees with their pre-tax retirement savings in addition to allocating $20 million for significant salary increases for qualified, veteran teachers as well as improved salaries for all other employees. I am particularly proud of the much needed and deserved proposed salary increases for our lowest paid employees.”

In March, Superintendent Thurmond recommended a three-tier salary increase that emphasizes improved salaries for veteran teachers for FY2015-2016. The proposed increases include:

• 4 percent cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for all veteran teachers with 6 or more years of experience
• 3 percent COLA increase to teachers with 0-5 years of experience; and,
• 2 percent COLA increase for all other employees.

The District has 14,000 total employees including 6,000 teachers.

Quinn Hudson


Kidding aside: If he is able to restore these contributions, regardless of his motivation  – we will be thrilled! This 11th hour action by Michael Thurmond before he leaves his post as superintendent would be a much needed very big first step towards restoring trust and integrity with our teachers. Here’s hoping!

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This entry was posted in Board of Education Meetings, Budget Cuts, DeKalb County [GA] Board of Education, Stan Jester, Superintendent R. Stephen Green, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Better late than never?

  1. sawyerbrown68 says:


    I sent an email to the entire board. Are you at liberty to respond to it?

    The leadership for each school was decided upon on 5/22? Principals in place now will not be removed, reassigned, demoted, or promoted.

    What board policies are in effect to make sure each school has a competent and effective leader in August? Does SACS deem it interfering if the board members made sure their policies were followed to some measure?

    Thank you for your answers.

  2. Stan Jester says:

    SawyerBrown68, I’m not sure which email you sent.

    School Principal Update Report
    A snapshot of the principals/postitions was taken on 5/22. The School Principal Update Report was not an exhaustive list of all principal decisions to be made this year. It was just a list of principal vacancies currently open and a list of reassignments to date.

    Selecting Effective Leaders
    The school board can make only one employment decision, the superintendent. At a 04/03/2013 Called Meeting, SACS made the board’s role in selecting effective leaders clear. Dr. Mark Elgart said,
    ” One of the things I often tell school leaders, is create that chart with no one person in mind. Take the people out of the equation. Think about the operation and identify your perfect organizational structure.”

    Dr. Elgart goes on to say,
    “it’s really important that Superintendent Thurmond needs to objectively take a blank piece of paper. Get you engaged in an objective discussion about the design of this district, not the assignment of personnel. Once you agree on that design, then charge him with the responsibility of transitioning to it and making the employment decisions based on his professional opinion of who belongs in the best place.”

    Selecting Principals
    The role of the school council in the principal selection process shall be advisory and specified in policy written by the local board of education and regulations developed by the superintendent (OCGA § 20-2-86[t] and Board of Education policy BBFA).

    Board Policy BBFA
    The role of the school council in the principal selection process shall be advisory and will be specified in regulations developed by the Superintendent.

    I’m not aware of the Superintendent regulations.

  3. Thurmond would have vastly improved Dekalb County Schools if he had immediately fired the HR staff and hired professional HR people to run things.

    But it seems that HR has been the pet of the Board. How can all the friends and family be hired if you don’t control HR?

  4. concerned citizen says:

    HR is,was, and will continue to be running the schools for the individual pleasure of the board members. HR must be stomped to the ground.

  5. About 10 minutes ago, WSB-TV ran a puff-piece on Michael Thurmond.

  6. About what exactly?

Comments are closed.