04/14/2013 John Coleman at DHA

Dunwoody Homeowners Association
April 15th, 2013 @ 7:30pm
Goto video and transcript of meeting
This was a meet and greet for John Coleman. He introduced himself, talked about his background, why he’s doing this and what he hopes to accomplish. He didn’t give much insight, but he listened to the complaints and suggestions. He confused probation with lack of accreditation.
Fact Checker

Coleman: [5:00] So, we really have to focus on making sure we set the right foundation to regain accreditation. Dr Elgart noted that won’t be by the end of the year probably. That will probably be a multi year process. [5:23] But, we want to get the trajectory right so we are making progress consistently by the end of the year and we can get accreditation within the next 2 or 3 years, I think, was the prediction he gave us.
DeKalb is accredited. We are not “regaining” accreditation. The accreditation status of DeKalb County School District and its schools was “Accredited On Advisement”. Based on the findings of a Special Review Team on December 17, 2012, the DeKalb County School District was placed in the accreditation status of “Probation” until December 31, 2013.
Allegra Johnson: So, when you’re talking about budget, and you’re starting on Tuesday, yet our teachers have already signed their contracts. So, how does that work? They’ve already signed the bottom line yet you’re saying you’re just now working on the budget. So, how is it not the cart in front of the horse type thing?
Coleman: Uhhhhhh … I honestly don’t know.
To answer your question, Ms Johsnon, these contracts do not guarantee anything and do not reflect any budget issues. They do not guarantee you will be employed next year, because teachers can be RIF’d. It does not guarantee how much you will be paid next year, because teacher furlough days can be adjusted.
Chris : Seems Nancy Jester did a lot of analysis which I found very useful and informative. Have you initiated any discussions or meetings with her or visa versa so that you can get her take and knowledge to help you better understand?
Coleman: [14:37] Yeah, so I actually had a chance to catch up with Nancy recently. I talked to her.


3 responses to “04/14/2013 John Coleman at DHA

  1. Is there anymore Colemn said after ” talked to her”? Not that anything he has said or done so far is worth hearing…

  2. Stan Jester

    Hi Concerned Citizen.
    At the top is a link to the video and transcript of meeting. He spoke briefly about his conversation with Nancy.

  3. Hi, Stan – Thanks, I was able to see the rest of his comments. I really, really don’t like him.
    My thoughts: You know that Katherine Turk ‘s son was the CFO recently and created a real mess. To say he is stupid is doing him a favor. I knew Katherine when she was a teacher and then dept head at Columbia HS. She was a close friend of Stan. She later went on to become Asst. Supt. for Secondary Schools. Her “boss” was Eugene, who was an Associate Supt. at that time. Isn’t this unbelievable! But it’s true.
    Re: the Budget As of the date that Thurmond “found” the surplus (May 6) one needs to know how much of this year’s budget (2012-2013) has been ordered frozen so that this amount can remain for use in the 2013-14 budget. For example, there continues to flow into the DeKalb County School Stem various monies from the Georgia Lottery. The school system does not have a deadline for expending these funds. Some can go into computers, security systems, materials and supplies for early childhood education, etc. If purchase orders are being witheld, then the total could possibly be a portion of Thurmond’s “found” money. Also, there are presently 40 teacher vacancies. Is it not likely that the positions are now being filled by substitute teachers? When were these positions frozen? I can tell you it was March 1. The savings in the personnel area would be tremendous with no benefits payable. The excess here would be forwarded into next year’s budget and possibly considered as Thurmond’s “found” money. Let us look closely at the Transportation Department’s budget for last year. Were all school uses ordered and paid for? Again, we must put the present balance against the 2012-13 approved budget. Textbooks is another area wher it is more than likely that amillion or so dollars remain from last year’s budgeted amount. We can view this area as one where money remains since complaints regarding “no textbooks” have inundated board members throughout this school year. Additionally, one must look at athletics and band unifors. Are purchase orders for the uniforms present frozen? We have to remember that the CFO follows direct orders from the superintendent who is one of Eugene Walker’s close friends. I know that a bdget can be frozen, how to freeze it, freeze positions, freeze purchase orders, and generally play around with a present budget in order to carry over (or have “found” money), enough money from one year to the next in order to meet Georgia Law which states that a school system must present a BALANCED budget by July l. These are a few areas where one can “find” money right now! However, these are practices where we have “done it before and we can do it again.” As several posters have said, we are always on a learning curve in DeKalb since the really smart, honorable people who have served and could continue to help, go unnoticed. Thurmond is just a little rookie!