This weekend an entire page in the AJC, Opinion – A23, was dedicated to various editorials regarding DeKalb Schools.
Maureen Downey pointed out DeKalb’s reputation is still a problem with parents, and despite the convictions of a recent school administration, leadership is still a “protectorate of the status quo”.
While I agree with Ms. Downey’s observation, I also observe that a majority of DeKalb’s citizens often vote to support that status quo. State Representative Tom Taylor noted out of 23 members of the DeKalb Delegation, only 6 stood with the Governor in the removal of the DeKalb School Board. The Druid Hills Cluster vote, cityhood movements, and HR 486 (referendum to form new school districts) are evidence that a number of local communities are left with no other alternatives given the effects of the tyranny of the majority.
Michael Thurmond started his editorial with a victory lap on the budget and accreditation. Regarding the budget, the budgeted amount for legal fees may have been reduced by $6 million, but as of the October Financial Report, we are on track to spend as much, if not more, than usual on legal fees. Simply saying “we cut the budget” isn’t the same as actually spending less. Are we seeing the same rouse as we did under previous superintendents? Remember, the budget technique where the budgeted expense was not even close to what was actually spent? What does a budget mean if it bears no relationship to the actual money spent? Why has the administration removed the monthly budgeted numbers, preventing comparisons to monthly actual expenditures? Why are the expenses paid to some law firms, absent from any financial reports this year? The financial reports produced by the administration for the “fiscal year to date” do not reflect our actual finiancial situation. Regarding accreditation, Thurmond has successfully made the current board fall in line behind him which is ultimately what SACS accredits. The board’s obedience to the administration resulted in the rejection of the Druid Hills Charter Cluster application.
Michael Thurmond dedicated most of his editorial space to the sale of his new Bridge Initiative, describing it as a “comprehensive strategy designed to improve growth and achievement outcomes among students from economically disadvantaged families.” Thurmond proclaims, “by celebrating our current and reclaimed parent partners, we will improve educational outcomes for all 100,000 students in DeKalb County.”
I’m curious how the millions spent on Thurmond’s Bridge Initiative will improve the outcomes for all 100,000 students when, as stated in the 08/05 board meeting, the parental engagement initiaive will be based in South DeKalb, primarily in District 5. I do, however, see how reviving parent centers will help unemployment in South DeKalb. Just 2 years ago, DeKalb Schools was spending $4.5 million a year on 79 DeKalb parent center personnel.
As parent of three students in Chamblee, Bill Armstrong pointed out many positives in the Chamblee schools “in spite of the school board, superintendents, and central office.” Mr. Armstrong did give Thurmond credit for settling the Heery lawsuit. While I’m relieved the lawsuit is behind us, I’m disappointed with the value of the settlement. Let us not forget that it was an administration that pushed a board to enter this lawsuit in the first place. Remember, board obedience is rewarded in accreditation.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
- Removing Teachers From Region 1- Title I Comparability
- Spectator Guidelines for Spring Sports
- Class of 2021 Graduation Schedule
- Biden’s Executive Order Supports Reopening of Schools
- Dangerous Intersection In Front of Dunwoody High School
- DCSD Employees May Continue To Work Remotely For 30 Days
- Teachers and Students Are Coming Back To School
- DeKalb Schools Reopening Plan
- Regional Town Hall Meetings For Parents
- DeKalb Schools 2020 Graduation Rates
- Black Lives Matter in DeKalb Schools
- Giving Grace Network – Hardships For Children
- DeKalb Schools 2018 and 2019 Independent Auditor’s Reports
- Sept Survey Results – Updated Input on Returning to School
- Teacher Town Hall – My Notes
- Football Spectators – Billboards – Teacher Town Hall
- DeKalb Schools Is Returning to Face to Face Learning
- Re-Open Athletics & Schedule
- Booster Club Policy Townhall
- Formula To Calculate Moving To Hybrid
- COVID-19 Cases Trending Down
- Divisive Statement By Dr. Joyce Morley
- Conditions To Move To Hybrid
- Sports – DeKalb Schools Delays Athletics
- School Virtual Opening Update
- Professional Development Institute
- DeKalb Schools Approved 2020-2021 School Calendar
- Micro-Schools – Students & Teachers Coming Together
- DeKalb Schools New 2020-2021 School Calendar
- Results – School Re Opening Survey
- DeKalb Notice of Property Tax Increase
- Opening Schools in Metro Atlanta
- DeKalb Schools Re-Opening Update
- Survey Results – DES 4/5 Academy Site Name
- DeKalb Schools Re-Opening Framework
- Public Input on Name of DES 4/5 Academy
- DeKalb Schools – FY2021 Budget Considerations
- Meeting 2 – Naming Committee – DES 4/5 Academy
- DeKalb Schools Approves TSA Settlement
- Cheryl Watson-Harris – DeKalb Schools Superintendent – Sole Finalist
- Meeting 1 – Naming Committee – DES 4/5 Academy
- Officially Naming the DES 4/5 Academy
- CDC’s Considerations For Schools
- Virtual Classrooms – The Future of DeKalb Schools
- Superintendent Search & Anna Hill, CPA, For Board of Education
- Class of 2020 Graduation Ceremonies
- FY2020 Metro Atlanta Teacher Salary Comparison
- Superintendent Crew – Positive Public Feedback
- Rudy Crew – DeKalb Schools Superintendent – Sole Finalist
- 2020 Graduation Ceremonies – Superintendent Student Advisory Council
- How Do I Claim My ‘A’ And Call It A Year
- DeKalb Schools – End Of Year Guide For Students And Families
- DeKalb Schools Closing – Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Central Office Reorg
- 2021 Utilization Matrix
- DeKalb Schools Audit Policy Debate
- FAQ – Fall 2020 Redistricting Plan
- E-SPLOST V Revision Plan
- Fall 2020 Redistricting Elementary Schools
- Trailer Count Across DeKalb Schools
- Nancy Creek Elementary – Immediate Relief For Dunwoody & Chamblee Clusters
- Dunwoody Elementary School Redistricting & Utilization
- Removed SPLOST Projects & GO Bond
- Redistricting Round 4
- Correcting Operations Austin Redistricting Guidance
- DeKalb Schools Volunteer Policy
- New CFO – DeKalb Schools
- Dunwoody Cluster Redistricting – Round 3
- Doraville United Redistricting – Round 3
- 2019 – 7 Year Enrollment Forecasts – Dunwoody Elementary Schools
- 2019 Enrollment Forecasts For Chamblee & Cross Keys Elementary Schools
- Dunwoody – Elementary School – Growth Projections
- Interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson
- DeKalb Schools 2020-2021 Approved Calendar
- Tomorrow Vote Yes-Robert Miller And NO-Revised Ethics Act
- DeKalb Schools 2020-2021 Calendar
- New Visitor and Volunteer Policy
- DeKalb Schools Calendar FactChecker Poll
- Austin Elementary School Redistricting – Round 2
- 2020-2021 Calendar Options
- DeKalb Schools Calendar Update
- Jester Community Town Hall
- Doraville United Redistricting – Round 2
- DeKalb Schools E-SPLOST Project Recommendations
- Public Feedback Results – GO Bond & E-SPLOST Projects
- News & Updates – 10/7/2019
- AP Exams – Return on Investment
- Capacity Determination Guide
- Redistricting First Round Summary – Austin and Doraville United
- Meeting Tonight – Redistricting Dunwoody Cluster Elementary Schools
- Coffee Talk With Stan Jester And Friends
- IEP Accommodations Neglected
- DeKalb Schools 2019 Graduation Rates
- Redistricting – Geographic Proximity – Austin And Doraville United
- DeKalb Schools 2020 Graduation Schedule
- Air Conditioning at Chamblee Charter High School
- Not Fans of the GO Bond
- E-SPLOST/GO Bond Discussion Materials
- 2019 Chromebook Rollout Update
- Cross Keys HS – 2019 Milestones Results
Newt Gingrich communications director Susan Meyers
Atlanta Pediatrician Little Five Points Pediatrics
String Tennis Racket – Dunwoody, Chamblee, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs
Million staffing covid Jackson Healthcare
Jackson Healthcare connect state contract connect insider Governor Brian Kemp political staffing
Jackson Healthcare connect million staffing
Jackson Healthcare COVID insider connection Geoff Duncan Kemp million
I think you are making an assumption when you write, “Why are the expenses paid to some law firms, absent from any financial reports this year?”
Your assumption is they have been paid. Based on the vendor spends report, it is not uncommon for invoices to sit 3 or 4 months before being entered into the system.
Hello Guy Midvale,
We know that many invoices sit for 5+ months before being entered into the system. We also know that millions of dollars every year never show up on the current fiscal year report. The problem is the DeKalb Schools’ monthly financial report is not an accurate representation of the health or status of the school district’s finances . Here are some of the indicators I’m using to make this judgement:
McKenna, Long & Aldridge (MLA)
MLA is a law firm hired at the 02/18/2013 Called Board Meeting for 3 months at $170,000. Later the board authorized $50,000/month for an additional 16 months starting June 1, 2013. The $170K shows up on last years fiscal reports. The $50K/month since June 1 does not.
Q1: How many millions of dollars are not showing up in the vendor spend report and are not reflected in the monthly financial report?
Basis of Accounting
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the Ga DOE requires that the modified accrual basis of accounting be used for governmental fund types. Dr. Bell reported in October that, “This spend report is really on a cash basis.” How can the financial report be on a modified accrual basis when 95% of the data is salaries and vendor spends report, both of which are reported on a cash basis?
According to the latest FY’14 Vendor Spend Report, over $2 million dollars are reported as “Expensed To Prior Year” that never showed up in a FY’13 report.
Q1: The final DE46 data for FY ’13 was turned in back in September. Where is that report?
Q2: What other vendor spends were expensed to FY ’13 that never showed up on a report.
Note: As testified under oath by Marcus Turk, he never reported a June (End of Year) financial report where expenses exceeded revenue.
FTE count day was 10/01/2013. We need a reconciliation report on QBE earnings for the FY’14 budget.
You are being kind only mention the legal fees when you write, “over $2 million dollars are reported as “Expensed To Prior Year” that never showed up in a FY’13 report.”
I had Excel do autosum for that entire column and the total amount is over $24 million.
It is possible that the school board is having to defend itself against Tmobile over the cell towers. I don’t know anything specifically, but I do know that they are suing the county over the issue.
Specific in the lease (that the removed BOE signed thus locking this board into obeying its terms) was a clause that the board not do anything that could interfere with the permit process.
Once the suit is settled, T-mobile is supposed to cover the attorney costs. We’ll see!
Meanwhile, Lakeside High and Margaret Harris Comprehensive are first on the list. Check out our site if you are interested in any other details: www. GETtheCELLout.org. If a tower goes up at even one of our schools, it sets a legal presidence that could lead to every school being left vulnerable to the same treatment.
I’ve obviously just stumbled on this site – actually from a comment on Maureen’s blog. In my editorial referred to in this post I made it clear I would like Thurmond gone ASAP & I’ve posted the same repeatedly on the AJC in response to yesterday’s “now we are only on WARNING victory.”
I’d like to know more of your thoughts on Mr. Thurmond & how best to get a new permanent hire – I still consider him a “quasi-interim” regardless of the contract. With a new board coming on next year – perhaps including you, how best to get the search started? I don’t want to wait until 2015 to even start looking – an offer maybe made in 2016 – it’s too long to wait.
Your thoughts? Thanks. – Bill aka ChambleeDad
Hi there, I just noticed that on occasion this website renders a 403 error. I figured that you would like to know. Thanks