School's Out Updates

Nancy and I would like to thank you for your support throughout this election cycle.  I will take office the first Monday in January in the District #1 seat on the Board Of Education .  We will work diligently to remain worthy of your support.
The last bell of the school year will ring shortly.  I have a few DeKalb Schools updates to fill your waning thoughts of education.
State Education Budget
The state approved an increase in state spending on education earlier this year by 3 percent, or $602.5 million.  $314 is intended to help districts across the state afford to return school calendars to the 180-day standard, eliminate furlough days for teachers and staff, and increase teacher salaries. Most of the increase outside the $314 million covers enrollment growth, teacher salary increases earned through gains in experience and education, and rising teacher and employee retirement costs.
Visit Georgia SchoolWatch for context and details regarding the statewide budget increase.
Superintendent Search
DeKalb Schools will initiate a superintendent search in late spring.  The current Superintendent, Michael Thurmond, has said he does not want to remain in his job after his contract expires in June 2015.  The board’s Ad Hoc Committee for the Superintendent Search consists of Coleman, Erwin, McMahan and Morley. (Note that 2 on this committee are in runoffs in July.)
DeKalb Schools FY ’15 Budget ( pdf FY2015 Proposed Budget)
The board has been holding public budget input meetings.  The proposed budget of $800 million is a $40 million increase in appropriations and will eliminate four furlough days for all teachers.  DeKalb Schools will still need waivers allowing them to exceed maximum class sizes.  The additional spending might also include 100 new teachers, support staff and new textbooks.  The administration also intends to build up the cash reserves to $20 million by the end of FY 2015.
Student Information System (SIS)
DeKalb Schools has selected Infinite Campus as its new student information system.  The SIS package will include, among other things, grade book functionality, scheduling, reporting and a parent portal.  The SIS package also includes a Mobile Portal App for administrators as well one for parents.  Infinite Campus will be up and live by the beginning of this coming school year.
Enjoy the Summer and have a safe Memorial Weekend.

One response to “School's Out Updates

  1. Stan,
    Thanks for this update and congratulations on your victory.
    A couple things about the DeKalb County Schools budget:
    -I was told the class size waiver will be the same as last year, most classes allowed to be 6 students above the state maximum.
    -The 20 million in cash reserves is predicted to be in place on July 1, of this year. At the end of FY ’15 the cash reserves are predicted to be $21.4 million.
    -I sent an open records request for the budget details and was told the details won’t be done until June 2.
    Class sizes are not coming down regardless of what every BOE member has said is a priority.
    Building up cash reserves is not happening very quickly.
    It appears divisions ask for money and then fill in the details. The budget process appears to be top-down instead of bottom-up.