DeKalb School’s mission is to ensure student success, leading to higher education, work, and lifelong learning. Should the school district provide services that don’t improve academic achievement?
This is a picture of the parking lot at the central office. There are more cars parked outside than I have ever seen. Why?
The central office is rapidly expanding and providing new services. For example, on Jan 9 the school district appropriated $623,000 annually for the communications department and central office staff. I was the only board member to vote NO. At the same Jan 9 meeting three senior level central office staff were promoted to executive level positions.
Some of the appropriations did go to the classroom that day. The board also approved a 2% raise for the teachers.
In FY2014 the General Operating budget was $788 million. Since then it has increased over 20% and is now approaching $1 billion. Has academic achievement increased 20% … has it budged?
Not yet, but we do have a new Communications Department and a new Student Support and Intervention Division to provide “Wrap Around Services”. Parents like communication and many of our students need social services, so I ask again …
Should the school district provide services that don’t seem to improve academic achievement?
The public speaks up about this issue …
‘What about our kids?’ High salaries of new school employees questioned (WSB-TV)
Parents say they have lots of questions after recent hires nearly doubled the DeKalb County School communications department’s budget for salaries and benefits. The new top communications officer makes more than the governor.
DeKalb school board questions employee pay (The Champion Newspaper)
DCSD’s director of strategic communication and marketing position, filled in September 2016 by André Riley, is facing scrutiny from the district’s board in relation to other administrative positions. According to district documents, Riley receives an annual salary of $120,000, which is near the highest he can receive in accordance to DCSD’s pay range for such a position.
Board discussion on Position Additions
Stan Jester (Board of Education) – Dr. Green, I want to know your thoughts about the Return On Investment on this. Ultimately our goal is academic achievement. And you’re saying right now the best way to spend the nex $500,000 is on these positions as opposed to teachers, counselors and school house employees.
Dr. Stephen Green (Superintendent) – It’s a both/and. I think we’ve already taken significant steps towards the school house and the teachers, counselors, and those with immediate contact with our children. The other part of that is getting the message out about the great work they’re doing. There is a role that communication plays in getting that message out. I think the two go hand and hand.
Stan Jester – I’m not a big fan of getting the message out and tooting our own horn. I would rather just spend the money on academic achievement.