News Flash – Compensation Letter

Superintendent Green apologizes. Mistakes were made. “We value you”, says Green.

Superintendent Stephen Green

Dr. Stephen Green
Superintendent, DeKalb County School District

February 9, 2019

Dear DeKalb County School District Employees,

The DeKalb County School District values your commitment to our district, its students and families.

Over the past several years, the Board of Education and I have worked together to invest more money into your compensation package in various ways.

During our most recent efforts to address how you are compensated in a new salary step schedule, we discovered serious errors were made. Specifically, some employees received pay at rates different than what was approved by the Board of Education on January 7, 2019. I apologize for that.

The district has been working diligently to determine what went wrong, and the actions needed to correct it. I have directed a senior management team to develop, without a delay, a recommendation that we will present to the Board to remedy the situation.

We value you. I promise we will get it right. In the interim, we ask for your patience while a solution is being developed. You will be provided regular updates throughout the process through communications channels such as News Flash and the e-portal.

For more information, please contact the DCSD Compensation team at compensation@dekalbschoolsga.org

Thank you for your time and commitment to our student and families.

Regards,
Dr. R. Stephen Green
Superintendent/CEO
DeKalb County School District

37 responses to “News Flash – Compensation Letter

  1. Still Waiting

    Oh, ok….

  2. Teacher contracts are coming out at the end of the month. It would be helpful if we made a lot of progress before then.

  3. Still Waiting

    I’ve been through this so many time that I can longer get my hopes up. I have no faith that this will be corrected . Of course, I hope I’m wrong . I guess time will tell.

    Thanks for sharing Stan.

  4. Tamara WATKINS

    It does no good to email the compensation dept, as I have yet to receive a response.

  5. Barbara Fountain

    The school system is such a mess, nothing is done correctly and if you call workers have no idea what you are talking . sad situation, no HOPE FOR cHANGE, it will continue as it has in the past even with newcrew in administration. so Sad! It is hopeless.

  6. “We value you. I promise we will get it right.”
    Word on the street is that you, Dr. Green, are leaving in June for VA. Forgive me if I find that line to be a bit disingenuous…but, props to your speech writer.
    So, as you leave, thanks for the post-tests that are so effed up that your C and I department told teachers to put it in the 0% (Pre-Test) category but still make teachers waste precious instructional time taking children through an interface that is poorly designed and completely developmentally inappropriate. Thanks for having your C and I department pace curriculum units so that they are not aligned to the state’s! Thanks for encouraging schools to be STEM certified, but basically disallowing the use of PBLs (Project Based Learning https://www.pblworks.org/what-is-pbl) with BS post tests! “Hey, kids, these tests don’t count but the adults at the district office say you have to take them for ‘data.’ I know you really want learning to be fun and engaging, but sorry…our district is too big and dumb to know what’s right for kids.”
    Just go, already.

  7. “The district has been working diligently to determine what went wrong, and the actions needed to correct it.”

    Yes, let’s spend valuable time looking backwards to figure out how the problem was created. My guess is the answer will be incompetent or incapable individuals.

    “I have directed a senior management team to develop, without a delay, a recommendation that we will present to the Board to remedy the situation.”

    Any chance the recommendation will be to implement the pay scale that was approved the Board many months ago? Good organizations get it right the first time, which eliminates the need for damage control.

    We want less talk, and more (corrective) action.

  8. Use the scale that was presented in July 2018. We deserve it and much more! You don’t need to do another study! Use The One from July! That my friend would GET IT STRAIGHT!!!
    Picture this, WHAT ABOUT YHE BOARD APPROVED COMPENSATION THAT WAS APPROVED on January 7th??

  9. Dr. Green needs to walk his talk. If he values his employees the correction of the pay steps will be a priority to fix. No more studies and delay tactics. You need teachers to sign contracts to run the school system. Get it done.

  10. ok, so this is kind of ridiculous. and pitiful. Greene needs to go. This is beyond incompetent.

  11. Delalb is clueless

    Ms. Fountain you are correct. This system cannot be fixed. It is so messed up. The staff is either incompetent, intimidated or protecting their jobs. The Governor fired the BOE before. They were not the problem. It is the staff at central office protecting their jobs. The whole system needs to be reorganized with people who do not have a political agenda but a children agenda. Where is Mark Elgart when you really need him?

  12. Really? DCSD has already paid for a study—remember “MAG?” More money spent that could go in our paychecks! Incompetent! Just honor what was voted on, and give us our steps, they are long overdue. Then re-organize the district office. Incompetent! Also, reduce some of the top heavy jobs that pay the enormous salaries. Are they really needed? Make the Area Superintendents get out of the office, and into the field, versus, once again, having Area Coordinators. too many titles at the top. Talk is cheap, and in this case, so is the sorry letter. The need here would be just to pay us the money.

  13. Mr. Jester.

    Good evening. Some of my colleagues have spoken at the Board meetings. I am pleased that they did. I admire them greatly. However, the monthly Board meetings are not my preferred forum.

    I would like to have a discussion with the Board. As I have previously written, I have been in-and-around DeKalb County Schools since 1979. I believe that I have a good amount of Institutional awareness. I would like to discuss how the salary/step issue, TSA concern, procurement problem, as well as requirements/expectations (Seemingly begun with good intent, I assume.) – but, not viewed in the “whole”, have negatively affected the confidence of the residents of DeKalb County and its teachers, and they have not brought excellence to many of our students.

    I ask to speak with the Board, not as a warrior or a peace-maker, but simply as an old-teacher still working hard, and trying to help the new generation of teachers. I still believe in the of possibility/necessity of public education. I do not expect that one discussion alone will solve issues. Actually, I would just like it start a discussion within the Board itself after I leave – and, to build into a dialogue that will be entered into by other (younger!) teachers.

    Finally and however (selfishly!), I do not want to have a meeting that affects my employment status. A discussion or the expression of opinion in a civil manner should be welcomed, and not viewed as a threat or to feared. I would like to pleasantly finish my career teaching at the school I am at – teaching the children I so enjoy teaching – and, retire in 1.5 years.

    mike p

  14. I’ll repeat what I’ve asked before. If this is how the district handles employee pay, how does anyone think the handling of students’ welfare or education would be any different?

    I agree that Dr. Green messed this up big time. However, he did so with the implicit approval of this and the earlier board. Any effort to improve the many problems of the district would result in mass numbers of people losing their highly paid and mostly irrelevant positions. That’s not happening. The letter never mentions that the first thing the district has done is eliminate the generous increases for administration.

    Earlier Dr. Green said HR needed a complete overhaul. Who makes up the senior management team addressing this issue? I’m sure they have extensive training and experience in HR matters as well as legitimate managerial experience. No self-interest either.

  15. Let’s remember the timeline here.

    November 6, 2017 – BOE approves paying MAG $185,000 to do a Comp & Class study

    December 2017 – February 2018 – MAG conducts Phase I of the study

    February 2018 – May 2018 – MAG conducts Phase II of the study

    June 26, 2018 – BOE approves implementation of the Comp & Class study at a cost of $25,535,141.

    January 2019 – Implementation fails miserably

    February 9, 2019 – Dr. Green apologizes and states that a team “will develop, without a delay, a recommendation that we will present to the Board to remedy the situation.”

    If this is just an implementation problem, meaning that Finance and HR just didn’t have adequate time to implement the study and therefore made mistakes trying to meet the self-imposed January 2019 deadline, then it should be relatively straightforward to resolve.

    If the problem goes back to June 2018 and the cost of implementation was underestimated, then all bets are off.

  16. concerned citizen

    You said it all, Anonymous. Dr. Green and anyone on the Board who agrees with what he has done needs to resign immediately – no need to wait for June.No talk about covering Green’s back. Stan, it certainly is clear that you are the only Board member who can think and are a person of great courage. The rest of you on the Board should be deeply ashamed. It must be just hell holding out when everyone else does anything that the Supt wants. We are taxpayers and teachers here and are tired of all this Board’s bull. Board, gather all your friends and family that you have promoted and leave, forever! Our teachers must be paid NOW.

  17. Stan has a heart for service. How refreshing in these times of turmoil at the National level. If you have a heart for service you want transparency and what is good for all…the tax payers and employees…period. Thank you Stan for your service to all of us.

  18. I’m no apologist for Dr. Green. These things, and so many others, happened on his watch.

    But,
    remember that when DCSD tried to hire a Chief Human Resources Officer, the best candidate was Dr. Gregory. Her resume didn’t match the requirements but she was hired anyway. She shouldn’t bear all of the blame if she was in over her head, because Dr. Green and the BOE all chose her and then didn’t notice that things weren’t going well until it was too late.

    If the BOE fires Dr. Green, what is the assurance that a better candidate will apply for the job? Currently HALF of his cabinet are interim appointments. The news in the press is overwhelmingly negative. I know that some people like a challenge but who would want to walk into this situation?

    I think that much of the blame goes to the Board of Education members. Do they regularly ask Dr. Green about progress in his many initiatives, or do they just rubber stamp the things he wants to spend money on?

    Stan, and sometimes Dr. Morley, are the only ones who consistently ask hard questions. But this really doesn’t matter when everything Dr. Green proposes is passed anyway.

    Look at the Agenda Items for BOE meetings. There is rarely discussion of academics. I don’t recall that BOE members asked Dr. Green in a public Board meeting how implementation of the Comp & Class study was going. Has anyone asked him lately about E-SPLOST projects? Or the VisIT system that was claimed to provide real-time academic data?

    Stan’s repeated questions about the Procurement Assessment may come to fruition, but it appears that the BOE resents his questions and is only changing their position because of publicity rather than a belief in a healthy dose of sunshine.

    The BOE needs to include status items on the BOE meeting agendas, or use the Committee of the Whole time to get status, and not “we’ll get back to you on that” responses. While there is no need to be hostile or rake Dr. Green over the coals in public, the hard questions must be asked and answered. The Board is all that the public has to ensure that students and teachers are supported and that tax dollars are spent wisely.

  19. MikeP,
    The only way to have a sit down with the entire board is in executive session or a called public board meeting. The state doesn’t otherwise allow the board to come together as a whole.

    You do, however, have a number of options that would serve your purpose. 1) you could come to a board meeting and speak to the entire board at public comment. 2). Speak with various board members after public comment. 3) have phone conversations with board members.

    4) The best way to speak with groups of board members is at board retreats. They are open to the public and we have extended periods of time where we are available.

  20. escapee from dekalb

    Raise your hand if you feel like you as an employee of DCSS have felt valued lately? i remember when these were coveted positions that many people were proud to say they were a 20+ employee of the DCSS. Those days have been gone since Crawford Lewis took over, and they continue to spiral downward.

    I will believe that the employees are valued when the lies stop, and they get what they deserve and have been told what they would be receiving.

  21. Thank you. I will follow up. Be well.

  22. Rachel Strauss

    He values us? Lets see if he does. “Show me the money!”

  23. Rachel Strauss

    We understand that teaching is not a lucrative career but we also want to be fairly compensated compared to other districts.
    Dekalb has had enough time, over 7 months, to get the salaries straight and roll it out. Yet, it seems we are back to beginning. I and many others feel with contracts coming out, it will be the same, not communicated and not appreciated. Like other districts, there are openings. I and many others possibly will take our skills elsewhere.

  24. Where was this letter posted? I do not seen it in the News Flash in employees’ email. Was it meant to be seen only by a few? I think efforts should be made to post this for all involved could read it, even if it’s meaningless..

    I’m still not buying it. Not to long ago he put in writing that it would be taken care of in our Feb. 15th check , now we are getting this generalized message without any type of time frame. And we have money to hire another company to do the same thing AGAIN? The one MAG conducted supposedly didn’t fit the budget. Their study was compensating teachers too much. The BOE approved budget was significantly less than the study. That couldn’t be approved either??? So now we are paying some one thousands to let us know that can’t afford to pay teachers’ value AGAIN???

  25. The compensation letter from Dr. Green was sent out as a news flash to my work mailbox sometime Saturday afternoon.

  26. As teachers we have to realize the power we have in numbers. If this mess isn’t worked out by the time contracts are due to be signed, especially if correct salaries aren’t on our contracts, DON’T SIGN IT! Let’s organize this power we have and force them to fix it ASAP. I’ve been here for 11 years and don’t want to leave, but the hell if they are screwing up county office employee pay.

  27. No Faith in DCSD

    What salary schedule will be on the contracts? Teachers should not sign their contracts until this is resolved.

  28. We should know more by the end of the month. Rarely does your contract state the salary you actually make at the start of the new school year. It guarantees that you will at least make some amount. I’m quite certain that amount will go up no matter what happens with the Phase II salary adjustments.

  29. DSW2Contributor

    ^ The “end of the month” is only 13 palace work days away.

  30. Maureen Downey of AJC just printed an article regarding the pay debacle and other issues in DCSD. She wants to hear from employees our response to Dr. Green’s letter we recently received about our pay and being valued employees.

  31. Anonymous, I agree with you. The majority of our BOE does not do its job. It is another sign that DeKalb County is too large to manage and that smaller cities should be allowed to have their own school systems. Based on who they keep voting onto the board, there are large areas of DeKalb who are happy with their BOE member and the job they are doing. Let those who are happy with the majority of the board and Green and all of the central office have them. Let the rest of us out of this mess that we will NEVER have the majority on and move on with our version of a well-organized, accountable school system.

  32. DSW2Contributor

    ^^Educator, when Dr. Beasley went to Clayton County, he poached most of our competent administrators who live within commuting distance of Jonesboro. I posted about this on October 7, 2017, both on the AJC website and here on Stan’s site:
    http://factchecker.stanjester.com/2017/10/7470/#comment-5400

    Please remind Maureen of this — she needs to be contrasting DCSD’s disasters to Clayton’s ongoing successes!

    My AJC comment disappeared away the AJC purged all the comments from their site and began using Facebook. Apparently Cox would rather hear from russian sockpuppets than actual Atlanta residents.

  33. Hi DW2Contributer
    Maureen has an email and phone number. If you google her name you can get her contact information. Please contact her directly as she wants to hear from employees. I’m just letting everyone know she has written an article in AJC that is asking for feedback on Dr. Green’s letter to employees.

  34. Hello

    I know the AJC changed the way that you view and post comments. Does anyone know how to see the comments?

  35. Dear Mike P –
    I think I know who you are, and I hope you will follow-up and find opportunities to speak to BOE members. In my eyes, you are a thoughtful and top-notch educator who can use your experience to bring about positive change in the future for generations of DCSD students. I value your commitment to DCSD, your school, and your students. All are better because of your presence. You have valuable things to say, and I believe many, but not all, BOE members will listen to you.

  36. escapee from Dekalb

    um, what– anyone know where in VA he is looking?

  37. DSW2Contributor,

    You seem to have forgotten that Dr. Beasley was a failure as the head of curriculum at DCSD. Also the people he has recruited away from DeKalb represent the worst of the “Friends and Family.”
    Ralph Simpson? Glad he is gone. He is a crook.
    Jamie Wilson? He may have been a good principal, but shouldn’t have been making over $150K as an elementary principal. DeKalb’s HR been a mess for years? He was the head of HR before his girlfriend, Ward-Smith got the job. Guess that is why he was paid so much when he got demoted instead of fired.

    Since he left, Beasley has done more to help DeKalb County students than he has to help Clayton County students. If only he would hire all of the regional superintendents.

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