Employee Compensation Update – Feb 27, 2019


Stan Jester
Board Of Education

Last year, Management Advisory Group (MAG) completed a Salary and Compensation Study for the DeKalb County School District.

From this study, the school district intended on moving to a competitive salary schedule for all employees. That is apparently more difficult than it sounds. Every month they come up with a new and improved version of the salary schedule.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
  MAG Salary and Compensation Study – Classified Employees
  January 7th Approved E Scale (and revised Z, G, N, LT) Salary Scales
  FY 2019 Teacher Salary Comparisons

Certified Employees, like teachers, seem to be set in stone now. Teachers will see their new salaries in their March 29 checks. Teacher contracts are going out by March 5 along with communication about what schedule and step they are on.

DeKalb Schools is going back to the drawing board for classified staff, everyone not certified. Superintendent Green has reached out to Gwinnett Schools to enlist their help.

Linda Woodard, who has come out of retirement, is running the HCM department. She and a few retired human resources people from Gwinnett schools are going to revisit the classified salary schedules over the next 3 months.


Employee Compensation Update

Linda Woodard

Linda Woodard
Interim Chief Human Capital Management Officer

Greetings Valued DeKalb County School District Employee!

Human Capital Mangement (HCM) is pleased to announce that salaries and job descriptions are under review. This is an effort to ensure that all classified salaries are aligned with experience and are competitive in the marketplace.

Based on this review, it will be determined which employees will receive an adjustment. It is our desire that this review will restore parity to our salary structure.

Our goal is to ensure that we:
• Commit to being Financially responsible relative to the District’s budget
• Contine to be transparent and equitable in the process
• Remain competitive in the market place thereby attracting highly qualified candidates

Once the adjustments are identified, Human Capital Management will notify employees who are to receive an adjustment by June 2019. Salary revisions will be retroactive to the first working day of January 2019.

Thank you for your continued service and commitment in meeting the District’s goals. We look forward to providing essential communication and support to you during this process.

187 responses to “Employee Compensation Update – Feb 27, 2019

  1. Stan
    FYI…In 2006-2007 retired Gwinnett County HR personnel came to Dekalb to help out HR. Im just saying not a new intervention.

  2. Somewhat Happier Classified

    This is welcoming news! Some of us classified staff members do WAY more than teachers…no disrespect, but we are the frontline of a lot even before it gets to the teachers. From custodians, to secretaries, even to cafeteria staff.

    However, will this address the issue of what places you on your step level? I received conflicting information regarding my step level and was not completely satisfied. From my understanding, it sounded like even though I had over ten years experience on the clerical level, I was only being paid for what my current title is…and that’s only because at some point a few years ago, all the titles were consolidated and changed. For example…what was classified as a Secretary II-10 month may be classified School Office Assistant; which has a slightly different pay scale. So, I am paid on a Level 5…with over 10 years experience.

    Please advise if you can…….

  3. @SomewhatHappierClassified, Let’s wait until the district reviews classified salaries and cross that bride when we know more.

  4. So disappointed and frustrated

    I am so confused by all of this. First, we were informed that we were getting a raise. Then we were told that the raises weren’t high enough and would be adjusted accordingly. Then today, I received notification from the county that my salary is actually decreasing to make up for over payment. Now I will be making LESS than I was prior to this supposed “raise”. How is this even possible? As a DeKalb teacher for the last 27 years, I do not feel respected or valued. I have zero faith in the system at this point. This type of wide-scale incompetence is one of the many reasons DeKalb continues to lose its best teachers to other counties. We need people in those advanced positions who know what they are doing and more importantly, CARE about getting it right the first time. Our jobs are difficult enough without having to worry about our paychecks being accurate. The formula for success is simple: Valued,competent teachers = higher student achievement!

  5. @SoDisappointedAndFrustrated, Did they communicate what schedule and step you were on? Is that accurate? What schedule and step are you on?

  6. Is there any update on Z4s that were “grandfathered” in and do not have a masters. Also comparing the E5 and Z5 there is not much difference. Not sure why there is a different scale. A Z4 can go to Gwinnett and make what a Z5 is making in Dekalb.

  7. Comp And Class Study was done so that the school district would have competitive salaries. The school district is going back to the drawing board on the classified salary schedules. I’m told employees with a bachelors degree on a scale that doesn’t have a bachelors degree will be assigned a comparable scale. Let’s wait to see how the classified salary schedule review shakes out.

  8. Stan
    Are there classified employees on the Z scale? I know OT/PT SLPs are certified/licensed but this classified status keeps popping up and I don’t understand why?

  9. That’s right … therapist are certified. OK. We should know about that roughly March 5 when the communication from the district goes out.

  10. Still Dismayed

    Long post to get to legitimate questions at bottom…
    Some years back, therapists were moved from their own scale to the teachers scale, and received a SIGNIFICANT salary reduction (along with the frozen steps). Now therapist will be moved back to a scale (Z), that is NOT significantly higher than the teacher scale (E), and for those that don’t ‘fit’ on that scale…i.e. they don’t have a master’s degree, they will be paid on the teacher’s E scale. What was the point of moving therapists back to a separate scale? When the governor has stated all teachers will get a $3000 raise, the therapists might not, since they aren’t teachers and are no longer on that scale. Many therapist left when the original switch occurred. Those that stayed were frozen on a step. If the intent is now to unfreeze and move to ‘years of experience’, many have reached the bottom of the pay scale (where years have been decreased) and will not receive a raise at all, as there are no more steps.
    It seems that salaries are manipulated at will. One can’t count on annual cost of living increases or on a highly publicized and promised increase. To be honest, one can’t even count on making the salary from the year before if they choose to switch your profession to a different scale which pays less (yes, that can and really did happen). Is this standard in all school systems based on budgets or is it just DCSS?
    Stan, you have commented that DCSS salary is comparable to other counties (or that was the intent) but do other counties subject their staff to these stressful salary shenanigans?

  11. We didn’t do a Comp, Class and Shenanigans study. My understanding is that Atlanta Public Schools has a competitive shenanigans plan.

  12. Hi again, Talk about frustrated! I cannot begin to tell you how disgusted I am. I grew up in an era when longevity meant something. 29 years in Georgia, with 27 in DCSD. I am one of the few “ dedicated ones” left, new teachers nowadays leave in abundance. What do we veterans do now? I received the same ridiculous letter as “So Disappointed, “ no step, just a salary schedule from last year. The approximately $42.00 that I received last month will now be taken back. REALLY? Who does that? I would have rather received nothing, no notice, no MAG study, no hope of finally getting back some of the furloughed money, or no salary increase money that was lost years ago. This is why I left just a few years ago, because of this nonsense, now I must consider doing the same thing again. Well, Stan, thank you once again for informing us. FactChecker is the only positive thing that has come from this. I must add that it is going to be amazing; the great exodus that is about to occur, and for what? All DCSD had to do was say— let’s give all of our employees a small bonus. This is what the district did about 3 years ago. It wasn’t much, but it was better than nothing, and much better than all of these slaps in the face that we have been getting. Unbelievable!

  13. It is time to give employees an increase. If BOE had used the MAG study we wouldn’t be going thru this mess. The Z step is so similar to E that why bother? Unless of course the plan is don’t give people on Z scale raises like E scale. This is a mess because of many factors but one is BOE is not using what MAG proposed to use! At least not yet. The communication in a news flash yesterday was again confusing to many. I know the history of HCM back to the early 90s. They have brought in Gwinnett HR retired Chiefs before and look where we are.

  14. Jesus was a carpenter

    Classified employee’s participated in the Compensation and Classification study at the same time certified employee’s did.There were major problems with the roll out from HCM.We all were told to be patient,it will be resolved quickly.You will be notified by 3/5 and see changes by 3/29 paycheck.And now classified employee’s that Gwinnett retiree’s deem eligible for a raise will see that in June?It looks like certified/teachers get the midas touch,while classified employee’s only get the finger.Again !

  15. I love my job but this is very hurtful!

    I feel much the same as “So disappointed and frustrated” and “Kimi”. I’m three years from retirement, received a $40 raise that has now been determined to be higher than the board approved, my paycheck has been cut to less than it was before the raise, and the Pay Plan that was attached to my notification is BLANK! I have responded to the compensation unit as directed in the email but only received an automated reply stating they would get back to me ASAP within their regular business hours. I had hoped to work for DeKalb beyond retirement age but this is frustrating.

  16. Trying to keep the faith

    News just said gov teacher raises ( if budget passes) would be $2700 (not $5000 then $3000 previously stated) and counselors/psychologists/others would get $680. That means teachers would have higher pay then us since currently approved Z scale is barely higher than E teacher scale. This is very concerning. Do you anticipate that by moving therapists to the Z scale, rather than grouping with teachers as before, that we might get significantly less raises? $680 would be insulting. Does the state legislature really put that low of value on these professions in the school system? Therapists are still in very high demand in the school and private sector. It is a very difficult profession to recruit and retain. Most of the individuals lost by the school system are lost to the private sector. We are federally mandated and the services we provide are not optional. If Dekalb loses their Psychologists and therapists, it will have no choice but to hire from agencies at a high price tag. The agencies also don’t always have enough staff. Dekalb changed our salary scale before and it had disastrous results. Keep in mind, all therapy sessions must be made up or we risk legal action by parents. I hope with scale changes, history doesn’t repeat itself. I don’t have a good feeling about this. I don’t have faith in the Dekalb School System, and based on this proposal, none in the state gov system either.

  17. I agree with @trying to keep the faith. MAG proposed and the Board approved (but removed) salary scales for Counselors/ SLP/OT and PT were competitive pay scales. The current Z scale for therapists is not needed. When they sacked the MAG scales they should have left therapists on E scale. What a bunch of drama for nothing.

  18. Say No More Sabrina

    Stan,
    Do you know if this Governor Kemp “raise” is a raise or a bonus (a one time thing)? Also, when will we receive this payment?

  19. I believe Kemp’s money is a raise. It will be a part of the 2019-2020 budget.

  20. Region 1 Teacher

    Stan,

    There was a Newsflash email that went out to staff yesterday saying they won’t notify employees of any raise until JUNE. Lol… umm if I don’t know what I’m getting paid I am certainly not signing and locking myself in w DCSD.

  21. Region 1Teacher, by law your contact has to have a salary on it. The news flash I posted here is the only compensation related newsflash recently I’m aware of. Classified employees won’t know their salaries for a few months.

  22. Checkingthechecker

    What kind of employee experience is this? Why is this the way it appears that our educators are finding out this information? I don’t see any evidence of clear communication from the top here.

  23. It’s the same old situation…completely messed up. I see no changes in communication. Only confusing emails from HCM. Just a lot of drama. March 5th contracts haven’t even come out yet. It is what it is. It needs to be gutted and start over. Do not think Gwinnett retired HR chiefs will fix this mess…we have been there done that.

  24. So disappointed and frustrated

    @Stan Jester, They have sent and/or posted so many conflicting Salary Schedules in the last few months that I can make neither heads or tails of this whole mess…par for the course in DeKalb. The level of incompetence is staggering. THANK YOU for doing everything that you do to keep us informed.

  25. Stan Jester

    Hello @SoDisappointedAndFrustrated, Certified salary schedules should be set in stone. The school district is starting over for classified salaries. The last salary schedules approved are from Feb 13. If you salary schedule isn’t in the Feb 13 list of schedules, then refer back to the January board meeting.

    The DCSD administration is requesting that the Board approve the retroactive application of the January 7th salary steps (E scales for teachers), as well as revised Z, G, N, and LT Salary Steps.

  26. Still Dismayed

    This is part of the ongoing confusion and mess, at least in my mind…you are saying that administration IS requesting the Board approve the January 7th salary steps (E, Z, etc), when you have said previously that they are ‘set in stone’. I thought those schedules WERE approved at the last Board meeting??? If not, they should be corrected before they are implemented.
    HR said they are going to pay Bachelors degree therapist on the E because they didn’t include it on the Z. If it’s not ‘set in stone’ why not correct it now? There are still Bachelors level therapist working in DCSS and the potential to hire more. Just because Masters or Doctorate is NOW the entry level for those professions does not mean there aren’t still very experienced therapist, etc. working with a Bachelors. HR said only 2 OTs but I know for a fact there are more than that (a different discipline hired in August of this school year) and the potential to hire more (unless they change the job description to exclude them).
    If those ‘few’ are paid on the Bachelors E salary scale, will they get teacher raises and the Z therapists might not? Will their salaries be adjusted with a supplement to equal the small difference of the Z? Will they max out at the teacher scale bottom when they could max out at the Z bottom?
    Do you see how this just continues to make the entire salary mess stay messy? Why not start with a clear and accurate scale?? This does not even impact me at the degree level…it is simply the principle of the thing. Why not get it right from the start??? It’s maddening!
    And thank you, Stan…I know you are just one vote and it’s probably an uphill battle.

  27. Stan,
    Why in the world would they bring in a retired HR employee from a lower paying school district? Gwinnett’s pay is lower than Dekalb!

  28. FormerDekalbTeacher

    @Wondering-
    I would guess because Gwinnett doesn’t have the HR problems that DCSD does and they are competent in Gwinnett.

  29. Concerned too

    Yep, Gwinnett doesn’t seem to have problems.

  30. escapee from Dekalb

    Great point @wondering – their pay scale for classified employees is much lower than Dekalb.

  31. No contract yet

  32. Contract – EOD

  33. Thank you for responding. I know we are all actively waiting to see them

  34. Still Waiting

    Still waiting on info from county concerning my pay and contract….. How many days do we have before we have to sign. I’m very surprised at all of the request I’m getting from other counties for interviews, I guess us vets are valuable somewhere, lol..

  35. I received my contract; however it is my current pay (that has not been update on the LTSE scale ) and it does not include my step.

  36. Wow Just Wow!

    My contract came through, and the pay does match the new salary schedule! Thank you Gwinnett interims! Lol!

    Can anyone provide insight on how years of experience are calculated. Is it by school year or calendar year? This is my 16th year teaching and they have me on 15 years experience (Step 16). I’m guessing next year I will be on step 17 at the start of the new school year?

  37. Stan Jester

    @WowJustWow, you should have communication about your current step and salary schedule. Is that accurate? Step is calculated by the number of completed full years.

  38. My contract lists pay for next year at my current step. Am I wrong to think the contract for next year would advance by a step?

  39. alwayslovely

    my pay is listed as the current year (what is should be for the 2018-2019 year) it is not adjusted for the year I will complete this year…..confused?

  40. Anonymous (The Second)

    Stan, no information was included noting our step. Also, just to be clear, that is the salary for 2019-20 if we accept the contract.
    Is the Salary Schedule “Z” actually being implemented effective 1/1/19, as in this current year? Will we receive an update pay plan with the new amounts? I am hoping we do not have to wait until the next school year to start enjoying the board approved pay increase.

  41. Wow Just Wow

    @stan, they did not communicate my current step or send a salary schedule. I am going off the schedule posted here. However, I’m confused as to why they wouldn’t have me on the next step because the contract is for next school year. Is it because the budget hasn’t been completed for next school year?

  42. Stan Jester

    Contracts – Contracts for certified employees in DeKalb Schools are going out today. They will have your new 2018-2019 salary on it. When the interim HCM chief told me it would use the new 2018-2019 salaries on it, I should have asked why they weren’t going to display the new step. My guess is that would be a bridge too far for them right now. That being said, teachers will step.

  43. Another voice saying that the contract sent out does not reflect the new salary schedule.

  44. Shacklesoff

    I received my contract, and it listed me as the pay plan step approved for Jan, 2019, so I am happy. It clearly says on the first page that the salary listed is for the current year, so I am prayerful that this will be what my salary to increase to by 3/29/19 because what I got in Jan was about $2,000 lower.

  45. Vet. Teacher

    Got my contract: 🙁
    Still 30+ years of credited experience and a freaking $.48 raise per pay period which = $14.42 annual raise. What the —- is this? A clap in the face!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks DEKALB, you really know how to treat vet teachers.

  46. Still Waiting

    Just as expected, no raise or step-increase anywhere. These are the most incompetent group of professionals I’ve ever worked with. Wow…. Teachers please don’t get your hopes up or plan out your finances thinking they will come through on the 29th. After 17 years in this county I’m offfically done and I hope others in my school are able to follow up and leave as well. We deserve better.

  47. Still Waiting

    Also, the contract they sent me doesn’t not have my current rate as stated. It’ almost 2,000 more than I current make and 2,000 less than the “new step” listed here. I won’t even waste my time calling because it will be a endless game of leaving unreturned voicemail, because we know there isn’t anyone available to answer any calls. They’re probably still at lunch…

  48. Anonymous (The Second)

    Stan, thank you for the clarification. I see now, as I reread the contract, that the salary listed is my CURRENT salary, which IS in line with the new pay scale that you have listed above. It clearly states the finalized FY2020 budget will determined the actual pay for 2019-20. My experience/step aligns with what I expected for this year. This does make me much happier seeing it in print. Now, here’s hoping the end of March pay check shows a decent bump.

  49. AnonymousTeacher

    I also received my contract and salary aligns with salary schedule linked above. Contract does state that salary for next year will be adjusted once the budget for next year has been approved. I’m a happy camper!

  50. funny business

    My contract is based on the old salary schedule that was given out in January. No change and doesn’t reflect the salary that was posted on this website or my actual years of experience. Who do email to ask questions? I called HR and they act like they don’t know what I am talking about. This is crazy?

  51. Stan
    Why would teachers get an increase now without the step placement/increase with it? Teachers received phase 1 increases in August and phase two are step salary increases.

  52. Stan Jester

    @VetTeacher – What’s your slot salary schedule and what step are you on? How does your salary compare to the other Metro Atlanta districts?

    @StillWaiting – what schedule and step are you on?

    @FunnyBusiness – I’m sorry your salary schedule wasn’t implemented correctly. There is supposed to be a hotline, but I don’t believe it is up yet.

    Educator – Phase 1 done back in July 1, was 2.5% across the board pay raise for Teachers, Counselors, Social Workers, Psychologists, Librarians/Media Specialists, OT (Occupational Therapists)/PT (Physical Therapists) /ST (Speech Therapists).

    Phase II – is supposed to reflect the Comp. And Class study comparing DeKalb employees to other employees around Atlanta.

  53. Vet. Teacher

    Stan Jester
    Now that I have really sat down and digested this salary stuff, the teachers with 30+ years of course don’t get anything worth looking at. As for me, $.48 (30+ years of experience) can’t help me get anything. Did they consider giving “the cost of living” for those that don’t get much of nothing? REALLY, want was the reason for giving that less of a raise? And I hope they don’t thing that was a raise. A total of $2.88 back pay. I can’t even go to BOJANGLES and get a cajun chicken biscuit with this back pay ($2.88), less along the raise ($.48). So what is the purpose of a raise if it isn’t benefiting anything?

    Again, this is a joke that is going to backfire on them. JUST SAYING!!!!!!!! Not “living my best life” with this raise!!!!!!!

  54. Stan Jester

    @VetTeacher – What’s your slot salary schedule and what step are you on? How does your salary compare to the other Metro Atlanta districts?

  55. Vet. Teacher

    @Stan Jester – To answer your questions:
    What’s your slot salary schedule and what step are you on? Slot E05 and Salary Step 30
    How does your salary compare to the other Metro Atlanta districts? From the scale that you have on the website, if I am looking correctly, I make more. But when I look at my before salary and this one, I don’t think of $.48 as being a raise. Again that is a slap in the face, when there are others that are getting $1,000+ as an increase.

  56. Stan Jester

    @VetTeacher – Yeah, according to the Comp and Class salary comparison, Slot E05/Step 30 teachers earn more salary in DeKalb than any other Metro Atlanta school district. It’s a zero sum game. For every penny we add to one step, that’s a penny we can’t add to another. Phase II raises are an attempt to make the other salary steps competitive.

  57. My contract has an amount that is not on the LT salary schedule listed above but it is what I have been getting since Phase I. . I also looked back on my salary schedule from this school and last school year and I on he same exact slot. So I am confused. Since the the steps were not including I have no comparison to go by. I know my years of experience and if I go by the LT schedule, I should get an increase in March but I haven’t received notification nor does my contract indicate it.

  58. Still Dismayed

    I don’t have a compensation email yet so I am just following the posts…some seem happy and others not. Are we all looking at the same schedules?
    If @vet.teacher is on E05 at Step 30 on the new Jan 7 approved E schedule, the salary ‘appears’ to be $1180.89 more than the August 2018-19 teacher salary scale was. My concern for @vet.teacher is that on the new E schedule, she is maxed out with years at Step 30 but on the old Aug 2018-19 teacher schedule, she could have continued ‘stepping’ to Step 34, thus increasing her ultimate salary. Cutting the Steps at 30 is not helpful for employees that might work 40+ years.
    Am I looking at/comparing the wrong schedules?

  59. Vet. Teacher

    @ Still Dismayed
    Make sure you are looking at the correct scale for 2018-2019 teacher salary schedule. The one I am referring to is the one after we got out 2.5% raise in September 2018. In looking at this scale being at SLOT E05, STEP 31 ( but the highest is STEP 34) the salary is $80,232.58. Now looking at the so call new one, SLOT E05, STEP 31 (where you max out) the salary is $80,247.00. The difference of the 2 is $.48 per pay period and $14.42 annually.

    QUESTION: So after this year, we are just at a stand still or what?

  60. Still Dismayed

    I believe we are looking at the same 2018-19 scale after 2.5% since the figures you quoted are the same as I have on the scale I printed at that time.
    I’m NOT sure we are looking at the same new E scale. The Jan 7 approved E scale (Stan posted at top of this blog topic) only goes to Step 30 with a max of $79,869.00 for E05. Perhaps I am confused…def still dismayed.
    For those with 30+ years, yes I believe we are now stuck with cost of living increases.

  61. Bella of The Ball

    I am pleased to report that my contract matched the current year and step as presented in the new salary schedule. The contracts have always only stated the current salary not the next salary level. If you read the fine print, it makes mention of the change that will/can take place once the BOE approves the 19-20 SY budget. For the one who posted about YOE, compare what DeKalb has vs what’s in TRS. TRS will have your actual years of experience. If it does not match, I would contact HR. Now, what I don’t know is when the county “pulled” the data. If it was in January, and you had, let’s say 16.7 YOE vs now in March and TRS indicates 17.0 YOS. That would place someone at step 17 and not step 18. That could be the reason some of the salaries don’t match the proposed schedule. It is definitely worth looking into.

  62. Vet. Teacher

    @ STILL DISMAYED – that is if they even give us that. 🙂 DeKalb is really going to force those educators that have 30+ to retire and not go any further. At that point they are really going to be in a fix. The younger teachers are not going to stay it education as long as we have. Running away the vet, seasoned, dedicated teachers.

    They will see once those contracts don’t get signed.

  63. Still Waiting

    I looked at wrong step. My contract was correct. It was same as posted. Hopefully my checks show this new pay soon.

    I’m E05 , 16 years experience , step 17.

  64. NewbieAtDCSD

    My contract is correct and I am very greatful. I understand the communication frustration and the veteran teachers frustrations too.

    Stan, my question is, since the contract states that it is our current salary and it is higher than what was sent out on the last pay plan from HCM last month, will we get new pay plans? I know we can just wait for our next checkor the end of the month check, but I think employees would feel better if we also got a pay plan confirming the new salaries stated on the contract.

    Thank you for all your hard work and transparency! We do appreciate it more than you know!

  65. Stan Jester

    The salary schedule for certified employees on this post are the salary schedules.

  66. dekalbteacher

    Stan,
    Talked to a colleague today who is quite pleased with the pay increase, at least $5,000. Then I looked at mine, about $1,500. I thought about the principal’s pay, an increase of $10,000, and I realized the happy colleague, the principal, and the superintendent didn’t work through furlough days and frozen steps. They’ve worked for Dekalb fewer years than many people’s car loans.

    Please stop saying that we’re comparable to other districts. We’re not. Those of us that have worked for the district a long time won’t have accrued the same amount of money for our retirement. Therefore, our salaries are not comparable until the district determines how much it shortchanged us and compensates us for that.

  67. another dekalb teacher

    @ dekalbteacher I understand.

  68. Trying to keep the faith

    Compensation is not just about comparable salaries. It’s also about comparable retirement. Dekalb fell back on that year’s ago and we are not at all where we were. Dekalb employees lost big when the board pulled out of the program that was voted by the employees in the 70’s to replace social security. Work environment does not compare either to what other counties have- check out some of the south side schools who don’t have regular soap or paper towels. Blinds falling off the windows… check our the working conditions at EDC.. carpet is awful, supplies and boxes stored to the ceiling, just nasty. We have no common meeting rooms or continuing education space like Gwinnett and North Fulton have. Dekalb County falls short in all these areas. All this to say, that the total employment package matters. And should be compared with other counties. Employee appreciation also goes a long way to retaining employees, and we know where Dekalb stands on that.

  69. Stan Jester

    Agreed … DeKalb Schools in general is far from comparable to other districts. Class sizes are too big, facilities are in shambles, more failing schools than any other district, DHS baseball can’t have a home game this year, … we can go on forever.

    We are trying to address one thing at a time. The school district did a comp and class study. In response to that study, the school district adjusted the salary schedules for certified employees in an attempt to make salaries competitive. This isn’t reparations for furlough days, TSA or anything else … just making salaries competitive.

    As far as compensation, I’d like to see more matching in the supplemental retirement. In budget, I’d like to see more money towards all the deferred maintenance we have.

    First, the board is meeting behind closed doors to discuss how much trouble the district is in with SPLOST revenues and expenses.

  70. living in DeKalb

    Are those issues supposed to be discussed in open meetings? I’m not clear on which meetings are appropriate for ‘closed door’ and which should be public meetings. Who should DeKalb county tax payers contact regarding concerns if these should be public?

  71. Loyal to a fault

    In response to Living in Dekalb- yes indeed. If any of these meetings are being conducted illegally to prevent a quorum, or for any other reason , who do we inform? What can we do?
    Thank you Stan!

  72. Stan Jester

    @LivingInDeKalb
    According to Georgia Code Section 50-14-2, reasons for private meetings behind closed doors include discussing pending litigation, personnel and purchase, disposal or leasing of government property. Otherwise, if the board is scheduling meetings, they need to be published and open to the public. Richard Belcher is doing something about it tonight @ 6:10pm. The state attorney general is somewhat in a stalemate with the DeKalb Schools legal team. Right now, reaching out to your board of education member is the best course of action. The board can choose to make this a public meeting.

  73. Still Waiting

    I’m on step 17 , level 5 and the difference between the my mid year payment plan and new step increase was $ 2, 040 for the year which will probably equal to an extra $45 per check and $90 per month. Did any vets at level 5 see a difference that will help you with cost of living? Level 4 vets did see a better increase, which is wonderful.

    Hopefully we vets will be able to get the governors funds for teachears to help balance things out for us a little.

  74. living in Dekalb

    Thanks Stan!

  75. WSB’s Richard Belcher has a report on a DCSD/Board of Education plan to hold small, secret meetings out of public view. The link is https://www.wsbtv.com/video?videoId=928854394&videoVersion=1.0.

    I’ve heard BOE members talk about these “mini-sessions” and always felt uncomfortable about those. The report showed an email on DCSD letterhead specifically stating that no more than 3 BOE members could attend each “mini-session” about changes to E-SPLOST-V projects, in order to avoid a quorum. Open Meetings laws don’t apply if there isn’t a quorum. Open Meetings laws require that the public is informed about planned actions and discussions.

    The report included a statement from the Georgia Attorney General’s office making it clear that this office isn’t happy about DCSD holding “mini-sessions” specifically to avoid a quorum so that Open Meetings laws don’t apply.

    I say shame on the DCSD lawyers who didn’t advise the Administration and BOE that this is against the law.

    I say shame on the Administration and shame on BOE members, other than Stan, who prefer to keep the public out of these discussions until it’s basically too late for the public to weigh in. Discussion might be messy and controversial but the public has a right to know.

  76. These mini-sessions have been going on for a long time and cover all kinds of topics – it’s why the public rarely sees much discussion at the public work sessions – they have all been briefed by admin beforehand. The mini-sessions started with Thurmond and after the BOE changed their meeting policy to hold work and business sessions all on one day. That policy was authored by Marshall Orson. The BOE interpreted the SACS report to say they couldn’t have committee meetings but other districts definitely have task force/committee meetings. The issue wasn’t committee meetings – it was how the former BOE comported themselves related to committee meetings. The public has been kept in the dark for a long time. @Anonymous – yes, shame on the BOE for not halting this practice and policing themselves, establishing more open meeting procedures and creating task forces. Check out APS – they have ethics, audit, budget, etc task forces: https://www.atlantapublicschools.us/domain/11412; https://www.atlantapublicschools.us/domain/11410

  77. Would they consider paying teachers in one lump sum distribution versus dragging it out until the next contract? Most of us aren’t pleased with the money, especially those of us that haven’t been here for 20 years. That is something to consider it might keep some teachers happy for a minute.

  78. Hello @Teacher24. I don’t know what you mean by dragging it out until the next contract. How do you feel about your new salary?

  79. Vet. Teacher

    @ Stan Jester – I am going to ask this QUESTION again. I asked it once and somehow it was lost or erased.

    If you were on STEP 28 and once the salary scale came out they found out that you were on the wrong STEP. Therefore they put you on the correct STEP which is 27. Now, should the DISTRICT take the money back from the overage (being on the wrong STEP), in that the DISTRICT made the mistake or should they just start the employee at the correct STEP and keep moving forward?

  80. @VetTeacher, This was my response a few days ago
    http://factchecker.stanjester.com/2018/12/8535/comment-page-2/#comment-10264

    @VetTeacher, If the school district incorrectly overpaid somebody, why take it back … why not just pay them properly and move on?

    I think the bottom line is that the board ordered T7-Step26 employees to have a certain earned income by the end of the year, and the administration is following instructions. I’m guessing their are some equity issues too … can’t have two different teachers on the same schedule and step making different amounts. Granted … I think we are usually talking $100ish dollars some of these teachers were overpaid by.

  81. So I inquired about Lead Teacher salary update since my contract has my salary that has not been updated and here is the response:
    On February 13, 2019 the DCSD Board approved revised pay scales for certified staff which included teachers, counselors, lead teachers and assistant principals. These revised pay scales will be implemented no later than March 29, 2019 (see attached NewsFlash). You will receive an updated pay plan once the revised salaries have been processed.
    If you have any other questions, please let us know.
    Have a great day!

    Compensation Department

    *** SO I am being asked to sign a contract without knowing what my salary is (even for the remainder of the school year).

  82. Still Dismayed

    Stan,
    Re: @TEE’s post from HR:
    Is this board approved 2/13 revised pay scale the same as the 1/7 approved pay scale listed above? This is why people are still so confused! And should one assume that certified staff without contracts will also have a compensation email before 3/29?

  83. @Still Dismayed,
    I am so confused. My contract has my current pay as a Lead Teacher -it appears that we were not initially included in the compensation approved in January and that is why it was included in February board meeting. I was under the impression that when contracts came out it would be updated to reflect what my salary would be with the correction from February’s board meeting, but it is not. So I am to sign a contract that doesn’t even have the correct salary for the remainder of this school year. I will not find out my new pay until around 3/29. I am also awaiting DeKalb to send in my information for my certification renewal that is up in June and I submitted this paperwork months ago. It is very frustrating right now!

  84. SoManyQuestions

    @TEE. I don’t see any newsflash which indicates we will receive a revised pay plan by month’s end. Where are you seeing/finding this information?

  85. Still Dismayed

    After my previous post, I realized that Stan’s posting of the salary scales (top of this thread) was after the 2/13 board meeting, so I’m assuming those are still the accurate/approved ones???
    Go to DCSS website, HCM…I couldn’t even find salary compensation schedules posted (unless I somehow missed them), which means if we weren’t reading Stan’s blog, we wouldn’t have a clue what salary scales had been approved. I know they are working to clean up the mess but if the scales were approved in early Jan & Feb, why not post them? Other school systems must also be in the middle of teacher contract renewals…if teachers are comparing salaries and considering a move, I would think posting the salary scale would be important for recruitment…assuming it’s a better salary for some.
    Once again, thank you Stan for keeping us informed on salaries, fraud, etc. and for going to the news with these issues.

  86. @SoManyQuestions,
    The News Flash is from Feb. 13 and was sent at 3:15pm. It will not allow me to cut and paste it here.

    The title is: NEWS FLASH: Revised salary schedule to provide accurate, clear pay scale for teachers, counselors and other certified staff

  87. Stan thanks for the immediate response. I’ll have to get back with you about how I feel about the new salary. I’ve been teaching a while and I know in order to sustain and attract fresh millennials we have to do something drastic. I was trying to ask was it ever considered to pay teachers raises in a lump sum instead of dividing it over the next several paychecks until the next school year? My difference was about $1600 and I know that amount (or at least I think) will be divided between the April-September 1 pay. Just a thought. My opinion (and probably mine only) is that it could be a moral booster for some which is so needed in the district.

  88. @Teacher24, Paying 6,000 teachers $1,000 in a lump sum would cost the district $6 million in one hit. I’m sure the district can handle that, but would prefer to spread it out. More importantly, if the district paid it out in a lump sum bonus, it wouldn’t carry over to next year. Now you’ll be making $1600 more every year and not just one lump sum bonus this year.

  89. SoManyQuestions

    So the news flash that is posted here is only concerning classified employees. Certified employees should receive salary increases by EOM?

  90. @SoManyQuestions, Yes. Certified salary schedules should be set in stone.

  91. SoManyQuestions

    Thank you @Stan Jester!

  92. I will be relocating to Georgia from Virginia. My plans are to attend the DeKalb County job fair on April 27th. I pray that the matter is straighten in regards to teacher salary, or I will be directing my attention to a different county. Hopefully, they will compensate teachers as expected. I have 17 years of service as an educator.

  93. @Stan Do you have any idea about how we will be paid if/when Gov. Kemp approves the $2,775 teacher raise?

  94. @Leticia – Welcome to Georgia! There are lots more issues with this school system than the salaries – you may want to consider other systems first – all systems have issues but Dekalb seems blessed to have an overabundance of them. Do your homework before finalizing your decision.

  95. Hi Leticia!
    I agree with AB…there are serious issues in Dekalb…check out Gwinnett and other county school systems.

  96. @Leticia, Welcome to Georgia. Teacher salaries are set in stone. We recently did a compensation and classification study and modified the teacher salary schedules to be competitive in the Metro Atlanta area. As you can tell, there were a number of missteps getting here … but teacher salary schedules are set in stone. Classified salary schedules … is currently not fixed yet.

    @Teacher24, I’m not a fan of how the state does stuff like this. Whether the money is for teachers, security, etc … the state gives the school district a bag of money with no strings attached and says please spend it on what we asked for.

    Many school districts spend it exactly as requested and many do not. Historically, DeKalb Schools has spent the money as requested. The administration and board will decide what to do with the money over the next 3 months. Nothing will happen with that money until 2019-2020 school year.

    I will push for the state’s money to be given as a raise to the salary schedule. I’m concerned that it will be used to partially pay for the most recent teacher salary schedule adjustments. Nobody has said that … but I see it coming.

  97. Stan,
    Are we still supposed to see the new “set in stone” salary schedule for certified staff by the end of the month?
    Thanks

  98. @Teacher2, Yes. Teachers should know what their new salary is and teachers should see it in their end of March check.

  99. Still Waiting

    @Leticia I advise you to weigh your options. Fulton County has a job fair soon. Better pay ( if you are an experienced educator). You will need to register for thiers so do some Googling to get signed up for it.

  100. Here are the salary comparison charts for all the Metro Atlanta schools
    http://factchecker.stanjester.com/2018/12/8535/