DeKalb Schools Approves TSA Settlement

This morning the DeKalb Schools Board of Education approved a settlement in the GOLD case (Tax Shelter Annuity – TSA Case) for $117.5 million over a 5 year period.

Principal Terms of Approved Settlement

$117.5 million settlement will be subject to the preliminary and final approval of the court.

Increment payments are: First payment of $27.5 million payable at the conclusion of the court approval process and expiration of the appeals deadline. The initial payment is followed by 4 annual payments of $22.5 million due on the anniversary of the first payment.

Moving forward, the attorneys will submit pleadings to the court for preliminary approval. Notice will be sent to the prospective class members. The court will need to deliberate on the reasonableness of the settlement and make a final decision.

It is likely that prospective class members will be notified in 30 to 60 days with instructions on how to proceed.

Message From Barnes Law Group

“Since this settlement was announced, we have been overwhelmed by many calls and emails expressing thanks and, also, seeking additional information regarding the timing of the process. We created an official settlement website dedicated to informing potential Class Members of their legal rights and providing other important information. Please visit the settlement website at, where you will find copies of the Settlement Agreement as well as other significant documents or orders. Also, you will be able to find discussion of the terms of the settlement; the judicial process for approving the settlement; and other information that may help you determine whether you are a Class Member and whether you are eligible for a payment.”

History of TSA

2009 – The DeKalb County School District stopped payment on TSA, a supplemental retirement fund for district employees. (Note: The TSA is separate and apart from the TRS) Plaintiffs claim this was in direct violation of the contract the district agreed to and resulted in the loss of millions of dollars for district employees.

2017 – Judge Gregory Adams of the Superior Court of DeKalb County dismissed the employees’ lawsuit entirely and withheld ruling on class certification. Plaintiffs appealed.

June 1, 2018 The Georgia Court of Appeals issued an Opinion that
1) overturned the dismissal of Plaintiffs’ claims;
2) determined that the District is liable as a matter of law for breaching its legal duty to the employees;
3) ruled the Plaintiffs were entitled to judgment on liability in their favor, with only issues of damages calculations remaining for trial by jury; and
4) ruled that the trial court must reconsider class certification in light of the Gold III Opinion.

Oct 21, 2019 – The Supreme Court of Georgia ruled in favor of DeKalb County teachers and school employees. While the Supreme Court didn’t agree with the findings of the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court did agree with their conclusion saying, “we agree with the Court of Appeals, albeit for somewhat different reasons, that the trial court erred in granting Appellants’ motion for summary judgment and in denying Appellees’ motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability for breach of contract.”

For more detailed information, the 2017 Summary Judgement goes into the factual details of the case. The TSA – Tax Sheltered Annuity Summary is a laymen’s view of TSA and the Gold Case

105 responses to “DeKalb Schools Approves TSA Settlement

  1. The motion for attorney fees reads as follows: Pursuant to O.C.G.A.§ 9-11-23, Plaintiffs Elaine Ann Gold, Amy Jacobson Shaye, Heather Hunter, and Roderick Benson (“Plaintiffs”), through undersigned counsel (“Class
    Counsel”), respectfully move for an incentive award in the amount of $25,000 per Class
    representative, an award of expenses to Class Counsel in the amount of $856,303.06, and an
    award of attorneys’ fees and expenses to Class Counsel in the amount of 33.0 percent of the
    common fund.
    Is the $25,000 per Class representative just for the 4 original plaintiffs, or for each Class representative to receive a payment? If the latter, that number would be huge!

  2. Football Coach

    Class Representatives are the 4 Lead Plaintiffs.

    I believe that everybody else covered under the settlement are referred to as Class Members.

  3. Done with Dekalb

    So are they walking away with 33 million??? I have no clue.

  4. escapeefromdekalb

    @Done with Dekalb– the settlement is approximately $117,500,000– so the 33% would be $38,775,000-

  5. PatriciaWilliams

    inquring about the class action lawsuit, Are the teachers the only ones that’s involved. Money was taken out of my paycheck as well.

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