DeKalb Schools New 2020-2021 School Calendar

DeKalb Schools administration went back to the drawing board and has come out with a new 2020-2021 school Calendar. The first semester ends before Christmas Break, the second semester ends in May and there are 9 furlough days (calendar reduction days).

The Board of Education will meet Monday July 20 to discuss and vote on this calendar.

Furlough Days

DeKalb Schools is a jobs program. In a discussion about FY2021 Budget Considerations, the Board was told that the “foundation of that budget is to keep employees working…and not contribute to the unemployment rate.” Over 80% of the budget is salaries. Either the school district has to cut people and programs, or everybody has to take a haircut on their salaries. The school district is choosing furlough days for all employees.

Funding – The Big Rocks

LOSS$27.5 million – 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. First payment of $27.5 million is payable at the conclusion of the court approval process and expiration of the appeals deadline.

GAIN$31 million – Local revenues are up. DeKalb Schools administration is recommending to the Board no change in the millage rate for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The school district is expected to collect $31 million more in local revenue this year than it did last year.

GAIN$33 million – CARES Act – The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The bulk of this money will be used to buy Chromebooks, cover infrastructure and sanitation needs and buy back 1 furlough day for all employees.

LOSS$54 million – State revenues are down. The state is cutting the education budget by 10%. This will be a reduction of $54 million in state revenues.

LOSS$10 million – With local revenues going up, DeKalb Schools will pay $10 million more for their Local Five Mill Share. The State Legislature built in the requirement that each school system taxes their district five mills, or five dollars for every 1000 dollars of property value. That money goes to Categorical Grants including the Equalization Grant. The idea is to provide money across Georgia for poor districts. Ironically, Gwinnett is considered the poorest district in the state and receives more Equalization Grant money than any other district.

Cost of Furlough Days

$3,500,000 – Cost of 1 Calendar Day Restored for school-based personnel

$500,000 – Cost of 1 Calendar Day Restored for central office personnel

Details of New 2020-2021 School Calendar

The typical 180 instruction days has been reduced to 174 days. The typical 190 work days has been reduced to 181 days. First day of school is Monday, Aug 17, 2020. Last day of school for students is May 20, 2021.


2019-2020 Calendar
2018-2019 Calendar
2017-2018  Calendar
2016-2017  Calendar
2015-2016  Calendar

277 responses to “DeKalb Schools New 2020-2021 School Calendar

  1. Kind.educator

    @Concerned and confused
    Don’t forget that another reason for keeping the ISS positions is “friends/family”…………..and “sorority/church affiliation”.

  2. Veteran Teacher

    The new calendar – not my favorite, but I can work with it. The 9 furlough days – absolutely no!
    Can’t believe that the board is even considering furloughs. Have they truly looked at all of the options?
    ISS – put them back in the classrooms. The position served its purpose at one time, but now it’s not necessary. Teachers get more instructional support from the online classes and from the TSS program in the building than they do from the ISS. For those who claim to work with the RTI process – give the responsibility back to the counselors where it first began.
    Also, why are we still staffing the parent liaison positions? Don’t get me wrong – we do need parental support, but we don’t need the program at this time when no one is in the building.

  3. ESOL teacher

    I was hoping the furlough days would be more spread out. They seem to only fall on our breaks. It would be easier for teachers financially if you put one in each month. Initially they sounded like they would be.

    I’m also concerned about teacher burnout with the reduction of February and October breaks. I would rather see an extra week in the summer than have breaks taken out of the calendar. The kids need a break too.


    Continental/ Buffet breakfast?

    I hope this is a NON-example of how to meet and eat during a pandemic…

    I fear some are not ready for in-person, VL, Pre-planning, or budget.

  5. Mr. Jester,
    Can you please explain what the RAMP 10 Million program is in the budget documents? What schools will receive this money and how will it be utilized?

    It is shameful the district cannot manage their resources better than to cut the salaries of hardworking employees. We appreciate all you do Mr. Jester to advocate and ask questions. You do not just sit back you are very proactive.

  6. I think this would be easier to swallow if the furlough days were spread out. Maybe one day a month? As of now, they seem to be clumped together, which would be hard for anyone to digest. That’s a huge cut to teacher paychecks.

  7. dekalbteacher


    Thanks for sharing this. The photo speaks for itself.

    Looks like some employees in some regions are getting to share what they need and what they think others need.

  8. @Stan
    or anyone else,

    Please correct my understanding.

    How can the calendar reduction days be allowed?

    The minimum instructional days (180) are reduced to (174)?

    Is there a waiver?

  9. Animosity Much?

    @Concerned and Confused
    You stated, “Last checked positions were available in all areas of certification.” That may be true. However, what if there are 10 HS Social Studies positions and there are 15 ISS teachers certified to teach SS? Will those 5 teachers be placed in one of the multiple special education positions for which many people are not certified to teach or another position for which they are also not certified? Or will they be let go? I hope we understand just because there are positions for every certificate area it doesn’t automatically mean there are 142 positions that every ISS will fit perfectly into due to certification. Teaching positions are certificate specific.

    Also, no one is saying to put the needs of one group of teachers over another. It is obvious that the budget choices were created to pit one group of teachers against another and then leave it up to the board to figure it out while the administration can pat themselves on the back saying that they came up with the best options available, which is absolutely untrue. What I am suggesting is that when an employer chooses to eliminate a position whether the position is said to be yearly or not, that the least they can do is let said individuals know in a timely manner so that they can choose how they want to proceed. Ot is July 19 amd these people still don’t know what they will be doing or where they will be doing it. I’m sure many of these individuals would have loved the opportunity to apply for teaching transfers to a school of their choice or at least the opportunity to consider looking for teaching positions outside of the district prior to this year’s contract going in to effect.

    But, the question, once again is… where will these individuals go if they are not able to be placed based on their certification? When there are fewer available positions compared to each ISS’s individual certification, what happens to them? Have you heard anything from anyone concerning THIS specific question? Because no one has answered that question YET, not even when asked during the board meeting. We have a plan either way is not an answer to the question. If there is a plan, then why not lay it out during last Monday’s board meeting so that people could make an informed decision? It’s just ludicrous.

  10. Safety concerns


    I agree with everything you wrote. I don’t want it to be Spring all over again. I think the best response for those saying that children can’t learn online or that it will be just as much of a mess as it was in the Spring is to start with the most amazing online learning right out of the gate. So I was dismayed when I saw that classes would be starting at the same time chromebook distribution would start. How are they going to be attending class when they are still trying to get a chromebook? Family contact should start now. Distribution should start August 3.

    I would love to know all the parameters we will be working in. I haven’t heard about attendance requirements or live class schedules. I have been trying to plan this week, and everything has a question mark by it, because I’m not sure how much of my class will even be there. However, my early planning is my choice. I don’t think teachers should be required to plan on their own time. I only do it to make actual school days easier. But because teachers shouldn’t have to work for free (we’re already doing enough of that with furlough days), we do need more than a week of planning. I’ve made plans, but getting it all ready for virtual takes additional time, and I’m still waiting on being told which platform we are going to be using.

    This virus scares me. I won’t go into stores. My children only leave the house when we go on walks or play in the backyard. Or occasionally they join me in the car for curbside pickup. I’m even telling my sister who I miss dearly not to visit because she has contact with the public for her job. So when the board decided to start virtually, I was relieved. But they are evaluating not only the spread of the virus but also how well virtual learning is working. I’m afraid that some of these decisions, like waiting on giving out chromebooks, will make it a disaster.

  11. Almost vested

    How will furlough days impact my pension? I’m supposed to be vested this year and now not only is my salary not as high as it should be but I get 9 furloughed days? Thai decision impacts more than just our checks this year but many others in the future as well.

  12. Mr. Jester,
    Thank you for providing the information that you have. It

    How do the furlough days affect teacher pay. Will the cut be spread throughout the entire year on each check or will teachers see the cut within the specific pay periods with furlough days? If the cut in pay isn’t being spread to each check, then it’s not great to put those furlough days right at the end of the first semester near Christmas…

  13. Another Disappointed Teacher

    Shame on Dekalb for:

    -reducing our breaks
    -implementing furlough days to pay for the TRS lawsuit
    -poorly scheduling furlough days
    -disallowing our step increase
    -sacrificing thousands of salaries for 144 ISS positions
    -hiring teachers for positions that could be filled by the current ISS
    -spending funds on Chromebooks for Pre-K. 1st graders can barely maneuver the platforms
    -beginning the school year before students have been equipped with the necessary technology and internet access
    -beginning the school year prior to providing teachers with the opportunity, training, and resources to effectively plan for virtual learning
    -undervaluing yet again teachers who give their heart and soul to this profession daily
    (whether at work at not, we are constantly thinking of and planning for our students)

    Please convey our concerns and help us fight for that which we are rightfully entitled. We can’t strike. We’re afraid to protest. Please be our voice.

  14. @Another Disappointed Teacher,
    You’ve GOT to write other Board members with your concerns. If you are afraid of retaliation — which I completely understand — then see if your neighbor or pastor or friend will sent an email to the Board.

    Stan only has one vote. Most of the time Stan is the ONLY Board member to keep teacher and parent issues in mind.

    The only chance for change is if ALL Board members get this kind of feedback.

    Otherwise, they just think that teachers like the plan. It’s a lot easier for other Board members to just vote “Yes” to get along with the new superintendent. It’s even easier if they don’t hear any opposition for the superintendent’s plan.

  15. DeKalb Educator 20

    Keep in mind that if the decision is made to keep the ISS in their current positions, they will have the furlough days AND will not get the step increase. Return to the classroom and at least they get a step ( along with everyone else).

    Many ISS have already found another job (they knew the possibility and found something already).

  16. dekalbteacher

    Animosity much,

    Our district has waivers, and as another blogger noted, has already done this for administrators. In addition, any of these ISS teachers can become certified as they’re teaching. The district has teachers of gifted and ESOL do this all the time. The state changed certificates years ago, so that many teachers are now 6-12 and world language teachers are certified to teach all grade levels. Certification isn’t an issue.

    I can’t understand why you think ISS teachers deserve any more notice or preparation than classroom teachers are given. We are all employees of the school district, not an individual school. Over the summer and at the beginning of each school year, teachers are told they are being transferred. Some teachers are even moved after FTE counts in October. Sometimes teachers’ schedules are changed with no notice, and sometimes teachers are forced to teach different classes after FTE counts in October.

  17. DeKalb Educator 20

    Furlough days are the easy (1 step) budget solution. Take some time to a look at other ways to help the budget. It will take many smaller items but it can be done. Show some respect the the hard work your employees do!!!

    1) How much will we save on buses while we are virtual? Lunch delivery is a lot less than running routes.
    2) How much will DCSD save in water, electricity, gas, supplies ( paper towels, TP, soap …) while we are virtual?
    3) Save the $$ this year by eliminating the ISS position. They can return when the budget allows.
    4) How much $ will be save in assessment administration if we do not administer the MILESTONES, MAP or Illuminate?

    I understand wanting to have a rainy day fund, but does COVID 19 not qualify? Put all the above together, with a few more, and we can eliminate furlough days and keep the step.

    Stan, what do you think?

  18. They don’t have a plan, that’s why you so many questions. Dumping it on parents and teachers.

  19. Concern Educator

    Why can’t coaches be put back in the classroom and put a freeze on new teachers coming into the county. Also, the perminent sub teachers positions for each school should be cut, as well as some para professional positions. There must be other ways to cut the budget and save money. Nine furlough days are a bit much.
    In fact, teachers have set budgets and depend on their set salary’s that is project in their 2020-2021 contact.
    Teachers just received a raise. So, now the board is taking that away? This is why DeKalb can not keep good teachers. Teachers are treated so unfair. It is time to do right by teachers so DeKalb County Schools can attract, and keep highly qualified teachers.

  20. Demographics

    All for the nine furlough days. Hey teachers, think positive- you still are getting paid for basically sitting at home, you get to keep your state health insurance and benefits, save on childcare, and keep getting to act as if you’re entitled. Cry me a river.

    If you don’t like it, find another job with your education degree. Oh wait…

  21. ParenTeacher


    How disrespectful.

  22. Keep your demographics

    WOW. You’ve got to be kidding. While I’m “sitting at home”, I’m working until midnight because most of these kids are sleeping late, sharing technology with siblings and adults, teaching my own kids when I get a chance, and upgrading my home office to be a defacto recording studio, paying my own benefits (DeKalb’s contribution is that we get a group rate, but we pay for everything we get), and counsel kids who have parents like you who do not support the work we do. I guess you forgot how valuable we were during the first month of lockdown, too, but it’s ok. I’ll keep working my three jobs to take care of educating kids to not end up like you.

  23. Classified18

    I want to join everyone in thanking you so much for your service with the Board, but even more so for the opportunity for dialogue and sharing of information that this blog has provided.

    As with everyone else, I am against the furlough/calendar reduction days and not receiving the step increase. I have questions about several things. For the step increase…is this a one time thing? Is the intent for it to be corrected at some point? It was so bad last time that the only way to get on track was to leave the district, get hired in another district on the right step level, and then come back to DCSD if you wanted to. For those of us that stayed, we missed out on a lot of money.

    As far as the furlough/calendar reduction days, I have questions there also. Previously when we had those, furloughs were district wide and the pay reduction was spread out evenly over the year’s paychecks. When it was a furlough day, you did not do ANYTHING related to work including signing on to check your emails. Is that the plan for these days?

    I have been comparing three calendars on the district’s website in an attempt to understand the dates chosen (not the amount of days). Those are the 20-21 Approved Calendar, the 19-20 Employee Calendar (20-21 had not been posted yet) which includes 12 month school based and administrative, and this 20-21 Proposed Calendar. My thoughts and questions are based on what was previously done. November 23, November, 24, December 21, and December 22 (4): All employees except for 12 month (my guess) were on vacation anyhow, so it didn’t affect instructional days. Now the whole district would close for those four. March 12 (5): This was a Teacher’s Workday, now the district shuts down. This leaves the three that have been placed at the end (6-8) and two half days (9). Going by the previous days, I would have thought those days (6-8) would have been deducted during Spring Break. I am guessing that something happens during that time that 12 month can’t be shut down. So now they are after the teacher’s post planning day on May 24, 25, and 26. If May 21st is confirmed as the post planning day and there is not another reason, wouldn’t it make more sense to have those three days be May 26, 27, and 28? In the school house, staff are trying to finalize things such as AP’s and registrars working on final grade postings. The ten month employees normally work five days past the teachers. The current plan appears to have them off for three furlough days and then come back for two and then off for the summer. It would make much more sense for them to work Monday and Tuesday and then have the three furlough days. This would also work for the teachers who do choose to come back right after post-planning to do something in their rooms. If the furlough days are M-W, they are locked out until the end of the week. And now for those two half days (9)…am I correct in understanding that those are the early release last days of the semesters? Keeping in mind NO work or being on campus is allowed during furlough hours, how in the heck is that supposed to work? Maybe at the administrative buildings it could, but there is no way all the students and employees will be off campus in a timely enough manner for furlough rules to go into effect. Obviously the calendar makers think it will work and maybe some employees would agree, but I would love to have it explained.

  24. Stan is one Man

    Stan is 1 vote out of 7… email the other board members ASAP!

  25. Email them now

    Email the other board members ASAP!

  26. Stan Jester

    Hello @Classified18.

    Teachers are supposed to be stepping every year. I’m hoping teachers will at least get that step in January. Orson and Gevertz will support the step if we can get one other person to support it. I can’t say what stepping will be like next year … one year at a time.

    The administration insists that it won’t be like last time where you get your steps back if you leave and come back.

    The calendar says 181 work days. I assume those 9 days will be like the other non work days. I’m confident that your salary will be spread evenly over the year.

  27. Stan Jester

    I thought the actual days of the furlough were weird as well. That being said, the calendar claims 181 work days … however that works out.

  28. Concerned teacher

    @Stan, you wrote: “The schools are still open. We are using busses and bus drivers to deliver food. Coaches are still getting their stipend. The school district is saving money going 100% virtual, but not as much as you might think.”

    I’m glad that coaches are still getting their stipends because not everyone is! The Professional Learning Liaisons (PLL) have not received stipends for the work they did 2nd semester. PLLs have been told that their stipends cannot be processed until they return to their school buildings & submit hard copies of paperwork. (Note: it’s a paperwork to verfify what has already been logged in Engage, which was purchased for the whole purpose of giving us a paperless system to log professional learning hours).

    If coaches received stipends for canceled seasons, then PLLs should receive stipends for their work.

  29. Concerned teacher

    Has anyone actually surveyed the ISS’s to get their feel for things? If I were an ISS, I’d rather take a teaching position for a year & take home more of my salary. But I’m not an ISS. Has anyone bothered to survey them? Since we don’t really have public comments on Zoom Board meetings, a survey might nice!

  30. ParenTeacher

    Stan, those furlough days don’t “work out”………they can’t. The calendar does not accurately reflect a reduction of 9 days of work.

  31. Concerned teacher

    @Ben Greenwald, you wrote: “Why put furlough days in May at the very end of the school year? They would be better used at the beginning of the year to give the District time to acquire the Chrome Books that every student will need in order to have class this year.”

    Staff are not allowed to do ANY work on a furlough day. Moving the furlough days to the end of the year means less of an impact on students.

    That said, I’d prefer if at least ONE of those days could be moved to October. That is a VERY long stretch without a break. I understand the need to have as many instructional days during 1st semester as possible, particularly for the high schools on 4×4 block, but yeesh.

  32. Concerned teacher

    @Free Labor, You wrote: “I’m not an ISS but they’re definitely a valuable resource in the building if they handle RTI, EIPs, and SST. ”

    You know who USED to handle all those things? The Assistant Principals! We keep adding APs to schools, so there ought to be enough to take on the role they should be doing anyway.

  33. Ben Greenwald

    @Concerned teacher. My reason for wanting furlough days at the beginning of the year is due to my belief that school should not start until Chrome books have been distributed to all students. I believe it will be September at the earliest before that happens. Putting furlough days at the beginning of the year buys us some time. A furloughed employee should absolutely not be working.

  34. Concerned teacher

    @Ben Greenwald, so you’re saying we should be taking furloughs starting July 27 (the original first day of preplanning). Intriguing. But then, how do the furloughed IT staff order Chromebooks? I assume IT staff will be in the schools at some point pulling the Chromebooks off the carts in the elementary schools to distribute to students. But when? If they’re furloughed they can’t do that. I see where you’re coming from, but I don’t see how to make it work.

  35. Has anyone seen a logical explanation as to why DEKALB is the ONLY county being furloughed? If that’s the case wouldn’t it be logical for Dekalb to consult with other counties to see what they are doing?

  36. Hello @Just Asking. DeKalb Schools is a jobs program. In a discussion about FY2021 Budget Considerations, the Board was told that the “foundation of that budget is to keep employees working…and not contribute to the unemployment rate.” Over 80% of the budget is salaries. Either the school district has to cut people and programs, or everybody has to take a haircut on their salaries. The school district is choosing furlough days for all employees.

    TSA – Gold Case – $27.5 million – 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. First payment of $27.5 million is payable at the conclusion of the court approval process and expiration of the appeals deadline.

  37. Curious Stakeholder


    Considering that the TSA settlement has to be repaid over the course of 5 years, do you predict that teachers would continue to receive no steps and/or furloughs for the next five years? I’ve seen it mentioned that years without steps affects a teacher’s overall retirement benefits. It seems as though if this is the case, DeKalb will have a difficult time retaining teachers after this. It’s starting to feel like a slippery slope…

  38. Smoke and Mirrors

    Does anyone else find it interesting that to buy back 8 furlough days costs 28 million? Isn’t that surprisingly close to the amount of the TSA payback? Pay back the Gold case from the reserves and don’t cut our earned salaries.

  39. @Curious Stakeholder, Will teachers step next year? That’s hard to say. That depends on the answer to a couple of other questions. Will local revenues go up by $30 million again? If local revenues go up again, will they spend it on teachers? If the answer to either of those questions is ‘no’ then I don’t see teachers stepping next year either. This will be up to the administration and board next year.

  40. ParenTeacher:
    It works out to 9 furlough days.
    It took some figuring because Dekalb has some “creative” accounting.”
    It is 4. 5 days in each semester.
    The .5 day for first semester is Friday, December 18. The .5 day for second semester is Thursday, May 20.
    These are both early release days and as such they are furloughing you for half the day.
    If you look closely at the proposed calendar you can see where they have out lined these two dates in blue to I think signify “calendar reduction time”.
    Otherwise I’m not sure how they came up with nine but with Dekalb, who knows!

  41. Demographics,
    I pay over $400/month for my health, dental, and vision insurance. Were you under the impression that teachers got free healthcare??? That’s hilarious. Those 9 furlough days that you’re scoffing at equals about $200-$300/month in lost income for most teachers. Since you’re so well-off, and it’s “just 9 furlough days,” I hope you’re willing to donate that money to your child’s teacher so he/she can make up the costs for having to buy supplies to turn their living room into a classroom to accommodate your child(ren) during digital learning. It’s pretty ironic that you seem to be so anti-teacher, but last week you were on this board throwing a hissy fit about not being able to send your kids to school so that the very teachers you disparage can teach your kid(s) in-person. If your online personality mirrors your offline personality, I feel sorry for the teachers who have to deal with you. I can only imagine what an unpleasant experience that must be.

  42. Stan will the vote today be televised?

  43. Ben Greenwald

    @Concerned Teacher – First let me say that I’m against furlough days. I am also very much against starting school 100% virtual until we know that all of our children have the technology they need to attend classes. If that means waiting until October, so be it. I personally will be shocked if all students have Chromebooks in their hands before Labor Day.

    If we must resort to furlough days, there is no reason that everyone needs to take them at the same time. For example since we are not opening school for some time, those who work getting facilities ready should probably take them now. Conversely, I expect that our IT group is probably slammed right now and those people may need to even be working overtime. Perhaps their furlough days should come later on in the year once we’ve gotten through the difficulty of getting all of this new technology setup and distributed.

    It sounds like the pay decrease is going to be spread out over the next 12 months so when furlough’s happen isn’t a factor. Ideally furlough days would be taken when that employee is needed the least.

    If we have to resort to furlough days, we should be smart about how we do it.

  44. Stan Jester

    @Think, I expect the board meeting to be streamed lived.

  45. @Stan, thanks!

  46. Concerned AP

    When is the return report date for Elementary APs. We keep getting emails that it is today, however we are 200 days employee. Please advise!

  47. WTF is happening with the board meeting? If our teachers worked like this I’d blow a gasket.

  48. Wow, unprofessional!!!

    Thankfully, the video is playing. However, the time mishap is highly unprofessional. Just wow!!

  49. Mr. Jester,

    Can you please explain how having non-paid holidays as furlough days works? It appears the district is trying to make us work some days without pay. Please forgive me if this has already been addressed.

  50. Embarrassing

    Why is Orson trying to cut stuff short and begin without you, Morley, and Gevertz?
    Also, Morley just skips meetings and that is just accepted? Why is she getting a paycheck?

  51. Gevertz and I are on the meeting now. Morley answers to her constituency … they should take this up with her.

  52. @Stan

    What time is the board meeting today?

  53. Should be starting any minute now.

  54. Another DeKalb Teacher


    While I am just a teacher and have no knowledge as to why the non-paid holidays are now furlough days, my suspicion is that they wanted to impact the original student days as little as possible. So it appears as if they took the vacation days, turned them into school days, and then turned them into furlough days (it turns out that many of these furlough days were listed on the original calendar as inclement weather days). This way, parents don’t feel like their children are actually missing any days because they wouldn’t have gone to school on those days anyway. If you look at the original calendar (approved by the board months ago) and this proposed calendar, the only differences the parents will see is that school will start two weeks later, their children have to go to school during the original Fall break (Oct 8, 9, 12), and they will have to go to school on election day (which is a virtual learning day). ALL of the other breaks (including the last day of school) stays the same. Again, I have no official knowledge as to why things were done this way, this is just my two cents worth.

  55. The District employee couldn’t properly manage a log-in for less than 30 people at the budget hearing.

    Yet they plan to have teachers teach virtually. That means hosting 30+ kids six times a day.

    For no extra pay. With precious little training, given that there are no extra pre-planning days for them to learn about Zoom/TEAMS/whatever the heck the District decides upon.

    The District should at least show some humility. I heard no apologies for the delay and confusion.

  56. Dekalb Teacher

    If technology is decreasing their CARES request from 15 million to 8 million, why is that money not going to “buy back” furlough days?

  57. Ok I hear everyone going on about how former days off are now “furlough” days. Keep in mind that we were set to go back on Monday June 27 and now we are looking at in mid-August. So essentially the school year has been shortened—whether we just called July 27-August 9 as furlough days or built those in within the year with the same end-date.

  58. Smoke and Mirrors

    The calendar shows 2 half days. Traditionally these count as full days for teachers and students. Now they are calling these 1/2 furlough days. Middle School dismisses on half day at 1:30. By the time all students have left the building it is 2:00. This is a 5 1/2 to 6 hour day. Not a half day. I still believe that the Gold Settlement should be paid through the reserves.

  59. @Another DeKalb Teacher

    I’m not concerned with why they chose those days. I’m concerned with how that affects our salaries. We are paid for the days we work. We aren’t paid for holidays. I’m wondering how and why we are expected to lose pay for non-paid holidays but still work those days during the year. There are 181 workdays on the calendar and 9 furlough days (4 of which are non-paid holidays). How is my salary being reduced for 4 days I don’t receive pay for anyway, but I’m still expected to work those 4 days?

  60. Wouldn’t it make more sense, if the district has to furlough, to do one day each month? That would be easier to absorb especially since we get paid twice a month.

  61. Demographics

    @ freelabor

    You must not understand health insurance. State employees have the best plans subsidized by tax payers. Some plans offered to you are 90/10, low deductibles, small copays, little out of pocket expenses, and services not covered by non-state employees.

    $400/month- you don’t understand how lucky you are. Research the cost for private employees, many who aren’t offered your cushy plans. Salary + benefits = compensation.

    You get to keep your HI instead of paying Cobra premiums because the district is still employing you. Bus drivers are bus drivers for the state HI plans.

    So, your family plan is worth $1,960.96, but you pay just under $400.

  62. Contracts???

    Wow!! After weeks and weeks, they still could not answer Stan’s question, will teachers be let out of their contracts without penalty? Just wow!!

  63. Demographics,

    I know how much I pay in insurance every month. It comes out of my check and I know how to add. I said that I pay over $400 for health, dental, and vision insurance. You implied that teachers get free healthcare, and I pointed out that we have to pay for our insurance like everyone else. I also pay thousands in deductibles every year before my insurance kicks in, and I have thousands of dollars in medical bills ( like many teachers do). Am I happy to have health insurance? Absolutely! Is it free? Not by a long shot. Also, considering the amount of money I pay in taxes every year, I’m basically subsidizing my own health insurance. You do realize that teachers and our families pay taxes, right? I have a feeling that you are incredibly bored and frustrated with having to be stuck at home with your family and kids over these past few months, which is why you keep coming on here and harassing teachers who are trying to have productive conversations about issues facing our profession and DeKalb. I understand the frustration, believe me. I’ve given you some of the attention you’re obviously seeking, but I suggest going for a walk or doing something a little more productive with your time.

  64. Budget – We need to make decisions so that school can be opened. With the supplies and resources needed. If the board keeps delaying then the start of school needs to be delayed. Not effective. The board has been discussing the budget since the May meeting. Why weren’t meetings held since that time to discuss specific items?

    Teacher salary was mentioned…I don’t know that can be determined without a finalized budget.

    Yay Gertz!

  65. Dunwoody Teacher

    Please push for teachers to have a choice to teach virtually from their classrooms or to be able to access their classrooms on a regular basis.

  66. If Option 1 passes could the 9 million in savings be used to buy back 2 furlough days??

  67. In a county famous for its inability to communicate effectively it shouldn’t surprise me that the only source of information on these significant decisions is Stan’s blog. Yet I’m still amazed.

    And I’m still stunned that after 30 years of teaching the number of non-teaching “support” staff continues to increase, while the classroom teachers shoulder the daily joy/burden of classroom instruction with class sizes creeping ever upward. I hate agreeing with Stan, but we do seem like a jobs program sometimes.

  68. dekalbteacher


    I’m listening to the board meeting now. Did I understand Orson to imply that we’re not touching reserves because of our credit rating hit?

  69. @DeKalbTeacher,
    I think Turner and Orson were saying that we have various repercussions for not managing the fund balance with fidelity. Orson was pointing out that there are some obscure repercussions like credit ratings that some people don’t think about.

  70. dekalbteacher

    Unbelievable that board members are discussing ISS positions with no facts of details other than the number of people in these positions and the supposed fact that they provide support.

    16,000+ school district employees, and board members are discussing 150+ employees as the only way to help students or scholars?

    Hard to believe some or many of these positions aren’t filled by people connected.

  71. dekalbteacher


    Is it correct to say the state is giving the district money for teachers’ steps, and the district gets to decide whether to give it to teachers or use it for something else?

  72. Ben Greenwald

    Does DCSD have any long term debt? If not, why does its credit rating matter?

  73. Stan Jester

    @DeKalbTeacher, The state is giving the district 10% less money ($54 million) than last year.

  74. Thank You, Stan

    Thank you, Stan and the board members for voting in favor of Option 1, Step in January and redistributing the ISS. Hopefully, the final budget denotes few to no furlough days at all. Thank you again

  75. Thank you, Stan

    I really do want to thank you for being such a staunch advocate for DeKalb teachers and for providing this platform for us to voice our concerns. Thanks, again.

  76. No Furloughs Would Be Nice

    Didn’t option 1 have more furloughs (11 is what I think I read)?

  77. Projections for 2021-2022

    Hi Stan – Thank you for posting.
    If say 30% of kids end up repeating this school year (either all grades or just early ones like K, 1, 2) – what impact will that have on class sizes and costs for the 2021-2022 school year? Are any funds being allocated towards a similar scenario or will we cross that bridge later? Thanks!

  78. Graduate of DeKalb


    Please tell me, what the final decision is. I cannot find any posted decisions for the budget and furlough days. Will there be another vote, or has a final decision been made about furlough days? I cannot find a definitive answer posted under today’s meeting.

    Thanks for all you do,

    Graduate of DeKalb

  79. Quarantined AP

    Will the board meeting recording be posted somewhere

  80. Vanessa Thompson

    Can anyone verify if this is true:
    There paraprofessionals who are assisting a single student. They follow the student all day to monitor behavior.

  81. Stan Jester

    There was no decision on the calendar, furlough days or the budget. The administration has been charged with reducing the number of furlough days. The board will get together again on Friday.

    You can find the video of today’s meeting here

  82. Vanessa,

    Yes, that is true. Some students have it written into their IEPs that they need individual support from a para.

  83. Vanessa Thompson

    Thank you, Free Labor!
    And that’s all they do? Make sure a specific child doesn’t misbehave?
    What will they do during VL days?

  84. Ben Greenwald


    Have you requested that Finance produce a total of Cost Savings due to COVID and Increased COSTS due to COVID? It is pretty normal for organizations to track things this way due to unique events. There are areas where DCSD should be saving substantial amounts of money. Top of mind items include

    1. Utilities
    2. Janitorial
    3. Food Service – I know that meals are being supplied to some students but this total is much lower than normal.
    4. Transportation – Busses are assisting in transportation but total miles driven should be much lower

    Has there been any instruction to halt “get ready for school projects”? I know just recently they were installing new trailers at Dunwoody High School. Will those even be used this year, especially if the Board were to decide on some sort of parent option with regards to return to school later this year. Also, why would we be spending money outfitting schools with PPE now when it might be months before children return to the buildings.

    As much as I would like children to be able to return to school, I thought Dr. Morley made an excellent point that by taking a wait and see approach, the Board may actually be costing money then if they just decided to commit to Virtual for the entire 1st semester.

  85. Vanessa,

    They help monitor behavior and help implement any accommodations outlined in the IEPs, so my guess is that they will continue to help with the academic accommodations during virtual learning. Maybe individual video sessions to help with work, progress monitoring, etc.? That’s a good question.

  86. Vanessa Thompson

    Sorry..not trying to do away with anyone’s job. It had just been relayed to me that there were behavior paras who only monitored behavior.
    I still think that a helpful solution would be to utilize the ISS positions in the classroom for at least this year.
    When our new Superintendent has time to access and observe, I hope a lot of the deadweight at the top that is in the form of coordinators, area offices, etc. will be headed back to the classroom.
    Bless her! She has stepped in a Hornet’s nest

  87. Teachers Need to Know Expectations


    Thank you for figuring out a way to reduce furloughs. I hope we are able to keep our step.

    When will teachers learn of their instructional expectations? Many of us are already trying to develop virtual learning lesson plans, but can only plan so much while we wait for some kind of guidance from the county. I hope Dekalb gives teachers more than a week’s notice. Please Help us so we can be the best possible teachers for our students!

  88. Stan Jester

    Hello @Teachers Need to Know Expectations, I’m not sure when teachers will learn what the instructional expectations are. The board dove into that a little last week at the board meeting, but the administration was fuzzy on the details. I was going to wait until the calendar and budget were passed before pushing the administration on communicating expectations to the parents and teachers.

  89. DeKalb Doesnt Love Teachers

    I understand why raises aren’t in the cards, and I can even get behind furlough days, but why are the furlough days on breaks? Just call it a pay cut because we are working the same amount we’d be if there were no furloughs.

  90. Stan Jester

    I believe raises are in the cards. I would like to see the teachers realize a full step in January. The calendar is driven by the budget and the budget hasn’t been settled yet, so we didn’t have a calendar conversation. I don’t know why the furlough days are on those days. I just know the latest calendar is designed to have 181 teacher work days. The administration has been charged with reducing the number of furlough days.

  91. Region 2 Teacher

    How do we find out who these administrators are that will designing the revised calendar. Can they provide their names and also are teacher/staff apart of this team? Thank you Stan for everything you do!!!!!!!!

  92. Teachers should not lose a step. That increase can never be recovered. It is not fair to ask veteran teacher who have lost about 10 steps over time in DeKalb to lose a step again. Do you have any idea how demoralizing it is for a teacher who has worked and done a good job for 8 years to be paid the same
    salary as a first year teacher? That’s what happened before.
    The number of furlough day is too many. Why can’t the money come from cuts to Central Office instead of teachers? Anyone working with children should not lose pay this year. Once again, poor planning using public money becomes an emergency decreasing pay for teachers.

  93. I have a concern about Election Day not being a day off. If there are so many furlough days, why is that not one of them? We give lip service to honoring John Lewis if we do not afford teachers the day to make sure they vote and/or are available to help elderly family members and friends get to the polls. This is particularly important in a Presidential Election year.

  94. Stan,
    I watched both this week’s and last week’s board meetings and could not believe what a circus both of them were. Why weren’t board members sent copies of the proposed budget before the meetings so they could have been more prepared to both discuss the information and vote. At this point, teachers and other 10 month employees who are contracted have no idea what their salaries are going to be or even when their start date is. Are all board meetings this ridiculous? Some board members were not prepared at all, it seems. Couldn’t board members have found out the answers to some of their questions via emails prior to the meetings, or am I expecting too much? I will surely miss you when you are no longer on the board. You seem to do your homework unlike some of your colleagues. Basically, there have been two meetings in which the budget and calendar were to be voted upon, staff is supposed to start to work on Monday, the 27th, and we will have no idea until the 24th of where we stand.

  95. Vanessa,

    There are paras who only monitor behavior, and as someone who works in the schools, I am grateful for them. The students they monitor and “follow around” all day are those with extremely maladaptive behaviors. For your information, it is very, very difficult to get a one-on-one para for a child. I know it may seem strange, but in some cases, for the safety of the student, it is very necessary.

  96. Peaceful protest on Thursday 9am at AIC 1701 industrial Blvd Stone Mountain GA

  97. Incompetent

    How is it that local school systems can release an in-depth plan for going back to school (online and in person), change their mind to online only and release ANOTHER full plan yet DeKalb doesn’t have a final calendar? I know it’s DeKalb, but even for them this is an unbelievable lack of performance. Kids are getting screwed (again).

    Stan – who is the best person to contact? Harris herself?

  98. Concerned Teacher

    Stan – My principal shared a document that shows that teachers will report to work Monday 7-27 (virtually). It shows 190 work days for teachers. Is this true? If so, how? I agree that teachers need more than one week of planning and have fought for that, but how is this possible given the current financial situation? I am afraid that teachers will get screwed in this scenario with doing more work and working more days for substantially less money. Where have they found the money for 2 additional weeks of planning, when just yesterday we were at 9 furlough days? I am afraid that teachers won’t be getting paid for days worked and they are going to furlough holidays that were non-paid anyways.

    Is this information accurate?

  99. So the teachers are actually paying for the settlement. 8 days x 4 million = 32 million

  100. Vanessa Thompson

    Aren’t the days from 7/27 until 8/7 covered under the 2019-2020 contract year?