Removing Teachers From Region 1- Title I Comparability

Title I Comparability continues to be an issue at DeKalb Schools. 11 elementary school teachers will be reassigned at anytime from Region 1 to schools in the South.

Title I Comparability – The comparability provision in Title I of ESEA requires school districts to provide services in Title I schools from state and local funds that are at least comparable to services in non-Title I schools.

What are the Consequences for Failure to Meet Comparability? – When a school district fails to demonstrate comparability the wide range of consequences might be:

  1. The school district might have to move teachers and/or paraprofessionals from one school to another school to achieve comparability.
  2. The school district might have to hire teachers and/or paraprofessionals to achieve comparability.
  3. The school district might have repay funds to Georgia Department of Education. The repayment of funds must be made with a non-federal fund source.

Title I Comparability Payments – I clipped and transcribed a video from 2015 documenting DeKalb Schools incompetence and the millions Dekalb Schools was paying annually in Title I Comparability assessment penalties with no accountability.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Educate Dunwoody
Educate Dunwoody was created to advocate for all the public schools. Here is their summary of the current Title I Comparability situation at DeKalb Schools

There appear to be six non-title 1 schools in Region 1 and five non-title 1 schools in Region 2. Region 3-7 are comprised of all title 1 schools.

Of the 11 non-title 1 schools, 5 schools experienced a teacher loss…..all in Region 1.

There are two schools in Region 2, Oak Grove ES and Laurel Ridge ES, that have had a significant loss in enrollment as well. It appears they weren’t affected by the “State Comparability Policy”. Perhaps because they are neighborhood schools with low enrollments.

It seems that Region 1 was a victim of the “curse of the mega-school” once again. This “curse” has typically been reserved for our high school and middle school, but it seems like it is now dripping into the elementary school level as well.

.
Comparability update from Anna Hill, Board of Education District 1, DeKalb County School District

What is the current status of the Comparability with DCSD?

Earlier this week, I learned that teachers from District 1 are being reassigned to other schools in DCSD due to noncompliance with the State Comparability Policy by Region 1 as a result of declining enrollment. I am very much opposed to this and Ms. Watson-Harris has expressed the same thing.

Earlier today, I met with the Superintendent, Mr. Burbridge (CFO,) and other DCSD personnel (Marshall Orson, District 2, was also on the call.) In our meeting, I learned that DCSD has been working for many months in an effort to reduce the number of teachers that need to be relocated to meet Comparability requirements (originally there were possibly over 100 teachers who were going to be impacted.)

Staff has collaborated with the State of Georgia for months to reduce the number of teachers impacted.

The impact has been reduced from over 100 teachers to 11 teachers from the following schools:
Dunwoody Elementary 3
Austin Elementary 4
Montgomery Elementary 2
Ashford Park Elementary 1
Vanderlyn 1
(total = 11)
Schools receiving teachers:
Wadsworth Magnet School
Narvie Harris Elementary
Wynbrooke Elementary

What is next?

Ms. Watson-Harris will hold a community meeting to address this issue with Region 1. She has said she is currently focused on working with GaDoE to see if alternatives to the current situation are possible, and after that, will announce the community meeting date.

My suggestions to Ms. Watson-Harris:
I made many suggestions including adding Instructional Coaches instead of removing teachers. I was told that all possibilities have been exhausted and currently the only option is to relocate teachers. This is why she is working very hard with GaDoE to see if there are any other options besides the current situation of moving 11 teachers.

My final suggestion was for DCSD to ask GaDoE if they will consider the decline in enrollment an “unpredictable change.” Specifcally, Title I provides that an LEA need not include unpredictable changes in student enrollment or personnel assignments that occur after the beginning of a school year in determining comparability of services.

I also requested to be made aware of these situations in the future much, much earlier. I think many community members understand that Federal Regulations must be followed and that instead, the frustrations are more about learning about this situation so late in the game. I share that frustration.

Like you, I am now waiting to see what can be arranged with DCSD and GaDoE and look forward to updates from Ms. Watson-Harris when she knows more.

What is Comparability?
As many of you know, Comparability is one indication that an LEA is using Title I funds to supplement and not supplant other funding sources. Meeting comparability means that the LEA provides services in the Title I schools that are at least comparable to services the LEA provides in the non-Title schools.

Because demonstrating comparability is a prerequisite for receiving Title I, Part A funds, there is no waiver for the Comparability requirement.

This is out of the control of both DCSD and the GaDoE; this is an obligation to follow Federal regulations/law.

Helpful information from GaDoe can be found here: GaDOE – Determining Comparability

81 responses to “Removing Teachers From Region 1- Title I Comparability

  1. Ben Greenwald

    In reading through the linked presentation I was disappointed to see that there was no calculation for comparability provided. Two of the Title 1 schools that received teachers also had lower than forecast students this year. My assumption is that this was not about making the Title 1 schools look better but about making the schools that gave up teachers look worse thus making all schools appear more equal. Does that make sense to you? I would love to have that proven wrong as that choice is not about what is best for our scholars but about saving money.

    If it was just about getting more teachers into the title 1 schools that could have been accomplished by simply hiring a long term sub for the rest of the school year or by moving central office employees that are certified teachers into a teaching role for the remainder of the school year.

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  2. Who are the DCSD employees that have overseen Title 1 over the past 7-10 years? Who is over Title 1 currently? Are all these folks still serving in these roles? If this has been going on since at least 2015, is anyone going to be held accountable? Lose their job…not just transferred to another job?

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  3. Not that simple

    it isn’t about making a school look bad or good. It’s about providing equitable service to traditionally underserved students. DCSD has been understaffing title 1 schools and has to rectify this.

    If what I’ve heard is correct, some of the Region 1 schools had class sizes as low as 12-18. You can’t hire enough people to get class sizes that low at all the Title 1 schools. There isn’t room or money for it, and you would displace far more students than by moving 11 teachers at 4-5 schools.

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  4. It isn’t fair

    If Austin lost 1/3 kids but not 1/3 staff members, they are lucky. Similarly, if DES lost 1/4 and didn’t lose 1/4 teachers they are lucky.

    These schools are still over staffed. We’re Lucky it wasn’t worse.

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  5. I’d be curious to know what the current truancy rate is. Before COVID, many schools in the South were already at 30% truancy rate. So, on any given day a third of the student population wasn’t showing up.

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  6. Ben Greenwald

    Not That Simple I understand that it is about providing equal services, but there are different ways to make schools equal with regards to student/teacher ratios.

    1. For schools with low student teacher ratios, you can move teachers out of those schools. This does nothing for the schools with high student teacher ratios but the result is that schools are more equal. This approach hurts teachers that are laid off and is likely not possible in the middle of the year given teacher contracts.
    2. For schools with high student teacher ratios, you can hire more teachers to improve their ratios. This makes the high student teacher ratio schools better off, doesn’t hurt the lower teacher ratio schools, but it is expensive.
    3. You can move teachers from low ratio schools to high ratio schools. This is an inexpensive solution, improves the high ratio schools, but is super disruptive to children at both schools as they are moved to a new classroom.

    It appears that DCSD chose option 3. I have two questions. How much would option 2 have cost for the remaining 2 1/2 months of the school year? How did the the schools receiving teachers (assuming they are high ratio schools) end up needing teachers, especially since 2 of the 3 schools have lower than forecasted enrollment and the third is a magnet school which should have a cap on students admitted into the magnet program. Are these schools that have had bunch of teacher resignations throughout the school year and now need to hire new teachers?

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  7. DeKalb strikes again

    @Not That Simple, you have a very skewed sense of Region 1. There is very little room in very old buildings. Class sizes are nowhere near what you think. My children had 29 in a trailer. It may be true that class size dropped this year but that’s only because people pulled their children because they had to find other means of education. Many will be back. Private school is not sustainable for many, but parents needed to make the sacrifice this year. Many blew through savings. Please know it is not all “rainbows and unicorns” when it comes to facilities in region 1. They too have old over crowded buildings. I get it if teachers on other regions have resigned and kids don’t have a teacher, but if it’s just about correcting a wrong that has been going on forever, shame on DeKalb. This is just one more thing for students to be resilient about this year. I believe we have passed the point of resilience. All kids are behind at this point. I sure hope these teachers are offered first choice to return to their initial school if the opportunity arises.

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  8. This is simply due to COVID. Anyone with any means (and most Oak Grove families have the means) have moved their children to private schools (most of which have been open and conducting in-person classes) or just opted to homeschool their children themselves. These parents were keenly aware that DeKalb teachers were not anywhere near trained or prepared to turn learning on a dime. This ‘virtual’ learning experiment in DCSD was a fantastic failure. It will take years for students to recover – if ever. But hey — teachers were ‘safe’, kept their paychecks and their benefits and really didn’t have to do much for it. They will have a very hard time getting back into the swing of working.

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  9. Deborah Jones

    Stan, I think this shows how the DeKalb School District and the Board has refused to make students their primary emphasis, especially if these students weren’t in their (Board) regions. DeKalb continues to hire unqualified superintendent’s who know little or nothing about the District. The Board hires superintendent’s and then allow them to do whatever they want. The chickens are finally coming home to roost. Now region 1 is crying foul when the shoe has been on the other foot (regions 3-6) for a very loooooooog time.

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  10. Stan Jester

    Hello @Deborah Jones. Thank you for being a part of this conversation. I don’t know what you are referring to when you say the shoe is on the other foot now. From my perspective, failing schools have been Flooded With Adults with wrap around services and money from the various designations: Horizon schools, Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI), Promise Schools, Turnaround Eligible School , Priority School, Focus School, etc …

    The number one reason South DeKalb regions broke into smaller regions was to help manage all the adults and various programs going on down there.

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  11. ConcernedToo

    @Cere much of what you said is an outright lie. I almost saw it unworthy of a reply but couldn’t resist. If you think teachers “didn’t have to do much” you must not know what’s been going on with them as they learn new ways to reach their students. The phone calls, texts, and emails have been never ending as they had reached out to parents and students alike. Clearly, you’re jaded.

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  12. Cere I dare you

    @Cere
    I agree with concerned too. Everything you assert is false. I have an idea. DCSD is looking for parents to teach because there are enough teachers. How about offering YOUR services to show us how it is so easy and how it is supposed to be done. Are you man or woman or non-binary enough to put you effort where your mouth is. I await your positive response and let us know which school is lucky enough to get you to lead the way to success.

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  13. Cere I dare you

    Cere no show. Crickets is what I am getting. I guess cere has no guts.

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  14. DSW2Contributor

    My understanding of what has happened:

    (1) The Region I schools were properly staffed with the right number of teachers — Melanie Pearch knows what she is doing. (The posters above claiming that Region I was overstaffed are full of crap.)

    (2) Stan is correct to point out that DCSD hired more Administrators to oversee the schools in south Dekalb… but those Administrators (and HR) failed to ensure that their schools were fully staffed.

    (3) Schools all over DCSD are supposedly understaffed ((just look at all the current vacancies posted on PATS!) but I do not believe that all the students being counted as enrolled are actually logging in.

    (4) When a school district accepts federal Title-I funds, the school district must ensure that the Title-I schools have similar resources as the non Title-I schools. DCSD did *not* do this: the non Title-I schools in Region I were fully staffed while Title-I schools elsewhere were understaffed.

    (5) The correct solution is to hire enough teachers so that the Title-I schools are fully staffed, but DCSD has been unable to do that (because most teachers are just not willing to go work in failing schools!)

    (6) DCSD’s solution is to remove teachers from Region-I schools to make the Region-I schools just as understaffed as DCSD’s Title-I schools.

    (7) The teachers are being moved now so that they can be counted during the March census — that way it will look like DCSD’s schools were all equally understaffed all school year long.

    Anyone pissed off about this situation should complain to the US Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General:

    https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/hotline.html

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  15. DSW2Contributor

    Hey Wilborn P. Nobles III, in case you are reading Stan’s blog I have a suggestion about your AJC article “DeKalb schools: Learning loss from online classes lower than expected”
    https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/dekalb-schools-learning-loss-from-online-classes-lower-than-expected/MVNZYQGKYFDFDPRCARPYSA4RHI/

    The AJC really should go ask DCSD how many of its enrolled students actually took the standardized tests!

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  16. Ken Thompson

    Hi Ben Greenwald,
    The Georgia DOE has a document covering Title I : https://www.gadoe.org/School-Improvement/Federal-Programs/title-i/Documents/Title%20I,%20Part%20A/FY16%20Title%20I%20Handbook.pdf

    Pages 77 through 93 provide information on the criteria for and general rules around Comparability as well as extensive and detailed examples. The State explicitly requires the LEA to create and clearly document the Comparability process and algorithms they use. They are required to evaluate comparability yearly but need not respond to “unforeseen” changes during the year. DCSD should be able to produce this document. Compliance deadlines are dictated by the DOE and there is mention of an online comparability application.

    Perhaps someone else can speak to DCSD’s diligence in the compliance process.

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  17. Ben Greenwald

    It would be nice if DCSD would make public their LEA calculations for each school and Districtwide. It is curious to me that of the schools receiving teachers, two of the schools have lower than forecasted enrollments. Why do those schools need teachers if enrollment didn’t meet forecast.

    The third school to receive teachers is a magnet school, which has enrollment significantly exceeding forecast. I thought magnet school enrollment was capped and competitive. How did that school end up with more students than forecast?

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  18. Stan, what is the DCSD percentage (qualifying for free or reduced lunch) used to qualify a school for Title I? The federal requirement is 40 percent school poverty threshold (40% free and reduced lunch). Are any DeKalb schools not receiving Title I status and funding that have 40 percent free and reduced lunch students? I believe school systems are allowed to set that percentage higher (but not lower). 65 percent comes to mind.

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  19. What’s the plan for vaccinating Dekalb educators? It amazes me that we never have a plan for anything. Watson Harris signed onto the letter that was sent to the governor but as he slapped Atlanta on the hands for vaccinating two weeks after educators are eligible, he should have slapped our hands too! At least they have published dates. What dates do we have? Other than telling us that they are working with the Health Department and school nurses have been trained, what’s our plan? It’s so embarrassing that we always lag behind!

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  20. What’s the plan for vaccinating Dekalb educators? It amazes me that we never have a plan for anything. Watson Harris signed onto the letter that was sent to the governor but as he slapped Atlanta on the hands for vaccinating two weeks after educators are eligible, he should have slapped our hands too! At least they have published dates. What dates do we have? Other than telling us that they are working with the Health Department and school nurses have been trained, what’s our plan? It’s so embarrassing that we always lag behind! When are we ever going to take the lead on a well thought out plan?

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  21. DSW2Contributor

    ^ @Too Much – What’s the plan for vaccinating Dekalb educators?
    ———————————————-

    Do *NOT* wait for DCSD to vaccinate you.

    Sign up for an appointment at either Dekalb County run vaccination site, or at the state-run site out at the Airport, or at a drug store. See this page:
    https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/atlanta/quick-links/XIS2GWKLKVHRPCFVNCQEVJ52MY/

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  22. DSW2Contributor

    ^ UPDATE: The Dekalb County Health Department’s website currently says this: “All COVID-19 vaccine appointments have been filled. We will reopen the form once more appointments are available.”

    The Fulton County Health Department still has shots available, but if you try to register as a teacher FC’s website will NOT accept you. Instead FC’s website will tell you that teachers will be vaccinated at the Fulton County Schools event.

    That leaves the state-run vaccine sites and drug stores. I STRONGLY recommend that teachers register to be vaccinated at one of the state-run sites:
    https://myvaccinegeorgia.com/
    Submit your information and you will be emailed when appointments are available.

    The DC Health Department apparently being out of shots probably explains why they have not announced a DCSD vaccine event.

    1
  23. I just did mine through Kroger. I was in at 9am Monday morning at the Kroger in Covington. No issues whatsoever. They scheduled my 2nd shot for spring break.

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  24. Concerned Too

    @Stan

    If DCSD has a surplus why would they not entertain a bonus to replace the days they reduced, which effectively lowered our pay regardless of the step increase in January? Most other metro counties did not reduce days, and in some of those counties, Clayton being the latest example, they even gave a bonus to the teachers in addition to their “non-cut” salaries.

    I am curious, if you were still on the board, would you be in favor of restoring those days lost or possibly a one time bonus pay for teachers/staff? It seems Dekalb was alone in cutting teacher’s pay at a time when they clearly did not need to do so.

    And to be clear, I do not see the professional development opportunities they offered as being a replacement for the lost money. It was not at the same rate as our normal pay, and in reality should have been offered in addition to our normal pay, not an attempted replacement of it.

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  25. Hello Concerned Too,
    Here are the Reasons for the Furlough Days. The biggest losses in the budget coming from reduced state funding and the first payment of $27.5 million for the TSA case.

    Bonuses are generally not legal … granted everybody seems to be doing it anyway. Kasim Reed got into a lot of trouble one year for giving Christmas bonuses to employees … it violates the Gratuities Clause of the Georgia Constitution.

    I’d be interested in restoring the days if the school district could afford it. However, I don’t think the school district can handle such a complicated maneuver. Also, people make plans way in advance on long weekends, so I’m not sure if we can tell parents to cancel their plans. People are already asking for a hard confirmation for the date when school starts up again in the Fall.

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  26. Concerned Too

    @Stan

    As always, thanks for the reply. I will say, my biggest frustration with the TSA lawsuit was the issue of where the money would come from to pay for the settlement. It is sad that a settlement was paid from the wages of the teachers and staff. In some cases, teachers who were included in the settlement were paying for their own settlement, and equally bad, teachers who were not part of the settlement were stuck footing part of the bill.

    I know it sounds difficult, but the funds should have been found somewhere else. In essence, the board at the time, elected by the citizens of Dekalb, made the wrong decision to cut the paying into TSA against the board’s own policy. I would think, to be fair, those who placed the board members in their positions should be the ones to cover the damages, not the ones who were in fact hurt in the process. I don’t know where else the funds could come from, but cutting salaries to cover the settlement was not right. It’s more of a slap in the face. “You win; now we will take money from you to pay you for your victory.” :/

    Just frustrated that other counties also received less funding as a result of state revenues being down, but somehow they were able to avoid reducing teacher workdays/salary.

    Anyways, I know this is all just talk as nothing really will change. Going forward, do you think the board has already made some arrangements for the next installment of the settlement, or do you think they will need to cut somewhere to cover that cost?

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  27. Waste of time & money

    DCSD is wasting more money on their terrible version of Naviance. Throwing good money after bad.

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  28. The money for the TSA settlement was already in place long before this year. DCSD has received insurmountable covid relief funds from the federal government and teachers have received very little, to no compensation at all.
    We participated in a PDI on January 15th and have not been compensated, or received any communication as to when those funds will be disbursed.
    As an employee with over 30 years in DCSD, this has been, and continues to be the worst leadership I have experienced. Every other day I receive emails reminding me to sign my contract for the forthcoming school year. However, I submitted my ADA paper work in November and have not received any information regarding a plan.

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  29. What do you mean the money was in place? The first payment came out of the FY2021 budget. Covid relief money was spent mostly on laptops and buying back some furlough days.

    I’ve heard about a lot of problems with paying out for PD. I hear FMLA requests are piling up as well.

    1
  30. The money was allocated during Green’s tenure. The board, (you included), had agreed to the settlement. The money for the TSA lawsuit should have been placed in reserves once the settlement had been agreed upon. The FY2021 budget should not have been the contributing factor for the allocation of those funds, especially when other staff members had to be penalized for it. You, along with the other board members allowed Stephen Greene to spend money on MAP, benchmarks, curriculum, PSAT, and other programs that did not enhance student achievement at all, and money continues to be wasted on those tests, even during the pandemic. Also, lest I forget to mention the other lawsuits that DCSD has incurred, and continues to incur as a result of poor leadership!

    With the billions of dollars DCSD has , and is continuing to receive from the state and federal government, monies lost from the five furlough days needs to be reinstated for all employees!

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  31. Stan,
    Do you have information about the eligibility for DeKalb schools to receive Title I designations amd funding. My question is above:
    Are any DeKalb schools not receiving Title I status and funding that have 40 percent free and reduced lunch students? If so, DeKalb needs to rethink their local requirements and get this money from the Federal Government.
    Thank you.

    1
  32. I don’t know what is going to happen with DeKalb’s finances and staffing. But, in fairness to Stan, he was one of the BOE Members that during his tenure questioned how the school district was spending money. The school administration has been aware of the TSA suit for years and what the ramifications of it could be. I don’t know if any steps were taken to be ready for the payments that would occur.
    In fairness to Dr. Morley, she was one of the BOE members that questioned the money spent on the many consultants that were being hired. For years various people on this site have expressed the need for more comprehensive instructional and financial audits.
    Now it looks like the students and staff are having to pay for the decisions of the past.

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  33. Don’t ignore me

    Dear Frustrated,

    I also have not received any response on my ADA application. I lost pay because I refused to go back to my building without vaccinations which were a misery to get. I would like to urge you to contact EEOC about the ADA issue. The District has likely violated that law and needs to be held accountable. The hardest part is getting an appointment to meet with an investigator, but they help you if your time limit to file is approaching. Unless we stand up to the cheerleader and the palace, they will continue to violate our rights.
    I know that they might retaliate, but that would become part of the complaint. Anyone whose ADA request was ignored by the district should consider this option.

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  34. I’m hoping that this common occurrence on the south side will now be addressed since it’s now occurring in region 1. Dekalb doesn’t staff according to need. If that were so, my south side schools wouldn’t have lost teachers almost every year. And my ISS would’ve stayed in my building. And we wouldn’t have a halftime esol/halftime EIP and a half gifted/half EIP teacher, to serve a building of students where the majority qualify for early intervention services.

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  35. The district drops more money on Naviance instead of using a free and superior service like SCOIR, and what happens? Naviance stops working that night! Can’t make this stuff up.

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  36. What’s really crazy is that the BOE voted to use $115K from CARES Act funding to pay for Naviance for middle schools.

    Laughable is right – you can’t make this stuff up.

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  37. Just signed my contract and already regretting

    Off topic but on point. Tomorrow is supposed to be challenging weather wise. The palace and the cheerleader, who always say the safety to teachers is important to them, have told us to go into school tomorrow at 10 am. On another screen weather reports predict possible tornadoes and loss of power. So why are we going in tomorrow? Could it be that they don’t really care about us? Heaven forbid!

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  38. If parents read this blog, just know that other parents are sending their sick kids to school (just like teachers said they would), and DeKalb has no policy in place to address this. These sick kids aren’t even required to show a negative COVID test before returning to school. One week in, and it’s already happening. This is why teachers demanded to be vaccinated before returning. Disgusting and selfish parents make it hard for everyone else.

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  39. DSW2Contributor

    Dunwoody and ODE both should be asking hard questions about the Human Resources Board Report that the BOE approved on Monday:
    https://simbli.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=4054&AID=1249788&MID=90589

    HR’s numbers do not make sense to me. In the article above, Anna Hill says that up to 100 teachers were supposed to be reassigned to Title-I schools. My understanding was that could have been necessary because the Title-I schools were that badly understaffed…. .but the HR report says that there are only 35 vacancies. WTF?

    Page 2 of the HR report claims Gwinnett is badly understaffed…. but we never hear stories about Gwinnett needing to move teachers in March!

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  40. Dunno where to post this, but schools will combine their cohorts on Monday, March 29, with many classes moving well above 16 kids. Yes, the CDC changed guidelines, but we’re a week from spring break and maybe 3-4 weeks from all teachers being vaccinated. Why the rush? We’re spiking the ball on the 5 yard line!
    Geez…

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  41. ConcernedToo

    I know schools have been sending word about the combined co-horts but has anyone seen it posted on the DCSD website? All I see is the original return details. Are people aware there are vacancies from teachers that have left this year? With no subs and no replacement? These split classes are driving our class occupancies higher, and what happens when a teacher is absent from a team that is already down a teacher?!?
    Can we get subs? Can we get help? Sure many teachers have been vaccinated, but most have only one dose and others need another week or two for it to be truly effective? Why the rush to combine before spring break?
    Get us the help we need. Dekalb has known about this for a year now. We don’t want excuses. We want results.

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  42. I may have missed this. Does anyone know how many sudents in DeKalb have actually returned to Face to Face Instruction?

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  43. Humpty Dance

    $750,000 to Rudy Crew….

    Do I see more furlough days in the future for DeKalb employees?

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  44. Deborah Fountain

    Oh Goodness! Rudy got his way. Morley needs to censor herself in what she says. Her loud, verbal opinions caused this lawsuit generally, that my opinion:)
    Dekalb is getting over $313 million in CARES II money, the most of any metro school district, I think.
    That money should be prioritized to reinstate furlough days but sadly, it will probably be squandered away on who knows what!
    Dekalb could be a reality TV show! A sad state of affairs.

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  45. *I may have missed this. Does anyone know how many sudents in DeKalb have actually returned to Face to Face Instruction?*

    1/3 so far

    https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/two-thirds-of-dekalb-students-continue-with-remote-learning-option/FWR5ACROQBEYZIJRDHVF34YCJQ/

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  46. DSW2Contributor

    Former DCSD superintendent candidate to receive $750,000 settlement

    March 26, 2021 Asia Ashley

    DeKalb County Board of Education approved a $750,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed by former superintendent candidate Rudy Crew.

    In April 2020, Crew was announced as the sole final candidate for the superintendent role of DeKalb County School District; however, following public opposition, the DCSD’s board of education members voted May 11 to not offer him the position. One month later, the board named Cheryl-Watson Harris as superintendent.

    Crew’s lawsuit, filed in Georgia’s Northern District Court in October 2020, alleges age and race discrimination by the DeKalb Board of Education. The lawsuit alleges that during the selection process, agist comments were made about Crew.

    “When publicly announcing the board’s selection of Watson-Harris, Board Chairman Marshall Orson held her out as ‘part of the next generation of outstanding leaders in public education,’ confirming the Board selected her instead of Crew because of age bias,” the lawsuit states.

    The lawsuit is also filed against board of education member Joyce Morley individually for alleged racial discrimination, stating “Morley disparaged Crew because his late wife was White, claiming this meant he did not respect Black women (like her).”

    The $750,000 settlement was approved by the board of education March 26 after a brief executive session. Crew’s lawsuit sought back pay, compensation for emotional distress and mental anguish, and punitive damages against Morley.

    This article will be updated at a later date.

    http://thechampionnewspaper.com/news/local/former-dcsd-superintendent-candidate-to-receive-750000-settlement/

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  47. Thank you @PKC.

    2
  48. In-person learning isn’t “fun”...

    Read an article that discusses the billboard parents’ “disappointment” with in-person learning because it isn’t fun and engaging. These are the same parents who threw tantrums to have schools reopen prematurely, despite the fact that teachers made it very clear that in-person learning would look exactly like virtual learning. Again, nobody listens to teachers. Now they’re complaining because in-person learning doesn’t look how they want it to look. Certain parents in certain parts of this county make working here unbearable. I decided to leave the county this year because I refuse to be disrespected and ordered around by these parents, who want us to risk our (and our family’s) lives and health to babysit their kids. Add in the furlough days to pay for lawsuits that DeKalb brought on itself, and it doesn’t even make it worth it to stay in this county. I’d rather shovel horse manure on a daily basis than work another day in DeKalb.

    19
  49. A Perfect Storm

    Yes, a perfect storm is brewing in DeKalb. Week after week, headline after headline, promotion after promotion, all of this is setting up a perfect storm. The storm could very well look like another SACS review or a recommendation for the State to intervene.
    Either way or some other option, DeKalb has to be forced to do better for all stakeholders, especially the students.
    Millions of dollars in Covid funds and no one, and I mean absoutely no one – on the board, in leadership, or in the high schools, thought to spend one dime on the juniors and seniors to support them through this pandemic. The District that loves to buy programs, didn’t think to purchase a program to put on all high schoolers devices to support SAT/ACT preparation? The District could have mailed each 10th-12th grader a SAT prep study book to their homes. These students will not have time to recover their learning losses. This was the perfect opportunity to get some good press by doing something innovative, to support these kiddos who have lost over a year of traditional learning and socialization. Nope.
    Let’s take a look at the latest Superintendent search. Never have I ever heard of a talent search company that recommends one candidate for a position paying $350k plus (includes perks, can’t forget the perks).
    Now let’s talk about Rudy. What reputable talent search company confidently recommends a candidate, that a simple and free Google search can return more than a few questionable findings? And what responsible Board decides to move forward with offering a contract to that same candidate?
    Now, Champion newspaper is reporting that same Board agreed to pay good ol’ Rudy (no pun intended) $750k. The District can not afford to keep paying these lawsuits and superintendents.
    At some point, all of this and more should be throwing up red flags. The District can not keep rebounding from these ill fated decisions.
    Region1 parents are selling their homes quicker than the agents can type the listing. The District remains top heavy and the board members seem to be at odds every meeting. Does any of this sound like Deja vu?
    Thus, a perfect storm is indeed brewing….

    14
  50. @Cere is BIG DUMB. Why do people reply to someone so obviously poorly educated, ignorant, self-centered and just plain stupid?

  51. Patiently waiting

    When can we expect the payment stipend for January’s professional development day?

    3
  52. Demographics

    @a perfect storm

    You can thank racist Dr. Morley for bringing up his Whit wife. The scorn of a black woman. Can’t stand when black men marry “YT.”

    https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/dekalb-county/dekalb-schools-now-paying-750k-rejected-superintendent-candidate/7LB5NAOK2ZB2NHZGHKPWSPHHYA/

    4
  53. Demographics

    @ A Perfect storm

    Your comment has been pointed out on the TOD.

    It’s Pollen Season
    “A recent comment on Stan da Man’s idling blog characterizes the dumpster fire known as DCSD as an approaching “perfect storm.” From the outset let’s be clear, this is not a trashing of that individual or the specific comment because the observations and conclusion are and have been shared by generations of parents and teachers in DeKalb, but THAT is part of the real problem. So this is not a perfect storm, a rare occurrence, it is more a routine, regular event like the pine pollen coloring our world yellow. It has been here before. It will be here again. And no one has what it takes to prevent it-cut down all the pine trees.

    Like the weather, and pollen season, folks like to complain about school systems. The same recurring complaints. The super is some kind of ambitious, self-serving creature that doesn’t care about the teachers and staff, complaints that could be leveled against Crawford, Green, Watson-Harris and a host of others. It isn’t the super and changing the name and face won’t make a meaningful difference. That someone [else, it is always someone else] must do something. They say the State, or the Governor must step in and do something even though this has already been tried and failed. This Governor would be no more effective than the last. Then there is the accrediting agency. Why don’t they step up and step in and protect the teachers and staff? That’s because SACS>AdvancEd>Cognia is a business beholding to the customer so they stand up for the district administration, protecting them from outside influences and they will punish micro-managing boards long before they call a super to task.

    The root cause is in the community, resting in those folks who say things like “stand up for all the stakeholders, especially the students.” Just as in that phrasing, the students always come last, as if they are just an afterthought. But they are not an afterthought at all. They are tools. When an eSPLOST comes up school apologists will tout “it is for the students” even as they acknowledge that most of the money will be wasted but there is hope that some funds will make it to the classroom. Despite the blatant waste, this has proven compelling. And parents, no matter how vocal, generally limit their true concerns to their child and their focus hopscotches from school to school as their child, inevitably, moves on. And that inevitability is an intentional, foregone conclusion: students will not be held back; they will not learn; and outside sports they will never be subjected to a meritocracy. That’s why colleges and universities have remediation, whether explicit or embedded.

    So this is not a perfect storm. It is not some unlikely confluence of bad circumstances creating an unusual crisis. It is structural. It is systemic. And it is by design. And the catalyst for all this is “for all the stakeholders, especially the students.” So long as this remains effective our schools will remain in their current state. Or worse.

    So whenever you hear “for the students,” just inhale, exhale and move on.”

    https://theotherdunwoody.blogspot.com/2021/04/its-pollen-season.html

    10
  54. Surprise!!!! (Not really)

    I’ve seen about 5 articles today alone that discuss the “alarming” findings that kids do, in fact, spread COVID just as much as everyone else. Interesting. Isn’t this what teachers have been saying for a year? Weren’t we called selfish, hysterical, lazy, etc. for wanting to protect ourselves because we knew that the whole idea that kids couldn’t spread a contagious virus was utter b.s.? Weren’t people like Demographics (nobody wants to read your blog, btw) telling us that we were basically idiots who can’t do anything but teach? Interesting.

    17
  55. ConcernedToo

    Couldn’t agree more with Deborah Fountain’s post. Give us back our furloughed days!!! With an anticipated surplus, there is NO EXCUSE!
    APS just have their teachers/staff more money! A midyear raise. Imagine that?!?

    8
  56. Has anyone heard about DeKalb not hiring teachers who hold a provisional certificate? Our school is in an uproar over several teachers we might lose who are currently teaching with a provisional certificate. If DeKalb needs teachers so badly that they were asking parents to apply, why would they refuse provisionals?

    4
  57. Wo Pays the Most?

    I would like to see how far behind other metro schools in salaries Dekalb is now that APS, COBB , and Gwinnet, have raised salaries. Is Dekalb winning the race for the bottom?

    8
  58. 30 more days...

    30 more days and this hellish year will be over. 30 more days and I can say ”goodbye” to the hell hole known and DeKalb County School District. I can hardly wait.

    5
  59. Waiting for my dough

    I’m still waiting for the $500 bonus we were promised.

    5
  60. Compassion over compliance?

    Cheryl Watson-Harris has been forcing the leave department to deny valid FMLA and ADA applications, and then having her minions call educators and threaten them with termination if they don’t go against professional medical advice and return to work in buildings with no social distancing and 25 students in classrooms. Add that to the fact that we’ve had no duty-free lunch periods and we’re forced to work beyond our contract hours. Compassion over compliance my a*s! I hope we (educators) can get together, share our stories, and file a class action lawsuit against this county.

    9
  61. Thirty Years Dedicated

    DeKalb loses Noel Maloof again because of politics. They brought him in as COO; made him do all the work to get the system through the pandemic; and then Harris brought in her guy to reap the benefits of Maloof’s hard work. He had only overseen a small center, as opposed to Maloof’s Decatur City experience. Congratulations to Fulton County and to Noel Maloof! DeKalb just keeps getting it wrong.

    4
  62. In the past, stakeholders have criticized DCSD for promoting principals and APs to non-education cabinet positions for which they have not been trained (HR and Tekshia Ward-Smith comes to mind). Why does Mr. Maloof get a pass? He was a DCSD principal, left and after a year at Decatur Hi as principal that didn’t turn out so well, he was promoted to COO, with no certification/ training/experience as a COO. 3.5 yrs later, he returned to DCSD as deputy COO – not COO. Now, a year later and after a misstep where he admitted to the BOE he omitted CMP documents for stakeholders to see prior to the BOE meeting and after much public criticism about his ability to prepare and equip schools for students/staff to return, he leaves for Fulton. Wonder why he is really leaving after expressing great excitement just a year ago about returning to DCSD.

    https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/with-few-details-dekalb-schools-approves-contract-to-ease-crowding/XE3T3L4VEBGKNPESWTRZMSZ7KE/

    2
  63. Goodbye and good riddance to Noel Maloof…Dekalb deserves better.

    2
  64. DSW2Contributor

    I can’t imagine why someone would willingly go work for Fulton County schools right now. Their board meetings have gotten crazy, with all the Cheeto Jesus followers in North Fulton showing up to protest masks and vaccines:

    https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/fulton-county-school-board-meeting-gets-heated-over-masks-diversity-
    textbooks/HA4BGTGRHNCZHHXBKKBW3KL2PU/

    1
  65. DSW2Contributor

    ^^^ @AB – ” Wonder why he is really leaving after expressing great excitement just a year ago about returning to DCSD.”
    —————————————————————————–
    I don’t know why he’s leaving DCSD, but he is making a really good move if his goal is to be a Superintendent someday. The way things are going in Fulton County Schools they will be hiring an Interim Superintendent in the next 12 to 18 months.

  66. DSW2Contributor

    ^^ Corrected link to WSB-TV story “Fulton County school board meeting gets heated over masks, diversity in textbooks”:
    https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/fulton-county-school-board-meeting-gets-heated-over-masks-diversity-textbooks/HA4BGTGRHNCZHHXBKKBW3KL2PU/

  67. Humpty Dance

    GAS CRISIS

    In the well-run school system of Clayton County, which is led by the ex-DeKalb administrator Morcease Beasley, the AJC is reporting that he is considering returning to an all-virtual schedule BECAUSE OF THE GAS SHORTAGE/CRISIS.

    Why is it that the incredibly stupid dumbasses (yes, redundant, I know, but I want to emphasize just how very stupid Super Watson-Harris and her ilk are) in charge of DeKalb NEVER seem to have a clue about what to do until the very last minute? If even then…

    It is a NO BRAINER: Revert to all-virtual until there is gas available. Those big yellow vehicles with VERY FEW students on them should be sitting in the parking lot until this SHORTAGE/CRISIS is over.

    And what about all the many DeKalb employees who commute from Henry, Cobb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Fulton?

    Super Watson-Harris and her CREW absolutely suck.

    (And now disparaging remarks from our jocksniffers because I used a “bad” word.)

    12
  68. About damn time

    Yes teachers, you might have to work a full week next year…

    “The presidents of the nation’s two major teachers unions called separately for a full return to in-person learning in the fall, with the leader of the American Federation of Teachers declaring Thursday that her organization was “all-in.”

    In an address on social media, Randi Weingarten said the wide availability of vaccines and a new infusion of federal education money have removed many obstacles that prevented schools from opening.

    “Conditions have changed,” Weingarten said. “We can and we must reopen schools in the fall for in-person teaching, learning and support. And keep them open. Fully and safely, five days a week.”

    The National Education Association issued its own statement after Weingarten’s remarks.

    “NEA supports school buildings being open to students for in-person instruction in the fall,” said the group’s president, Becky Pringle. “Educators will continue to lead in making sure each school has what it needs to fully reopen in a safe and just way, and to ensure the resources exist to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of all students.””

    4
  69. Stakeholder

    I have some news for the previous poster, that is, you’re not the only one wishing for 5 days a week in the classroom F2F ONLY. It’s difficult for anyone not in this field to understand the unsustainable behind-the-scenes workload of hybrid. I work 12-15 hours every weekday and 10-12 every weekend on engaging, rigorous instruction for F2F and remote learners. I am not two people, it’s “about damn time” I stop working as two people.

    16
  70. About damn time for teachers to reclaim our time...

    About damn time,

    What teacher isn’t work 5 days/week now? On Wednesdays, my meetings start at 8 and don’t end until 3 or 4. The Wednesdays give us time to do all of the things that we’d normally have to do outside of our contract hours. They can take the Wednesdays back, but I’m taking my time back. I will no longer tutor students, grade assignments, meet with parents, plan lessons, etc. on my personal time. This past year has been really eye-opening, and I hope more teachers start to value themselves and understand that we’re completely disposable to admin, parents, and the larger community. STOP spending your personal time doing things for this job. If they valued our work, they’d give us time during our contract hours to do it.

    27
  71. Teachers getting shirt changed again!!!

    What’s the deal with only getting 8 weeks off this summer???

    7
  72. Short Changed

    Short Changed,

    I suspect that you aren’t a teacher and you posted that comment so that parents/community members would come on this blog and believe that teachers are complaining about summer break. There are a lot of comments on this blog that seem to be people posing as teachers so they can get a rise out of the community, and that’s pretty pathetic.

    8
  73. Job openings

    To all the parents who’ve spent the past year telling us that we’re horrible, selfish, lazy teachers who don’t know how to do our jobs…there are almost 400 open teaching positions on DeKalb’s hiring website. Feel free to apply!

    13
  74. So sad that this blog is essentially done. For so long it was the most accurate way of finding out what was going on with the county schools. Despite some angry trolls cluttering the site with their snarky posts, it remained a place where reasonable people could express their concerns about dysfunction (and occasionally good things) in DeKalb. It will be missed.

    On a side note, my condolences to Humpty Dance on the passing of Gregory Jacobs.

    18
  75. Dekalb Parsimonious AGAIN

    So far, APS, Gwinnet, Fulton, and Cobb have submitted budgets for 21-22 all with teachers getting raises. Of course, Dekalb has not. Wonder why there are over 600 positions available for 2021-22.

    20
  76. Coming Soon to a School Near You

    Coming Soon to a School Near You

    School Closure II
    Covid Redux

    5
  77. Concerned Teacher

    Does anyone know when they plan to post the updated teacher salary schedule for the 2021-2022 school year? The schedule that comes up right now is for 2020-2021, and that salary reflects 185 calendar days because we were furloughed on 5 days, but we are supposed to work 190 calendar days this year, so it should at minimum convert back to the salary schedule posted for the 2019-2020 school year. Human Resources claims that they are waiting on the board to send it, but the board approved the budget on 8/9/21, so I don’t understand why they are so hush-hush.

    9
  78. There's a kind of a Hush

    They probably don’t want to post a salary schedule because it will show Dekalb lagging APS, GWINNET, Cobb, and probably a lot more, All of the above mentioned districts increased teacher salaries for this year. Human resources is claiming there is a salary increase for teachers because, they are not using the salary reduction days like last year. In their mind…this is a raise.

    7
  79. love how cheerleader is trying to spin dismal Milestone results out today.

    2
  80. Dekalb wants teachers to come into buildings where appropriate social distancing is impossible, no cleaning supplies or PPE provided, no working Chromebooks, no adequate contact tracing amid daily new positive cases reported….literally putting their lives and their families’ lives at stake…and on top of all that…REDUCED THEIR PAY! Teachers should boycott and parents should be demanding that all children be provided with a virtual option that does not include their bogus, embarrassing,, sham of a virtual academy.

    10
  81. ConcernedToo

    Sounds like some middle school students at least in Region 2 will be leaving the Flex Academy classes and returning to their designated school to receive virtual instruction via a hybrid model due to the overwhelming number enrolled. What a mess! Absentee rates are higher than I’ve ever seen in the nearly 20 years in DCSD. Communication regarding those exposed or are they positive or why else are they out for almost 2 weeks is unacceptable! Notifications seem to be going out as generic whole school notices while specific contacts seem to be lacking.
    No student devices.
    PPE??? Cleaning supplies?
    Password reset is a hit or miss.
    WiFi is temperamental.

    14