Human Resources Report
- 04/01/2014 Work Session & Board Meeting
- April 2014 Human Resources Monthly Report
- Vacancy Report distributed 4.1.2014
Monthly Human Resources Report
Dr. Tekshia M. Ward-Smith -(Chief Human Resources Officer)
HR monthly report includes
22 – New Contracted Employees
83 – New Non-Contracted Employees
50 – Resignations
1 – Termination
The vacancy report includes a comparison of vacancy data by district and vacancy trends.
Orson – Gwinnett’s vacancy number is very high.
Dr. Tekshia M. Ward-Smith – It reflects FY’15 openings
Morley – How are we handling the emails and news about assessing teachers fines for breaking their contracts? How are we explaining that and the fact it was already there, but just not actually enforced?
Dr. Tekshia M. Ward-Smith – On March 26th, 2014 about 6,800 contracts were issued. Included in that contract was a liquidated damages clause. It was inserted because our goal is to improve student academic achievement. Academic achievement was especially impacted last year when approximately 500 teachers requested a release from their contract. 100 were denied. 400 did not. We had 50 that did not show up on the first day of school. 5 days prior to the school year, the pool of applicants is diminished.
The liquidated damages clause was inserted this year. It is nothing new. Many districts have this clause like Fulton county. Please note the educator’s code of ethics [Georgia Professional Standards Commission] states that abandonment of contract, a teacher cannot abandon a contract. This is a particular code of ethics that all employees are trained on.
In accordance with policy GAA, all school based contracts will be presented to the board of education for approval.
McMahan – How do we address the salary schedule? APS is dipping into reserves. APS pays $1K more per month for 10 year employees. That’s what I’m hearing from our teachers.
Orson – For various reasons we have lost the conditions under which teachers want to stay here for their careers. The liquidated damages provision doesn’t actually solve the problem.
Michael Thurmond (Superintendent) – I see it from a different perspective. We should emphasize this represents a small percent of our teachers. Parents are very upset when they don’t have a certified teacher on day 1. The liquidated damages clause gives us the right to pursue the $750, but we don’t know if we actually will. We as educators have a responsibility to fulfill our contracts once we make that commitment.
Some of these teachers had multiple contracts all Summer. We aren’t trying to force anybody to stay. We just want to know so we can make arrangements.
This isn’t an iron clad contract. There are instances where you can be relieved of your obligations.
Dr. Tekshia M. Ward-Smith – Correct – Illness, married, moving, spousal transfer or promotion. With documentation, we will release individuals from their contract.
Thurmond – It was tough last year. It was not a board decision, it was a Superintendent decision.
Johnson – We appreciate you taking that stand.
Erwin – How is it affecting teacher morale?
Dr. Tekshia M. Ward-Smith – A majority of teachers are just unclear.
Erwin – Is there a plan to provide clarity?
Dr. Tekshia M. Ward-Smith – We sent out a FAQ last week.
Thurmond – I’d like to point out that I’ve received some responses from parents who said finally DeKalb got some guts to stand up for our children. Also, we’ve had a spike in applications from highly qualified men and women who want to work in DeKalb. We are becoming a much more attractive option.
Morley – [anecdotes of everything that has been said … yada yada yada]
This is not punishment. Being in business for myself, I have […]
We’ve got to come together … put our money where our mouth is … recruit, retain, and maintain … we must support our Superintendent …
McMahan – How many teachers in the district?
Dr. Tekshia M. Ward-Smith – About 6,300 teachers. 6,800 is inclusive of teachers, principals, media specialists, etc…
McMahan – Do we extend contracts to everybody?
Dr. Tekshia M. Ward-Smith – Everybody that was recommended for contract renewal received a contract. We have 170 delays. We provide principals the option to delay contracts.
We are required to let people know one way or the other by May 15th.
McMahan – Furlough days are $3 million per day. That’s $9 million to get rid of all the furlough days. I would rather reward teachers for renewals than punish them for breaking if it’s financially feasible.