Monthly Archives: February 2015

Just Say NO to Waivers

Say No To Waivers“Classrooms First for Georgia” – Requires, at a minimum, 65% of a system’s total operating funds to be spent in the classroom.  The statute was enacted in FY2008 and DeKalb Schools has never been in compliance.
On Monday the board will vote to waive the 65% rule for FY2014.
School districts are considered compliant if they increase their direct classroom expenditures as a percent of total operating expenditures by two or more percentage points over the previous fiscal year.

Expenditures FY2013 FY2014 Budgeted
Classroom $ 519,389,964 $ 549,876,910 $ 598,678,971
Operating $ 843,716,713 $ 893,149,340 $ 959,363,447
Classroom % 61.56 % 61.57 % 62.40 %

Fiscal Year 2014
The FY14 operating expenditures increased by $50 million from the previous year.  Unfortunately they spent the exact same percent on classroom expenditures.
Fiscal Year 2015 – Budgeted
FY15 will see an estimated increase of $66 million in operating expenditures and should move classroom instruction to 62.40%.
Fiscal Year 2016
The budgeting season is approaching us.  We can’t do anything about FY14 or FY15.  Moving forward, shouldn’t the school board’s top budget priority be to construct a budget with at least 65% of the operating expenditures going into the classroom for FY16?  As Nancy Jester use to say, “More classroom, less bureaucracy.”
#JustSayNoToWaivers   #MoreClassroomLessBureaucracy

Online School Choice Registration

Opening day of DCSD school choice online registration last week was an EPIC FAIL. The Superintendent apologized for any inconvenience or delay. The DeKalb Schools technology team worked night and day to correct the problem. On Monday, E-Portal was taken offline for maintenance and all the fixes installed. Unfortunately, when the switch was flipped back on, things were worse than ever.
Once again, the technology team has been working night and day to fix the problems.  Factchecker editors hear that DCSD is cleaning up the data and everything will be working like it should be by Monday.
So far the intel regarding data cleanup shows some progress.  Postings on Facebook include details like this from a parent who had problems and then saw a fix:
Wednesday 2/18 @ 4:45pm –  “All four of our kids have been removed from our profile, and it won’t let me into the form to add students. Good times!”
Thursday 2/19 @ 11:57am –  “With all the swirl surrounding the DCSD ePortal, I thought it was only fair that I share a positive story. Just got a call out of the blue from a lovely woman who said my account had been cleaned up, explained the reason for the problem, and how she fixed it. I just went into our account, and, VOILA!!, it was as she said. ”
You have until the end of next week (2/27) to register for school choice.  Check back periodically and by Monday E-Portal should work as expected.  If it isn’t working as expected by Monday, abandon all hope (ok, maybe that’s melodramatic) and register manually at the William Bradley Bryant Center.  People who have already registered manually tell me there are currently no lines.
Thursday 2/19 @ 10:52am – “it took an hour and a half, but I was able to get her registered at the Bryant Center. The staff was very nice and helpful. I just don’t think that all parents have the time to go there and wait in the line.”