DeKalb County School District – Legislative Priorities

Hold on to your wallets because the 2014 Georgia Legislative Session started last week.  The DeKalb Board of Education discussed the following legislative agenda items at the 01/06/2014 Work Session (Video and Transcript).  The DeKalb Legislative Delegation is requested to actively support each priority along with the Governor and the collective membership of the Georgia General Assembly.  The Superintendent recommended focusing on increased state funding.  The other items will be discussed further at the board retreat.
DCSS – Increase State QBE Funding – With increasing limited resources it is critical that any updates to the QBE formula are initiated with proper funding to support the formula figures.

Note – DeKalb Schools has the 2nd highest millage rate in the state.  Over the last 17 years funding for DeKalb Schools has been trending up.  The general operating budget increased by $27 million this year.
DCSS – Instructional Expenditure Control – DCSD supports flexibility and controls at the district-level which permit transfer of funds among QBE programs.
Note – The partially funded Bridge Initiative is budgeted for $72 million and will be paid for by taking Title I, Title II and Pre-K money out of the school house and into parent centers.  This item requests further flexibility to transfer funds out of the school house.
DCSS – Personnel Work Days – DCSD opposes any legislation that would put restrictions on school boards’ policies regarding the implementation and enforcement of reductions in force or decreases in personnel work days.
Note – In the years leading up to the recession, spending on administration and staff services increased exponentially.  Since the recession, the budget has been balanced on the backs of teachers.
DCSS – Compulsory School Attendance Age – An increase the state compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 17 years of age in an effort to increase the graduation rate, DCSD recommends that the Governor and the General Assembly
Note – DeKalb’s graduation rate, at 58.9%, is far too low.  Of the 25 high schools in DeKalb, 8 have graduation rates below 50%, while only 4 have rates above 75%.  The compulsory school attendance age doesn’t address the systemic issues.
DCSS – School Voucher and Tax Credit Initiatives – DCSD opposes legislation that mandates or permits public school programs, activities, facilities, or funding to be allocated to non-public school students through any type or form of vouchers, scholarships or tuition tax credits.
Note – DeKalb Schools has opposed school choice at every turn from the Charter School Amendment to the Druid Hills Charter Cluster Petition.

3 responses to “DeKalb County School District – Legislative Priorities

  1. Stan, you are right on target. You’ll make an outstanding member of the school board and bring a voice that has largely been missing this past year. I also wish Nancy well and fully support her in her quest to be the State School Superintendent.

  2. Good Evening Bob.
    That’s very nice of you to say. We appreciate your support.

  3. Gee Stan,
    When you put it like that it all sounds like business as usual.