Category Archives: Teachers

Professional Development Institute

DeKalb Schools has a new concept called the “Professional Development Institute”. It will be deployed this Wednesday – Friday (Aug 5-7). The goal of these 3 days is to learn how to teach virtually effectively.

DeKalb Schools Teachers

There are a lot of questions. Hopefully we can figure out some answers here. This is what we know so far.

ProDev Rate: Certified staff $35/hr & Classified staff $18/hr

The administration tells me professional development is “strongly encouraged”, but it is not mandatory.

Mandatory & Choice Sessions
All identified school-based employee groups who attend the full-day professional development sessions will be compensated through a STIPEND process. I don’t believe the stipend amount has been defined yet.

There are mandatory whole team sessions each AM. AM Mandatory whole group virtual meetings will be guided/facilitated by the local
school principal via a staff TEAMS meeting.


DeKalb Schools Professional Development Institute

Although sessions in the PM are primarily choice, there are sessions that are required for certain employee groups based on guidance from a particular DCSD department (e.g., Exceptional Education Dept., etc.) and/or the local school principal.


DeKalb Schools Professional Development Institute

The sessions may either be asynchronous (pre-recorded) or synchronous (LIVE). There are no session/course capacity limits which would require pre-registration. It seems like attendance will be determined by virtual monitoring and/or uploaded lesson work.

In other News …

Middle School Sports – Note from DeKalb Schools Administration,

“In coordination with other Metro-Atlanta school districts, an abundance of caution and the best interest of our children, staff and community, DCSD has elected to postpone all middle school sports activities for the 2020-21 school year. The rationale for this decision was based on

  1. the assessment of other Metro Atlanta districts with middle school programs and
  2. primarily on the data provided by the Georgia State Board of Health regarding COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and mortality rates. ”

DeKalb Schools Sports – Town Hall

DeKalb Schools Approves TSA Settlement

This morning the 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.

Principal Terms of Approved Settlement

$117.5 million settlement will be subject to the preliminary and final approval of the court.

Increment payments are: First payment of $27.5 million payable at the conclusion of the court approval process and expiration of the appeals deadline. The initial payment is followed by 4 annual payments of $22.5 million due on the anniversary of the first payment.

Moving forward, the attorneys will submit pleadings to the court for preliminary approval. Notice will be sent to the prospective class members. The court will need to deliberate on the reasonableness of the settlement and make a final decision.

It is likely that prospective class members will be notified in 30 to 60 days with instructions on how to proceed.

Message From Barnes Law Group

“Since this settlement was announced, we have been overwhelmed by many calls and emails expressing thanks and, also, seeking additional information regarding the timing of the process. We created an official settlement website dedicated to informing potential Class Members of their legal rights and providing other important information. Please visit the settlement website at, where you will find copies of the Settlement Agreement as well as other significant documents or orders. Also, you will be able to find discussion of the terms of the settlement; the judicial process for approving the settlement; and other information that may help you determine whether you are a Class Member and whether you are eligible for a payment.”

History of TSA

2009 – The DeKalb County School District stopped payment on TSA, a supplemental retirement fund for district employees. (Note: The TSA is separate and apart from the TRS) Plaintiffs claim this was in direct violation of the contract the district agreed to and resulted in the loss of millions of dollars for district employees.

2017 – Judge Gregory Adams of the Superior Court of DeKalb County dismissed the employees’ lawsuit entirely and withheld ruling on class certification. Plaintiffs appealed.

June 1, 2018 The Georgia Court of Appeals issued an Opinion that
1) overturned the dismissal of Plaintiffs’ claims;
2) determined that the District is liable as a matter of law for breaching its legal duty to the employees;
3) ruled the Plaintiffs were entitled to judgment on liability in their favor, with only issues of damages calculations remaining for trial by jury; and
4) ruled that the trial court must reconsider class certification in light of the Gold III Opinion.

Oct 21, 2019 – The Supreme Court of Georgia ruled in favor of DeKalb County teachers and school employees. While the Supreme Court didn’t agree with the findings of the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court did agree with their conclusion saying, “we agree with the Court of Appeals, albeit for somewhat different reasons, that the trial court erred in granting Appellants’ motion for summary judgment and in denying Appellees’ motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability for breach of contract.”

For more detailed information, the 2017 Summary Judgement goes into the factual details of the case. The TSA – Tax Sheltered Annuity Summary is a laymen’s view of TSA and the Gold Case