Looks like DeKalb School System's latest numbers show yet another increase in population at local schools (the south side DeKalb parents ranting about why only schools on the south side were identified for closure should take a look at the following chart).
Here is a link to the chart in full. As you can clearly see, every school in the Dunwoody Cluster will have an increase in student population. DeKalb is referring to this as a bubble. Problem is, this bubble has been growing for years. I'm not a demographics expert nor an urban planner, but I do know lots of families with kids continue to live here. Maybe it is a bubble, and people will soon realize DeKalb's school board is mismanaging close to a billion dollars a year and will leave the district like they did in Clayton County. Or, the board will change (physically and mentally) and our bubble here will continue to grow and our schools will improve and our schools will no longer have trailers.
Will the trailers hauled away last year (when 4th and 5th graders were yanked from their local neighborhood schools) be brought back to Austin and other schools?
At last week's city council meeting there was discussion about sidewalks. Council all seemed to agree that new sidewalks should be installed at the schools first. The Safe School Route program was deemed more important than other streets in Dunwoody. I've got no problem with that. Hats off to council for making it safer for kids to walk to school. But if our city council is so concerned with the local children, why no official Resolutions or Declarations declaring our over-crowded schools a travesty? Why no calls for redistricting from city leaders, so that Dunwoody kids are not placed in over-crowded schools and trailers during the school year? Dunwoody is looking for a new brand and logo. Should the new logo incorporate a rental trailer parked behind a school on a former grassy playground?
On the topics of schools and our DeKalb school board - who will run for school board this fall? Jim Redovian is currently the Dunwoody (District 1) representative. This is his 4th year on the board. Not sure if he is running for re-election or not. How has the Mr Redovian and the rest of the board performed the past few years? I do know the board has approved lots of new positions and 'negotiated' some nice compensation packages. And just last year they praised Crawford Lewis and extended his time as superintendent. That didn't work out so well for anyone except Lewis. Of course the economy has put the board in a bad spot, something out of their control. But other counties seem to be doing a better job of managing taxpayer money than does our current school board.
Salary of Central Office Employees:
2004 DeKalb Salary versus Current DeKalb Salary:
LEWIS,CRAWFORD $112,074 - $287,991.63
REID,PATRICIA A $100,010- $197,592.50
CALLAWAY,FRANKIE B $106,698- $165,035.69
MOSELEY,ROBERT G $106,698- $165,035.69
TALLEY,GLORIA S no data available - $165,035.69
TURK,MARCUS T $75,558 - $165,035.69
TYSON,RAMONA H $99,960- $165,035.69
WILSON,JAMIE L $85,502 - $165,035.69
SATTARI,DARYUSH $49,451- $147,539.80
MITCHELL,FELICIA M $96,354- $125,284.87
FREEMAN,TIMOTHY W $106,598 - $124,049.27
GILLIARD,WANDA S $102,594 - $124,049.27
THOMPSON,ALICE A $99,960- $124,049.27
NORRIS-BOUIE,WENDOLYN $100,060 - $122,345.84
DUNSON,HORACE C $90,606- $122,195.84
SEGOVIS,TERRY M $93,888 - $122,195.84
SIMPSON,RALPH L $95,826- $122,195.84
WHITE,DEBRA A $90,426 - $122,195.84
RHODES,CHERYL L $88,804 - $121,202.40
FREEMAN,SUSAN L $85,578 - $120,844.00
Here is a quote from a very involved blogger:
During this same time, classroom teachers have suffered furloughs, loss of retirement contributions, cut-backs and other affronts. I make the claim that the school system has bred bad morale by taking money from the classroom and giving it to the upper administration.There are so many school things to post, but just go to DeKalb School Watch and read as much as you can take. I could copy and paste for hours, but just go to that site and read for yourself about what board member(s) have campaign managers, children, other family relatives, business contacts' kids, etc. now working for DeKalb School District. I don't need to call anyone out, the info is already on line.
The past few years DeKalb has steadily increased the size and salaries of central office employees, then increased class size and decreased teacher pay. Meanwhile, our kids are housed in inferior buildings during school hours. Take a look at the growth of the school system's central office and wasteful spending that has taken place the past four years. Ask yourself if you think our local schools have improved the past four years or not? Sure, we have a shiny new building off Womack that has one in four seats empty. Parents and kids alike need to take responsibility for their own education, but they do need support (smaller class sizes, a trimmed down central office freeing up funds for school improvements, etc) from our local school board. Property values plummeted in Clayton County a few years ago, largely due to its school board's inadequacies; let's not repeat their failures.
Dunwoody needs a board member whom will not rubber-stamp everything put on his/her desk. We need a strong voice on the board. If I could hand pick a candidate for our school board rep, it would be Councilman Shortal. I've never mentioned this to him, but I really think his skills would be put to great use on the school board. He is doing a good job on Council, but I think he could do even more good for the city as a school board member. I think he could really shake things up on the school board, cut through all the nonsense, and right the ship. If a former gym teacher can be our superintendent, then surely a retired Marine Brigadier General can be a dedicated District 1 school board representative and a person to help lead DeKalb's schools.
I doubt Mr. Shortal would actually run for this office, but I'd support him fully if he did. If anyone out there is interested in running for the school board, go ahead and start work on your float for the annual Dunwoody Independence Day parade.