Fayette to lay off 175 teachers?

Tue, 02/10/2009 - 4:55pm
By: Ben Nelms

The weight of the Fayette County School System’s $14.5 million budget deficit will fall on teachers and instructional personnel — between 150 and 175 of them.

The Fayette County Board of Education is getting closer to inevitable personnel-related cuts for the coming school year needed to offset the projected deficit.

Facing the chopping block are 150-175 staff positions, reductions in employer-paid insurance premiums, charging out-of-county tuition for the children of school system employees and, potentially, an across the board pay cut for all employees.

Nearly all the staff reductions will come from the instructional areas, while just over a dozen come from the central office. A vote on some or all of the measures could come Feb. 23.

The 11-member Budget/Allotment Committee — the group that drew up the reduction list — is made up entirely of administrative staff and no teachers.

Director of Human Resources Reanee Ellis reported Monday on the committee recommendations, telling board members the committee understood the need to adequately address the $14.5 million projected shortfall.

Indicating the committee’s recommendation to eliminate 150-175 staff positions for FY 2010, Ellis said the recommendation targeted 157 in-school positions.

Of those, the committee called for a reduction of 100 staff in elementary schools, 22 staff in middle schools and 36 staff in high schools, for a savings of $7.787 million.

Nearly all the proposed reductions were for certified staff, those who have a contract such as teachers, psychologists, counselors, media specialists and art, music, band and physical education instructors.

Ellis said the reductions assume that Rivers Elementary will not be opened.

Up for consideration is the reduction of 15 central office positions for a savings of $170,000, for an average of $11,333 per position. Those positions include 2 positions in deputy superintendents‘ offices, 1 in finance, .5 in human resources, 1 in school operations, .5 in education, 1 in school nutrition, 1.5 at Lafayette Education Center, 3 in the After School Program, 4 in school improvement and .5 in purchasing.

Other reductions being considered by the board are a reduced work day to 6.5 hours for kindergarten, middle school, high school and media parapros totaling $512,200.

The committee said they preferred no reductions in benefits but could support reductions to the employer-paid portion of the health insurance premium from $71.14 to $35, a savings of $1.096 million, and similar reductions in dental from $22 to $11, a savings of $312,400, in life insurance with savings of $169,000 and long-term disability to save $300,000. Those reductions, if approved, would amount to $781,400.

All totaled, the committee’s recommendations for reductions in staff positions, reduced work days and staff paid benefit premiums totaled $10,346,900, leaving $4,173,000 in other cuts needed to cancel out the $14.5 million deficit.

Another committee recommendation called for school system employees not residing in the county to pay $1,000 per child to attend Fayette schools. Ellis said the system currently serves approximately 300 children living outside the county. If approved, the school system would save $300,000.

The other large ticket item recommended by the committee, but with a caveat, was an across the board pay cut of 2.5 percent, with the understanding that a 3.5 percent cut might be necessary.

Comptroller Laura Brock told the board that each 1 percent across the board pay cut totals $1.2 million, indicating that to reach the $14.5 million threshold the board would have to impose a 3.5 percent cut if other committee recommendations were approved.

In her comments on the cuts, Ellis said the committee did not support two or more negative financial adjustments on pay for employees.

Based on earlier statements by Superintendent John DeCotis that much of the upcoming budget numbers would have to be addressed no later than March, board members will likely begin deciding on areas to be cut at the Feb. 23 meeting.

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Submitted by ats on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 10:25am.

Fayette County has great schools because of the TEACHERS - not Administrators. Yet, it is the teachers who are being cut. FCBOE is top heavy with more chiefs than necessary. And we are operating more like school districts twice to four times our size. A Superintendent plus 3 additional Superintendents? When the two latest Assistant Superintendents were upgraded from Directors to their current title they incurred close to 30% pay raise. However, the rank and file are not allowed to incur more than 6% a year. And Dr. Ellis and her group have continually conned the school board into across the board pay raises, so she could get her salary moved up. She recently made a statement 3 times as a matter of fact at a Board meeting that she is making less here than she did at her previous employer. (Dekalb CO). Hello - we are half the size of Dekalb, but her salary is not half of what she made there! I did an open records review of the salaries of the people on this COST CUTTING COMMITTEE! These are the people that need to take a pay cut - Look at the facts. This comes from the State Audits at openrecord.org. This is from last year and does not include the 2% plus step increase that these people received in July 2008.
Sweat $125,793. plus $8,000 in travel allottment
Wenzel $125,793.96 plus travel
Horton $102,308 plus travel
Beaubien $97,700.48 plus travel
Brook - $92,615.85 plus travel
Ellis $105,204.00 plus travel
Fleming $111,672.00 plus travel
Gray - came mid year plus travel
Oliver $129,648.00 plus travel
Serapion $102,108.00 plus travel
Watson $108,384.00 plus travel
If you eliminate the travel alone for the first two individuals it would pay for the salary of 1+ parapro.Eliminsating the travel of the remainder would pay for another 1 1/2 to 2 parapros. Dr. DeCotis makes more money than the Govenor of Georgia. If you want someone to trim your budget - make that committee up of individuals who have to budget on a daily basis. Put some single Moms on that committee. Put some hard working teachers on that committee.

Submitted by hsh87 on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 8:27pm.

This person is so right! I say we fire the committee, get rid of the school board that just got back in office(I didn't vote for any of them) and get rid of Decotis - lets start from scratch and yes, get some people in there that know what it means to have to budget and watch your pennies - I still say get rid of the excess baggage at the middle and high school levels too(vice principles) I could name several that aren't worth a pot to ...well, you know the rest.

Submitted by fayette911 on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 10:54am.

You would think they might include a teacher on the list. God forbid they look at including a bus driver, janitor or good ol' common folk.
That would give the appearance that they want input.
Speaking of input, can they have a board meeting of this importance anywhere else besides the rat cage up at the board of education? They have two auditoriums (Sams in Fayette and Dukes at SMHS) that could fit more people so we could see who is saying what instead of listening through a speaker in the lobby that sounds about as good as Charlie Brown's teacher talking.
They DO NOT care about the appearance of their actions so why should we think they care about their actions in the first place.
No one is going to hold them accountable! NO ONE!

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 12:12pm.

To get to the alleged $14.5 million shortfall (which I have a hunch will magically reduce to about $10.5 million, given the BOE's history of Chicken Little rhetoric), the simple fact is that the bulk of the cuts will come from front-line staff (i.e. teachers and parapros).

Right now, based on everything I've read that has been made available from the BOE (a huge caveat, there), it would appear that we are simply overstocked with teachers, specifically elementary school teachers. The BOE gambled on high growth and no recession, and came up 0-for-2. The student population simply doesn't support the number of elementary teachers in this county.

Some will have to go....and I invite anyone to try to convince me otherwise. Sure, there is some padding at the top of the pyramid, but the savings from cutbacks at that level are likely to be perhaps 5% of the shortfall.

The job of the School Administration (NOT BOARD) is to come up with a plan to fairly and equitably reduce staff under the confines of the law (specifically EEOC).

That's what SHOULD happen. I don't mind if 10 administrators get together to formulate a plan, if teachers were, say, programmers, you wouldn't invite programmers into a meeting to discuss layoffs.

What distresses me are the rumors (still unconfirmed) is that Janet Smola has become personally involved in personnel decisions, protecting her "favored few". If this is true, and I hope it is NOT TRUE, this is grounds for gross misconduct that should be grounds for removing Smola from the school board and having the school systems accreditation subjected to review (not unlike what initially got Clayton in trouble).

We live in interesting times.

Voice of Fayette Future's picture
Submitted by Voice of Fayett... on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 3:58pm.

One Wild Weekend in Dahlonega and you get branded for life. It ain't fair.

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 12:29pm.

Unfortunately, I know for a fact that Board Member Janet Smola has used her influence as a Board of Education Member to manipulate hiring decisions.

Obviously, she is not supposed to be involved in such matters.

Submitted by Nitpickers on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 5:42pm.

Well DUH!!!!

Happening since state schools were created.

It is a perk.
Usually done one on one---board member and Super, or deputy super.

It goes like this:

Would you just interview my nephew for an opening? I wouldn't want you to show any favoritism however. Thanks.

Submitted by Andre65 on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 1:52pm.

This needs to be reported to SACS. Why do some feel the need to overstep their bounds? Too bad for the rest of us. Now the whole county may be subjected to the impending shame that this women may very well bring upon us. Thank you, Steve, for this information.

Submitted by Linda Wheatley on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 9:02am.

Maybe FCBOE could implement "Nordic Tuesday" like in this commercial...it reminds me of the school system whenever I
see it on TV....

Submitted by treehuggingtroll on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 7:38pm.

In a school district in Maine, more than half the employees agreed to cut their own pay and hours instead of allowing the district to lay off their friends and coworkers. That is true selflessness. I know we are all blaming this person or that person for our current crisis. Now that we're done lamenting our situation, let's create a solution. The teachers in Maine have even given us a road map. I want my job, but I want my friend to have theirs as well. If the people of Maine can pull this off, can we do any less?

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
--Ancient Chinese Proverb

"The selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job [would see] us through our darkest hours."
--Barack Obama (from his inauguration address I believe)

Here's a link to a video about the district in Maine.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Fri, 02/13/2009 - 9:46pm.

Submitted by treehuggingtroll on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 10:11pm.

At this point, I've taken to thinking that we should all just take a 5-10% pay cut (ouch!) across the board and at least keep our jobs. We'd keep our current student to teacher ratios (good for the kids and for the sanity of the teachers) and the county could then whittle down the number of teachers through natural attrition. It would also allow us to stay where we are, avoiding all the shuffling that seems to be coming. That would allow us some consistency from one year to the next, which can only improve the situation for all. There's nothing so depressing as not knowing which grade level you'll be teaching...well, except for not knowing whether you'll have a job or not.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Fri, 02/13/2009 - 6:39pm.

taking a pay cut or their numbers being reduced till we get rid of the nepotism.

When we get rid of all the relatives on the payroll, that should save a couple of real teachers at the very least.

I am disgusted. There is no one to turn to who will do the right thing. Degotis, Sweat, Wright, Smola, Oliver, Smith? too many smiths to check and I don't know their kids name.

Everyone seems to have relatives on the payroll. Sad, some of these people make a lot of money, there was no need to come back for more.

In my eyes, Fayette county school system administrators are now a joke and a token relic we can't afford.
With all the people walking the streets looking for jobs, I'm sure there are at least a few honest ones that would be grateful for a job and take care of the school system, our children, and our money, like it isn't a grabb bag.

The land deals were sickening...the nepotism is something so trashy that I don't even want to go there. It shows an utter disrespect for the taxpayers, their offices, and by having unaccredited teachers, well what is this they are saying, the job is so easy, even a cave man can do it?

Submitted by Andre65 on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 10:23pm.

or...get rid of the teachers that don't actually teach. The teachers that do not have classes to teach. I've seen them and I'm sure you have too. From reading comments here it appears as though there are a multitude of personnel called "teacher" that do no such thing. I've actually seen one. She has an office with tables. There are usually other teachers in there eating. Why cut the pay of everyone when getting rid of a few may do the trick? I can't speak for the teachers and other school employees. I'm just a parent and a taxpayer (and a sub) and I see lots of wasteful things going on in some of the schools.

Submitted by Linda Wheatley on Fri, 02/13/2009 - 5:54pm.

They are called "Instructional Support Teachers"......

Submitted by ptcmom678 on Wed, 02/18/2009 - 7:32am.

These may be hearing interpreters, or collab. teachers, and my experience with this group has been that they do indeed support the instruction and teacher.

Submitted by hsh87 on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 9:34pm.

Yeah, my highschool son has one - he says she's never in the classroom - in one class he has, I won't name teachers or co op teacher either, but one day teacher didn't feel well, co op was MIA and so they elected a student to teach(they were just reading aloud that day) while teacher slept - nice! Ooh and morale is so high right now I heard a middle school student say his teacher made the comment to them "look, I don't want to be here anymore than you do" - again, Nice!

Submitted by Davids mom on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 6:38pm.

What is happening in Fayette County is happening all over our country. I remember if state and federal budgets were not determined in a timely manner - schools were forced to cut because of uncertain income from sources such as property tax, etc. In this present situation - our most valued resources, our teachers, are under the gun. I can't help but wonder about the true value of the inflated salaries and bonuses received by financial gurus - who failed. . . and the utter disregard for those in the teaching profession who control our future.

Submitted by ptcmom678 on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 5:54pm.

My understanding is that non-tenured Fayette County teachers have not and will not receive contracts. Unless, of course, 175-200 teachers retire or otherwise leave the system. Hopefully the stimulus money will ease this situation, but this is not coming until June. It will be very interesting to see if 1) the stimulus money is used as intended - to save some of these education positions in jeopardy, and 2) if all the non-tenured teachers with extremely familiar names are indeed given pink slips.

I'm not even going to cover the total hypocrisy of a committee made up of entirely administrative staff making decisions on system-wide job cuts. That has already been covered by other readers. Probably the one teacher bailed after figuring out what the rest of the committee was up to.

Submitted by Andre65 on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 9:10pm.

Some non-tenured teachers have already been told. Some are still in limbo. Some think that if they have a coaching position they are protected. It will be very interesting to see how your #2 comment plays.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 6:19pm.

The words "hiring freeze" have had a chilling effect on my current job search.

I recently received word that my first pick, a university not so very far from here, was suspending the search for candidates due to necessary budget cuts. And just today I interacted with someone from another great college where I would otherwise all but be guaranteed a job. They are cutting everyone's salaries a full 5% across the board--including the administration--and have put an 18 month hiring freeze into place. Guess I won't be going there.

Each day the news has stories of places like Emory or Spelman giving the axe to all of the adjuncts, etc. I'm doing adjunct teaching for a couple of universities in Georgia, so it makes me nervous to hear that.

These are tough times and they are going to get tougher.


"Puddleglum" by Weatherwax (one of the Muddlings).

Jeeves to the Rescue

Submitted by Nitpickers on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 8:50pm.

I noticed that even colleges and universities were stopping hiring--even laying off and firing.
Their cash bundles are down 30-40% from which they drew income.
Even Harvard is down an unimaginable amount.

I thought about you a couple of times when reading that.

I am afraid that I do agree with you concerning the immediate future.
Don't see how it can get better before it gets much worse.

I and others on here have said for 6-8 years that we were running a false economy--strictly on too much credit for individuals, businesses, and especially banks who were creating one hedge after another --calling them "products"--in order to continue the farce.

Our Federal government overlooked such conduct hoping that there would be no end to home values increasing and available credit.
If I knew it, then our government knew it but didn't want the responsibility to put a halt to it.

Now we face 20% or more unemployment, terrible inflation soon due to the devaluing of our dollar, worse and worse health systems, elimination of many jobs which produce no product to sell, worse education and educational opportunities, and oil prices to soon rise again if not for one reason a dozen.

On top of all that we haven't won a war after six years and the Muslims and Arabs are simply waiting us out to resume their same life.
I fear though we will still want to go through a "Viet Nam" in Afghanistan before we quit the foolishness!

Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Pakistan will snipe at us occasionally when it is convenient, also.

We are still operating most things at about 80% muddle, and their will be jobs open occasionally--although not what you wish to have necessarily. Lower your sights for awhile and go at it again!

Submitted by Andre65 on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 9:39am.

Since 175 teachers are going will there be a proportionate amount of admin staff going as well? Are the teachers that don't actually teach classes going to be let go? I know there are a few at one of the high schools. Didn't one of them have to start teaching a class this year to justify his position? Aren't there several special education teachers that don't set foot in a classroom? Will those teachers go? When will we parents find out who is going?

Submitted by hsh87 on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 9:40pm.

#1 - No, #2 - No, #3- probably so, #4- probably so, #5 - NO, #6 - NO - you see there are so many people on payroll that who knows what they do but they see and do what they want up there and until the citizens of Fayette put a stop to this, it will continue - and as I have said in many posts -we need to cut the # of vice principles, they act as some police precincts have - they have a quota to meet and they know which kids to use to meet their quotas to justify their positions as well - want to see them gone!

alittlebirdietoldme's picture
Submitted by alittlebirdietoldme on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 8:47am.

Who is going to step up to the plate for the good of our children and this county?
Who in the administration's county office is going to cut their salary or voluntarily resign for next year (leave before it will be disgraceful!)?
Who is going to take this situation to the next state level and get this nepotism and fiscal irresponsibity reported to someone who can actually get these bozos out of Fayette County?

All Smiles's picture
Submitted by All Smiles on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 7:49am.

Now she and her new position seem like a complete waste of tax payers money!!!!

Submitted by Andre65 on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 9:11pm.

Isn't her job one that is required by the state? I'm not sure.

Submitted by Doug on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 11:49am.

What is Tracie Flemming doing?

What's the truth on Janet Smola's son working for a local school?

Submitted by Tickt Teacher on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 11:56pm.

Why is it all we hear about is the teachers and para pros job cuts? What about all the excess high paying county office personal, the “Assistant This” and “Coordinator That”. Each of the 11 committee members make over $100,000 and not one teacher was asked for his or her opinion of the cost cutting proposals. No mention of any high level job cuts at the county office. Of the utmost importance is the classroom teachers and the integrity of the academics. Also,why do middle schools have 4 basketball teams, 2 football teams, 2 cheerleading squads, and 2 softball teams when job cuts and pay cuts are being contemplated? I also found out at the board meeting that the state allots administrators based on student enrollment and the FCBOE enrollment numbers should have 37 and yet we have 49. Once again, why do we need an excess of 12 administrators at a cost of $70,000 plus for each. As a Fayette county tax payer I was shocked to find out 300 out-of-county employee’s children are attending our schools at the expense of the Fayette County tax payers, and at a cost of $4,241 per child. Multiply the numbers!! $1,000 tuition is just a drop in the bucket. I am so angry to know those high payed officials at the county office didn't see this coming and better prepare for it. Why did we build more schools such as Bennetts Mill and Rivers when we didn't have the money or the students to necessitate building them?

Submitted by fourseam on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 9:07am.

Why is that when there are cuts to be made, they are made at the level where the work is actually done. Why can't we see that the top is where the trimming needs to be done, not in the schools where the students are being taught. Are we kidding ourselves that by letting teachers go that we are really solving the problem? Some of the decisions that have been made as far as schools being built, paying for advisement on zoning and who knows what else, are proof that our leadership is incapable of doing their job. Looks to me like they are not able or willing to do what's right for our children's future.

Submitted by hsh87 on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 9:50pm.

you see this is how it is done all over - starting with the top position in our country - the president - all these bail outs, who is being helped - the workers? no, the high paid execs - the person losing their home? no, the mortgage company that is taking their home - our country is about protecting the wrong ones - and you see our county is no different - need to save money, lets take it from the ones who make our education what it is - the teachers and lets not forget the bus drivers who get these kids to school, they make even less than the teachers, but lets make sure the high paid administrators aren't affected to much - with their proposed plans, whether it be pay cuts or benefit reductions - it will be the teachers and bus drivers, custodians, lunchroom workers that will be hurt by this - the big money in admin won't even feel it!

Submitted by Doug on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 10:05pm.

Cal Beverly and Steve Brown told everyone the story. How in the heck did Janet Smola get re-elected?

No reduction in benefits, are they kidding?

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 11:24pm.

You can thank the good people of Brooks, Woolsey, East Fayetteville and Lakemont for Janet Smola.

That was one of the more fascinating outcomes of the 2008 elections. The closer people lived to Janet Smola, the fewer votes she got. She barely won her "home" precinct (less than 2 dozen votes if I recall) and the people of Tyrone and Peachtree City voted in very large numbers against her, by a 3-2 margin.

Balance that against the good people living in Brooks, Woolsey, East Fayetteville, Starrs Mill and Lakemont. Those folks sent Janet Smola a big electoral wet kiss for not redistricting their kids. Political payback, pure and simple. Smola took the easy way out on re-districting, now we have one mothballed school, three severely under-attended schools, Burch is still slammed with overcrowding, and Bennett's Mill is still the 'middle school to nowhere' and huge sums of money paying for the best redistricting experts money could buy went down the toilet...but Janet Smola got re-elected.

If you really want to test your capacity for nausea, read THIS, just nine months ago, where Mrs. Smola brags about the belt-tightening she's forced Fayette county to do.

Submitted by Claude Y Paquin on Wed, 02/18/2009 - 8:48am.

In February 2005, The Citizen published the following letter to the editor from me, on the subject of District Voting. The voters of Fayette County have resisted the idea, though I see (in last Friday's Atlanta Journal Constitution) that it is being endorsed by the voters of Forsyth County. Had we had district voting, with candidates not only coming from a district but voted on only by the people in that district, it seems, from the information you provide, that Janet Smola would not have been elected this last July.

Perhaps the people of Fayette County will now understand the issue better. Here’s the text of my February 2005 letter in The Citizen.

Why are so many of us disgusted with politics and politicians?

An important reason is that we don’t know our representatives well enough, and they don’t know us either.

And why is it that we don’t know our representatives and they don’t know us? It can be because we have too many of them, and they have too many constituents.

Thus the recent proposal that we consider having representation by district in Fayette County comes as a breath of fresh air, and here’s how it would benefit us.

Right now, if I have a problem with any aspect of county government, I have five county commissioners to contact. Anyone that I would contact would probably ask himself, why is this citizen contacting me rather than any of the other four commissioners? It’s a fair question. The citizen wonders which of the five he’s supposed to contact, or whether to contact all five.

Meanwhile, each commissioner has an incentive and opportunity to pass the buck, telling himself that my problem is not “his” concern as I am no more his constituent than I am a constituent of the other four commissioners.

One commissioner told me that when he became commissioner he was advised (by the other commissioners) not to engage in e-mail correspondence with the citizens, apparently because he might be overwhelmed. If commissioners won’t respond to e-mail on purpose, that makes them less responsive to the people.

We have about 60,000 voters in Fayette County. That exposes each commissioner to the concerns of 60,000 people. With district representation, with five districts and one commissioner per district, each commissioner would be directly responsible to 12,000 voters. Why do so many of us favor smaller classroom sizes in our schools? It’s because it makes the teachers more effective, as they know the students better and have more time for each one. District voting has similar advantages.

At election time, the more candidates we have to consider as voters the more confused we tend to get. It’s certainly more difficult to sort out 15 candidates running for five positions than it is to sort out three running for one position. The candidates have a similar problem in trying to make themselves personally known to the voters. They have to resort to impersonal and costly ads with a limited message, and oftentimes feel moved to use gimmicks to get name recognition.

What we as voters need is to know our representatives, and to know them personally. They need to know us personally too, and to care about us. District voting makes it easier for us to know the candidates and to choose our representative wisely, and after the election it helps the representative be more responsive because we know who it is we are supposed to talk to, and the representative knows our vote has more weight, and our individual influence is greater, when we are part of a group of 12,000 voters than when we are part of a group of 60,000.

This debate we’re having about district representation in Fayette County is most welcome. As our population grows it is important to reexamine how we can improve the system so it can best serve the people, and I am glad to see someone turn on the heat toward making a positive change. A change is needed.

Claude Y. Paquin

Submitted by wildcat on Wed, 02/18/2009 - 8:38am.

and I live in Brooks. I had a Nicole File sign in my yard and that is the name I wrote in. I didn't vote for SPLOST either.

Submitted by ptcmom678 on Wed, 02/18/2009 - 7:30am.

I'm in Starrs Mill and voted against Smola AND was happy to write-in for Ms. File.

Submitted by dontmakemesay on Wed, 02/18/2009 - 6:13am.

"I shall continue to honor my personal promise not to impose my individual desires upon any school, department or operation within our system."

That contrast with writing the Rubric with Rene Ellis doesn't it? How much meddling will this county take?

Submitted by hsh87 on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 9:52pm.

I didn't vote for her! Nor did I vote for any other member that was running again - I vote for all those that were opposing our current members, despite what my neighbor kept saying - and Terri Smith ain't no better - oh and I didn't vote for the splost either - if they couldn't manage what they were already getting, why in the heck would I vote to give them more?

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 6:49am.

were right on! It was like they had a crystal ball. Everything they said, has happened.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 6:49am.

were right on! It was like they had a crystal ball. Everything they said, has happened.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 6:34am.

Big corporations absolutely will not put up with it for the obvious reasons. Why are we? This must be done away now!

WakeUp's picture
Submitted by WakeUp on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 9:44pm.

Dr. Decostusalot sold you down the river. The SPLOST was a POS and the economy tanked. We have to make adjustments and raising my taxes to pay for screw ups is not the answer. Get and retain the right teachers, get rid of the burden in administration and sell unused assets (like REAL ESTATE).

Submitted by Davids mom on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 6:49pm.

Sell? Have you found a buyer?

Submitted by DoubleDog on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 8:11pm.

I hope that the readers of this newpaper do not take what Mr. Nelms says in his article as the facts. If you really want to find the real facts please go to the Fayette County Board of Ed. Website and look under the Icon of EBoard. No where in the actual minutes of the board does it mention Art or Music teachers being cut as was stated in Mr. Nelms article.

Submitted by POedTchr on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 9:31pm.

As a teacher in this county for many years, I do not have a problem with paying tuition for my children to attend Fayette County schools. I do, however, have a problem with paying for my child to attend when it is known throughout the county that many of the students attending schools on the northern end of the county are known to reside in Clayton County. These students should be removed from the school system and their parents should be prosecuted before the board asks dedicated teachers, within the county, to pay $1500 to bring their children to Fayette County Schools - on top of a 3-5 % pay cut. What a slap in the face!

Submitted by Lawdawga on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 12:33am.

Hear, hear !!! I so much agree with you. This has been an ongoing problem for some time now and I simply don't understand why no one seems interested or does anything about it. That said, it is also my belief that a person teaching in this County (or any other) should be allowed to have his or her children attend schools without having to pay tuition. It should be a "benefit". Teachers are important...we need them...they don't get paid enough.


suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 8:35pm.

can we get 'just the facts' from your email tree?

Submitted by Brooks Parent on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 8:29pm.

I attended the board meeting. ALL teachers (music, PE, academics, special education, media specialists) are in the cuts. The term teachers covers all of them.

Submitted by dollaradayandno... on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 7:30am.

While we are talking about teaching!

Never have I seen so many using words incorrectly as on here!

"Nope your wrong," for instance!
What is a "your wrong?" I don't even have a right!

please try: you're, you are, or your for possessive.

Or better yet: Your dog bit me and you're in trouble--you are being sued!

Hit hain't hawrd!

Submitted by hsh87 on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 10:01pm.

I'm a Brooks parent too and ya know what? You need to be more concerned about what is going on here than criticing other people's grammar, spelling or whatever - oh and we should consider getting rid of Kleek too - we could run on just a vice principle down there for sure!

shadowalker's picture
Submitted by shadowalker on Mon, 02/16/2009 - 1:18pm.

Please with all due proper spelling kiss all of our collective butts

Submitted by Brooks Parent on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 9:52pm.

Thank you for pointing out the obvious on this blog site. But guess what?
YOU ARE still wrong!

Submitted by WiseOne on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 7:48pm.

With all the talk of teacher layoffs, I have seen no recommendations regarding elimination of supplemental contracts or extra-curricular activities and the associated expenses inherent to these activities (i.e. Buses, fuel, coaches, utilities at sports complexes). In many states, the first things to go when facing financial crisis are sports, band, chorus, etc. as they have determined education to be the most important asset provided by our school systems.

A second point involving the decision-making process would be selecting resident county teachers over non-resident county teachers. Teachers who are county residents are contributing property taxes and support to local county businesses thereby returning a portion of their salary to the county and the school system. Non-county teachers, however, are taking there salaries back to Henry, Coweta, Clayton, Spalding et al.

Submitted by hsh87 on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 10:05pm.

Just so you know - sports are not paid out of any money as far as I have been told - it cost $800+ to play football and $1000+ to play baseball and I don't know how much the other sports cost but the explanation I received was because sports were not funded by county or state, at least not in Fayette county.

Submitted by fayette911 on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 7:42pm.

First of all... were there any teachers on the group that came up with ideas to save money... NO
Second where there any CUTS to the fat CATS sitting in county office.... NO
Third why won't they hold these IMPORTANT board meetings down at Starrs Mill Aud. or SAMS Aud........ because they don't give a rats hind end of what the people/teachers say.
Don't think for a second that they are on the same team as the teachers. I am so disappointed I came here to teach and if I get a chance to leave I will.
somebody call 911

Submitted by Brooks Parent on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 9:23pm.

Joseph Jarrell was on the committee in the beginning. He teaches at McIntosh. On the most recent documents, I did not see his name.

Submitted by MacTheKnife on Fri, 02/13/2009 - 8:06pm.

J. Jarrell was not there as a teacher -0 he was there as a representative of PAGE, Professional Association of Georgia Educators to try to bring some common sense to an elitist group of bean counters and county office dictators. As you noted - he left shaking his head in disgust.

Submitted by ptcmom678 on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 8:50am.

the unofficial educational association for administrators or wannabe administration primarily. Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) is the teachers association - the one for those still in the classroom on a daily basis. GAE is already well-known as a watchdog group in Clayton County and are already following the situation in Fayette County with interest.

Submitted by fc1989 on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 10:25pm.

The committee that Jarrell was on was a "cost cutting committee". The one that said they could save the school system (and the world) by turning the lights off, the A/C up, and taking Fridays off in the summer.


This committe had several people from different employee groups. It doesn't seem any real impressive ideas came from this committee. There are always committees, like the SPLOST committee with about 100 people. A committee of one will get in done.

The "budget/allotment committe" is similiar to upper management at a large corporation planning a business reduction strategy. Not that you can run a government like a business...you cannot because your revenue stream has very little to do with delivering product or services....but none the less even in big corporation the planning process is usually a top down process especially when employment reduction seem necessary.

Submitted by treehuggingtroll on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 9:55pm.

Joseph Jarrell probably got laid off before he was allowed to assist in the process...he is only a TEACHER after all.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 8:12pm.

If Smola's child has no certificate to teach, much less English, he should be the 1st to go. The public will stand behind the teachers if they get something going.

I think the teachers were used to pass SPLOST and now they are discarding them. I think a lot are in denial about how bad they are being treated.

Yes, there are bad people. Good doesn't always win and 'what comes around...doesn't go around'. It does if you help what is right. You can't wait for good over evil to prevail, you must step up and stand up for yourselves and what is right, and for the children.

Submitted by Brooks Parent on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 6:37pm.

Dear Employees:
I know that many of you are anxious over the financial situation in our nation, state and county. I too am anxious. I’m sure many of you already know that the downturns in local and state revenue are leaving us with no choice but to make cuts in next year’s budget.
We are facing a $14,000,000 loss in revenue for FY 2010. A budget/allotment committee was put in place to research ways to address the loss in revenue. Coming up with cuts that directly affect employees is not something that any of us like or want to do. We know that these are difficult financial times for our school system family, but by pulling together and doing what we need to do to get by, I assure you that we will weather the storm.
Restoration Plan
Once a decision is made, the board has asked the budget/allotment committee to begin working on a restoration plan to get us back to where we were before cuts were made.
The committee presented its recommendations at Monday night’s board meeting. You can read the complete list of recommendations on eBoard under the “meetings” tab; however, I would like to point out a few of them.
Benefit Recommendations
Many of you have said that if we have to cut what the school system pays toward benefits, you would rather we leave medical and dental insurance intact as much as possible and cut contributions to life and long-term disability if necessary. The committee recommended cutting the employer paid portion of both medical and dental insurance in half, from $71.14 to $35 for medical and from $22 to $11 for dental, and completely eliminating the paid portion of life and long-term disability.
Reductions in benefit payments by the board will impact lower paid employees more than higher paid ones. Therefore, there is consideration not to cut benefit payments at all.
Pay Decreases
The committee also recommended a minimum 2.5 percent annual pay reduction for all employees but a maximum 3.5 percent reduction might be required to retain some of the employer paid benefits. Let me point out that while the lowest paid people on our staff will take a greater hit with the benefits, the pay reduction will have a larger affect on those at the higher end of the pay scale. A 5 percent cut is proposed if paid benefits are not reduced.
Every pay and benefit reduction impacts all employees, including the superintendent, county office staff, school staff and all other programs.
Out-of-County Student Tuition
Another proposed item is the recommendation to start charging out-of-county employees tuition if they want their children to attend our schools. Currently, employees have the benefit of enrolling their children in our schools without being charged. This is an important benefit to our employees but let me explain why the committee is recommending tuition. The cost to educate a child in our system is $8,241. The local taxpayer has to shoulder about $4,241 of that cost for each student. Like everyone else, our taxpayers are feeling the hurt from this economy. Even so, they showed their support for us and voted in favor of the SPOLST in November, which is helping us to minimize cuts.
The recommended tuition is $1,000 to possibly $1,500 per child to help offset the cost. This item, because it will have a big impact on our employees, will require further discussion.
Allotment recommendations were also made Monday night. Again, you can go to eBoard to read through these for each school level. Nurses are still in the school allotment.
Rivers Elementary Status
Due to expenses of staffing Rivers Elementary, the committee has recommended that it open as a school for satellite programs next year and not as a full elementary school. In the future, as finances improve, it can be converted to a charter/magnet school or a regular elementary school.
Next Steps
The board will meet again on February 23 during a called session to further discuss the proposed cuts and take a vote on the allotments so that we can begin issuing contracts to our tenured teachers. If the board feels that a pay reduction for all employees is necessary, we will hold public hearings on February 25 and 26 starting at 7 p.m. at the board of education building. After the last public comment on February 26, the board will take a vote on pay decreases and any other recommended cuts such as the employer paid portion of our benefits.
Stay Informed
Don’t forget that you can listen to the entire discussion from Monday night’s board meeting by going to the podcast page on our website. All documents that were presented to the board are posted on eBoard. I encourage you to utilize both of these resources so that you have correct information about what was discussed. For any questions that you might have, please call or email Melinda Berry-Dreisbach in our public information department, 770-460-3535 or berrydreisbach.melinda@fcboe.org.
Final Thoughts
As I said in the beginning, none of us want to do any of the things that have been discussed, but there is no choice right now. It is important that our school system family support each other because together we can manage our way through this situation. It is going to be a challenge but I promise we will do our best to maintain our excellent programs for our children during these difficult times.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 4:20am.

157 out of 159 counties in the state of Georgia require teachers to pay for their own health and dental insurance ($71 and $22 per month, respectively).

Only Fayette county and Forsyth county do not.

This would appear to me to be an employee perk that we as taxpayers can no longer afford.

Submitted by hsh87 on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 10:19pm.

since the pay already sucks - yes, it is a perk - and the premiums FYI have gone up quite a bit over the past 2 years as well as deductibles and copays - but guess what sniffles5? the pay has not, so cutting this out will hurt a lot and cutting the pay will be detrimental to most of the lower paid employees and I include teachers in this cause they don't make what they're worth - I believe it they cut out admin jobs and cut the remaining ones pay and benefits we would be fine, since of course they will have splost money coming in soon - oh, and if they get rid of all the clayton county kids(secretly) attending our schools too!

Submitted by MacTheKnife on Fri, 02/13/2009 - 8:11pm.

I am surprised to hear that FCBOE is the only one still paying and feel certain the teachers in Fayette would give at least a portion of their benefits for a time if given the chance to participate in the process.

Please keep posting though, you seem to have some very good facts and figures related to the school system.

I have also been told that the next FCBOE meeting is to be held at Sams Auditorium - have you heard that as well?

Submitted by Brooks Parent on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 9:54pm.

Where did you get your info?

opusman's picture
Submitted by opusman on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 6:41pm.

I've been trying to stay out since the election. But no one wanted to believe my apples to oranges post or posts about the fcboe economic crisis coming our way. once again when facts are distorted I must protest. 157 0ut of 159 counties is wrong.First Fayette Co. does not pay for teachers Health Insurance the 71 dollars is the PORTION of the monthly premium they(the county) pay not all(If you have family coverage)the balance is paid by the employee often over 200.00. If you are single then the county does pay your Insurance premium in full. Secondly far more Counties of comparable size provide the same or better shared payment plans than what you state. Paulding County(http://www.paulding.k12.ga.us/districtops/hr/benefits.php), Newton County (http://www.newtoncountyschools.org/careers/benefits.asp), Douglas County (http://www.douglas.k12.ga.us/Default.asp?L=2&PN=Pages&SubP=Level2&DivisionID=%271861%27&DepartmentID=%271836%27&SubDepartmentID=%27%27&PageID=%272899%27&SubPageID=%271810%27)Etc..
These are a few found in 15min of looking and these counties are by far more equal in size to Fayette County than any in FCBOE's salary studies. I there are counties that don't share insurance expenses also, But on average they have a higher rate of pay. So please check for the facts. I often read these posts and agree with you some and disagree others. Please fact check before you hurt your own position.


Submitted by hsh87 on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 10:26pm.

Yes. thank you opusman - I forgot to mention that earlier - they don't pay the premiums for health or dental, just a very small portion - but trust me when your bring home for one month is already $650 taking another $71 and $22 off of that won't be worth the drive -

Submitted by Nitpickers on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 8:18pm.

You make no more sense than did snif.

$71 is what the county pays? Then the teacher must pay like over a thousand per month!!!!

If you are a single teacher then the county pays it in full?????
You mean about $11,000 dollars the county pays per year???

Why so little for family and all for single????

Crazy numbers or crazy explanation one.

opusman's picture
Submitted by opusman on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 9:14am.

I'll try and explain FCBOE ONLY pays $71 that is all for a total of $852 a year for all BOE employees leaving the balance to be paid by the employees, Family roughly 200-230 per month. Now the reason some have trouble with these figures is in that they are comparing these costs to INDIVIDUAL and INDIVIDUAL FAMILY plans. Teachers pay in to a pool which consists of all educational employees and retirees in the state( somewhere in the neighborhood 0f 250,000 and up) giving the employees a reduced rate. These insurance companies are contracted by the state not the local BOE. So, once again these include all state BOE employees and retirees.
FCBOE FAMILY around 852 and Individual 1400 per year paid by the BOE.
Family balance of around 2,600 paid by employees with family coverage (based on family of 3)

So no crazy numbers or explanations only faulty comparisons.

Submitted by Nitpickers on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 9:30am.

Family cost = 230 X 12 = $2760 (Paid by teacher)($230/ month)

An d: the BOE pays $852 per year for a family, and $1400 for individual? (individual more than family??)

So: 2760 plus 853 = $3613 for the cost of family policy?

All of the full coverage policies that I know of cost at least $15,000 per year in total, whether part paid for by others or not.

Now, do you really know what is paid per year in total by everyone, for a major medical insurance policy for a family for teachers??

Why all of the hidden stuff?

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 10:10am.

Sally Single teaches in Fayette, she is single, likes to read and long walks on the beach. She pays $0 in health insurance per month.

Greta Gump also teaches in Fayette, she is married with children, likes to go to Disney World on vacation. She pays $169 per month in health insurance ($230-71).

Darlene Doublewide teaches in Coweta, she is single and enjoys surfing eHarmony.com. She pays $71 per month in health insurance.

Carla Churnemout also teaches in Coweta, she is married with children, and dips snuff. She pays the full $230 per month in health insurance.


Submitted by Nitpickers on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 12:59pm.

One says no cost for a single teacher; other says it costs more than a family insurance????

Neither one says what the TOTAL COST is that the insurer (some kind of group Opus says) gets paid!!!
I assume you don't really know.

There are NO GROUPS who can insure a family or a single for the small amounts you mention--there just isn't!!!

Or maybe teachers are under insured? Great big deductible or a HMO or something!

Do four different groups, or maybe five, contribute? Local, individual, state, federal, and union?

Come on guys: what does their total insurance cost somebody?

Submitted by hsh87 on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 10:43pm.

FYI - it is referred to as the State Health benefits plan - it is for ALL state and local employees - consider the numbers - yes, these insurance companies agree on a said amount to charge - then the employees in Fayette pay majority of the monthly premium and the high copays, deductibles etc - there are several plans offered HMO, PPO etc - the charges and premiums have also increased significantly over the past 5 years too - now I also know being an employee, regardless of your income, you are not eligible for Peachcare or any program like that since you are an employee for the state - doesn't matter if your bring home is not enough to live on

Submitted by baroombrawl on Wed, 02/18/2009 - 7:35am.

Didn't Nitpickers ask just how much the insurance company was paid in total to insure a state and local employee?
No one seems to know that! Just what the employee pays.

Frankly, I think that we aren't supposed to know exactly just what they get and what it costs in total! What are the co-pays and do they get prescription drugs? Lots of questions by those paying $15,000 per year to an insurance company (15-20% by employee and rest by company).

If they really do get a decent policy for 3-4 thousand dollars (Social Security people pay more than that) why can't everyone?

Don't teachers with "tenure" make pretty good money?

opusman's picture
Submitted by opusman on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 10:00am.

Nothing hidden here.
Once again read my previous post carefully. All Boe employees pay into a pool.
Yes more for Individual beacuse they pay all the premiums for single employees and partial for family and check your own figures Indivual plan for employees over all cost cheaper than family from the Ins.Companies
This is a matter of public record provided by both The Georgia state BOE and in the budget and comparison of the FCBOE . Feel free to call them they are more than willing to provide this to you as they did for me. You just have to be willing to ask and do the research.

Nothing hidden here only facts and accuracy.

Submitted by fc1989 on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 10:08pm.

The school system pays $71.00 for medical and $22.00 for dental of the EMPLOYEE'S PORTION of the premium. This is in addition to the EMPLOYER PORTION which is probably 6 to 8 times more than that depending on the coverage options. The $71/$22 are supplements to the amount the system already pays. This is a reduction in the supplement not a cut in benefits. The employee still has medical and dental coverage but it will cost them more if this supplement is reduced.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 7:37pm.

Thank you for your input.

I've learned that I have to be excrutiatingly correct and parse my words whenever I post something controversial.

It was not my intent to "distort" my findings. When I wrote about the county footing the bill for "their" portion of the insurance, I thought I had made it clear that I was referring to the portion covering the individual. Since you and one other have construed that to mean "family" coverage, I'll take the brickbat and admit I should have been more precise in exactly what is paid for and what is not.

Insofar as the 157 of 159 claim goes, that came from a consultant's report delivered to the BOE sometime in the last two years. It was my intent to link to the data in question, after fifteen maddening minutes trying to find the report in question on the BOE's horribly ineptly indexed website, I opted to report facts from memory. I'll look once again for that report. Should my memory prove faulty, I'll of course apologize. Should the consultant's report not jibe with the figures you presented, I will note that as well.

In any event, I feel we should be doing apples-to-apples comparison. I don't believe the counties you referenced are in the Atlanta SMSA, and it very well could be that rural and exurban counties DO pick a portion of employee health benefits. The underlying question then becomes: As a suburban satellite of the Atlanta area, should Fayette be doing the same?

It's very easy to sit on the sidelines and poke holes in people's theories. I should know, I do it all the time. But eventually someone is going to have to at least TRY to propose a way or two towards getting Fayette out of this financial mess.

I've tried on many occasions to promote areas in the education arena that are ripe for improvement. Very few people here seem to want to invest the time or effort to do that. Sure, I could sit back and say "cut DeCostis' raise! fire a principal! shrink the bureaucracy!" Easier said than done, I'm afraid.

So I'll throw the ball over to you opusman. You seem to be a relatively intelligent person, I'd like to entertain specific ideas from you as to where we should and shouldn't go in solving the current Fayette education imbroglio.

"Sometimes Mistaken....but NEVER WRONG!" Smiling

Submitted by Brooks Parent on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 9:58pm.

Remember that Fayette County subsidized the benefits packages instead of increasing the teacher's supplement. Much cheaper.

Submitted by Andre65 on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 10:08pm.

Why did they take the cheap route? In the end (ie, now) it really doesn't matter. I feel sorry for the some of the teachers and parapros. I'm sure it will be the hard-working ones that are let go. I've done a lot of subbing and volunteering in the schools. I've seen and heard quite a bit.

Submitted by Brooks Parent on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 12:27am.

In the past Fayette County used to pay a percentage for the local supplement. As the county grew so did the teaching staff. It was cheaper to pay a flat supplement per degree level. Also, they might needed the money to pay all those administrators.Eye-wink

opusman's picture
Submitted by opusman on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 8:41pm.

I did not mean to imply any Intentional misinformation on your part. I am in complete agreement we must come up with a viable equitable solution. But never take the FCBOE reports at face value as they are hardly reliable. As for counties being in the Atlanta SMSA that makes no difference in comparison. All comparisons should be based on system size and revenue base. I will copy and paste from my previous Apples to Oranges.
Apples to Oranges my friends
Apples to Oranges my friend

As Of March 6, 2008
Student POP
Cherokee Co, 36,182
Clayton County 52,179
Cobb County 106,425
Dekalb County 98,814
Fulton County 85,904
Gwinnett County 154,191
Henry County 38,944
Coweta County 21,719 only county close to the size of Fayette in their study
Spaulding County student pop 10,874 the only county smaller you list

Total School Revenue
Cherokee Co, 281,212,206.78
Clayton County 428,559,327.47
Cobb County 918,697,753.85
Dekalb County 992,712,037.62
Fulton County 772,384,789.22
Gwinnett County 1,248,418,307.98
Henry County 286,880,946.99
Coweta County 169,693,506.62
Spaulding County 87,856,103.26

Try something like apples to apples

As Of March 6, 2008

Student POP / Supers Salary
Newton County 18,905 / 135,000
Coweta County 21,719 / 157,000
Columbia County 22,307 / 121,940
Houston County 25,677 / 177,000
Hall County 25,236 / 172,588
Paulding County 25,865 / 175,294
Douglas County 24,615 / 201,185
Bibb County 24,570 / 231,590
Average salary 171,449.63

Total School Revenue
Newton County 144,935,380.25
Coweta County 169,693,506.62
Columbia County 166,709,327.43
Houston County 214,027,506.54
Hall County 196,332,126.46
Paulding County 195,831,064.17
Douglas County 198,436,889.56
Bibb County 190,164,644.86

Fayette County Student pop 22,000
Total School Revenue 195,108,116.86

2007 Tax digest school Millage rates

Apples to Oranges

Cherokee Co 18.45
Clayton County 19.83
Cobb County 18.90
Dekalb County 22.90
Fulton 16.90
Gwinnett County 19.25
Henry County 20.00
Coweta County 18.59
Spaulding 18.81

Apples to Apples

Newton County 18.21
Coweta County 18.59
Columbia County 17.09
Houston County 12.47
Hall County 15.75
Paulding County 18.91
Douglas County 18.70
Bibb County 18.799

Fayette County 18.59
Now maybe we should study/contact these systems and learn how they are able to deal with the economic crisis.

Submitted by baroombrawl on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 1:14pm.

There is no kind of insurance that one can buy for $71 and $22 per month!

A year's worth of just health insurance for a family currently runs about $15,000 a year for full major health coverage---not including dental and vision.
The $22 a month you mention for dental insurance is for a select group of dentists who will clean your teeth for that, but the discounts they give on the other work is made up for in charging you eventually for other stuff you may not need. $22x12 = $264 cost per year--enough to clean them twice at current rates.

Apparently the schools pay about 90% of teachers health insurance with the $852 per year the teachers pays, you say.

Submitted by hi grover on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 8:35pm.

LIARS!!!LIARS!!!I HOPE the TEACHERS are good & ANGRY BY NOW!!!!Sam Sweat was out peddling the SPLOST along with Ms.Brock scaring teachers and parents into passing SPLOST...didn't seem to save any jobs now did it!
Dr. DeCotis needs to be removed as super intendent along with the 3 amigos(Smola, Wright & Smith) for bankrupting this school system!!!!!!!!!
They love to say we don't want to turn into Clayton County...they are right, we don't...accreditation wise, at least Clayton County has $53 million in a reserve account unlike us here in Fayette. Bet they aren't laying off teachers. Those fools Dr. DeCotis,Smola, Smith, Wright spent every last penny and pennies we didn't even have. Now we are scrambling and trying to find a way to just break even...by sacrificing the work horse of the the school system---the TEACHERS!!!
Just freakin' unbelievable!!!

Submitted by hsh87 on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 10:57pm.

Oh yes you are right - they along with many others were pushing that splost and yep, look where we are - as a parent I can say it's not just the teachers are food and angry but the parents should be as well - guess whose gonna have to teach our kids - us, at home with more homework than ever, that is if you want them to pass.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 8:40pm.

When and where does the good of our teachers and children fit into this grabb bag for those in power and their relatives at the BOE? I would say a distant 2nd, if that.

Submitted by brayed44239 on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 2:40pm.

As county parents, we can no longer afford the lack of long term vision, planning, disregard to due process in hiring practices and no accountability for expenses shown by Mr. Decotis and his board. I say his board because they do not appear to be working for us, the people paying their salaries.

The way I see it, since the property "re-taxing" failed then they decided to push their agenda by threatening the education quality of our children.

What happened to transparency? Re-evaluating the population attending our county schools? Requiring at least six (6) months proof of residency? And, if new to the county bring the lease or your property title? How about re-evaluating administrative personnel functions in order to consolidate and reduce personnel instead of going for the teachers? What about internal process optimization and re-engineering?

Of course, another problem is the lack of tenure limits. Let's start by limiting tenure to no more than four (4) years for those in the FCBOE.

In the end, I am certain we can find others with the proper vision and experience to address our needs in an optimized fashion.

Submitted by hsh87 on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 11:02pm.

you hit the nail on the head - that is exactly what we need to do - as citizens we all need to band together and yank every one of them out of their seats up there and replace them - it can be done or do we have to get SACS to do it? Anyway I vote for you and several others on here!

Submitted by rider1956 on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 1:58pm.

Remember the days when real estate was always guaranteed to rise in value and delta would never go bankrupt.

those day are gone, sigh.

No layoffs, no paycuts, no splosts? Just start a county lottery. we all love to gamble, and there are enough poor people across the county lines who could finance a local county lottery.

i know this is not a serious option, maybe a little ridiculous, if not a lot.

the relationship between teacher and student is nearly the most precious one that there is. education is the key to any students future and quality of education is directly proportional to the attitude of the student

maybe we could trust the children at the schools to let us know which teacher brings the highest positive attitude in the their lives. this would produce a relative ranking system, like we enjoyed at delta in years past.

this would replace nepotism with popularity. the popularity issue would have be addressed in some fashion. these hard choices should be made with student/teacher relationship in mind.

just a thought, we need some creative thinking here

ricci C

Submitted by mthom5436 on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 2:26pm.

Would that be legal? I don't think Soney Purdue would like the idea of a county lottery competing with the Ga lottery. He likes his monopoly.

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