Ensure Quality Staff Supporting Our Schools

On Monday the FCBOE presented a number of policies and plans to deal with the financial crisis in the coming budget. While I continue to believe a large part of the current situation is due to the down turn and maddening lack of planning by the state government in Atlanta, I do believe that our board and administration need to be mindful of not only our short term position but creating sustainable long term policy.

On Monday night the board decided to reduce media specialist to one per school. Back when I went to the little red school house, the media center was called a library and the media specialist was a librarian. Now the times have changed, it seems each day there is more technology to keep up with and it changes every day. It has recommended to our board that specialists be reduced and displaced by seniority without regard for competence. It was stated that nearly all system specialists had some sort of other certification.

In this scenario the one media specialist remaining necessary to support an average of 1,500 high school students may not be equipped to be the only media resource and that is unacceptable and does not support the commitment to excellence we expect from our schools. Some will argue that we can make no other choices due to “legal issues” such as age discrimination.
I respectfully disagree. As someone who has participated in the design and implementation of system downsizings, I know that the administration could create and document a review of KSA’s ( Knowldege, Skills, and Abilities) to ensure we keep the best people possible in these specialized positions. Already written FCBOE policy allows for this exact scenario and permits the FCBOE to do what is necessary. In fact, this would allow our school leaders to have input into exactly who remains on their reduced support staff.

Fortunately, in nearly all cases, those who may not be the best for a specialized position will still qualify to stay in the system in other capacities based on seniority. While I agree seniority is the easiest solution to a difficult situation I do not believe it is in the best interest of our schools or explicitly required by any law.

I would like to thank the board and administration for their effort on these issues. I do not agree with some of their decisions, but the quantity of effort is astounding.

Please see below to contact the board with your opinion on this vital topic.

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Spear Road Guy's picture
Submitted by Spear Road Guy on Thu, 02/26/2009 - 10:36pm.

I can't believe you're going to blame the state for what those FCBOE idiots have done to our school system!!!

Did the state force them to build two unnecessary elementary schools? Did the state force them to make one stupid mistake after another?

Weren't you the guy telling everyone what a top-notch job the BOE was doing??? Tell it to the 150 who are getting the ax.

Vote Republican

yardman5508's picture
Submitted by yardman5508 on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 4:12am.

I find it only mildly ironic that, after lambasting the school board, you thought to add that "vote Republican" at the end of your post. Kep the faith.

Even a dead fish can go with the flow.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Thu, 02/26/2009 - 7:13pm.

Man do you play the field! You worked at Delta, as did Mike Smola, and Lee Wright.

If you didn't have your head up something you would know, Mike Smola was given his walking papers, got a lawyer and claimed age discrimination! He got his job back. Janet Smola knows full well the score on that one and so does anyone with a relative or friend that has worked there.

We would spend years in court to fight why we kept your wife over someone the two of you thought 'unworthy'. That is your opinion. Her job in not brain surgery for God's sake! If you think the older librarian can't sharpen up to your wife's intellect...well go ask Mike Smola. I'm sure he would argue that one with you, or should.

It is also a good argument against keeping their kid over someone else with more seniorty. It is really funny watching you guys try to make things fit, just for you..that does not in the least, go for the Smolas. If Smola makes someone else with more seniorty leave, they may sue her personaly, along with the taxpayers.. You can't have it your way all the time.

Submitted by lindasnola on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 6:19am.

am I to think that Mike Smola used age discrimination to get his job back at Delta and his wife tried to help Rene Ellis write the rubric for canning the teachers, and she wanted to not us reverse seniority. You have to be kidding!

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 6:02am.

Neil Sullivan would have the nerve to put something like this in the paper.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Thu, 02/26/2009 - 5:41pm.

I can't imagine you've had much success as a "downsizing expert" if you urge your clients to disregard pesky little things like age discrimination legislation, Neil.

You claim "Already written FCBOE policy allows for this exact scenario and permits the FCBOE to do what is necessary. In fact, this would allow our school leaders to have input into exactly who remains on their reduced support staff."

I find it incredible to believe that such a policy exists. Who are the "school leaders" you are referring to? The school board? If you're inferring that the school board is within their rights to protect their favorites (and presumably, their children) based on some nebulous capricious and arbitrary standard, well, all I can say is that I hope to hell you are wrong, Neil Sullivan.

I suspect major law firms would flock to Fayette county in droves, setting up satellite offices in order to handle the flood of age-related discrimination lawsuits.

In any event, weren't you the guy hopscotching all over the county last fall giving "informational presentations" on how that good ole SPLOST would guarantee saving 2 media specialist jobs per school?

..The same Neil Sullivan who along with his wife gave long and luxurious tongue-baths to the Board of Education here in the pages of the Citizen for weeks after the SPLOST was approved?

Hey Neil?


Submitted by heatjam on Thu, 02/26/2009 - 5:50pm.

Note...the SPLOST goes into effect on April Fools Day!!


Submitted by mysteryman on Thu, 02/26/2009 - 8:52pm.

SPLOST, be careful what you vote for, you just might get it....NYCE

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