S.O.S. (Scrap Our Schools)
|Above, just one example of how the money |
does not reach the classrooms.
When will DeKalb stop funding corruption
and start paying attention?
|Chairman Walker and Superintendent Atkinson make big bucks for|
folks who also make big mistakes. Friends and family funding may be
coming close to an end.
As the parent of two children including one who will be attending pre-K soon, I have followed the thoroughly dysfunctional proceedings of both the Dekalb School Board and administration with disbelief and horror in the four years since I moved here. I never got the feeling that the education of our children has been high on the priority list of any of our high level school leaders. Accruing power, maintaining a fiefdom, doling out favors, and ensuring relatives/friends are hired/promoted even when their qualifications are suspect have unfortunately seemed higher on the list than maximizing the educational opportunities for their charges. As a result, we have millions in legal fees, a former superintendent on trial for corruption, a thoroughly demoralized teaching staff, and clear evidence of a decline in the quality of education our children are receiving.
The budgeting irregularities are inexcusable for an entity that spends almost ¾ of a billion dollars of our tax dollars a year and, if found in business on the NYSE, would likely result in sanction by the SEC. Given the deep-seated structural problems of both the administration and board, Dekalb School District is too big not to fail. Decisions appear to be made on whim without evidence of long range planning. Millions of dollars of supplies cannot be accounted for while local schools are gluing deteriorating textbooks back together lest they run even shorter. You cannot redirect a leviathan – you can choose to allow the destruction it will wreak or terminate it. While I have respect for at least one member of the board, I feel that state option to remove the board must be implemented to impart the gravity and egregiousness of the situation to the school administration and the entire county, nay the state. We cannot accept such rampant failure or our state will continue to lead from behind in education.
This must be addressed today. Children do not have the luxury of waiting around for two or three years to see if the situation can be rectified by normal channels. Their education is NOW and anything else sets them and our entire state behind. How can I recommend to any colleague with young children to bring their talents to Emory or Georgia Tech or move a business here when our school systems (Dekalb, APS, Clayton, etc) are in such disarray?The leaders of Dekalb have failed our children and teachers for too long.
I am not a fan of bureaucratic control but I would put the school system into receivership if I could. I fear that nothing less than this draconian measure or dissolution of the district into multiple smaller, more responsive districts will be sufficient to break the entrenched culture of personal gain and systemic negligence we have today.