School board scraps furlough day
by Lindsay Field
lfield@mdjonline.com
September 28, 2012 01:26 AM | 5373 views | 12 12 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — The Cobb school board removed one of three furlough days for the current school year Thursday night, rejecting arguments from two members that the district should keep the money the day off would have saved for future budget deficits.

The board also allowed Allatoona’s principal to rescind his resignation, appointed two principals and fired a middle school teacher.

Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa asked the board to return one day off to teachers at a cost of $3 million after discovering the district ended the fiscal year with a surplus. Tim Stultz and Kathleen Angelucci opposed the recommendation but were overturned in the 5-2 vote.

Stultz, who represents southeast Cobb, said he wanted to keep the surplus to mitigate the expected deficit for Fiscal Year 2014.

“We are facing a very steep budget deficit next year, one that may result in the layoff of staff in order to balance the budget,” he said “Three million dollars is worth quite a few jobs if it comes to that point. I think it would be fiscally wise for us to hold onto those reserves that we’ve been able to accumulate with the surplus and use that to help with the budget problems that we’re facing next year.”

Angelucci, who represents north Cobb, echoed Stultz’ concerns.

“This is kind of a back and forth — give (a furlough day) and take it away — and I really think that this money, the surplus that we have, really does need to be considered for next year .”

Hinojosa said the deficit will be at least $40 million.

Alison Bartlett, who represents west-central Cobb, made a motion to give teachers a bonus instead of restoring the furlough day. When that motion failed, she voted for returning the day.

Hinojosa said he understood the budget concerns for FY14 but that he had been “very fiscally conservative” in all of his previous recommendations and wanted to give this back to the staff.

Hinojosa recommends the day be added back to the end of the school year, May 30.

The board also approved rescinding a letter of resignation from Allatoona High principal Scott Bursmith.

Bursmith said Tuesday that he rescinded his resignation because resigning this year would have hurt his retirement account. His original letter of resignation, which said his last day would be Dec. 1, was unanimously approved in July.

The board moved Kennesaw Mountain High assistant principal John Kelly to be principal at Sprayberry effective Friday. Kelly had been at Kennesaw Mountain since 2005.

Kelly has been an educator for 20 years, starting his career at Sprayberry in 1992 as a teacher. His salary will go from $80,864 to $105,225.

Former Sprayberry principal Ed Wagner was moved to Kell High School in mid-July, shortly after Kell principal Trudie Donovan retired and was later arrested on misdemeanor charges of failing to report child abuse within 24 hours.

Retired Cobb administrator Dr. Hilda Wilkins has been serving as the interim principal at Sprayberry.

The board made Angela Kay White principal at Green Acres Elementary in Smyrna, effective Friday. White has been serving as interim principal there since former principal Mike Bivens was moved to Lindley Middle in Mableton in August. She has been an educator since 1998 and has been the assistant principal at the school since 2003. White’s salary will remain at $96,856.

The vote to fire Garrett Middle School teacher Schonell Burroughs based on a tribunal’s recommendation was 4-3, with Lynnda Eagle, David Banks and David Morgan opposed.

The agenda indicates that Burroughs failed to report possible child abuse.

“This was a very, very difficult situation,” Eagle said. “A wrong was done, I think a discipline needs to follow, however, I believe the alternative of 45 days’ suspension without pay is an appropriate measure for progressive discipline and redirection.”

In other business, the board approved:

* A $900,000 contract with LMI Systems to purchase and install a security camera and surveillance system. The contract would run between Oct. 1 and Sept. 30, 2013, and be funded by SPLOST III.

* Naming a new school Smyrna Elementary School. The school is located off Fleming Street in Smyrna

* A Memorandum of Agreement between Cobb County Schools, the Georgia Department of Education and Brumby, Hayes, Riverside Intermediate and Sanders elementary and East Cobb Middle schools, which were identified by the state as “focus schools” last spring.

Bartlett opposed the agreement, stating that she didn’t think it was fair that the state was identifying these school and that it should be up to the local districts to identify what schools needs additional resources and support.

There is no cost associated with the contract, which will allow each school to “receive additional support from the state through the Metro Regional Educational Service Area as well as the local school district,” according to the agenda.
Comments
(12)
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what r they thinkin?
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September 28, 2012
The board should be consistent, if they are going to fire the principle at Kell for not reporting abuse, then why would Eagle even suggest not firing this principle in question? This board makes no sense whatsoever...
GOP nanny
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September 28, 2012
u need to re-read the articile, the kell principle was not fired, she resigned then was arrested...... but you are CORRECT that this board makes no sense, it never will till we get a new one
anonymous
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September 29, 2012
It was a teacher, not a principle. She recommended a suspension because the "possible abuse" not abuse, had already been reported within the required 24 hours. Mandatory reporting is suppose to protect children, but this is the outcome when a teacher doesn't protect herself.
Anonymous educator
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September 29, 2012
Agreed. Consistency is the correct AND fair action to take.

Please read the article again. It was a middle school TEACHER who was fired, not a princiPAL...(not "ple".) She was aware of the policies regarding the reporting of possible abuse. All educators are trained on this every year. Unfortunately, she made a poor judgement call and therefore lost her job.
EAGLE dumbs down
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September 28, 2012
funny how Eagle thinks that the principle should be disciplined yet she votes NO to Banks being disciplined on ethics violations... Can't have it both ways Ms. Eagle... It's called walk the walk and talk the talk... you don't have any credibility reprimanding teachers and administrators when you all don't follow procedure and protocol on your own... Eagle.Banks, Morgan, and now Sweeney are an embarrasment to this board.
anonymous
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September 29, 2012
Wish more people would recognize the real problem on the board: playing favorites, avoiding asking hard questions, demanding answers, and allegiance to outside parties.

Banks' allegiance is to the Republican Party.

Eagle's allegiance is to her prior co-workers, principals, and special friends.

Morgan's allegiance is to the charter school movement.

Sweeney's allegiance is to avoid any conflict. (good luck with that one!)
anonymous
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September 28, 2012
Bartlett opposed the agreement, stating that she didn’t think it was fair

The new publisher really needs to get some better proofreaders!
anonymous
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September 28, 2012
Wow , a $25k raise for someone. Nice.
southcobbproofreader
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September 28, 2012
anonymous, if you will read the article, you will see that Mr. Kelly moved from an assistant principal position at KM to a principal position at Sprayberry. This is an automatic salary adjustment due to the vertical movement. No matter who it is, the individual will be paid the base salary of that position.
Matter of time
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October 05, 2012
John Kelly will be an awesome principal. It was a matter of time as to when he left the mountain. Now it's about who will get the A.D. spot there?
Are you kidding me
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September 28, 2012
The teachers have emailed and requested the board NOT give back the furlough day. We need more teachers in the classrooms next year. WE requested they save that money to help us for next year. This board is ridiculous and I will not vote for Bartlett in November. Fiscally responsible is NOT giving us back a day now that you have already taken it out of our paychecks. It would be saving for next year.
anonymous
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September 28, 2012
I agree with you, but there are probably a lot of teachers, and others, that do not care, they just want that one day pay in their pocket this year and do not think ahead.
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