City Schools of Decatur School Board

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We are extremely concerned about the lack of responsiveness and transparency to all issues under the duties of the elected board of the City Schools of Decatur (CSD).  This includes, but is not limited to, proposed property tax hikes, administrative cost overruns, operational costs of the schools themselves, relying on inaccurate data to determine senior tax exemptions and last, but certainly not least, the Superintendent's contract and ongoing conduct during the period of his current investigation.  

We are asking that the present CSD Board, and future CSD Boards are cognizant of their responsibilities and governance as stipulated in Article VII of the City of Decatur Charter (adopted July 1, 2001). Further, we are requesting that the CSD Board and all future CSD Boards be transparent and fully provide justification for any increased millage rate(s) and disclose their plans for:

1. Mitigating costs and overhead and building reserves in a thoughtful, fiscally conservative, and structured manner without compromising the quality education our students deserve by educators who are fairly compensated. 

2.  Holding the Superintendent's office accountable for administrative costs and overruns the central office incurs with a clause in his/her contract for termination if the Superintendent is determined to have falsified or withheld information that is detrimental to the school system, either by reputation and/or increased administrative costs. Restoring the dismissal provisions stipulated at O.C.G.A § 22-2-940 and verifying those provisions are incorporated in all personnel contracts associated with City Schools of Decatur.

3.  Demonstrating an ongoing relationship with the Superintendent and school administrators to evaluate cost fluctuations and administrative overhead by meeting at least on a quarterly basis and providing a transcript of those meetings.  Publishing an agenda for performance audits that are accessible to the public and allowing public commentary, if appropriate.

4.  Clarifying a chain of command with the elected CSD Board whereby the Superintendent is responsible for providing notice that all leave taken by him/her, (personal, annual, and sick) is in line with the leave system already established for the Central Office staff and assuring that no abuses will be tolerated.  

5.  Adjusting the Superintendent's compensation package, anticipated in the yet to be formalized agreement, allowing for a bonus offset that ties the Superintendent's bonus compensation structure to the overall administrative costs that the school system budgets.  Restricting any excess spending in bonuses and benefits that do not result in an offset of the administrative office's overhead.

6.  Justifying the need for hiring consultants/experts for all current and future studies impacting the school system, providing a complete analysis of the purpose and cost of any of these projects and, once complete, disclosing the results of these studies.

7.  Verifying that any consultants/experts are truly independent and are not, in any way, related to or affiliated with elected CSD Board members, including the Superintendent, or any other administrative personnel.

We respectfully request that you sign this petition no later than April 21, 2021 so that we can present it to the CSD Board in a timely manner.