Budget Committee Notes/Minutes

by Nancy Jester 10. April 2012 17:32

Final Reapportionment Map for the DeKalb Board of Education

by Nancy Jester 30. March 2012 22:20

Yesterday the DeKalb Delegation finished the approval process for the reapportionment of the Board of Education.  Here is the final map:


DeKalb Delegation Final Map.pdf (2.16 mb)


This map was not one I favored and it is not the map that the Board sent to the delegation, upon their request.  To my knowledge the delegation didn't communicate with the Board about why our map wasn't discussed or approved.  Pursuant to approval from the Department of Justice, this will be the district map until the next reapportionment in ten years.


Reapportionment - Board Consensus Map

by Nancy Jester 20. March 2012 06:44

This is the consensus map that the Board sent to the DeKalb delegation:



deksb-import-3-7-12-corr.pdf (1.87 mb


This is the compliance data for the map above:


deksb-import-3-7-12-corr-table.htm (2.56 kb)



Redistricting Update: 2.12.12

by Nancy Jester 13. February 2012 03:19

Here's the latest map I've worked on. 


deksb-imp-rev2.pdf (1.88 mb)


Here are the statistics for the map:


deksb-imp-rev2-stats.pdf (50.18 kb)


Here is the new map with an overlay of the old districts:


deksb-imp-rev2-overlay.pdf (1.93 mb)


·         This map is the most likely to pass judicial scrutiny and compliance testing based on the traditional redistricting principles of for “compactness” and “dispersion”.  The districts in our map are more compact than those of the Oliver-Benfield map and represent a low dispersion quality.  They will have more favorable compliance numbers on both the Plosby-Popper scale and Reock/convex hull measurements.   


·         High School attendance lines change and schools close.  The DCSS planning department has stated that redistricting for school zones will occur more frequently than in the past.  If we are building districts on the current attendance areas, they will soon be incongruent with each other.   


·         It complies with SB79.


·         It keeps communities of interest united.

    Late breaking news: Sen. Millar has developed a bill to delay the implementation of SB79 so that the complex issues surrounding it can be worked out.  Stayed tuned...






DeKalb Board of Education Redistricting Update

by Nancy Jester 9. February 2012 04:28

Here's an updated map with 7 Board districts.  It keeps or unites communities of interest.  The "deviation" numbers on this map are the only ones that I have seen that are below the acceptable threshold (<1%).


DCSS Map.pdf (2.02 mb)


Here are the corresponding statistics for this map: DCSS Map Stats.pdf (50.06 kb)




by Nancy Jester 1. February 2012 04:28

Draft map for reapportionment of BOE district drawn by DCSS staff:  

BoardDistrMapping_Seven_20120125 (3).pdf (592.49 kb)


Draft map for reapportionment of BOE district drawn by members of DeKalb delegation:

maps from delegation.pdf (5.87 mb)



End of year round-up

by Nancy Jester 14. December 2011 01:35

Winter Break is almost upon us!  I just spent some time updating my website.  I've added a link on the "links" page to the Chamblee Charter High School Construction page.  The current drawings for the new high school are on this page.  I will update my meetings page with the 2012 meeting dates as soon as I have them so check back soon for those. 


I recently read an interesting article on school system management by William Ouchi.  Click here for his Wikipedia bio.  Click here to read the article.  I found his analysis about bureacracy (decentralized and centralized), its correlation to student achievement and his observations about successful urban school systems an interesting starting discussion point for DeKalb.  Let me know what you think.  


Happenings around District 1

Click here to check out this great article about the new Ecology Club and organic gardening at Chesnut Elementary.  Click here to go to their blog. 

Congratulations to the Henderson Mill Elementary School community for their work in starting a foundation to benefit their school!  Click here to visit their website.

HMES foundation.pdf (394.61 kb)

Hawthorne Elementary School celebrated turning 50 in 2011 with a festival.  Congratulations Hawthorne!

2 DCSS elementary schools were named 2011 Georgia Schools of Excellence - Top 10%.  Click here to see the Georgia Department of Education press release about this accomplishment.

Do you have an event, accomplishment, news, award or tidbit that you want to share?  Send me an email at nancyjester@gmail.com and I'll include it here. 



Our next chapter

by Nancy Jester 29. August 2011 19:32

(This blog entry is updated as of 9.3.2011 and now includes the text of Mr. McChesney's statement from the 8.29.11 meeting.)

Today, the DeKalb Board of Education voted, 6-3, to approve the hiring and contract for Dr. Cheryl Atkinson.  She will start as superintendent in mid September.  I was one of the dissenting Board members, along with Mr. McChesney and Dr. Speaks.  You can read the statements that Don McChesney and I made at the meeting by clicking on the PDFs below. 

Nancy Jester's Statement 8.29.11.pdf (182.03 kb)

Don McChesney's statement 8.29.11.pdf (78.14 kb)

Now that the Board has selected the next superintendent, I encourage everyone to support Dr. Atkinson as we work together to improve the educational lives of all children in DeKalb.  Please stay in touch and keep me informed of your thoughts and suggestions. 


Nancy's News - 6/4/11

by Nancy Jester 5. June 2011 21:13

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DCSS Budget

I've received numerous emails about the proposed 2011-2012 budget and I've tried to keep updated on the news stories and blogs regarding the subject.  I appreciate hearing your thoughts and critiques even when we disagree.  Thank you for keeping informed about the process!


Based on the questions I've received and the comments I've read, I thought I'd include some of my thoughts and details in an email. 


I understand that the furlough days are of the most concern so let me address that first.  I'm very disappointed that furlough days will be used again this year.  Many of you know that my mother is a retired public school employee and she reminds me often of the struggles faced by teachers and staff.  I surveyed the surrounding metro counties to see how they were handling furlough days for the upcoming school year.  I found Gwinnett, Cobb and City of Atlanta will all have furlough days.  Fulton County has eliminated them for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.  Here are the links to the budget documents I reviewed:


Click here for Gwinnett (see page 2 of executive summary).

Click here for Cobb ( see page 2).

Click here for City of Atlanta (see page 9).

Click here for Fulton (see page 9). 


Initially the Superintendent and Budget Committee presented a budget to the Board that indicated we would be able to eliminate the furlough days. Subsequent to that time DeKalb's tax digest was reported to have a significant decline - down $1 billion more than expected. Given the continued declination of the tax digest, it was prudent to revisit the budget.


The Budget Committee and staff revisited the budget improvements ($42 million) they had planned for 2011-2012. Of the $42 million, the largest improvement was the restoration of furlough days at a cost of $30 million. The improvement was scaled back to $14.1 million. This means that we are planning for fewer furlough days in the 2011/12 budget (an improvement) but they were not eliminated.


As I reviewed the other systems' budgets (above) and DeKalb's, it is notable that we used our ARRA funds (federal stimulus money) to compensate all employees last year. Other metro area systems placed the funds in reserve to help offset declinations in tax revenue for the upcoming budget year.



The DeKalb BOE met on Friday, June 3rd to continue receiving presentations about the upcoming SPLOST IV resolution about which we will vote on Monday, June 6, 2011. Please click here to see the presentation from Friday's meeting. You can click hereto see the documents that were presented (slide show). You can click here to view the video of the meeting (click on video below June 3, 2011). 


Superintendent Search

I get many questions about the status of our search for a new superintendent. The Board continues to work on this matter. The details of our meetings in executive session cannot be discussed or revealed so I cannot be more specific. Please know that this matter is extremely important to me and I welcome your continued communication. I always want to know your thoughts and concerns.




Please note that eBoard (a GSBA owned site that contains DCSS's meeting agendas, documents and policy documents) will be down for a system upgrade from Friday, 6/3/11 through 6am on Monday 6/6/11.   I hope that no one is too inconvenienced. 



As always, don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.  Thanks!        

















Update from the Board Meeting on 4.18.2011

by Nancy Jester 20. April 2011 05:03

At yesterday's Board meeting I dellivered the Inspriration to begin the meeting.  Click the link to the PDF below to read my speech.


BOE Speech 4.18.2011.pdf (247.23 kb)


If you would like information on the Math Options for the 2011-2012 click here to go to the DCSS webpage with updated information on this topic. 


The lastest status report regarding DCSS's response to SACS is on the DCSS website.  Click here for the link.