Tribunals for laid off teachers to cost $21K
by Kim Isaza
newseditor@mdjonline.com
June 22, 2010 12:00 AM | 2681 views | 16 16 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA - The Cobb County Board of Education will allow former educators to hear appeals from teachers who have been let go amid budget cuts, though doing so will cost about $21,000.

The district has 28 tribunals scheduled. Each tribunal requires three panelists, and each panelist is paid $250 per day.

Board members decided to use the former educators during the June 9 work session - the same meeting at which they voted to approve a fiscal year 2011 budget of $819 million. That budget is about $127 million less than the district had the year before.

"We just decided because there are so many, just to schedule them," board Chairwoman Lynnda Crowder-Eagle said of allowing former educators to sit for the tribunals. "You don't need to vote. It's just a choice."

She said she doesn't see any irony in the fact that the job cuts, which were initially sparked by budget cuts, end up costing the district thousands of dollars.

"I think it's an unfortunate expense that we're having to do, but it's not illegal. With the budget cuts we had, it's not a lot" of money. Board members are not paid extra for participating in tribunals.

"It's just part of fair dismissal," she said. The majority of the employees who are appealing likely received unsatisfactory performance evaluations, she said.

After the tribunal makes its recommendation to the school board on each case, the full board will take final action, voting to terminate or retain individual employees.

The hearings are scheduled throughout the month of July, though some may be canceled at the request of the employee, district spokesman Jay Dillon said.

The cost will come from the district's general fund, he said.

Each panelist undergoes two hours of training by the school district's attorney, who also prepares materials, such as booklets, used in the training.

Most of the hearings will be conducted at the 514 Glover St. building, Dillon said. About 10 have been scheduled at the district's office across Fairground Street at 590 Commerce Park Drive in Marietta.
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RIFred
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June 24, 2010
Superintendent Fred Sanderson announced plans to retire.

Sanderson said he would leave his job at the end of his current contract, which expires June 30, 2011.

The plan (?)
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June 23, 2010
i think they non renewed them all. broke their seniority. re hired them.

since senority is based on most recent rehire date.

these re hires

will now be in the pool of rifed non renewals based on re hire date.

and they wont be affored any due process hearing rights when they are laid off again in the upcoming school year.

it's a perfect - diabolical - disrespectful - obvious indicatation from the CCSD and BOE - how little they care about their educators.
southcobbteacher
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June 23, 2010
Ummm...if I'm not mistaken NONE of the named people enlisted to hear appeals are just regular teachers...they are ex-admins and central office employees. You couldn't find some teachers to hear appeals? Yet another example of how the BOE doesn't respect their teachers!
investigate this
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June 23, 2010
Someone ought to be looking into how much MONEY it is costing to delve through the MOUNTAIN of paperwork created for the Human Resources division to lay-off and then rehire over 300 people. When are they going to have a PLAN that includes looking at all areas of impact?????
Cobb teacher
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June 23, 2010
Some of these people who were let go did not receive overall unsatisfactory evaluations, they may have received two unsatisfactory or needs improvement in a smaller section of our evaluation. Some people had poor marks in these sections due to MINOR things they may have done during their observation. While we may write a letter of rebuttal to our evaluations that is as much as we can do. Rarely, if ever, is an evaluation changed if a teacher disagrees with it. We were NOT told that these would be used for dismissal. Whether you want to believe it or not, teacher evaluations are still very subjective and some of the items on the evaluation instrument are hard to if not impossible to measure. How do you measure creativity or attitude?

These people LOST their jobs and while some of them may have needed to go, there are some of them who did not. It is not their fault that this is costing money- they are paying for their own lawyers. Don't we already pay for law services from Brock? Who made the decision to pay for anyone to sit on the panel at all- I'm sure there are people who would have volunteered and there are always people milling aimlessly around Glover Street- oh wait, they are supposedly "working". :)
DEAR SHELLY NEDLOW
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June 22, 2010
Dear Shelly Nedlow Tax Payer,

You are absolutely right. They didn't HAVE (your capitalization) to did they? They had a choice, didn't they? Shelly, some of our country's greatest fundamental concepts, basic laws, human rights, were spawned from events in our history in which individuals with no choices demanded them. Fought and died for them. You know what, Miss Rosa Parks just wanted a choice in where she had to sit on public transporation. But Miss Parks didn't HAVE to seek that choice, especially since it became a legal matter and some tax payers that might of felt okay, maybe even liked it, that Miss Rosa Parks didn't have a choice in where she was allowed to sit on public transportation, some of their tax payer money was used in Miss Parks fight for equality / city's defense of its public transporation policies of segregation. Shoot, Miss Rosa didn't HAVE to go and waste tax payer money like that, did she? Wonder why Miss Rosa made such a fuss and used up all that tax payer money? Wonder why all those British colonists in North America revolted their King and fought and won a war for independence just for the choice of how they were to be governed? Oh, yeah, you know what? I think there might of been some little issues about taxes behind that.

Anyway, dear Shelly, I don't know your race, religion or gender, but let me assure you - if you are anything but White, Christian, and Male, it would behoove you to send a little gratitude out into the universe to the choice seekers of our nation whose shoulders you now stand on so tall and mighty and raise your voice in opposition to the rights of others because it might be costing you something. Especially, since what you are so worried about it costing you...is money.

DEAR SHELLY NEDLOW
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June 22, 2010
« Shelly Nedlow wrote on Tuesday, Jun 22 at 06:35 AM »

Dear Shelly Nedlow Tax Payer, just how much of the cost of the tribunals - which article stated is coming from the district's general fund, do you think you contributed? How much? As "Shelly Nedlow Tax Payer"? Do you know where the monies in the district's general fund come from? No? Okay, well, listen, I had a bake sale and gave all the money to the district's general fund so you don't have to feel tax payer victimazation syndrome towards these laid off CCSD educators that are using this one and only means available to them to challenge (wink wink nudge nudge) their dismissals.

John Boys' Watcher
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June 22, 2010
Can we get a schedule of the hearings and the particpants?
2 CHAIRWOMAN/DILLION
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June 22, 2010
The district has 28 tribunals scheduled. Each tribunal requires three panelists, and each panelist is paid $250 per day.

Each panelist undergoes two hours of training by the school district's attorney, who also prepares materials, such as booklets, used in the training.

WHAT ARE THEY PAID FOR THE TWO HOURS OF TRAINING? AND HOW MANY TIMES ARE THEY SITTING AS PANELISTS? QUESTION: DID 84 RETIRED SCHOOL TEACHERS SELECTED BY THE CCSD RECEIVE TRAINING AND WILL SIT AS PANELISTS ONE TIME? OR DID A SUFFICIENT NUMBER WITH A FEW UNDERSTUDIES RECEIVE TRAINING AND WILL BE SITTING IN MULTIPLE TRIBUNALS?

Each panelist undergoes two hours of training by the school district's attorney, who also prepares materials, such as booklets, used in the training.

QUESTION? HOW MUCH IS THE ATTORNEY PAID FOR THE TRAINING? MATERIALS COST? AND DID THE SCHOOL DISTRICT'S ATTORNEY TRAIN THE CCSD SELECTED RETIRED EDUCATORS FOR THEIR JOB/ROLE AS PANELISTS IN THESE 28 TRIBUNALS - 84 TIMES? ATTORNEY FEE FOR THE TWO HOURS OF TRAINING PER PANALISTS? PER TRAINING EVENT? EVENT. IF SO HOW MANY WERE HELD AND WHAT IS THE ATTORNEY COST TO THE CCSD'S GENERAL FUND?

pals
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June 22, 2010
the retired educators are pals to the upper management at Glover Street. A way to reward their friends
Yikes in West Cobb
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June 22, 2010
I'm sure the retirees that make up the tribunal are completely impartial and have no relationships with the board members (let me get my tongue out of my cheek)! These board members will pick who they want to serve on this tribunal, give them a script on what to say, and that will be all there is to it. We need to clear out the board and the central office and start over. There is little to know trust left.
Just a thought
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June 22, 2010
The decision and use of the last minute evaluation to dismiss teachers was just plain dumb. I wonder how much money, in addition to the 21K, the board is going to spend on court cost to defend this action. Not that poor teachers should not be removed, the process they used has so many problems that it will cost much more than 21K and involve the personal lawsuits of many administrators. Hope you enjoy the nightmare you created Fred!
What_about_Morgan?
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June 22, 2010
If Mr. Morgan is getting paid $250 to show up 90 minutes late for one of these tribunals, I believe he should surrender his pay for that day.
WHO??
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June 22, 2010
Who are the retired educators?
Shelly Nedlow
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June 22, 2010
We could have at least received both sides of the story. Those laid off for unsatisfactory perormance did not HAVE to appeal and cost the taxpayers the $21K. This was their choice and not mine as a taxpayer. This reads as if the board had some choice in the matter.
Voice of Reason
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June 22, 2010
So what happened to the tribunal panel that was supposed to meet with all these teachers? I think if I was let go, I would want to speak to the person who evaluated me or the one who made the decision to fire me and talk to them directly, not some hired retiree who was trained for two hours on what to say to me. Totally spineless! Cobb Board of Education...you really are disappointing. How do you people wake up in the morning and look at yourselves in the mirror and say you care about your strongest asset when you treat human beings like this? If I sucked as a teacher, fine, fire me. But have the chutzpah to tell me to my face.
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