APS – Beverly Hall – A Disaster Far Greater than Just the Cheating Scandal

As reported by CBS Atlanta “A lawyer for Beverly Hall says the former Atlanta Public Schools  superintendent is innocent and looks forward to having her day in court.” She deserves the presumption of innocence and I look forward to her having her day in court where I am sure justice will be done.

However, as I have written here in the past (see post “APS – Beverly Hall’s Legacy – Four Disasters – 1 Down – 3 to Go”), in addition to the cheating scandal, Beverly Hall presided over a number of disasters – three of which are still with us today, as follows:

  1. She started a building spree and over $100 million was spent for three new high schools that exacerbated over capacity from 15% to over 35% in the high schools. APS is still struggling with the issue today and every year millions more are spent on maintaining the excess capacity.
  2. She started many “reform programs” and spent over $40 million on staff and consultants to implement the “reforms” and the costs of the programs are still with us. Unfortunately, Superintendent Davis – in his State of the Schools speech in August (as reported in Get Schooled by Maureen Downy) – said “80% of APS’ schools were failing … and that none of the over 220 education reform models and initiatives tried by APS over the years had worked.”
  3. As the new “one time” costs associated with the reform programs were wound down, instead of being eliminated from spending, they were simply transferred to the School Administration Division budget. So over the course of five years, the number of “administrators” increased dramatically – and at a cost of over $60 million. And this cost lives on today at approximately $12 million per year for extra administrators – a cost that was readily approved by Dr. Davis and the current Board of Education – and with no end in sight.

The Courts will decide if she is a criminal in regards to the cheating scandal. However, the other three disasters she imposed on APS and the Atlanta taxpayers represent an assault of similar proportions.

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