AJC reviews the Atlanta Public School Board of Education’s first 100 days in office

The AJC’s Mark Niesse issued a report on the Atlanta Board of Education’s first hundred days in office. The general assessment is that they are off to a good start, but everyone agrees that there is much work to do. Per the report (see here behind pay wall), the following are some of the Board’s accomplishments and the work still yet to do:

  • …the revamped school board has unified around a common agenda promised during the campaign,
  • …its goal of spending more money in schools and less on administration remains largely unfulfilled so far.
  • Board members have hired a superintendent,
  • …given teachers a raise and eliminated furlough days.
  • They’ve held dozens of community meetings with parent groups…
  • …worked full-time hours at near minimum-wage pay.
  • When they’ve disagreed over class sizes and spending, their differences haven’t devolved into the kind of factionalism…
  • Passing the budget in April rather than at the end of June…
  • …current board members said they’ve confined themselves to their policy-setting role.
  • … formed [Committees] to decide the future of charter schools in the city, shore up a pension plan with a $550 million unfunded liability and coordinate superintendent evaluations.
  • By hiring their choice for superintendent…the board ensured they’ll work with a leader who shares their priorities…

All in all, this is a great start. My sense is that they can keep the positive record going by quickly revising the FY15 budget in concert with the new superintendent to reallocate expenditures from administrative functions to spending in the classroom, reducing class sizes and gathering the necessary data to evaluate the resource allocations across the system.

[Follow me on Twitter @Financial_Decon]

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