Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cell-phone stipends for CMS board?

In a billion-dollar budget,  $6,048 a year is barely pocket change.  But a proposal to spend that much on cell-phone stipends for the nine Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board members stirred some lively discussion because of its symbolic impact.

"I think the last thing we want to do is even appear to increase the cost of the board,"  said Eric Davis,  who asked to have the $56-a-month stipend put on Tuesday's agenda so he could vote against it.  He noted the painful cuts the board has made in recent years:  "It's just not a smart thing for us to do."

Some board members were confused by the agenda item  --  which was understandable as the story came out at Saturday's school board retreat.

It seems newly-elected board member and chair Ericka Ellis-Stewart asked interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh whether she could get a CMS phone to use on board business.  Hattabaugh talked with Chief Information Officer Scott Muri and decided it would make more sense to offer a stipend that would cover a data plan than to buy phones.

CMS already pays $470 a month to the board chair and $370 a month to other members for expenses incurred during board business inside Mecklenburg County.  New board members may not have been aware of the expense allowance because it's folded into their monthly paycheck, Hattabaugh said.  He noted that school board members are paid less than county commissioners,  who get an additional  technology stipend.

Mary McCray,  who was also elected in November, noted Saturday that she had to buy a second cell phone to keep up with board calls and emails while protecting the privacy of her old line.

Davis,  Tim Morgan and Rhonda Lennon  --  the minority who have complained of being shut out of decisions made by Ellis-Stewart and the new Democratic majority  --  got wind that a cell-phone stipend might be added and asked to put it up for a public discussion.

It's unclear whether that item will actually come up Tuesday.  CMS attorney George Battle suggested giving staff more time to research options and report back.  Morgan suggested making it part of 2012-13 budget talks.

Joyce Waddell said she's open on timing,  but she thinks the board should settle the question in public:  "I don't want us to look like we're hiding things."


A p.s. that will amuse regular readers: When I asked Hattabaugh after the meeting for the amount of the current expense allowance, he grinned.  "You already have it on your blog,"  he said.  Christine Mast had emailed Chief Finance Officer Sheila Shirley to ask for details,  then posted the information in a comment.  Hattabaugh said he could resend the email, but Mast had it right.  So thanks,  Christine,  for helping out with the reporting!

99 comments:

Anonymous said...

These people are ALL CRIMINALS and LOAFERS. These people produce nothing except under educated and socially challenged kids.

This is nonsense. The people should be fired, banned from teaching, or admin positions, school boards, etc.
Then Jailed.

Let them gab on their own dime. Idiots.

Anonymous said...

And we are surprised that these bottom feeders want we the tax payer to pay for this? They are Democrats, this is exactly what we the tax payer have come to expect from the clowns running CMS and Charlotte into the poverty ditch.

Anonymous said...

They should be able to itemize their bills and get reimbursed for any charges and that is it.

To the extent she wants to protect her old number then she should buy her own line. She should have thought about these things before agreeing to serve on the board.

Anonymous said...

Giving the new stipend would mean that Timmy and Rhoda would have to start communicating with their peeps. Yep, I surely can see why they'd take umbrage to spending the money.

Will board members get any of the hundreds of iPad 2s the system purchased under Eric Davis' leadership?

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute: senior staff, area supers, exec directors, and principals get phones (blackberries I believe) to communicate job related business and we are upset board members, who will be communicating with the public and CMS employees, shouldn't? Really?

Why is there no public outrage over all those other phones tax payers are currently funding. Gotta be close to 200 phones out there, no? 56$*12months*200 phones=$134000. Probably more money than $134k being spent with data etc.

Ok republicans, light up the blog and demand all those phones be turned off...

Anonymous said...

Great to know that Hattabaugh got advice from Scott Muri, he is great with numbers????????

Anonymous said...

Somebody wanted to donate their salary back, what ever happened to that?

Wiley Coyote said...

8:22....

He didn't get elected.

Anonymous said...

They should look into paying teachers for the minutes they use on their cell phones!!!

Anonymous said...

Typical politicians. Get whatever you can for yourselves. The money and your fat egos are the only reason you run for any of the boards. You certainly don't appear to have the students' or teachers' best interests in mind.
Have I told you lately how mucn I detest everything about the board and CMS? And, yes, I live in the suburbs and, yes, my family goes to private schools.

sanitizer said...

Ericka Ellis-Stewart and Mary McCray should vote themselves a $50.00 stipend per month for Nike shoes as well, After all they have to walk from their car to the board meeting and White shoes tend to get dirty you know. Nikes and cell phones are very important to show the peeps you are not dissed and are impotent folks. (Intentional misspelling)

Anonymous said...

One reason a segment of students is failing is likely because their parents have a cell phone growing out of their ears while they line up for Air Jordans at the mall, instead of parenting what they brought into the world. So, these new board members probably represent them, all right!

Wiley Coyote said...

$370.00 per month covers "all travel and other expenses incurred in Mecklenburg County."

For comparison, IRS guidelines allow $.51 cents per mile driven.

If a BOE member drives 300 miles per month for CMS business, which I doubt any of them do, they would be reimbursed $153.00. That still leaves $217.00 for cellphones and for....what else?

Ann?

Why not ask to see several expense reports from various BOE members from different dates to see exactly what sort of expenses they incur on a monthly basis?....

....That is if they have to fill one out. Prior information says they receive the stipend lumped into their check, so my guess is they don't have to fill out an expense report.

$370.00 per month should be plenty to cover travel and a data plan, unless BOE members can produce monthly receipts to the contrary...

Anonymous said...

THIS is a prime example of why tax payers do not support CMS. Board you've been in office how long?? ...and you want to spend money on non direct child related expenses?

I have no problem with Principals and Area Super. have these phones, as they are in daily operational positions that could require instant communications - but school board members? Heck, the only board member that ever responded back to me, at all, was Kaye McGarry.

CMS you will never have community trust or support when you think you are ENTITLED to spend LIMITED tax payer money this way. Idiots! Do what every teacher does, use your own cell phone or heaven forbid go to the central office (pick one) and use a land line (i.e. you don't have emergencies at the policy making level) - you signed up for the job knowing the resources that were available, now do some WORK for your constituents without spending money not related to kids.

Anonymous said...

At first I thought this was a joke...but apparently it's not. This woman comes in, gets paid plus a $370.00 per month blank check expense allowance AND she wants us to pay for her cell phone?????

Go to Hell!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe board members get $370 per month in their checks without any kind of justification for the amount....unbelievable.. HEY CMS, that $30 million you want for teacher pay increases, we just found a few thousand you can recoup.

Anonymous said...

I think they ought to reimbursed for the cell phones usage they same way they were reimbursed for their land line home phone usage.
What's fair is fair. (that's sarcasm for you slow ones)

Anonymous said...

Starting immediately...each board member should have to itemize all of their expenses exactly they way the rest of the world operates! WE NEED TRANSPARENCY!!!

Wiley Coyote said...

Me thinks they graduated from the Vilma Leake School of "How to Stick It to the Taxpayer and Play Dumb While Doing It".....

Bill C. said...

How much do they get paid so that $370 expense money gets lost in their "Paycheck"?

Anonymous said...

Actually there are over 800 devices out there..
Average prices is 49 bucks (Blackberry devices and Regular flip phones for Building services) not too mention all the laptop air cards and the recent 800 iPads. total monthly expenditures are upwards of 92K

Anonymous said...

This is outrageous. As an administrator, I have to pay for my own data usage. As a teacher, I had to pay for my own “extra” phone. As a member of the Board of Directors in other organizations, I had to pay for my own extra phone line, etc. I usually agree with Mary, but come on. There are many other ways to do this. For example, if Mary wants a new phone number, then use Google Voice.

Anonymous said...

But it's for the kids!!!

Anonymous said...

So running for office, is the same as getting a paying job, with paid expenses? No wonder we get the people we get.

Anonymous said...

The Chairperson get just under $16,000/year and the other members get $12,300-ish plus the stipend. So let's see, $12,300 times 8 equals $98,400 plus $16,000 equall $114,400. (Not including the stipends they get already.)

Why should they get more? Why should they get any? This should be a service to the community.

The base salary for a beginning teacher is $35,000 a year. So here is a good start at getting us some more teachers, or a COLA or less taxes, something other than paying them for what they asked to be allowed to do.

Anonymous said...

If they get taxpayer funded phones, the numbers should be made available to the public. They're our phones.

Anonymous said...

Lets get this straight...These are the first comments from Eric Davis in weeks that have not been voiced for him by Rhonda Lennon and all he wants is to vote on his CMS phone on the agenda? I have been with him and he has a CMS issued blackberry and now he wants to vote when Erika asks for one? Eric really? Is Rhonda still giving you political tips? You waste 100K going to Sheraton/Limo/Entourage/New York for a Broad prize you did not get -- and this all you have? As a longtime supporter of yours I am seeing why you are no longer chair.

Anonymous said...

The current board sees the local taxpayers as cows to be milked for all they can get. When we have board members who see their positions as an elected official as a source of income rather than a way to serve, we've got a serious problem. Land lines do still exist and Textplus is a free texting plan and Google Voice is free.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me ever so slightly of Mayor Foxx and the communications assistant he decided he needed (unlike Pat McCrory) after he was elected.

One has to ask--how did previous boards get along without this cell-phone stipend?

Anonymous said...

Why don't you look deeper into the problem and look at principals, asst. principals and so called "academic facilitators" who have had their schools buy them Ipads when much more is needed at their schools!!

NCdirtdigger said...

Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie!

Anonymous said...

I spent yesterday interviewing for a lateral-entry licensure program to teach critical core subject areas at a high-poverty/high needs CMS school. Everyone at the interview had a minimum of an undergraduate degree in areas outside of education and experience in the "real" world. I met some interesting and impressive people - a senior at Morehead College, bankers, lawyers, business people, artists, and everyone in-between. The interview consisted of teaching a short lesson, answering essay prompts related to difficult challenges faced in urban education, participating in a round table discussion and a private formal meeting. Making it to Round 3 requires paying for and passing appropriate Praxis Exams before June (about $143.00). Beginning salary for the opportunity and pleasure of working at a high poverty CMS school with problems? $34,000 - which does NOT include paying $5,000 to complete required lateral-entry licensure courses at night while teaching full-time and being expected to single handedly close the achievement gap. Be assured, anyone who didn't come away from this interview with serious reservations has rocks in their head. The good news is there were people there, myself included, who are considering giving it their all.

Any chance I'm eligible for a sign-on bonus cell phone?

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9am
I agree! I've emailed the boards several times, the latest being about the District 6 appointment (I am a registered voter in District 6) and the only board member that answered me was Rhonda.

If we use tax dollars to pay for their phones, does that mean they are required to answer us?

Anonymous said...

(cont..)

The program is called TEACH Charlotte.

Moo.

Anonymous said...

May as well pay it- all CMS principals just got I Pads and already have Blackberrys paid for by the district. Meanwhile I have 3, no excuse me only 2 since one has been broken all year, computers for 28 kids and I'm being scored on increasing the use of technology with my students...

Anonymous said...

Their numbers are published on the CMS website and on the CO page.
So are their salaries....$1080 a month plus the expense deal. Maybe they should all work for free, and maybe all elected officials should, but these guys are low man on the pay totem pole compared to our glorious city council and county commissioners.

Anonymous said...

Eric, are you watching? We know you went with Peter and Hugh and Rhonda and a total of over ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS to stay at a Sheraton in Manhattan...used Limos all of of the City....flew everybody up...stayed 3 days and got NOTHING. Remember? WE ALL REMEMBER? Rhonda do YOU remember?
Erika was not there was she. You were a commissioned officer in the US ARMY. Act like it. Or did you steal that 4 year degree our government gave you at the Academy. How about an apology. eh?

Anonymous said...

12:16

Are you surprised Timmy didn't respond?

Anonymous said...

Why don't we simply ask one of the CMS Students to loan their Cell Phone to a Board Member !

They get to disrupt Classes and attempts by our Teachers every day.

So let's use something already available to us and Students to communicate using technology that is ALREADY in the Classroom ! FREE to Taxpayers and at the no added expense to Parents.

Anonymous said...

Principals and APs are all getting Ipad 2s with 3G- while teachers don't have computers and printers for their students. CMS...

Anonymous said...

Gates/Broad gave away IPads as an incentive to teachers who participated in designing PfP tests. Geeze people, if you wanted an IPad that bad all you had to do was hire a sub to teach your classes.

Anonymous said...

Correction. For a free Ipad, all you had to do was hire a sub to babysit your classes 3 or 4 times.

Anonymous said...

It's funny to see Davis, Morgan and Lennon trying to act tough on $56 cell phones but not over the unnecessary $55 MILLION for West Charlotte schools.

I don't know which board members are dumber - the three who claim to be in the minority or the six who make up the majority?

Anonymous said...

Anyone see a disconnect here? Hello? Hello?

Anonymous said...

I thought it was $36 million for West Charlotte schools which doesn't appear to be going towards improving teacher recruitment practices, retention rates and salaries. $36 million, $55 million, whatever?

Anonymous said...

The average urban public school teacher only lasts in survival mode 3 years before deciding to become effective elsewhere or ditching the profession all together.

Anonymous said...

Well, at least the average urban public school teacher lasts longer than the average District 6 school board rep.

Anonymous said...

Lee, Lizzy, Kenny, Timmy, What's her name.... All together now!

Anonymous said...

Oops. I met an impressive senior from Morehouse College at the TEACH Charlotte interview (not Morehead). 4 years of college as a math major at an impressive university to make $29,000 a year as a beginning level teacher? And some people on the board think they are entitled to a free cell phone?

Did I miss something?

Anonymous said...

I personally cover a teacher's cell phone costs so they can help parents keep up with what is going on as well as working hard to keep up their classroom web page.

Wow, get creative Ericka. You get more than any board member in salary and non-verified expense account.

But what would you expect. She is just another typical swaggering up to the taxpayers trough.

Anonymous said...

Why not? I mean we do every other thing but wipe their collective ashe.

Anonymous said...

OK, here it goes...

71% of teachers are white woman (which describes me) leading the need for more men and people of color to work in majority-minority schools. My sons always benefited from having good male teachers because girls and boys are different (who knew?). Woman now outnumber men 60% to 40% at most American colleges.

So, while an elected politician was focused on her cell phone bill, I spent some time yesterday with a smart and engaging African-American man from prestigious Morehouse College who was willing to fly to Charlotte to interview for a $29,000 teaching position through a non-profit organization that would place him in a high-poverty CMS school this fall. May I suggest someone on the Board of Education get off their phone and track this young man down. You either hire him or someone else will.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Wow, I should post on Sundays more often! This was a lively one. I am working on a story on the iPads for principals; hoped to have it in this weekend but got distracted by the retreat and sorting out data.

Anonymous said...

Ann, I think the use of ipads by principals would be nearly hysterical to demonstrate the thinking of management in this school system. Their management style is clearly to "whip the horses harder".

Whereas, I watched a 3rd grade teacher use a loaner ipad earlier this year and the students were engaged and eager and participating at an incredible level. They also use an overhead projector from their own laptop computer because the classroom computers are not allowed to be hooked to a projector. I have to find out but I think they have had to return the loaner and if so, I will probably buy them one.

If you are familiar with the Khan Academy, the students do on-line courses and the teacher gets results immediately on their ipad and can move from student to student to assist, suggest another lesson, and track progress.

Anonymous said...

3:33 PM, you realize the NAACP blames you (for the poor academic performance of black students) because of your race that you are unfitted to teach its sheeple, uh people.

Wiley Coyote said...

Anon 2:15...

Last I saw, they were $9 million short of the $55 million, currently at $46 million.

It would be interesting to see a breakout of expenditures of the overall program, such as how much will the lobbyists cost, admin, etc.

Just on the surface, if this money goes to 5,500 students, that's about $2,000 per student per year.

Start backing out theose costs mentioned above and that $2,000 starts declining in a hurry.

Anonymous said...

4:08
No, I don't believe that. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to work with the young man I met yesterday who probably has a lot to teach me.

- 3:33

Anonymous said...

ADH. Please inquire about how now all CMS schools are now wired for wireless computers. At my school, they have a bran new wireless system put in. There is one, I repeat, ONE person able to access this network in the school. That is the principal who doesn't even know how to work her wireless devise. Find out why all CMS schools are now wired for wireless yet no one other than the principal can use that service.

Wiley Coyote said...

Ann,

Why should you be surprised?

Look at how much information is being posted by people who obviously work within CMS.

It took Hattabaugh too long to respond to the errors in reporting graduation numbers and then they started the damage control spin immediately. God forbid they look like the inept educrats they are, afterall, they don't want to look bad, right?

One aspect of Project LIFT is supposed to work on changing "culture" with these kids in 8 schools.

Perhaps one of these philanthropists could toss in another $10 mil to change the culture within CMS downtown.

They need an Extreme Makeover in the worst way.

DistrictSix said...

Stay ahead of the curve, and give Ipads to our Principals?

http://birmingham.patch.com/articles/whiz-kid-seaholm-sophomore-creates-ipad-app

http://macdailynews.com/2011/12/13/12-year-old-boy-creates-iphone-app-to-help-fight-cancer/

I would post many more, but you can understand that getting them in the hands of the students, is more important.

Wiley Coyote said...

On several occasions, I couldn't even get a couple of principals or Zone "superintendents" to call me back on a landline.

I had to call Gorman's office to get a reply.

Principal/ipad.

.....chuckles...

SMART PHONE = SMART CMS said...

I picked-up a Skype phone number with voice mail and the works. It can be answered anywhere my WiFi devices have internet access in the world. My Ipad Touch, my desktop, my netbook, Kinko's...anywhere. It will forward calls to any number I program including my cellphone, office phone or even Uncle Larry’s phone. It cost $159 for the entire year including a brand new state of the art wireless phone for the house. I mean shouldn't CMS be leading by example? A board agenda item to discuss Board phone access? The Board should have CMS phones. CMS high paid administrtion should have the capacity to provide an efficient phone option without the Board having a meeting to discuss the topic.Just sayin!

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't there be a system so all the CMS bloggers can have the Broad Foundation graphic tagged on their posts? After CMS Public Information made it clear it was optional to use the Broad Logo, another strong reminder went out to add the logo to CMS e-mails. I learn more about what CMS folks think in this blog than any other electronic forum hosted by CMS. Great work!

Phones as Diversion Tactic said...

A Board discussion on phone service to 9 people would clearly show the focus of the Board is not CharMeck children. To request a board meeting discussion item shows just how silly some of the board members really are and illustrates their being aloof to the big picture for which they are responsible. Hopefully new CMBOE leadership will not fall for this childish diversion away from the real ill's in the system including how to remedy failing schools and their resulting failing children.

Anonymous said...

I've gotten to see my principal cuddling her shiny new Ipad all over campus. Both times I saw her with it during meetings she was googling clothing websites. Yeah-good use of $$$$$.

Anonymous said...

Can I get CMS to give me a stipend for the minutes used on my personal cell phone trying to contact parents at night and on the weekends because I can't get them during school hours?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it took her couple of weeks, but Kaye was always good about responding to emails in a professional manner. Don't get me going on Preppy Boy.

Anonymous said...

Do kids in Finland and China perform better because they've been given free IPads?

What exactly is the correlation between having access to the latest technology and student achievement?

Anonymous said...

Using the latest IThunk technology, CMS calculates 98% of students will graduate from high school!

Anonymous said...

The phone thing by Davis is unbelievable. I always thought Tim was kind of an over reacher and thought he had a career in politics -- note to Tim, you don't -- Rhonda was a nurse, realtor, soccer mom, scorned and pissy ex wife living-ona-golf-course idiot (yeah we know each other) and Davis was the Army Academy grad with serious skills. Hey, Eric....your pettiness is making your backers think Rhonda is the rock star here. Who knew. Get to work Davis and do the people's work. Or quit. Or did you already?

Anonymous said...

I think some of the posters are missing the boat here. Eric is not putting the phone item on the agenda because he wants a phone stipend. He wants it on the agenda because he thinks the phone stipend is inappropriate and should be discussed. We could then hear Erika's reasoning for making this request.

Take it Outside said...

The point is that it should not require a public meeting item to discuss phones for Board members. This is just plain silly and should be taken care of at a level other than the highest decision making authority in the County related to our children's education. Other than turning this into a political hot potato issue there is no value to discussing such minutia at a formal CMBOE meeting. If you are interested in embarrassing someone take it outside. We demand professionalism in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools especially at the Board of Education level.

Anonymous said...

8:28...I get that Eric wants it on the agenda just to embarrass Erika. We get that. But he had no problem blowing $100K plus with Gorman in NY City only to LOSE the award. Cmon Eric...really? Its not the money, its the pettiness.

He's acting like Rhonda's little crybaby brother, not a man. He used to be someone would we could count on. I am sorry he would do this.

Anonymous said...

CMS can spend millions of taxpayer dollars on Midwood and then give it away for next to nothing. The taxpayers paid for the upgrades and now will pay debt service for years to come. But to question paying for 9 telephones so the Board of Education can keep in touch with the community is illustrative of a bureaucracy and its backers gone wild. The County Board needs to investigate the CMBOE system and its leadership. Maybe Hugh can take a line item 0 phone request to the County Board next to the pay raise pass the buck measure.

Anonymous said...

..Davis was the Army Academy grad with serious skills..

I keep hearing people say things like this. Sorry but I just do not see it. I was academy.

Anonymous said...

CMS probaby has more than 9 backup phones at any given time being paid for while on the shelf. CMS gave away Midwood because of flaws in the renovation the story goes. Easier for the educrats to walk away than to get it right. Not their money.

Wiley Coyote said...

Many of you are missing the bigger issue here, which is stupidity.

There's plenty of ignorance to go around here, from Sterwart, to Hattabaugh and Muri:

It seems newly-elected board member and chair Ericka Ellis-Stewart asked interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh whether she could get a CMS phone to use on board business. Hattabaugh talked with Chief Information Officer Scott Muri and decided it would make more sense to offer a stipend that would cover a data plan than to buy phones.

Stewart asked for a phone, obviously not knowing she gets $470.00 per month to cover the cost of one.

Hattabaugh should have told Stewart she gets a stipend for that perk, yet asks Muri.

Muri, also oblivious to the $470 per monrth, recommneds a data plan.

But why should we expect anything any different.

These are some of the same people who can't count the number of graduates coming out of CMS...

Anonymous said...

9:02...I have served on several committees with Eric. I know him. He told me personally that he graduated from West Point. His time serving his commission was in weapon systems. He is now with Wells. My point is he received a lot of government aid to get that appointment. I wonder if he had "Rhonda Lennon runs my life" excercises at the Academy?

He is such a disappointment.

Anonymous said...

Scott Muri was such a poor Area Superintendent they gave him a new job he was equally unqualified for.

Thanks Scott.

Do you still have your Ford Taurus you drive around in at our expense?

Scott, don't buy any green bananas.

Anonymous said...

I have my own iPad--- I wish CMS would allow teachers access to the WiFi that is in ALL schools now. But, we can't--it's locked down tighter than a Galveston sea captain's wife's chastity belt. I would love to be able to use my iPad to do things in my classroom with students. I would like to write a grant for a class set of iPads, but what is the point if the only people allowed to use the network are admin people? I have friends at local charter schools, other systems in this state, private schools, in other states---all have WiFi in their classrooms. Instead, CMS is barely shuffling forward with technology--even though they have a few great tech people--overall, these 21st Century tools that we get evaluated for using or not using. The BOE don't get cell phones until we get WiFi and computer access (i.e. amble labs and updated equipment) for STUDENTS!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Commenting on CMS school board shenanigan's is a sport here. However, we do have certain rules of the game that we expect our educated, semi-educated and not so educated cohorts to follow.

Rules of the Game:

1. Have fun and have at it but not at the expense of attacking people's personal lives. Time to lay off Rhonda. (7:59)

2. Derogatory racial comments will not be tolerated. (4:08, although I've seen worse)

3. There's a chance we might all be going to hell. (9:06)

4. Commentary about Larry's dog is fine keeping in mind all dogs are good dogs.

Anonymous said...

TEACH Charlotte = barf.

Anonymous said...

10:13, thanks for the etiquette lesson however the 4:08 statement has been said in public by them derogatory toward the teachers. I think it is fair game once they have opened the subject like a good defense attorney.

Ann Doss Helms said...

If any of you who are teachers would be willing to talk on the record about your thoughts/questions/concerns about the wireless system (all schools are supposed to be fully capable by August), iPads, etc., please get in touch: ahelms@charlotteobserver.com or 704-358-5033. I'm off Monday, back in Tuesday.

Wiley Coyote said...

...that should be interesting...

Anonymous said...

Does anybody really want to work for CMS or is it that the government is one of the only employers left out there? Does asking folks to go on the record mean you want to be able to disclose their names?

Anonymous said...

The only way a common teacher would get an Apple operating system is to buy it. So will it work with NC Wise at home? I thought so. CMS, so 21st century technology. Let the rest eat cake.

Anonymous said...

I've had no problem using NCWise at home since the point of access changed from local to the state. This is the first time in five years I've been able to look at NCWise while not at school. So now there's absolutely no reason to make salaried professionals report to schools on workdays since working at home is now a fully viable option.

Also, my former high school has wireless access, and we didn't even have laptops with fully functioning keyboards let alone access to the wireless. I'm so happy to be in Union County now.

Anonymous said...

A CMS staff person is supposed to be either at their desk in central office or visiting a school location. Both of these work locations are equipped with land phones so why the need for cell phones? They can even check their voicemail from either location.the same isn't true for BOE members who have regular jobs and should not be conducting Board business via company land lines. Board members should be provided a tool by which to conduct CMS business.

Anonymous said...

Ann,
Is Project Lift creating a back door to HB546 with its paid lobbyist? Also it seems their documents promote value added evaluation tools for teachers. Will changing the pay scale for their teachers lead to the outcry from others? Very Deceptive!

Also who are these partners B, C D E? Shouldn't they be named so the public and CMS really know who they are about to get in bed with?

Anonymous said...

From her comments, Rhonda Lennon seems to know who these donors to Project Lift are, shouldn't we?

Anonymous said...

NCWise works using Google Chrome, but not Safari. However, as CMS drank the Gates-aid ALL of its other we based items (McRel, Employee Self-Serve, etc.) ALL say, supported by Internet Explorer. This is a change over the past year or so. Luckily, Macs will run Parallels. Though, I find it curious that all of the sudden we are ALL Microsoft EVERYTHING.

CMSParent said...

@6:23am
Board members at already given a monthly stipend for expenses. Their cell phone can easily come out of that. Right now, they don't have to account for any of that money. Perhaps if they were required to itemize expenses we could see if their expense account was adequate. Without any accountability we should not raise their stipend.

And driving to and from school board meetings shouldn't count. Most people aren't reimbursed for travel to their job.

Ann Doss Helms said...

On HB 546: Good question, which Ericka Ellis-Stewart raised at the meeting. She got an inconclusive answer from co-chairs Stick Williams and Anna Nelson, who said they haven't really studied that particular bill and are talking to legislators, etc.

That was noted in the story I submitted for Sunday's paper -- which, unfortunately, was quite a bit longer than the story we had room for :-)

Anonymous said...

Project LIFt major sponsors so far,

Belk Foundation - $1 million

Foundation For The Carolinas - $2 million

Wells Fargo Foundation - $2.5 million

Duke Energy Foundation - $5 million

Bank of America Charitable Foundation - $10 million

C.D. Spangler Foundation - $10 million

The Leon Levine Foundation - $10 million

Lowes - $500,000

Jimmie Johnson - $250,000

Community Investment - $350,000

Thay have also called for the AA local community to step up and donate $1 million for this effort. The last report I saw was that they have not reached the $1 million mark in the community yet and had not reached the $55 million mark yet overall. LIFT has already placed some more Community in Schools staff in some schools.

These folks are looking at the Harlem Achievement Zone type setup. However that setup is a charter school because the earlier effort with public schools did not pan out. Harlem Acievement Zone is about $70 million per year. These dollars start at pre-cradle with parenting classes, nutrition classes for moms, some job training, some education GED type and continues through childcare, preschool and then the lottery to get into the charter school. The high school grads get assistance and tutoring support into colleges. As of the book release, it had not been concluded how effective all this was. Luckily, his $70 million per year is from all private benefactors. While there has been some reports on how well these students have done on the NYC EOG tests, the tests have been rocked with validity questions most recently.

The school day/week/year are much longer. The teachers are not part of the local NYC union. (Maybe a good thing.) From the web site

"Overall, the organization serves more than 10,000 children and more than 7,400 adults. The FY 2010 budget for the agency overall is over $75 million."

Of course, you have heard of all the glowing reviews for this program. But as many of posters to this site will affirm, it is just a step on the way to government care cradle to grave. Clearly, an unsustainable model. You simply run out of other people's money too quickly. And as a nation, it simply robs resources from improving our society and nation.

Anonymous said...

Davis doesn't have a CMS issued phone. He carries 2, one personal and one for Wells Fargo.
The bigger issue is that individual Board members don't have the authority to increase the stipend without a BOE vote.

Public Service or Public Dole said...

???

Christine Mast said...

Did this agenda item get removed for tonight's meeting?

Anonymous said...

@ 6:47

I've been using NCwise effectively from home via Safari all throughout this school year. I haven't been able to get it to work with Internet Explorer on my PC, but I've had no problems with Safari on my mac at all.