Teachers and school employees have suffered through recent budget constraints, including reduced pay increases and one-day furloughs. Dekalb bus drivers reportedly received 10 to 30 percent pay cuts.
Superintendent Crawford Lewis’ salary has been raised from $240,000 to $255,000. His contract was also extended until January 2013.
The teachers and employees dressed in black to demonstrate that they were in mourning. The protest, referred to as a “blackout,” was organized by the Organization of DeKalb Educators.
According to their website, the organization is “extremely disappointed and insulted that the Board of Education would even consider granting Dr. Lewis a raise or other increase in compensation in the midst of the present economic turmoil, as well as the District Attorney’s ongoing investigation into possible financial improprieties within the school system.”
David Schutten, president of the Organization of DeKalb Educators, claimed that “Many, many schools had over 95 percent of employees in black.”
While many people have shown their support for the teachers, others contend that the protest happened too late. Dekalb school employee Tan Nguyen pointed out that "The contract is binding.”
The Organization of Dekalb Educators is planning to picket the DeKalb Board of Education Meeting on Monday, January 11, from 4:30-7:00.