Tucker Schools in CBS Investigation of Electricity Waste

Lights are on but nobody is home.

Tuesday’s lead story on CBS Atlanta (WGCL-TV) was an investigation into the budget shortfall still plaguing the DeKalb County School District, specifically the $6 million overage in electricity. 

Several Tucker schools were included in the report, which showed all sorts of lights inside and outside the buildings on at all hours of the night and during the time that most schools should be closed up.

CBS Atlanta’s Chief Investigative Reporter Wendy Saltzman indicated that this was the scenario for schools all over DeKalb, but in her report she focused on a few in particular from Tucker: , , Tucker High School and .

She also showed footage of similar waste at two schools nearby - Lakeside High and Henderson Mill Elementary.

 The story was part of a “Tough Questions” investigation, and can be found here

CBS Atlanta’s Investigative Crew is serious about wanting to keep tabs on this issue and they will run a follow-up story if they learn that the electricity waste is not being stopped or curtailed as a result of their report.

Report further waste of electricity at your schools to: Wendy.Saltzman@cbsatlanta.com.

$6 million over budget could have saved 100 teaching positions this year. It is even worse when you learn that board member Nancy Jester pointed out the waste in October 2011 when it was only $1 million over budget. She tried, but no one else on the board or in the Administration was willing to take her warnings seriously.

And now look where we are today. 

Have you seen any other kind of wasteful activity at local schools? Tell us in the comments below-

Cheryl Miller July 20, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Or, as Dist. 4 candidate Jim McMahan suggested last night at the candidate forum ... a few motion sensors would go a long way to keep the grounds secure without having to waste all that electricity. Do we not expect our government to be as careful with our money during times of recession as we all are learning to be at home? Has anyone else considered turning on all their lights inside and outside their home while away on vacation (and leaving all their blinds open so people could see in from the road) as a method of security?
Alison Dealy July 20, 2012 at 09:45 PM
There are bigger issues than electricity. Not that it isn't a wasteful portion of it, but don't let it get in the way of the other issues, especially the issue of dead wood in our administration, as well as our teaching staff. As for new v. retrofitted, Tucker did the right thing. Yes, it could have been retrofitted, but the TPA went to bat and waited until we had accumulated enough splost funds. Lakeside is a whole other issue. They did not need a new building, they needed just what they did, and have a private fundraiser going on to support that build. The two cannot be compared. What we need to be concerned with the students best interests in health and education. Period. Bad, angry, lazy, poor-attitude teachers and administrators need to go -- we cannot afford to take on the staff that got let go in one area of the county, just to keep them employed. Fire the ones that are not doing their job or who have violated some rule. Get rid of the administration at the county level that is not productive, or those bean counters who apparently missed the rising deficit over the past 10 years, or who, for some reason "forgot" to put in things like "electricity" as a line item on the budget, and then added it in as a "non-listed fixed cost" so that it wouldn't show up on the bottom line. Hey, let's look at Crawford's $240K severance folks, or the others who screwed our county, and still got paid???? I'd like to see the media expose ALL the issues - not just this one.
Cheryl Miller July 20, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Alison, I agree that there are bigger issues to deal with ... check out our website: www.GETtheCELLoutATL.org and you will understand how I became active in this watchdog thing in the first place! Thank you to everyone for the comments. This is a good conversation to be having. Report further waste of electricity at your schools to: Wendy.Saltzman@cbsatlanta.com
Cheryl Miller July 23, 2012 at 12:39 AM
To read about Wendy Saltzman's follow up with the DeKalb County School Board, the Superintendent and the spokesman, read the letter she sent them here: http://www.getthecelloutatl.com/#!/2012/07/cbs-investigative-reporter-wendy.html
Cheryl Miller July 26, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Also, if you watch the actual story as the link provides, you will feel foolish at the suggestion that these lights are on for security.


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