Atkinson said she's not sure how closely she'll follow the consultant's proposal.
"This is their recommendation," she said. "We'll take it now and massage it."
The DeKalb school district has long been maligned as a bloated operation, but evidence supporting those charges has never been this clear. Atkinson, who just finished her first 90 days on the job, has been saying that she'd make substantial personnel changes. She's already reassigned a few high-level administrators, replacing the chiefs of finance, curriculum and instruction, operations and information, for instance.
But this report says the district needs a whole new organizational chart, and a top-down reclassification of all positions.
"I think what this has really found is massive redundancy," said school board member Don McChesney, who attended Atkinson's presentation Thursday. "We've got secretaries making more than our teachers. That might be justified, but somebody's got to show me how it's justified."
The audit says DeKalb has 15.5 central office positions per 1,000 students and should have more like 12, according to the consultants. Comparable school districts had numbers ranging from 18.5 central office positions per 1,000 students in Fulton County to 5.8 in Cobb and 6.1 in Gwinnett, the report said. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools -- a city against which Atlanta jurisdictions are often compared -- had 14.5 central office jobs per 1,000 students.
This was the first phase of the review. The next phase will look at all of the school system's positions. It's due March 15.