Monday, July 13, 2009

What's the 411 on the Budget?

First we had the "Amber" Alert (missing child). Recently discussions about establishing a "Gray" Alert (missing senior citizen) were held. We're calling for a "Green" Alert to be implemented. Green as in....WHERE THE HECK IS THE SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET?

Administration and the board have been merrily agreeing to and proposing 3.8% raises for all levels of staff...all except for the poor Local 60 folks. They get stuck with 3.25%

Salaries and benefits account for more than 80% of the school district's basic operations budget, which was over $65,000,000 THIS year.

The teachers' contracts will cost over 2,000,000 in new money.

We don't know what the Local 60 increases will cost.

Admin is "proposing" that Admin Support will add $80,000 to the debit column.

We don't know yet what Admin's "requested" 3.8% increases will cost.

We haven't even seen anything CLOSE to a budget.

Phil Frei has told us that as a result of state aid cuts, that cuts will have to be made to each building's operations budget.

So...we can afford raises, but expenses that DIRECTLY go to the kids will be DECREASED?
We don't think so.

How can we even be discussing what raises we can afford?

Oh...back to the budget....or lack thereof.

So....what have we seen THIS year? NOTHING CONCRETE.
Yet...suddenly....we think....there's a public hearing on the budget for NEXT Monday, 7-20-09. At least that is what was discussed during the 6-22-09 Finance Committee meeting. This hypothetical budget hearing (A) wasn't even on the famous BoardDocs meeting calendar as of this morning and (B) no preliminary budget has been brought before either the Finance Committee or the full Board!!!

The Budget Timeline, presented to the Board in January 2009, says:

  • April Management Team reviews budget draft #1.
  • May The Finance Committee & School Board review budget draft #1.
  • June The District Administration refines the planning budget and formulates draft #2.
  • July A Budget Hearing is held.
  • July or August The School Board takes action on the proposed budget.

5. The public distribution of budget documents.In accordance with the budget calendar, the district administrator shall submit a preliminary budget to the Board for consideration.

►The Board shall study and evaluate the proposed receipts, expenditures and the amount to be raised by local taxes in terms of the educational plan and the ability of the school district to support the plan. Recommendations for changes in the proposed budget will be considered.
►The Board may schedule special budget review meetings.
►The Board or Finance Committee may request written justification, documentation, and analysis for any programs.
►The proposed budget and tax levy, as tentatively approved by the Board, shall be presented to school district electors at a budget hearing at the time and place of the annual meeting. Electors at the annual meeting shall adopt the tax levy.
►The Board shall adopt the annual operating budget at a Board meeting following the annual meeting.

How was the budget handled last year (as in previous years)

5-27-08 Finance Committee: 1st draft of 2008-09 Revenue Budget
6-23-08 Finance Committee: draft of 2008-09 Expenditure Budget
6-9-08 School Board – Draft Revenue Budget Informational Item
7-6-08 Public Hearing on Budget 7-28-08 Finance Committee – Budget Hearing Discussion

What have we had to review THIS year?
Read for yourself what we have(not) been provided. NOTHING has been presented to the Finance Committee. NOTHING has been presented to the School Board. The public has no formal notification of a public hearing on the budget--which is 1-week away (we think) and hasn't been seen by or reviewed by ANYONE. Oh...but we're going forward at warp factor 9 on handing out raises like they're Skittles.

12/22/2008 5.03 2009-10 Budget Timeline
1/12/2009 5.01 2009-2010 Transportation Budget
1/12/2009 8.01 2009-2010 Budget Timeline
1/26/2009 8.01 2009-2010 Transportation Budget
1/26/2009 3.05 Budget Forecast Model
2/9/2009 6.06 Budget Forecast Model
3/30/2009 6.02 Instructional Programs Budget Review
3/30/2009 6.01 Student Services Budget Review
3/30/2009 3.01 Youth Options Program Requests - Fall 2009-2010
4/13/2009 9.02 Instructional Programs Budget Review
4/13/2009 5.02 Technology Budget Review
4/13/2009 5.04 Buildings & Grounds Budget Review
4/13/2009 9.03 Student Services Budget Review
4/13/2009 8.06 Youth Options Program Requests - Fall 2009-2010
5/26/2009 3.01 2009-10 Budget Development - Initial Budget Assumptions
8.10 2009-2010 Budget Development - Initial Budget Assumptions
5.02 Update on State Budget Progress and Impact on SPASD
6/22/2009 3.01 Review of Food Service 2009-2010 Budget
6/22/2009 6.02 Ratification of 2009-2011 SPEA Collective Bargaining Agreement
7/13/2009 8.01 Food Service Preliminary 2009-2010 Budget