I forgot but an alert reader, Janne, reminded me that the district has a budget office page with good information and a link to each school's allocation. Here's the link. Here's another link to the Business Operations which lays out what each department does in the district. I went to their "Goals" section and was reminded of another cost that the district is bearing this year:
Our department of technology services provides several important services, including student assignment, student information, and academic systems data. Many of these services – including student assignment – operate on a 1970’s era VAX computer system, which must be replaced. Migration off of the VAX system to a new technology platform is currently in progress. The new platform is on track to be implemented in preparation for the adoption of our new student assignment plan which is expected to take effect in fall 2010.
As I recall, Tracy Libros had explained that they were going to run the enrollment on both the VAX and the new platform to make sure the new platform works (and the VAX is the back-up). Clearly, there's a cost to that but how much it is, I don't know but we're paying for it. Is that bad? Maybe not but it seems everywhere you look, money just drifts away.
I hear a lot of pain in the words of parents who have written here and at Harium's blog about going to their school's budget meeting and seeing the reality of what their child's school is facing. It really hits home. What this points out (and I think the district sometimes loses sight of) is that every single dollar counts. When I get whiny about the BEX or the BTA, please understand that I get that not every single dollar can always be directly going to a school. But we need more of those capital dollars AND the Operating budget dollars to get used the best way. Here were some of my suggestions about cutting back that I suggested to Harium at his blog on the budget thread:
Cut the coaches. (Yes, I know that doesn't mean they all lose their jobs but really, put them back into the classrooms and at least save the gas of them running around town. I was told that the coaches don't stay in one zone but have schools in all directions. Why?)
Cut some of the 28 FTE in BEX that even the head of BEX questioned at a BEX Oversight Committee meeting. (Those positions aren't even counting the project managers for each BEX project.)
Cut the two Broad residents who are at the end of their two-year residency at SPS. They cost us $45K plus benefits (with Broad paying the other $45K of their salary). If we keep them on, that's $90k more a year right there. Also, Carol Rava Treat's $100K+ salary is being paid this year by the Broad Foundation. What about next year?
No travel for SPS employees except the Board, the Superintendent, the COO and CAO for the next year.
Do what the judge in the math adoption case says, review the math adoption, and save the money on appealing it. Seriously, Harium said they weren't going to do the total review of all the textbooks, just the Discovery series. Do what the judge wants and move on.
Each and everyone of us knows about how things add up. Well, these things in the district do as well.