Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How to Pay for Those School Reopenings?

There had been a placeholder in tonight's Board agenda for what they are calling "Acceleration of BTA III for New Student Assignment Plan". Basically, it should be titled, "How the Hell Do We Get This Done?"

Here are their ideas:

Seattle Public Schools has several options for financing the work required. These include:
Internal financing such as borrowing from the Capital Eligible Projects fund (CEP) and
Short-term public financing such as Revenue Anticipation Notes.

Internal Financing
Internal Financing offers the lowest total cost of borrowing. The District can borrow from CEP
reserves. The CEP fund balance as of January 31st, 2010 was $13.9M. Based on anticipated
property sales for this year, the CEP fund has the capacity to lend $8.5M to the BTA III program this year.

Revenue Anticipation Notes
Although the District has the ability to use Revenue Anticipation Notes to fund the $8.5M
needed to accelerate construction on the elementary schools, planned expenditures for work next year preclude being able to repay the notes within thirteen months.

Interest earnings on BTA III balances in later years could be used to fund interest payments to
CEP.

We estimate a negative cash flow of $8.5M for BTA III in the current fiscal year (FY2009-
2010). This shortfall is due to the need to accelerate construction for the reopening of schools
identified under the New Student Assignment Plan.

What a mess. We are selling school bonds to try to lower the cost of the John Stanford Center. Now, we don't have the money to fix up the reopening schools in hand. So there is going to be a lot of movement of money from one pot to another, with paybacks along the way, etc. I'm a little confused as to why they don't just cancel the Ingraham addition in BEX III and use that. The money is sitting right there and the Ingraham project is months behind anyway. (The head of the BEX program said that if the court case involved nearby trees didn't get resolved soon, they would have to cancel it.)

And I see the district used their outside financial advisors, PFM, to figure all this out. I think I'll have to see how much we pay them.

6 comments:

emeraldkity said...

After reading about one employee in the Ridgefield district who stole $800K over a ten year period ( which is a small district compared to Seattle.)
I would want a detailed accounting of every penny and followup on results before I would feel good about finding money for new expenses that are not directly related to classrooms.

But if we have reduced transportation and consolidated buildings- didn't that put us back in the black?

I wanna see instead of " how are we going to pay for buildings/teachers/curriculum"- articles about "how are we going to pay legal fees"? connected to court decisions regarding assignment/curriculum- etc.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I think the savings realized from any building consolidation is long gone. There were the costs of moving communities and closing down buildings. I'm not sure we've realized any savings off transportation yet. But in the black? No, otherwise they wouldn't be scrambling for money.

ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ben said...

Offtopic but I just read on the stranger that a group calling itself school defenders was going to serve a lawsuit at the school board meeting tonight. Does anyone know anything about this?
Thanks
Ben

Central Mom said...

Ben, For more info see Dan Dempsey's "Math Underground Blog"

yumpears said...

Sorry – off topic but I found it amusing (in a sort of dang the district is so incompetent kind of amusing). Just saw this posted on the West Seattle Blog Forum:

SPS enrollment online verification
“Just fyi, I called them. Due to a really large & unexpected influx of applications for open choice schools this year, the online verification system is delayed until this Friday.”