Except that it isn't playing out that way even in 2017.
The parents who commented expressed frustration over not enough books. I have heard this comment, over and over. I'll be honest; I don't remember ever not having a book for school. They may have been old but we all had books.
Made me think, "There's one more basic that SPS doesn't provide."
So let's start a list of tangible items. I'll start.
- cleaning classrooms on a more regular basis for sanitation purposes. Meaning, beyond just vaccuming/sweeping and emptying garbage cans.
- basic supplies especially for elementary school, like scissors, tape, rulers, etc.
- properly maintained buildings. This includes replacing carpeting, new desks, etc.
I was really peeved to listen to the discussion at last night's Board meeting about the district spending money from BEX II and BEX III on solar panels at several schools. Richard Best of Facilities was quite excited about this project which would seek to get a federal grant in order to complete the project. He said they could even build a kiosk at each school to let kids know how much energy was being generated and the savings to the district.
I do like these kinds of projects and the district loves them because it makes them look forward-thinking. Director Burke seemed wildly enthused. So what's my issue?
Well, as district watchdog, Chris Jackins, said, "BEX II was the levy that had Garfield High School and that project went way over budget and had to take money from other projects to complete it. How could there be any leftover dollars?
I'd say the same for BEX III. How can any BTA and BEX fund beyond the latest ones still have unspent dollars? There is so much maintenance need in the district and yet it feels like staff holds money for the projects they want instead of getting the basic needs met.
The BAR says this:
BEX II Unallocated funds Transfer $ 647,816
BEX III Bond Underspend $ 947,816
Now Mr. Best said he did not know what "unallocated funds" meant. He seemed to think it was a fancy accounting term and, when Director Pinkham asked about it, said he would check with Accounting.
What else should make the list?