Seattle Schools Central Administration Spending

From Reader 47:

From the 2015/16 Budget book (pg44)

CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION Actual 2013/14 Adopted 2014/15 Recommended 2015/16
  • Board of Directors $4,377,610 $2,603,840 $4,270,653
  • Superintendent's Office $5,263,869 $5,515,745 $6,418,660
  • Business Office $5,790,899 $6,207,175 $6,980,623
  • Human Resources $4,685,999 $4,705,558 $5,283,638
  • Public Information $490,227 $500,189 $623,449
  • Superv. of Instruction $11,886,009 $14,331,199 $16,131,620
  • Super.Nutrition Services $766,624 $916,965 $904,898
  • Super Transportation $1,125,084 $1,648,618 $1,876,805
  • Super Maint and Operation $836,484 $1,010,144 $1,093,617

TOTAL CENTRAL ADMIN $35,222,804    $37,439,433   $43,583,963

By my calculations, that's about a $6 million increase in Central Admin - what could the schools (remember them, the places kids go) do with that?!

Editor's note: I do not believe this includes Central Office which is different from Central Administration.


Meg said…
The rise in central administration budgeting is worse than it seems in this post, because 204-15 and 2015-16 are budgeted, while 2013-14 is actual.

Actual is important, but by comparing actuals to budgeted, it makes for a little bit of an apples to oranges (though it is important to note that central administration overspent the planned budget by several million bucks in 2013-14).

2013-14 budgeted: $31.9M
2014-15 budgeted: $37.4M
2015-16 budgeted: $43.6M

central administration is a budget category on OSPI. "Central office," like "natural foods" can more or less mean what they want it to.
Anonymous said…
Are you sending this to the Board. It is so clear. I would send it to the Seattle Time, KPLU, King 5, KOMO, KIRO, etc. This is outrageous!! Some money for administration, sure. BUT, we need more money at the schools. As a teacher I can ensure you that I am not feeling the support. Who is all of this money for? Who is benefiting from all of this. Not me, I'm a teacher. Not the kids, they're losing their teachers.Not special edu, who needs lower ratios. Not counseling, who have astronomical caseloads. Not the school buildings, they're falling apart. (Different budget..but still)
Maureen said…
So what is included in the Board of Directors line item? On the other thread, someone suggested it may include the Superintendent Search. Yes? What else? I know about five years ago, the Board had no staff that reported directly to them (Erinn Bennett reported to Holly Ferguson, they were not even officially supervising their own program support assistant), is that different now?
Greg said…
On a related note, I was looking at the 2015-16 budget a while ago and trying to figure out how only $401M of the budget (pp 74) is under control of the schools out of $753M (pp 39).

In general, I don't think centralized control of the budget is producing what we want. I'd love to see a much smaller central administration focus solidly on helping the schools rather than controlling them through the budget.
Watching said…
The Internal Auditor and Superintendent answer to the board. See page 52 of Organization Chart:

School districts help fund elections. Costs to the district are approximately $800K. I would like to see a line to line analysis of the board budget.

Parents are very upset about the district cramming K classes. They are wondering if the district is acting illegally. I hope they continue to investigate this issue.
Anonymous said…
I don't pretend to understand this stuff - Meg will hopefully chime in, but on page 51 of the 2015/16 (unaudited) F-195 Budget doc, dated 9/10/2015 (I assume filed with OSPI?) you can find more of a breakdown on expenditures:

File is HERE

If I'm reading it correctly, the majority of the Board's budget goes to something called "purchased services" whatever that might be...perhaps the recording of Board meetings etc? It does include some salary funds as well. Hopefully someone with more knowledge will illuminate things for us all ;)

GarfieldMom said…
Pretty sure the money under Board of Directors includes funds for two textbook adoptions. I read that yesterday or the day before, will have to backtrack to figure out where I found it.

GarfieldMom said…
Nope, strike that, I misremembered. $1 million of the increase is for election funding (school board and levies).

Meg said…
I think GarfieldMom is correct (or at least has the same misunderstanding that I do?).

A significant portion of expenses for the board of directors is for levy and school board elections.

I don't know if levy planning is budgeted there or not, as part of the election expense, but it would make sense.
Anonymous said…
The School Board has a paid assistant (a relatively-new thing). I think the purpose of this position was to assist them with researching issues, etc... but I'm not sure of the actual job description.

The School Board directors are also paid a small per-diem.

- North-end Mom
GarfieldMom said…
This is taken from the budget, pp. 66-67, Notable Changes under Policy and Planning:

 The School Board budget increases by approximately $1 million to fund election costs. In 2015- 2016, there will be an election for four Board seats and a levy.
 The Deputy Superintendent budget increased in 2014-2015 after the budget was adopted to add three project manager positions. These positions are two-year terms with the work focused on the bell times study, special education and improving the start of schools process.
 The Research, Evaluation and Assessment department will add 2.0 Assessment Specialist positions. These positions will support the Curriculum and Instruction team with assessment development and professional development around data and assessment. .
 Portions of the Executive Directors of Schools budget transfers to Strategic Planning (formerly TIF) to better align the work conducted. The Strategic Planning budget increases as the department adds budgets to support Career Ladder, the School Leadership Institute, the Aspiring Principal Academy, the Peer Mentor Principal Program and other leadership development initiatives.
 The General Counsel budget increases due to contractual services for outside legal counsel services as well as from the conversion of 3.0 FTE vacant positions to fund additional contractual services.
 The Communications & Public Affairs budget adds 1.0 FTE Executive Administrative Assistant position.

Note that the Deputy Super gained 3.0 FTE and Strategic Planning gained 7.6 FTE
Anonymous said…
Thanks for fleshing things out -I guess that makes sense re: elections. I believe the salary funds were something like $175,000 - so I guess that could be an FTE and per diem expenses. There was also 18,000 budgeted for travel.

and improving the start of schools process. clearly they have some work to do there!;o)

And frankly, to me, all those "leadership development" initiatives are frosting on the cake compared to keeping sufficient numbers of IAs in SPED classrooms. Seems like a spiffy place for some re-arranging of funds?

Another thing that makes me go hmmm...
According to the SPS jobs listings - they are seeking the following admin level hires:
1.Job Title: Director/Executive Director, Strategic Planning and System Improvement Salary: $107,621.00 - $148,611.00 Annually

2.Job Title: General Counsel
Salary: $144,387.00 - $199,480.00 Annually

The principal leadership thing about had this salary listed:
Class Title: Principal Leadership Coach
Salary: $121,635.00 - $127,272.00 Annually


Anonymous said…
TIF was a federal grant. From the office of Duncan. SPS knew it was time-limited.
TIF funds are over? Time for TIF work to be over. We don't need another project thrown over the transom with no funding from the people in Washington who have stomped all over our local public schools.

Anonymous said…
Here we have a special ed whopper of a contract. HALF A MILLION Bucks.!!!! Going to a bunch of nobodies, to do nothing. SENECA Family of Agencies. How many special ed IAs could we pay for with that money going to Seneca, slipped through the board? At least 10. Those IAs impact at least 30 students each. That's 300 students served OR break out sessions, feel good meetings, and "help" writing special ed procedures manuals that nobody will ever read, truly. The SENECA contract for nothing at all, is in addition to the more than a dozen, mostly freshly minted educrats in special ed, making well over one hundred grand employed only for supervision. This is literally millions in special ed supervision. In addition to the highest paid in special ed management, we've got an entire cadre of second line management: "program specialists". This is a whole track of essentially early retirement teachers. Never answer the phone, never help a student or teacher. Their only job is student kick the can. Finding new schools for students when nobody wants to teach them. This early retirement, do nothing, corps of special ed "program specialists" also represents millions of dollars. There are also a half dozen compliance specialists. This sounds like a rarified, highly specialized job. It isn't. Any teacher who thinks of themselves as a legal expert is welcome to apply. No minimum requirements necessary! You too can join the ranks of overhead. Every single classroom special ed cut could be taken from these groups. We have more special ed administrators than school psychologists. That is sobering.

Stop the special ed classroom cuts. Stop the central management waste and abuse. This impacts nearly all students, and it isn't getting much airtime.

Anonymous said…
One non-classroom expenditure I'd like to see: the Board should have funding to hire an independent consultant who presents them with a quarterly report of satisfaction ratings for every employee in the JSCEE, based on feedback from parents, students and teachers. I'll bet they could find $6 M in administration cuts pretty easily. Why are there always more and more assessments of students and teachers, but never downtown?

I pretty much stole this idea intact from a comment by someone else a week or two ago. I liked it so much I intend to keep repeating it as long as necessary! :)

Scrawny Kayaker
Anonymous said…
"Stop the special ed classroom cuts. Stop the central management waste and abuse. This impacts nearly all students, and it isn't getting much airtime."

Reader, I have heard one candidate beat this drum at the few candidate forums I've attended. I think improving special education outcomes and cutting central administrative cost are his 2 primary goals. It's interesting to see the entire field is now repeating and adopting his message.

I also see by reviewing the PRR logs, that he has been very active in requesting information from the district, I don't see that from any of the other candidates.
It's refreshing to see someone running that is consistent and willful about their intentions. I'm really tired of SB candidates pandering to the crowd!

Too bad the media doesn't seem to care. Maybe the media should attend the Hale student school board election forum this Thursday it's the last big event before the election.

2 Cents
Anonymous said…
2 Cents, Michael's holding on Line 2. He's got instructions for you.


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