Want to Know What Makes Up Budget Deficit? Mum's the Word
Last week, I asked district Communications a couple of questions about the projected $70M+ budget deficit for the 2017-2018 via email. I also spoke to a member of the Communications team. When I asked, I was told that was probably a question they would get from many reporters and they would get that info. (Makes sense, no?)
Here's what I asked:
I just read the Times' article on the levy cliff. I have also attended multiple SPS meetings where this is being discussed. But I have not seen a breakdown of the actual deficient itself.(Editor's note - it is NOT $3M in transportation costs for the transportation for the grandfathering. Staff says it's $1M but has not provided any real data on that number. As for the other $2M, no one seems to be able to explain why it's there.)
My understanding is this:
$74M deficient (up three million since the Board voted in grandfathering for some schools based on boundary changes*)
Of that, $23M is increased labor costs that SPS knew were coming from the new SEA contract.
Then there is $31M from the levy cliff.
That leaves about $20M to account for. Where does that part of the deficit come from?
Here was the reply I received today:
In order to get answers to your below questions you’ll need to fill out a public records request by emailing email@example.com.I need to file a public disclosure request for information about the school district's public budget? A budget that they are whipping up a lot of concern and churn about because of a huge deficit that they say may mean layoffs and cuts?
File that in the circular file under, "transparency."