Thursday, May 24, 2012

Math with Nancy

Forget Coffee Talk, invite Nancy to your next event for MathTalk.  Before reading the news from our school board representative Nancy Jester, please watch the following video:

 or this video....

and now, here's Nancy:

Budget Update  
Last night the Board met to receive the Superintendent's "tentative proposed budget".  Technically the Board must approve a "tentative" budget in advance of a final vote on the FY2013 budget.  The tentative budget was approved last night 5 - 2.  I opposed. 

Click here to go to the DCSD webpage with the proposed budget documents. 

Additionally, I have placed a spreadsheet on my website under the documents tab, in the Budget FY2013 folder that details the "Budget Cut Options" for FY2013.  Click here to go to the webpage to view the spreadsheet. 

Please note that the Superintendent's approved "tentative budget" contains the cuts and tax increase that are listed in the column titled "Recommended Plan".  The column to the right ("All Cuts") is a total of all cuts with NO tax increase, NO pay decrease, NO additional furloughs and an increase in class size.  We must cover an approximately $73 million deficit.  You can see the value of each line item in this spreadsheet.  The "all cuts" column totals $77.9 million and would cover the deficit and begin to build our fund balance again.

As I have previously indicated, our millage rate is 22.98 mills.  We have the highest rate in the metro area and have been at this rate for 9 years.  We are also the only metro area district that will end this fiscal year with a deficit.  Our new Superintendent and her new staff did not bring us to this point. But it is my opinion that we need to demonstrate sustained fiscal restraint before thinking of increasing property taxes.  Furthermore, in the years where we had increasing property values, your taxes were not decreased nor were the funds invested in teachers or saved in reserve.

In the presentation we received yesterday, we were presented an interesting graph that detailed the value per mill that was generated by the tax base yearly from 2006 to 2012 (projected).  Here are the values per mill (in millions):

2006-07:  $20,396
2007-08:  $21,035
2008-09:  $22,003
2009-10:  $21,101
2010-11:  $20,400
2011-12:  $17,499
2012-13:  $16,449

The mean value is $19,840 and the median is $20,400.  Using the median, if you sum the positive differences from the 3 values above the median and multiply them by the millage rate of 22.98 mills you get $67.5 million.  Using the mean, if you sum the difference between the 5 values above the mean, and multiply that by 22.98 mills you get $131.8 million.  I think this is useful to try and capture an estimate to understand the amount that should have accrued to the taxpayers, teachers or reserves.

I have received several questions about the proposed cuts to various programs.  It is my understanding that the programs are not being eliminated.  The extra allotment of teachers that lowered class size within the program is being eliminated.  Now all programs will have the same class size situations that exist at all schools throughout the county.  My latest 'What's Up With That?" blog covers several popular questions that I've received.  Please take a look and leave a comment.  (Click here to go to the blog.)   

Central Office Reorganization 
The Superintendent has put together some facts and figures regarding her reorganization.  I've put them under "budget" under my documents tab.  (Click her to go to that page.)  The documents are labeled "Central Office".  The first document will show you the number of employees that worked in schools houses (ESOL teachers, magnet teachers, pre-k teachers, support staff, etc.) that were "coded" to the central office and have now been correctly identified as being school based employees.  The second document shows the number of central office employees for the upcoming fiscal year by function/department and how many positions have been eliminated from those core areas (73) with the reorganization.  Additionally, the proposed budget contains an additional reduction to the reorganized central office of 70 positions. 
Public Budget Hearing 
The next public budget hearing is scheduled for:
Wednesday, May 30th at 6pm
Administrative and Instructional Complex
1701 Stone Mountain Blvd.
Stone Mountain, GA 30083