While I have your attention

Bump, set, SPIKE!

Bump, set, SPIKE!

A special shout out to the Board/Regime cheerleaders who keep sending traffic to my site.  In their efforts to somehow link me to the union, or to discredit me somehow….they just send more eyeballs over to my site.  Like clockwork, I see a spike in visitors, and voila, I get more subscribers!

So, while I have your attention I would like to once again point out something that everyone in DCSD should see…I wrote about it once before, but it’s just so important to understand:

The District has over $10 million dollars sitting in Department* carryovers.

Here is the spreadsheet to see the carryovers by department.

Sure, you can explain some of it away as conservative budgeting and efficiencies, but $10.5 million??  That is money that should be in the classroom.  And it’s money that could have mitigated the severe cuts we took at the high school level.

(*Please read and understand…it says department up there, not school carryover…department!!  Personally, I do not have a problem with individual schools carrying over unused funds.  Again, I am talking about district departments!)

So, don’t be distracted…focus on what effect Board actions are having in the classrooms!

Let’s talk about the $10 million elephant in the room

$10 million dollars left over

CLICK to see the whole $10 million dollar picture

No matter how the DCSD Board, the Superintendent, the CFO, and their handful of cheerleaders spin it…there is money in that insanely large fund balance that should be in our kids’ classrooms. Period.

They will talk about the  portion (around $8 million) of the $83million fund balance which belongs to individual schools as “carryover” money. But what the Board doesn’t want you to notice is the $10 million District Department carryover*. Yep, just a cool $10 million sitting at the district level that is NOT in the schools. You will notice in the latest board meeting audio that any time department carryover money is discussed, it is steered back to the school carryover…they simply don’t want to talk about it.

Why don’t they want to discuss this? Because that is money that should have gone to the classrooms and could have prevented cuts. And they know it**.

* DCSD Department Carryover FY2011-12 (google docs spreadsheet)

** Board Briefing Meghann’s comment around 38:30 demonstrates she knows there are some bad discrepancies in the budgeting.


Related: DougCo Finances Shouldn’t Require a Crystal Ball
Related: Inaccurate Budgeting = Unnecessary Cuts

Beyond Frozen Pipes…Why is DCSD Starving our Schools?

DCSD Master Capital Plan PDF

DCSD Master Capital Plan
PDF

On Monday Cherry Valley Elementary, Franktown Elementary, Sedalia Elementary, and Sierra Middle School were closed due to frozen or broken water lines. I pointed this out on Twitter and someone scoffed at me basically saying that not everything is an issue. I beg to differ…yes, it was darn cold and sometimes pipes freeze and burst. But, here are the points to consider before you think that I am making mountain out of a molehill:

Did it happen in any other area school district? Was there was a magic tropical bubble over Denver Public Schools, Littleton Public Schools or Jefferson County Public Schools? I’m no Mike Nelson, but the whole metro area was friggin’ cold on Monday.

This is a public building. These are public schools filled with children, they should be maintained and held to a higher standard than your neighbor’s basement pipes.

The schools were underfunded. The biggest non-issue that I’m making an issue — these aging schools have requested funds to take care of their buildings: (Reference – Master Capital Plan 2012-13):

  • Cherry Valley Elementary needs $52.5K for Mechanical/Plumbing + $51K for interior finishes (p35)
  • Franktown Elementary needs $36.75K for interior finishes (p50)
  • Sedalia Elementary needs $818K for Mechanical/Plumbing + 81.3k for interior finishes + $54.4K for roofing + $69K for exterior finishes + $193K for communication & security system + $26.25K for technology infrastructure (p89)
  • Sierra Middle School needs $210K for plumbing and mechanical + $11.6K for exterior finishes (p90).

fundbalancebarsMeanwhile DCSD has continued to grow the fund balance to $83M (about $20million more than last year!), yet many of these repairs are not funded for 2012-13.

Why is our Board starving our schools of needed funds?

 
 
 
 
 


  • On a related note, the specific maintenance requests mentioned above were put on the District’s Facebook page by Mr. Kevin Leung, a parent. The entire posts were removed by DCSD and his comments went unanswered.
  • On another related note, there was another aging school, Northridge Elementary, that was open on Monday but experienced leaking pipes and freezing classrooms. Again, maintenance had been requested by the school, but no repairs were funded.