Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lacking Basic Math Skills . . . and More . . .

If you live in Utica, by now you've received this bit of postal confusion from the UCSD on the upcoming budget vote. Having a warped sense of fun I thought it would be interesting to plug the numbers from UCSD's mailing into a spreadsheet. This is what I came up with:

All the numbers in the white cells are from UCSD's mailing. Items highlighted in yellow are calculated. Rows in Orange are additions.

The first thing I noticed was that the contingency budget's increase (both in $ and %, F3 and F4 on the sheet) as calculated does not match what UCSD reported to the voters. If the UCSD cannot do simple math, or cannot proofread a mailing for errors before sending it to thousands of taxpayers, how can it be trusted to properly administer a budget well over 100 million dollars?

The second thing I noticed was the absolutely astounding 19+% increase in school district administration no matter what the voters do. That's close to SEVEN TIMES the rate of inflation.. . . and these people don't even teach.

Programmatic costs are going up about 2 or 3 times the rate of inflation. . . . and while capital costs are projected at under 2 times the rate of inflation, isn't there a big capital project being planned that will go before the voters next month??? And, how is it that the tax levy remains the same under both contingency and proposed budgets?

Hmmm . . . What's a voter to do when handed numbers like these???


Anonymous said...

I've read that if only 1% of parents would remove their children from public schools and send them to private schools or home educate them, this would shake up the public school budgeting system so as the get their attention, and make the earth-moving point that parents want change.

Anonymous said...

The Capital budget doesn't have to increase next year. Even if the EXCEL project is approved in June there is still a lengthy process with the State Education Department to get final approval from them. You will not see the additional costs for the capital project (or the corresponding increase in State Aid Revenue) until at least the 2009-10 school year or even later.