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Author Topic: Tulsa Public Schools Spending  (Read 96397 times)
AquaMan
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« Reply #330 on: March 31, 2014, 08:02:31 pm »

What specifically do you disagree with in Murphey’s editorial piece?

Oklahoma does have very high per capita administration costs.

Oklahoma has many school districts which could be combined.

This piece was brought to my attention the other day:

I don’t know that I necessarily agree with the notion that food service and janitorial should be out-sourced due to security concerns, but it’s at least worth looking at to see if someone like Sodexo could drive down costs to be able to hire more teachers.  The solution seems to drift away from conserving resources or better managing them in favor of simply throwing more money at the problem.  We’ve faced this issue for decades in Oklahoma and increases have apparently never been enough.

Sodexo already does a lot of privatizing of services for TPS. They do the cafeteria, they actually do the site maintenance for landscaping, lawnmowing etc. They are abysmal and prone to the same crap any organization lives with. Remember the scandal over stadiums being rented out for private use, and the pop machine money being pocketed by coaches? That couldn't have happened without our friends at Sodexo.

Murphey's remarks about privatizing the bus system and its drivers is hilarious. He has no insights there whatsoever. They can't find enough drivers at the starting rate of $9.75 per hour and resort to using mechanics and administrative staff to fill the void. Market rate? Lower than surrounding suburbs who are lower than the market rate including garbage men and cement truck drivers. That's right. Sanitation workers make more for carrying garbage than bus drivers get for carrying your kids. Nonetheless, the rumor is that a third party will soon take over the transportation dept. and combine routes at lower hourly rates. Drivers are leaving. Teachers are leaving. Good administrators are being snapped up by private schools.

This is rural vs city, conservative vs non, mass vs well educated, privatization vs organized labor, dumb vs smart.

 
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« Reply #331 on: March 31, 2014, 08:22:18 pm »

You always say that but it carries little weight.
Only among those who are unwilling to think about it for a bit.
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Conan71
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« Reply #332 on: March 31, 2014, 08:39:49 pm »

Percentages are easy to manipulate aren't they? A 49% increase in a staff of 10 moves you up to 15 employees. And that's a whole number, not a $ budget number. So, you could include the students in high school being used on a workstudy program, student aides, and employees on grants who, if paid, make $7.25 an hour and make it look like administrative costs have soared as related to student growth. A corresponding 6% increase in students doesn't seem even comparable unless you know the ratio needed for student to administrative cost. They probably aren't linear.

I don't know the correct figures right off hand but if you really want to spin, percentages are the way to do it.

It’s no secret and no joke that Oklahoma’s rural areas exist on pork.  Lots and lots of tasty pork, like an over-abundance of school districts which require PhD’s and other advanced degrees and commensurate pay to operate.  Don’t forget about our over-abundance of privately-run prisons and state universities too.  Those all provide jobs in areas which otherwise only offer a living wage in oil or agricultural-related industries.  No legislator wants to be faced with making unpopular decisions by children having to commute 20 miles to school or by laying off well-thought of members of their community by closing school systems.

School systems are also a great source of construction income.  Rural school districts now have such amenities as indoor baseball and softball workout-fields.  Do we really need that in the secondary school system?

What superintendent making $120 to $140K per year is going to agree their little school district needs to be merged with another district at the risk of losing their well-paying job? 

The point being, there is plenty of room to combine school districts thereby reducing the number of facilities and administrators to run them.  Lower facility and administrative costs means more money to spend on instruction. 

It’s simple, eliminate waste, and wasteful mind-sets.

Here’s a copy of the State Board of Education’s FY 2015 budget request:

Quote
Posted by tricia.pemberton on Oct 29, 2013
The Oklahoma State Board of Education today approved a $2.5 billion fiscal year 2015 budget request for the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE). Representing a $174.9 million increase over last year, the proposal will go before the state Legislature when it convenes in February.

The budget requests an $81.4 million increase in financial support for schools, part of $1.9 billion overall in the State Aid Funding Formula.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi said the budget addresses a number of academic and financial challenges facing Oklahoma schools.

“This budget is responsible, realistic and takes an important step forward in connecting new funds to proven performance,” she said. “Adequate funding is critical to a sound education, of course, but money itself is not a cure-all. Oklahomans must know their tax dollars are being invested wisely in schools.”

To that end, the budget request sets aside 20 percent of the new funds – about $16 million — to reward schools that show academic improvement among a large student population on free and reduced lunches.

“This is a way to recognize and build on the successes of the many schools in our state that are rising to significant challenge. Through innovation, tenacity and a commitment to excellence, these teachers, administrators and parents are working hard to ensure a bright future for the next generation of Oklahomans.”

Barresi urged district superintendents to use part of the new funds to increase teacher pay.

“There is no question that inadequate teacher salaries are a big reason we lose many of our best and brightest educators to other states,” she said.

The funding request includes $593.5 million for the activities budget, an $86.4 million increase over FY 2014. That figure reflects how Oklahoma schools are continuing their shift toward stronger academic standards and heightened expectations, providing $69 million for the implementation of various reforms.

That amounts to a $26 million increase in reform spending over last year.

This includes:

$21.7 million for Achieving Classroom Excellence (ACE) remediation;
$16 million for reading sufficiency;
$5 million for REAC3H coaches ;
$2.8 million for school reform competitiveness grants;
$2.4 million for the Think Through Math program;
$564,000 in Oklahoma Academic Standards implementation;
$500,000 for third-grade reading readiness support teams; and
$200,000 for charter school incentives.
In the wake of the Affordable Care Act, health insurance costs are taking a significant portion of the would-be budget.

“As is proving to be the case throughout the nation, the consequences of Obamacare are severe and painful. Millions of dollars that could have gone to the classroom instead must be eaten up in insurance costs,” Barresi said.

OSDE is requesting a flexible benefit allowance budget of $426.9 million in FY 2015, a $59 million increase over last year. More costly premiums and an increase of fulltime, insured school employees are responsible for the requested increase.

http://www.ok.gov/sde/newsblog/2013-10-29/state-board-education-approves-fy-2015-budget-request

The more cynical of you will call Baresi’s comments about Obamacare partisan politics.  Hey, if the reality is health insurance costs went up dramatically as a result of the ACA, it is what it is.  How many teachers could you hire with $59 million?  Have the feds stepped up to off-set those costs?  Apparently not.
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nathanm
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« Reply #333 on: April 01, 2014, 11:13:15 am »

How many teachers would $500 million worth of football and basketball pay for? You may not have noticed, but $59 million including both an increase in premiums, which much have been less than 10% and the cost of insuring a larger number of full timers isn't actually that much. Most employers are seeing 4-5% increases, so that $59 million probably includes $25 million of costs related to new hires. But please, go ahead and blame it on Obamacare. It shuts down the public's brain so they'll blame the feds, right or wrong.
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Conan71
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« Reply #334 on: April 01, 2014, 11:19:02 am »

How many teachers would $500 million worth of football and basketball pay for? You may not have noticed, but $59 million including both an increase in premiums, which much have been less than 10% and the cost of insuring a larger number of full timers isn't actually that much. Most employers are seeing 4-5% increases, so that $59 million probably includes $25 million of costs related to new hires. But please, go ahead and blame it on Obamacare. It shuts down the public's brain so they'll blame the feds, right or wrong.

Let’s assume all-in payroll costs for first year hires is $65,000.  That’s 907 new teachers which could be hired for $59 mil.

Activities are deemed worthy of the educational experience.  No idea how much is for athletics.  I assume that would also include extra-curricular music and drama programs.

I’m sure you are far better suited to interpret the costs associated with the ACA to state school districts than the state superintendent of education.  My bad.

(Note, I’m about as big a fan of Barresi as I have been of Mary FAIL’N)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 11:20:35 am by Conan71 » Logged

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« Reply #335 on: April 01, 2014, 12:07:32 pm »

Teachers, Parents Rally at State Capitol



Think it'll do any good?

Doesn't appear it did much good.  I'm guessing the educators were labeled as uppity and then the Senate panel voted.

Senate Panel Passes Bill to Cut Oklahoma Income Taxes

http://kwgs.com/post/senate-panel-passes-bill-cut-oklahoma-income-taxes



Quote
KLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A plan to cut Oklahoma's corporate and individual income tax rates once certain revenue triggers are reached has passed a Senate committee.

The Senate Finance Committee voted 8-2 on Tuesday for the House bill by Bartlesville Republican Rep. Earl Sears.

The House and Senate each have separate proposals to reduce the state's individual income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 5 percent, once certain revenue triggers are reached.

The House bill would drop the rate once collections to the state's General Revenue Fund grow by enough to offset the lost revenue. The cost of such a reduction is estimated to be about $147 million annually.

The bill has a separate trigger to drop the corporate income tax rate from 6 percent to 5 percent.
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AquaMan
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« Reply #336 on: April 01, 2014, 12:23:05 pm »

Let’s assume all-in payroll costs for first year hires is $65,000.  That’s 907 new teachers which could be hired for $59 mil.

Activities are deemed worthy of the educational experience.  No idea how much is for athletics.  I assume that would also include extra-curricular music and drama programs.

I’m sure you are far better suited to interpret the costs associated with the ACA to state school districts than the state superintendent of education.  My bad.

(Note, I’m about as big a fan of Barresi as I have been of Mary FAIL’N)

You can't assume all that. First off if the ACA disappeared and $59 million actually showed up the current legislature would cut $59 million from the education budget much like they did lottery and casino money. Then, activities are deemed worthy unless they are music or gym class for non athletes. Both decimated in the last decades. No gym class for high school and orchestra is practically gone, now available in specialized schools. Marching bands outside of Jenks, Union and BA are practically volunteer status. Meanwhile, we invest in all new athletic facilities so we can stay competitive in football, basketball and to a lesser extent, baseball.

Two things come to mind on the increases of school costs. One, is I agree with your assessment of where the real budget sucking is going on...the rural, non consolidated school districts. They need leadership that isn't afraid of the local boards and supers. With the corresponding economic changes that would cause, the chances of that happening with current statehouse makeup....0.

And two, the additional cost to bring our schools up to date with technology. Not just the hardware, software purchases but the cost of training, operating and updating. It used to be you bought a chalkboard and it lasted 40 years. A teacher actually increased in effectiveness as they aged due to wisdom, maturity and dedication. Now you buy a power presentation board, software and internet connectivity while trying to drag pre-technology teachers, administrators and legislators along for the ride. The young teachers will work cheap and the mature, wise ones move on. Putting money in technology in the long run will pay off but the change in what education was to what it will be is like labor pains. Lots of yelling, moaning and crying about whose to blame!
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« Reply #337 on: April 01, 2014, 12:53:08 pm »

...I agree with your assessment of where the real budget sucking is going on...the rural, non consolidated school districts. They need leadership that isn't afraid of the local boards and supers. With the corresponding economic changes that would cause, the chances of that happening with current statehouse makeup....0.

No doubt there is some consolidation that could be done in some of the rural schools.  But as a person who came from a very rural school in SW OK, there is only so much consolidation that is practical.  Something was mentioned earlier about students having to travel 20 miles to school, and I can attest that doing that on a day to day basis would simply not be practical.  I graduated HS with a class of 18 (yep, count 'em, 18) kids.  And I would have loved to have gone to a bigger school, or have consolidated with a neighboring town to form a larger school, but that would have resulted in students literally having to travel 20+ miles to school each way, and at least back then (80's) this was not considered a viable solution.
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Townsend
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« Reply #338 on: April 01, 2014, 01:40:22 pm »

No doubt there is some consolidation that could be done in some of the rural schools.  But as a person who came from a very rural school in SW OK, there is only so much consolidation that is practical.  Something was mentioned earlier about students having to travel 20 miles to school, and I can attest that doing that on a day to day basis would simply not be practical.  I graduated HS with a class of 18 (yep, count 'em, 18) kids.  And I would have loved to have gone to a bigger school, or have consolidated with a neighboring town to form a larger school, but that would have resulted in students literally having to travel 20+ miles to school each way, and at least back then (80's) this was not considered a viable solution.


Why do students have to travel to a brick and mortar every day?

40 miles once a week might not be too bad.

No Gym or band anyway.
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Conan71
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« Reply #339 on: April 01, 2014, 02:23:15 pm »

Why do students have to travel to a brick and mortar every day?

40 miles once a week might not be too bad.

No Gym or band anyway.

DING, DING, DING, DING!!!

That also would address the issue of not enough instructors.  Hire fewer, but raise the pay so we can attract the brighter talent.
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nathanm
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« Reply #340 on: April 01, 2014, 03:07:36 pm »

Remote learning, eh? Shall the kids receive their instruction over dial up, then?
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« Reply #341 on: April 01, 2014, 03:10:26 pm »

Remote learning, eh? Shall the kids receive their instruction over dial up, then?

There will never be technology available in the remote areas beyond dial up?

Nothing can be done? 
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swake
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« Reply #342 on: April 01, 2014, 03:14:48 pm »

There will never be technology available in the remote areas beyond dial up?

Nothing can be done? 

Mark Zuckerberg is working hard to be sure that everyone has a high speed connection to Facebook and his ads and data mining.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/opinion/mark-zuckerberg-humanitarian-super-villain/#!Cq6Ny
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Conan71
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« Reply #343 on: April 01, 2014, 03:15:04 pm »

Hughesnet: “I’m getting into all this social networking thing and I just shared all our vacation pictures!”



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nathanm
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« Reply #344 on: April 01, 2014, 07:19:07 pm »

There will never be technology available in the remote areas beyond dial up?

Didn't say that.

Quote
Nothing can be done? 

Nothing will be done, because people aren't willing to treat Internet service like rural water or electricity. On the rare occasion someone in a position to do something about it opens their mouth on the subject, the incumbents get the goal speed watered down to something that would have been useful 5 years ago when not being shouted down entirely. As a state, we are better off than many in that we have an unusually high amount of lit fiber running to various small towns across the state, I believe even including a lot of the smaller school districts themselves, but those aren't the places where distance learning would be cheaper (in the short run) than buses anyway.

The solution is simple, and fits as well in Tulsa and OKC as it does in someplace out in rural Delaware County: Either the state or a quasi-governmental entity (in areas with electric coops, they are an excellent partner for projects like this) runs fiber everywhere and leases access to whomever would like to provide service. With such a system in place, schools can be linked to the kids regardless of whether anybody has paid the bill to get to the actual Internet, and everyone, no matter where they are in the state, can have the breadth of choice that the rest of us have.
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"Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration" --Abraham Lincoln
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