According to the GPISD website the school board has been planning since the 2007-2008 school year for the "potential of a catastrophic occurence in school finance." (http://www.gpisd.org/Departments/Communications/AroundtheCampus/tabid/189/Default.aspx) Really? Then how come since that time money (and in no small quantities) has been spent on the following:
1) Remodeling the new superintendent's office
2) There was already a $5 million budget deficit for the 2008-2009 school year
3) Hiring the Staubach Company to oversee 2007 bond when we have always handled it in-house
4) Purchasing new curriculum, C-Scope, which most teachers have had to alter and/or add to
5) Hiring unnecessary consultants - you want to find out how the district is being wasteful and what they can change? Ask a teacher or a low-level employee - they are the ones that know what is really going on!
6) Contracting with a variety of programs such as Lead Your School, PBS, Capturing Kid's Hearts, etc. that costs A LOT of money. Regardless if the money is federal or not - it is still on the backs of taxpayer's and should be going towards direct education - not companies telling the schools not to put anything on their classroom walls!
7) Wall calendars printed up and sent home with every child having homes with multiple copies - which would be fine if we had nothing but money to spend but not when we are supposedly planning for a "catastrophic occurrence in school finance!"
8) Exemplary signs mimicking eye charts in every classroom in every school in the district. See additional comment on #8 above.
9) T-shirts for every district employee stating that GPISD is a recognized district. See additional comment on #8 above.
10) Hiring additional administrators when the district ran perfectly well with fewer positions in the past (let's see, we have a deputy superintendent - okay this one is gone, finally!; a full time attorney; an entirely new department of Assessments and Research with 4 full time employees; an additional payroll clerk - always had 2 before, now there are three; additional secretaries, facilitators and/or directors in the curriculum and instruction, educational support, and energy management departments; an additional administrator for elementary education - one used to be able to handle it before, I know we haven't grown THAT much; a new department of instructional delivery, which used to be with instructional technology so now there are two administrators for that instead of one; and an assistant superintendent of student affairs position. Whew! See additional comment on #8 above.
10) New marquee at the Education Center which kindly tells me the date and time of day. See additional comment on #8 above.
11) GPISD postcards sitting in workrooms all across town and no one is using them and no one can tell me what they are used for. See additional comment on #8 above...get my point yet?
12) And this is just what this one citizen knows about - I could imagine what is being spent on things I don't know about!
It makes no difference to me if the money used for all these things came from federal grants, state funds, or private business - all of the money could have been used for better things that have a DIRECT impact on student performance and learning. These are just a few examples of the complete waste that is going on in GPISD and the school board and superintendent want us to believe that our current situation is the State's fault and theirs alone? I think not.
And if this is an example of the school board having began planning for this budget shortfall for the past three years - I'd hate to see what would happen if they were caught off guard!