While schools are complaining, they're also increasing reserves.

After a spate of superintendents writing in their local newspapers that education got screwed this session, the Governor is on the road in Aberdeen telling his story to the American News on why education fared pretty well, despite reports to the contrary:

South Dakota schools are not underfunded now and they won't be in 2008 either, South Dakota Gov. Michael Rounds said on Thursday.

Rounds said he has taken exception with lobbyists and some school officials who say next year's education funding increase awarded by the state Legislature is inadequate. To date, 69 school districts have joined a lawsuit charging the state of South Dakota with failing to adequately fund K-12 public education. The Aberdeen School District will decide whether or not to join the effort at a meeting on Monday.

and...

"This whole mess is strictly about money," Rounds said. "How can you come back next year and ask for more when you got a bunch this year? The lobbyists having a problem with this are all about telling the Legislature and public that they were treated poorly."

That's just not true, he said. According to the South Dakota Department of Education, $4,364.85 was allocated per student in the 2007 education funding package. Under the 2008 package, $4,528.80 would be allocated, Rounds said.

"That's a 3.75 percent increase per pupil allocation," Melmer said.

Rounds also pointed to the $154 million in schools' reserve funds as proof that the funding formulas are adequate - a $31 million increase.

"Some schools are going up, some are going down and some have about the same," Melmer said. "Not all districts have leftover balances, but generally most districts do."

Read it all here.

So, schools are saying they didn't get enough, but their reserves are increasing? That's a tough one for many in the public to reconcile.

In fact, I'm told at a Rapid City Crackerbarrel that when one Democratic School board member started to complain about the amount schools were getting, he was reminded of that very fact - that his own school's reserves went up significantly.

No one wants to short change education. But when school boards are demanding funding based on a study they authorized and funded themselves, they're going to have to expect some healthy skepticism from legislators and the public alike.

Especially when they're putting money away for a rainy day at the same time.

Comments

nonnie said…
There's one problem I have with how much the state claims they are giving K-12 though. Last year there was $6M left over that had promised to the schools (not sure why but it had been designated for something that evidently the schools thought one time money couldn't be justified for - actually this would be a good one for you to check why, PP).

Anyway this leftover $6M (which had been included in the amount allocated for K-12 the previous year) went back into the general fund. Then while this year X amount was allocated for education, it was in reality X minus $6M. This occurs every year. So while the state promises X, it in reality only has to spend X minus the returned amount from the previous year. Eventually all that the state promises is the returned money.

I would like this explained. I tried with the Gov once and with our legislator, and all I get is the run around as an explanation.

I don't think the schools need as much as they are suing for. I do think they need some more. I also think the formula is ridiculous, complicated, and completely not understandable.
Anonymous said…
I'm beginning to think our good gov. would like to be known as HMMM. Michael. Flaps up? - Roger. Great day for flying. Where's he piloting today during which pre and actual flight time he will NOT be tending to state business. Does he post his flight schedule? Reminds me of the 5th Dimension song "Up, Up and Away" (Wouldn't you like to fly with my beautiful, my beautiful buffoon)

Hambone
Anonymous said…
Although it is a novel politcal argument, the fact that schools don't spend all their money each year does not mean that schools are adequately funded.

It's the same thing as poor people who have savings accounts. It doesn't mean they're not poor, it means they are fiscally responsible with what they do have.

Schools are setting their budgets in line within the historical, undersized budgetary streams. They are foregoing certain investments, certain improvements, and certain spending increases until such time as their funding streams are appropriately and reliably sized.
mhs said…
Looking at reserves as a measure of a public entity's financial position is misleading at best. Districts receive their tax revenues twice per year, then spend down that cash through the ensuing six month period.

Reserves are calculated as the cash a district holds at a certain point in time, usually the end of their fiscal year on June 30. Most districts receive one of their semi-annual tax payments in late May or early June so, on June 30, they show high reserves.

Towards the time their next tax check is due, however, many districts cash accounts are nearly exhausted, some to the point they must borrow short-term just to make payroll.

Pointing to reserves is the wrong analysis. A better analysis would look at tax effort per pupil, spending per pupil, etc. etc. where there may indeed be wide disparities from district to district.

As we all know, however, it's just easier for a politician to mis-use statistics to make points than to really look at an issue.
scimitar said…
Salaries are the highest expenditure for schools. Schools can't build one-time money into the salary schedule because they can't count on getting it the next year. You can't plan a school budget based on hope and uncertainty.

Rounds and the Republicans have been giving schools one-time money for several years. Schools could have blown it on one-time expenditures, but most were more responsible than that.

Look at how many schools have opted out and raised property taxes if you want to see how much trouble they are in to fund ongoing expenses.

It is interesting to note that Rounds and Republicans claim on one hand that we can't dip into the State's reserve and trust funds (a billion $$ and growing) for ongoing expenses because they were built with one-time money. But when it comes to schools they make exactly the opposite argument that schools should use their one-time money for ongoing expenses.
Anonymous said…
PP
Would you take your one time yearly state bonus, that $100 you get for every year after 20 or some such thing and incorporate it into your household budget and pay monthly heating and food costs? Or would you put it in a savings account and use if for an addition to your house or downpayment on a car or some other one time cost? It's ONE TIME MONEY! School districts should not be penalized for being disciplined with their resources. What does the state plan to do with the 900M one time money it is sitting on? There doesn't seem to be a lot of NEW ideas flowing out of Pierre lately. It's maintenance as usual it appears.
Anonymous said…
A 3.75% increase, year over year, when inflation is at least 3.0% is not really much of an increase.

Either the Governor doesn't understand inflation, or he consistently misleads the public about what is really happening to education funding.
Anonymous said…
These schools are really starting to piss me off! They don't tell you that they get a GUARANTEED INCREASE every year under the formula. This year it was maxed out at 3% as well as last year. The formula follows the consumer price index which is the best indicator of inflation. This so called one time money has been over and above inflation and might I also add been out of the formula to keep property taxes from going higher. MHS, I expected more from you! The snapshot is not taken right after a tax payment and that is such an old argument.
Nonnie, I don't know who you are talking to but the 6 million was one time money and it was made abundantly clear that it was a one time payment; it was never promised again.
One time money has plenty of other uses besides salaries that can used on a year by year basis to free up the guaranteed revenue from the formuala to put into salaries. If I know that I am getting guaranteed raise in my salary every year and I get a bonus, I would spend that money on certain improvements that frees up my money that would have otherwise been spent on those purchases. Also, what is wrong with giving teachers a bonus? The bottom line is the taxpayers, ya you, are putting an additional 35 MILLION dollars more into education than last year. I don't care what percentage you want to use, that is a big number!
Anonymous said…
Question: While schools are complaining, are they using those sought-after taxpayer funds to sue the state? Or is that litigation money coming from a different source?
Anonymous said…
Schools are starting to piss who off? You off? Are you a legislator? Try having your budget being shorted for a decade, all the while being asked to do more with less.

As for the reserves - more than a third of that increase has been because Rapid City and Sioux Falls are growing their fund balances so they make payroll without having to borrow from a bank. The reserve agrument is ludicris. And - doesn't anyone realize that reserves didn't go up until one-time money was provided. Makes sense!

The fomula follows the consumer price index, true. But, this year the CPI was 4 percent, and schools didn't get 4 percent, did they?

Also, the CPI reflects the costs of break and milk, not the cost of labor, fuel and insurance. It's a weak measure of inflation, and doesn't translate to a school's budget.

The bottom line is you - the taxpayers - are providing 7 percent more revene to the state this year, and the legislature isn't doing anything to help schools maintain programs.

Instead of getting pissed off at schools, try walking a day in their shoes. You, the legislator, is asking more and more and providing less and less.

That's really starting to piss the schools off.
edumicated idjit said…
For many years the legislature told school district superintendents and school boards that just asking for more money wasn't going to do anything. There had to be a definitive answer to the question of how much is enough? Well, that study was done and the Governor and the legislators immediately jumped on it saying that it lacked credibility since the study was funded by school districts and not by the state. Thus, since the answer they got wasn't what they wanted the study was biased, illogical and worthless. Now, the Gov and the legislators have taken $9.6 given in one time money in 0607 out of the statute. The funds also provided were allocated to the Educational Service Agencies ($1.7 million) that were initially proposed by the state and provide in-service assistance to local districts, $.5 million in career and tech ed, $.5 million in special education and $1.4 million to technology. The state also funded the 3% provided by statute of $23.7 million for a total of $32 million. If I give you $32 million but take out $9.6 million in one-time money the next year have I given you $32 million or is it $22.4 million? That's the problem. No one can agree on what the final numbers are and no one can agree that the adequacy study has merit. I guess it will be up to the courts to decide and until then everyone is in the status quo mode.
Anonymous said…
"Give us more money and we'll do a better job. Yeah, give us more money. We'll show you that money is what is holding us back in providing a good education to YOUR kids. Give us more money" One year later, same crappy test results---"It's all about the money---give us more money...blah,blah,blah." Government schooling BITES!!!
Anonymous said…
With all due respect 10:18, South Dakota test scores are for the most part the best in the nation. The question is how long will that last? The majority of teachers are on the verge of retirement and there are not enough young people entering the profression to replace them. Those who do are chosing to move to states like Minnesota and Iowa where they can teach AND help support their families.

FYI -- Iowa just put an addtional $173 million dollars into public education and ND is adding another $85 million...So, please explain how South Dakota is going to keep teachers here when are neighbors obviously have a better understanding on what investing in Education means.
edumicated idjit said…
"One year later, same crappy test results---"It's all about the money---give us more money...blah,blah,blah." Government schooling BITES!!!"

Yikes, are you attempting to draw a correlation between the results on one standardized test, given one day to funding K-12 education? If all of your evaluation of public education is so narrowly focused on just one day then obviously the education you received was lacking in the higher-order thinking skills of evaluation of results and application of proper reasoning to solve complex problems. I would hope that whatever profession or career path you have chosen for yourself isn't so myopic that you can't see past the trees for the forest.
Public schools were not created to serve the public, but to create the public. The institution of public education is written into our state Constitution and as such has a supernumerary responsibility to the citizens of the state. It seems, in your view, that unless and until the magic bullet of test scores fits your definition of success then everything else falls by the wayside.
I'm not a statistician, nor did I sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I am quite sure that the potential for 100% of any population to fit under 1 quartile of the normal curve is quite improbable.
Winston Churchill once stated that a man was using statistics as a drunk uses a lamppost, for support not illumination.
I hope that my example of the normal curve was illuminating and not simply supportive of my point and I am not suggesting that the previous quote was written while the author was intoxicated.
Anonymous said…
10:02,
I am not a legislator but I am a taxpayer who is pissed off about being sued by my own dollars!
Do you know how many years the schools have received more than inflation? Have you done the math on what education got over last year? Again, I don't care about your stupid percentage, the state is putting in an extra 35 million OVER last year.
Do you even realize that the state has other obligations besides education? 8% vs. 51% of our budget goes to funding state government, tell me how you can cut that enough to make up for the increases you are talking about? If you can figure that out, than I will vote for you for Governor!
Anonymous said…
We may stack up well against other parts of the country(afterall we are competing against our own education syster), but where are we at in relation to the rest of the world. Studies indicate our test scores compare favorably to the world up to 4th grade. After that, we drop off. 10:34-what you said about "schools creating the public" is what scares me most. Liberal indoctrination at its finest. These are the people hollering for more funds each and every year. While I posted about the "same crappy test results" every year(again, comparing to the rest of the US is pointless), more to the point is that the education received TODAY isn't anywhere close to what it was when most of us were in school. Yet we're expected to pay more and more for this so called "education" , and that more money equals better education. BALONEY!!
edumicated idjit said…
"Yet we're expected to pay more and more for this so called "education" , and that more money equals better education. BALONEY!!"

Again, I digress to discuss this issue further. One of the flaws of comparisons related to US scores versus scores in other developed nations is that in the good old USA we test EVERYONE, not just a self-selected few. Let me explore this option further. In many European countries students are given an exam at 4th grade that indicates whether or not they are intellectually capable of continuing on a "college bound" track or a "technical school track". Thus, many students are winnowed out early. Then at the 8th grade another exam takes place where another segment is removed. When these students are at the 12th grade another exam provides them access to higher education or the work world, just as happened at the 8th grade and the 4th grade before that. In the case of the US all students are educated appropriately, at public schools until they graduate or reach the age of 21. They are all tested and all of their results are compared against the world's scores. If a cohort of like students were followed through K-12 in England, Sweden, Finland, Singapore, Japan and the US then scores would be almost identical. It changes when a much larger population that is not selected out in any form is compared to a smaller sample that is more homogeneous in its composition. Compare apples to apples and the results are similar. Compare apples to oranges and you can come up with any statistical analysis you choose.
Define the population, then examine the results. I believe that you'll find a much smaller difference in scores and cannot make a blanket statement of condemnation to include ALL school students, in ALL school districts in ALL states across the nation.
Anonymous said…
Anon 12:18

You state:
“…the education received TODAY isn't anywhere close to what it was when most of us were in school. Yet we're expected to pay more and more for this so called "education"”

Ok, Cars aren’t the same today as when most of us were in school. Movies aren’t the same as when most of us were in school. Computers aren’t the same today as when most of were in school. THE WORLD isn’t the same today as when most of us were in school. Assuming that they can get buy with the three R’s (readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmatic) like a number of us could is naive at best.

Students are expected to learn more in less time. They have pressures put on them that I would not have dreamed of when I was there age. When I was in elementary school, we had NO homework. My nieces and nephews in the 4th or 5th grades bring homework home on a regular basis. They take classes that hadn’t been invented yet when I was their age.

They need more money because they need tools that we didn’t at their age. They need computers (that have to be replaced every three years or so). They need projector for PowerPoint. They need teachers who can teach them to use these tools. Yes we added 35 Million Dollars to Education this year. Iowa added 173 Million and North Dakota added 85 Million. How in the name of all that is holy are we going to keep qualified teachers in this state when they can (in some cases) change jobs to a town 20 miles away and make 10-20 thousand more a year? In the next few years we will be facing a HUGE shortage of qualified teachers in rural South Dakota. If we start spending more now – Bringing in new qualified young teachers at a pay rate that they can survive on – we may be able to avoid this. If we wait, it will be much more expensive in the long run.
scimitar said…
By the way, state employees once again got 3% across the board raises, plus those below midpoint for their salary range also got an extra 2.5%. So roughly half of state employees got 5.5% raises this year.

But when it comes to school funding, schools are treated like the red headed step child - forced to take a second job (opt-out) to get the same raise as state employees get for their first job.
Anonymous said…
Please also realize we don't have the same tax base as they do in Minnesota, Iowa and other larger populated states. I am from a small school district afnd that district did opt out and for schools with low numbers it takes a lot of money for upkeep.
How far does the taxpayer have to go in funding building cost and teacher salaries that is what the $$$ are for, that is how it really is for the kids. SOme classes even on the eastern side of the state have only 16, 17 or 20 in some of the classes yet we have 2 or three gyms with some of these schools. So tell me how this money is for the kids and how come we the tax payers keep letting school districts build, buy this and buy that and have 189 kids in K-12th. The cost is very high per pupil but the education is the same or less in many systems.
Someone do some explaining on how as a state we can keep forking out the dough???????
please forgive any typos in this post as i have to run now.
Anonymous said…
My first response to the fork over comment is that - well, your district approved an opt-out, obviously you want to keep the district.

I am all for more money for schools, but smaller districts should not exist at the expense of other students. This year, the legislature took a real step toward that - the cut the funding for those small schools and it won't grow any more.

I think the state has an obligation to fund education, though. And, Sioux Falls and Brookings and Madision and Mitchell and all these other places shouldn't have to opt-out.

Plus, we really do need to take a look at what we expect schools to do. It's more than it used to be - plus, they're cutting back on some older stuff like PE, and that's producing a bunch of little chubsters running around. There is no more funding for gifted students, no drug prevention funding. It's all been cut for the sake of success on testing.

When the state looks to renovate the Capitol, they spend what it costs to get the job done. They don't say "we want to put in 400,000 worth of renovations, and here's 100,000 to do it."

And what happened to the belief in local decisions? Listen, I'm from one of the places that is going to sue the state, and I don't think they're doing it for a payback or for any other reason other than they are in serious need of money, and the other two branches of government have failed them.

Speaking of courts. When the commenter said something about school boards using taxpayer dollars to sue the state - what about the BOARD OF REGENTS? They are going to sue the state if the tech school bill passes, and the Governor will support them in that effort. The Board of Regents and the Governor...are going to use taxpayer dollars...to SUE THE TAXPAYERS!

Ha. Laughable.
Anonymous said…
If you want change then we as a state have to get rid of the hard core R's in the House. They are the ones who stopped the funding from going into education. This last election cleaned out the Senate. Now it is time to clean out the house.
nonnie said…
The state is not putting an extra $35M into K-12 this year. They are putting $35M minus the $6 that they got back as unused from the year before. I know it was one time money, and it should have been spent on something, but it wasn't and it went back to the state general fund. I'm still waiting for a simple explanation for the state claiming that it now is giving education $35M. It's NOT.
Anonymous said…
The remark about Rapid City increasing reserves is garbage,,,,The RCSD reserves sliped to critical levels, about 6%,, in fact the RCSD was on the verge of not being able to make payroll. THEREFORE,, The significant increase was from 6% to 9%,,,,thats hardly comparable to school districts maintaining a 100% fund balance, as some do. The children and taxpayers of the Rapid City school district are being cheated by the State, period.
mom said…
52%
FIFTY TWO PERCENT
of the entire state budget goes to education.
52%
Start a voucher program and let parents chose where to send their students to school. It will QUICKLY become VERY clear that we can have GREAT education in South Dakota on much less money.

Come on you SDEAers. Take on the challenge. Private schools can do it cheaper and BETTER. TRY COMPETEING for your students and dollars by doing a good job teaching.
Anonymous said…
hey mom;

That 52% crack is just another political spin (lie).

It used to be 52% was just k-12, that was way back in 1995-96, now to hide the fact that the state is strangling k-12 they say 52% goes to "education", which includes the university system funds, clever huh. In 1996 the General fund budget was 600 million, 300 million to k-12, 300 million to everything else. By 2002, just 6 years later the general fund budget was 900 million, less than 300 million for k-12, 600 million for everything else. Notice the k-12 budget did not increase but the rest of State government doubled. 2002 to present is same story. In fact, between 1998 and 2005, property tax revenue for k-12 decreased by 6 million dollars !!

If you want vouchers, fine, but use the truth to make your case. There is no case that the State has flooded k-12 with money, in fact the opposite is true, thats why the legislators are afraid of the lawsuit, what they have done since 1995 is indefensible.

BTW, in my opinion we already have vouchers. The State takes over 4000 dollars away from every school district for each child in private or home school, even more in small districts. So go after the State, they already have your money and leave the current k-12 public schools alone, they didnt take your money, the State did.
Anonymous said…
Haha... Mom says lets see vochers. I wonder if Mom is Keri Weems... sounds like something she would say.

Anyway, it's not the truth. Mom is just spouting off what someone else has told her, because she doens't know the facts.

Facts:

About 30 cents of ever stat dollar goes to K-12. That's down from about 40 cents a decade ago.

Check how much the private schools actually cost, versus what they say they cost. They charge tuition, but the churches provide subsidies. Think of O'Gorman. Hal Wick tried to say a year ago that O'Gorman only needs 3500 per student. That was proven to be false, because on the only public document they made available, O'Gorman listed 6500 per kid as they costs.

The state gets 4500 per kid.

People that push vouchers don't want an open public education system, they want to be reiumbursed for sending their kids to a non-public school. They don't want opportunities for all kids, they want to keep their same "elite" schools, and create a division between the haves and have nots.

If they wanted an open system, they'd say that any school that takes vouchers must also accept anyone that applies, with no preference to who they are, where they are from, or how much they could afford.

They also need to provide public accountablity for tax dollars, so their budgets and spending reports need to public. So should their decisions at the school board level, so they should have open meetings.

But, they don't want that.

Also - look at the studies that comparie public and private schools. When you make comparisions on an equal level, public schools perform just as well and better - not worse.

Get the facts.
Anonymous said…
Nonnie -

They put in 6.5 million to help meet the demands of No Child Left Behind.

If you go back to the SDPB end-of-session recap, you hear Sen. Dempster say that they planned to come back this year and offer another 6.5 million on top of what they offered this year.

That would have been another 13 million.

Instead, they repealed the law that gave the schools 6.5 million. And yes, they had to repeal it. It was... Senate Bill 67. They took it away fairly early in the process.

They then replaced that with 13 million in other areas - but not money that goes to all schools.

Also, Nonnie, I think you're referring to declining enrollment dollars. The state has to estimate enrollment each year, and each year they estimate a bit high. The money they appropriate goes unused, and it falls back to the bottom line. They use that money to fund the next years increase.

That won't happen anymore. They switched systems so they don't have to make guesses anymore.

Of course, that will make it so the state has to fully fund the increase each year, and won't have any "fallback" funds.

But, yes, for over 10 years, they've appropriated funds that weren't used, then used those dollars to pay the state's share.
Anonymous said…
5:01-
Number one nobody has filed a lawsuit regarding tech schools and number two, they won't be SUING FOR MONEY!
Laugable Comment!
Anonymous said…
5:12-
Thank God for the R's in the House otherwise they would have passed the Sioux Falls proposal to change the guranteed increase to education from 3% or inflation, whichever is less to 4.3% or inflation, whichever is more.
This is irresponsible government at it's greatest. There are no guarantees in revenue, there is no protection from Medicaid expenses which has been increasing at an average 17% every year. Wouldn't it be nice if we all could count on at least a 4.3% increase in pay every year? Go and ask that from your employer or go tell you banker that you are counting on that and for the same reason they would laugh in your face is the same reason we shouldn't do that for any government expenditure including education.
jeffymom said…
Public schools have to educate everyone, regardless of that child's ability, behavior, or parental involvement. Private school have the luxury of picking and choosing who they educate.

Parents who send their children to private school demonstrate their commitment to education and a higher expectation of academic success. They often are obligated not only to give of their money but also their time and talents.

There are a lot of public school successes, but there are students who fall through the cracks. Vouchers are not the answer.

I don't believe the private schools will choose to educate those who are failing in public schools. By making private school "free", I think you will water down that system also.
mom said…
Hey Deb Peters,
Do you ever read this blog?
If you do could you provide some numbers for these folks who think that they know so much about how much money is spent on education.

They are either SDEA and cooking the books or they are clueless.
Thanks!
Anonymous said…
8:08

Ha. You must be really ignorant to think that the Regents suit - which will come if the legislature overrides the veto - isn't about money.

It's about the income potential that the technical schools provide - which is substantial.

The tech schools provide direct economic support to our business community - more than 80 percent of tech school graduates flow into the South Dakota job market. The specialized training structure provides an efficient way to provide workforce development - one that our businesses need dearly.

As soon as the regents get control, they will become a cash cow to fund the development of our already overlapping University system.

Why would the Regents want control unless it benefitted them? It will.

It is definately about money. But, it's about power as well. The Regents have powerful pull already - but, with control over the tech schools, they'll have an even more powerful bargaining chip with our state's business leaders.

It's naive to think this move isn't about money. Why else would they be doing it?
Anonymous said…
12:39
Ha! What a ridiculous argument!
You are trying to guess based on no evidence that this suit would be about money. You are saying that somehow indirectly that they would benefit financially which frankly doesn't make any sense at all.
You really want to make the same comparison with the schools that are suing the state for more money to this? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Anonymous said…
12:39

Why else would the Regents do it? If they didn't think there was some advantage to them taking over the system, why make the power play?

They've been trying to take over the tech schools for years. Why? Why make a grab?

And, the purpose isn't really the point. How can using taxpayer dollars to sue the state be OK in one instance, and not OK in the next? How is the school funding suit different from the passing an abortion law that will cost a million dollars of state funds to defend? How is the school funding suit different from the State of South Dakota using taxpayer dollars to sue the federal government for highway funds of Missouri river water rights?

I don't think it is. That's all.

Believe me, any time any question that could be resolved diplomatically is turned over to the courts, I think it's a failure of the system.

Oh, and keep in mind, just because you or I don't agree with the lawsuit, doesn't mean people in those communities don't. I haven't heard alot of public outcry in those communities - other than a few vocal people - that the citizens don't want school to take up the lawsuit.

Were there any petitions gathered? Were there heated debates at school board meetings?

It comes down to interpreting the constitution, doesn't it?
Anonymous said…
Just in case anyone is interested in the truth.....

between the 97-98 and 05-06 school years.

The fund balance of k-12 education DECREASED BY 42 MILLION DOLLARS OR 21 PERCENT.

It has increased by 30 million the last 2 years but it is still far below the 97-98 level. The 97-98 level was 36% of general fund expenditures. The 05-06 level is 22% of expenditures.

I think most school district business managers will tell you that you need at least 15%-20% to have a safe margin for cash flow. 22% might be a tad high, but, hardly evidence of Fiscal malfeasance. Shame on the Pierre spin doctors for misleading the public,,,,again,,,,
Anonymous said…
Forgot one point,

The fund balance in 03-04 was 18%, so the it must be terrible that the k-12 fund balance increased to 22%,,,,
Anonymous said…
I hate to spoil your point but the only reason the fund balance percentages went down so much is because the legislature put a cap on them.
I have a question for anyone willing to answer: What possible reason does the legislature have for not giving education everything they ask for?
Do they take the left over money and put it in their pockets instead of using it on education? What is their motive for putting so much money in the trust funds? Do they get some of that money or do they just enjoy getting over 30 million dollars a year in interest that doesn't come from 1 taxpayer?
We are talking about a part time legislature that goes back to a real job 325 days a year; not a bunch of full time Washington politicians. Let's give them a little benefit and appreciate that they have to make tough decisions for us.
Anonymous said…
Hey Mom.

Deb Peters is clueless.
Anonymous said…
You didnt spoil my point,,,,I didnt have a point,,, I had facts,,,, and they havent changed,,,,even after your whinning,,,,

Fact is,, some "poor legislator" wants to claim the schools are crying wolf,,,using false and misleading statements,,,,,are you defending that ???
Anonymous said…
I'd like to add one comment. The state made a policy statement this year - that fund balances of districts are allowed to be at 25%.

Statewide - fund balances are at 21%.
Anonymous said…
This is all a GREAT argument for privatization of K-12 education in America. Forget charter schools. Forget vouchers. The education bureaucracy is so corrupt that the direction of the quality of education can only go down....no matter how much property tax money is wasted on them.

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