Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Money Quote: More Money

Remember the school bonds "Carol and friends" want to put back on the ballot. More importantly, the bonds for maintenence.

Here is how "Carol and friends" use grant money.

Now grant money is applied for, so it is hard to tell how it was set up. Some of the grant money was Title money that goes to girls sports. The rest however, is hard to say. But the point here is the money that went to centralize the student records.

The board also decided Monday how to spend the unexpected state money. It includes about $3.9 million in one-time grants and a $1.9 million addition to the per-pupil funding formula, which fills a $2 million deficit in next year's budget that the district closed with various cuts earlier this school year.

The $3.9 million in grant money was eyed as teacher contract negotiations continue: Some educators think that extra money could beef up salaries and benefits, but administrators and School Board members have said one-time funds shouldn't be used to pay ongoing bills.

The board decided to divide the money among nearly 20 projects, including $300,000 to special-education summer school, $150,000 to try out a girls flag football program and $175,000 to rent indoor soccer space so students can play the sport year-round.

The most money -- $2 million -- is going to a new centralized "student management system." Basically, all sorts of student records are currently kept in different systems and databases, making it hard to get information, said Roger Fiedler, a district spokesman.

"It is not user-friendly for teachers or principals," Fiedler said.

What is not user friendly about records kept at each school. $2 million dollars spent on a central records system. Here is a prime example of how a centralized school system wastes money.

What if the money was spent on maintenence for the schools. What then. What would happen to the maintenence bonds.

Put the money in the hands of parents, teachers and principals. Interestingly while listening to the radio, Jake Metcalfe the Alaska Democratic Party Chair/School Board Member/ IBEW lawyer was whining about Murkowski giving the PTA $10,000.00 for school books.

I got a chuckle out of his rant. And as usual, most of the money does not make its way into the classroom as is found in that 2 million dollars went to the central administration.

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