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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Questions Regarding the PGCPS 2012 BUDGET

Our Questions Regarding the PGCPS 2012 BUDGET

Cross-posted from the Prince George's County D9 Politico Blog

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he/she is someone today.”  –Stacia Tauscher
I urge you, if you have not yet become involved, to get informed about the Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) FY 2012 budget. It was adopted by the School Board on February 24, 2011, but it’s not final yet. It must be approved by County Council, who will hold public hearings in May before they vote on the final budget for FY 2012. It will take every one of us attending, armed with the facts, to point out the unaddressed concerns in the School Board’s budget. It does not put children first, so we are going to have to do the heavy lifting to make sure that happens before July 1. Please stay engaged, and save the date for a forum where we will discuss our questions about the PGCPS budget on Thursday, May 5, beginning at 7pm at Mt. Ennon Baptist Church. Another date will be announced this week for a public forum in a mid-county location. Stay tuned.

For the full text of the questions, go to the original posting or continue below

Submitted by Concerned Citizens of Prince George’s County
The School Board should provide justification for how the following increases in administrative expenditures are: 1) directly related to providing school-based services; and 2) their direct link to meeting Goals 1,2 & 3 of the Master Plan.
  1. Increase of 446,380 in Board expenses to: add board members to the health plan, reinstate a position in the Internal Audit department and increase contractual services to support legal and auditing fees?
    Expenditure Cost: 3,990.264 increased from 3,643,884
  2. Increase in the Office of the Superintendent
    a. Increase of 365,909 to add the Ombudsman Office to include 1 Executive Liaison, 2 officers and 3 secretaries.  Two secretaries are dedicated to the Superintendent.
    b. Increase of 532,888 in Communications due to reorganization to include an increase of 6 FTEs.
    Expenditure Cost: 1,586,643 increased from 1053,755
  3. Increase of 717,377 million in the Office of the General Counsel to include 728,802 in contractual services and and a $10,203 increase in salary despite cuts in personnel.  Proposed staff 7 which includes 4 attorneys, 1 officers, 1 admin assistant and 1 admin support specialist
    Expenditure Cost: 1,945,640 increased from 1,228,263
  4. Increases in the office of the Deputy Superintendent of Schools.
    a. Increase of 23,716 in the office of the Deputy Superintendent for salary and benefit adjustments.  Proposed staff 3, which includes 2 secretaries.
    Expenditure Cost: 481,291 increased from 457,575
    b. Increase of $122,041 for Pupil Accounting and School Boundaries for the reversal of furloughs, change in employee benefits and support payment of tuition to other Maryland LEA’s
    Expenditure Cost: 1,480.084 increased from 1,358,643
  5. Increase of 3,216,855 for Other Fixed Charges in the Division of Business Management Services.
    Expenditure Cost: 54,298,090 increased from 51,081,235
  6. Increase of 53,139 in the Division of Human Services for adjustments in salaries and benefits.
    Expenditure Cost:  593,604 increased from 570,112 in Chief Administrator’s office
    Expenditure Cost: 149,876 increase in salaries and wages despite no increase on FTEs
    Expenditure Cost: $16,628,783 allocation for newly created Human Capital Management.  Explanation of titles and duties of proposed FTEs
  7. Increases in the Division of Performance Management:
    • Expenditure Cost:  298,643 in salaries and wages for two FTEs.  An increase of 63,291.
    • Expenditure Cost:  Increase of 211,335 for Enterprise Project Management.
    • Expenditure Cost:  Increase of 69,598 for Research and Evaluation.
    • Expenditure Cost:  Increase of 41,971 for Strategic Planning & Grants Development
  8. Increase in Division of Student Services
    • Expenditure Cost: Increase of 298,164 in contracted services for Chief Administrator’s office.
    • Expenditure Cost: Increase of 743,915 for the movement of one position and addition of 1 FTE.
    • Expenditure Cost: Increase of 2,485,629 for Student Engagement over the FY 2011 approved budget. The increase is due to the change in the calculation of employee benefit plan selection despite a decrease of 9 FTEs.
  9. Increase in the Division of the Academics
    a. Increase in contractual services for the Chief Academic Officer?
    Expenditure Cost: 61,533 increased from 8,533
    b. Increase in supplies and materials for the Chief Academic Officer?
    Expenditure Cost: 267,911 increased from 4,911 
    c. Allocated 3,072,546 salaries and benefits 506,191 in contracted services and 531,136 in Other Operating Expenses for Interscholastic Athletics?
Justification for how the following are: 1) more beneficial over school-based services and personnel; and 2) their direct link to meeting Goals 1,2 & 3 of the Master Plan.
  1. What are the specific steps the BOE is taking to streamline the administrative costs to ensure that school-based services and staff are fully funded in support of local school’s School Improvement Plan.
  2. Four secretaries between the Office of the Superintendent and Office of the Deputy Superintendent? Expenditure Cost: Unknown
  3. What is the breakdown of the student count required for all funding formulas?  (i.e., Bridge to Excellence is based on full-time student enrollment)
  4. Based on the Pupil Population history provided in the Proposed 2012 Budget, since SY 2005, we have lost 12,163 full-time students.   How are these students’ categorized?  What services are we improving to reduce this continuous decline in enrollment? 
  5. What is the advantage of the department of Pupil Accounting & Boundaries reporting directly to the Deputy Superintendent vs office of the Chief Financial Officer since the accurate reporting of enrollment directly impacts funding?
  6. Based on the mission of the internal auditing department would it be more practical to merge these duties between the Divisions of Human Resources and Chief Financial Officer?
  7. What are fixed charges?
  8. What are the specific items covered under capital outlay?   How was the money in that category utilized last year?
  9. Under Non-Departmental expenditures what is included in the lease purchase cost of 40,301,397; an increase of 12, 266,736 over FY2011.  Also, please explain the Other Insurance cost for 126,750 which is 60,724 over SY 2011 and Excess Property which increased by 1 million dollars. 

Organization Restructuring
  1. Reduce the 8 Division levels to 3:  Associate Superintendent (Academics); Chief of Staff (Central Office) and Chief Operating Officer (BOE). 
  2. Classify departments based on their direct relation to providing school-based services.  Funding priorities would then first focus on areas that are closest to providing school-based services; thus ensuring we keep Children First.
  3. Central Office staff hired after SY 2005 – 35% salary decrease of those making over $100,000; and 10% reduction for those making $60,00 -100,000.
  4. Require all proposed funded positions indicate the incumbent; contracted services indicate the vendors and contract amount and previous SY denotes the actual expenditure; not the approved.
  5. Restrict health and life insurance benefits to employees of the Board of Education; excluding school board members.
  6. Reduce the Internal Audit department to one FTE assigned to the Board office
  7. Appoint an Ombudsman to the Board Office.

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