Tuesday, May 17, 2011

KKKK-??: Responding to questions…

OK, I admit it. I went to the budget hearing last night, Monday, May 16th, to speak my piece, as documented here.

I did so, and after perhaps 30-40 minutes of listening to others, who as you might expect, made emotional pleas, rather than factual statements, I chose to head on home and consult with my two Springers, who are eminently more rational than those pleading for more school spending last night.  Even thought they are both virtually blind.

When I watched the rest of the meeting, I learned that our School Superintendent, Paul Perzanoski, had spoken after I left, and challenged some of my statements, but left others unchallenged.

Specifically, he did not challenge statements I made about the recently approved, but as yet undisclosed new Teachers’ Contract, and my assertion that it would consume the entire $1 million in new property taxes the school budget for next year will require.  Apparently, he agrees with this assessment.

Nor did  he challenge the percentage increases I cited in per student total spending, and per student property tax commitment. 

He did, however, laughingly refer to my reference to 300 military dependent students remaining in the system, saying he had no idea where such a claim would come from.

Actually, it’s very simple.  I just took the public statements at the joint budget workshop on Monday, May 9th. If you go go to time stamp 26:30 on the VOD recording for the joint workshop of May 9th, which you can find here, you will find exactly where I got the data.

When you watch the video, you will note that Superintendent P did not question the 300 figure mentioned by Councilor Favreau, and said that "as of May 31st, most of them will likely be gone," or words to that effect.  Councilor Favreau's use of the term 'last year' is lost in the confusion of school year vs. calendar year, but the clear implication of the Superintendent's comment about most of them being gone by May 31st is that they are in the system now.

OK; a week is a long time.  It’s easy to forget what you said, isn’t it?

Our Superintendent also took issue with my figure of $13,193 per student spending for the coming school year.  He said 'this year the figure is $10,616.'

My methodology is simple: I divide the budget for the year by the number of attending students reported to the state DOE.  I assumed the coming school year would begin with the same number of students attending as reported in April of this year, which is 2,524.  It may well be less; only time will tell.

Divide $33.3 million by 2524, and you get $13,193.  That is the dollars we, the town of Brunswick, will spend per student, in the coming school year, without any further loss of students, which is open to question.

If Mr. Perzanoski wishes to adjust these numbers because of different methods of accounting in the school system, he can come up with his own figures.  He will then have to adjust the prior year figures I gave for comparison, and it is likely the percentage growth I cited, which is the real issue, will change by very little.

As do all readers and members of the town establishment, Mr. P has access to this blog to post a response and/or clarifications.  We will patiently await his reply,and give it all due respect in our publication.

No comments:

Post a Comment