What's in Those Public Records Anyway?


Some of the records the PDC cited in its Report of Investigation
regarding Spokane Public Schools and bond/levy and other elective campaigns

Some of the other records sent to the PDC regarding
Spokane Public Schools and bond and levy campaigns.

PDF of March 1, 2014, article:
Legislature should look into PDC's investigation of Spokane Public Schools


All of That Money

Money drives public education nowadays. (It certainly is not the true academic needs of the children.)

It's all about what the adults have, what they don't have, and what they want to have. We keep hearing about "budget cuts," as if there have been actual bottom-line cuts, but the total dollars for education keep going up, adults keep getting more toys, and student data points go up -- while the students' actual academic knowledge and abilities keep going down.

Did you know that, in Washington State, there is an association for the lawyers of school districts? Washington State isn't alone. There is an association for the associations of lawyers of school districts. That alone should tell you how much money, power and influence rests in public education, with the people who are supposed to be educating our children. Spokane Public Schools spends a great number of taxpayer dollars each year on legal fees, yet doesn't clearly itemize those expenses in its public released budgets.

There is very little truth out there about the money spent in public education. Here is a sample of my efforts to change that.

Below is a recap of some of the expenditures for Spokane Public Schools.
Some things to note:
As full-time enrollment for students has gone down, the overall costs per student -- whether operating costs or all costs -- has risen.
As FTE has gone down, the levy dollars have increased.
As FTE has gone down, construction costs have risen.
As FTE has gone down, costs for debt service has become ridiculous.

Spokane Public Schools expenditures
2001-20022010-20112011-20122013
(appro.)
FTE (Full-time enrollment) 31,51829,05028,093 28,478
FTE Certificated  2,093  2,068  2,012  2,195
FTE Classified  1,188  1,068  1,028  1,047
Operating budget$254.2 million$316.8 million$313.3 million$329.1 million
Capital Projects$14.8 million$124 million$142.9 million$89.6 million
Debt Service$14.2 million$35.4 million$37.1 million$32.4 million
Total$283.2 million$476.1 million$493.2 million$451.1 million
Local levy for district, after rollback.
Update: The district has indicated an increase in the 2012 levy to $73.3 million.
$36.4 million$59.5 million$60.6 million$62.5 million
District expenditures per student
(based on operating expenses only).
$8,065$10,905$11,152$11,556
District expenditures per student
(based on operating/capital projects/debt service. There are other expenses not noted here.

$8,985$16,389$17,556$15,840



July 16, 2011: The Lake Wobegon Effect? Or deceit by omission?

July 29, 2011: District wants data system and more money. Taxpayers want academics and accountability. Vote for Sally.

October 9, 2011: Accountability, transparency desperately needed for education expenditures

November 13, 2011: Spokane Public Schools is a tale of two cities: And I live in the other one

January 15, 2012: Yes, vote for kids by asking adult questions about the levy

June 10, 2012: School district budget forums showcase half-truths, contempt for the public

July 17, 2012: Several school leaders refuse to say why district is adopting unproven products on top of already failed products; board president points to state

Nov. 25, 2012: Political indoctrination replacing academics as the mission of K-12 public education

Jan. 23, 2013: Common Core leading districts to adopt unproved math programs and failed approaches

May 6, 2013: Legislature and lawsuit help public education go in exactly the wrong direction. Again.

May 24, 2013: How we could fix public education, and why it won't happen

June 16, 2013: Children are key to America's future. The governments wants control of that key.