Letter: 'Revisiting' the school budget
To the editor:
The budget and finance standing committee of the City Council recently reviewed the school department’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget. Being a “bottom-line” budget, the City Council has only one option relative to the school department’s budget and that is to vote “yes” or “no.” While that vote has not yet been taken, I did “revisit” the school budget, which triggers a second review and discussion before the vote of the full council.
The reason for doing so is simple; I promised in my first term that I would seek to redirect school funding back to the classroom for the benefit of the students and teachers. To do so, I seek to direct funding away from the school’s large administrative costs.
To that end, I initiated an audit of duplicative school and city departments in an effort to consolidate for the purposes of better service and cost-savings on the taxpayers. The City Council voted 8-1 opposed to conduct that audit and the mayor has agreed and began conducting the audit.
The audit is a big undertaking, and I understand the demands of the school administration are significant, but since we do not yet have the results of the audit, I cannot in good faith support the school budget as proposed. I appreciate the hard work of many in putting together these expansive budgets, but I believe the council deserves the information we seek before we take a vote on the school department’s budget. The primary goal is to educate the kids, not fund the administration.
Councilor at large