APS Fiscal Discipline Has to Start at the Top


So how has the budget for the Board of Education fared in the announced cuts so far? Let’s take a look.

First, the summary information that APS issues for each department includes the “Approved FY 2012 Budget” and the “Proposed FY 2013 Budget”. However you have to dig into the details to find the “Amended FY 2012 Budget”. This makes a difference as you have to find all three numbers to fully understand what is happening.

The total FY13 proposed budget for the Board of Education is $637k, a slight decrease over the originally approved FY12 budget. However, during FY12, the budget was amended to increase the Board of Education budget to $1.3 million – this was likely due to the incremental costs associated with the system redistricting and the cheating scandal. Assuming that these were one-time costs and should be ignored, it appears that the Board has slightly reduced their budget as compared to last year.

But have they really? I don’t think so, as the staff has increased from 12 to 13 positions – with no increase in the total salaries. This appears to be an error – we will have to wait and see. And the position added is interesting – a Technical Support Specialist. You would think that there are an adequate number of “technical experts” in the rest of the organization to deal with the Board’s inquiries – but I guess not. And given the average salary and benefits at the Board level, this position will likely cost in the $100-140k range. This position is in addition to the two Administrative Assistants and Executive Administrator to the Board.

Let’s hope that the published budget is in error and that the new position is not being added – fiscal discipline has to start at the top and the Board needs to establish a strong example for the rest of the system.

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