If you have read some of the posts, you now may be thinking – why does the analysis go so deep in the details and weeds? Why aren’t the big issues being addressed like the spending in the Instruction Department or the major programs that are being implemented? The answer is pretty simple. As the title of the blog indicates, to fully understand the APS budget, we have to fully understand all of the details that ultimately build up to the whole.
I have attended several Board of Education Budget Committee sessions – and no tough financial questions were being asked. In fact, until the FY13 Budget Proposal was issued, the only information that was provided publicly to the Budget Committee was a $605 million spending spree with a potential $60 million deficit and no reasonable efforts to close the gap. In fact, in one meeting Mr. Burbridge clearly indicated that the “staffs” preferred outcome was to increase taxes! Fortunately, it appears that Superintendent Davis headed that off and pushed for some expense reduction. While we are seeing some of that in the current budget proposal – as evidenced by the analysis of the few departments so far, there is still a lot of room for further cuts in the admin budgets (which by the way do not impact the Instruction budget one bit).
So again, “deconstruct” the financial information provided and then rebuild it in a coherent way that brings financial clarity to the process. Be patient and we will get there in short order.