I am trying to get some additional information and clarification on a number of issues that impact any reasonable further analysis of the FY13 Budget. I have called and left messages, but have not received any response. Maybe a more public request will get some answers. The questions are as follows:
- Included in the summary data for each department is $1.527 million for General Fund Grants. This amount is detailed, by total only, for each Cost Center. However, the Cost Centers shown are all from the Special Revenue Fund and not the General Fund. I will also note that the Special Revenue Fund information provided does not provide the detail on the Objects or the staffing information (as provided in previous years). Questions:
- Should the General Fund Grants information be shown in the General Fund FY13 Budget or is this more properly reflected in the Special Revenues Budget?
- If it should be included in the FY13 General Fund Budget, what are the specific staffing and Objects details supporting the numbers?
- Will the staffing and the Objects for the Special Revenue Fund be released in advance of the adoption of the FY 13 Budget?
- The detailed financial information by Department for the FY12 Amended Budget adds up to $595.2 million. However, the Summary page by Objects shows that the FY12 Amended Budget is $605.1 million – a difference of $9.9 million. What accounts for the difference?
- A footnote to the Summary by Department indicates that the FY12 Amended Budget included 5,652 positions (as opposed to the 5,467 positions in the FY12 Approved Budget).
- In which departments and by job title, what were the additional 175 positions?
- Same question for FY11 if the number of positions increased from the FY11 Approved Budget.
- Minor reconciling errors in positions between the detail and the summary page.
- 9645-Information Applications – Detail Page – 28 positions, Summary Page 21 positions
- 9004-Marketing & Community Relations – Detail Page – 11 positions, Summary Page 12 positions
- 1277-JROTC – Detail Page – 43 positions, Summary Page 40 positions
- 6712-Painting – Detail Page – 12 positions, Summary Page 11 positions
- The number of Teachers as shown on the listing of positions is 3,153. The number of Teachers that add up from the detailed pages adds up to 3,228 or 75 additional teaching positions. Which is correct?
- The following are significant changes in the number of Teaching positions in various departments (developed from the detailed departmental listings) – are these changes in staffing of Teachers by department correct?
- 1235 – Foreign Language – FY12 113 – FY13 160 – Change +47
- 1246 – Art – FY12 41 – FY13 91 – Change +50
- 1267 – Music – FY12 65 – FY13 140 – Change +75
- 1266 – Phys. Ed – Elementary – FY12 63 – FY13 146 – Change +83
- 1084 – Early Intervention Program – FY12 299 – FY13 161 – Change -138
You may be asking – why is this detailed stuff worth bothering with? The answer is simple – you have to get the detail right before you can begin assessing the Budget and then begin asking the financial and other key questions.
An example of this is as follows (assuming the numbers above are correct):
The number of Music and Art teachers increased by 125 or 118% and no Science or Math teachers are presented in the Budget. Is this an indication of the direction APS is taking? Now I don’t believe that there are no Math or Science teachers in the Budget – but you can see how getting the numbers right is critical to being able to assess the philosophy or the priorities of the Administration.
Once we get the numbers right, then and only then, can we begin to understand and ask questions about the key priorities and the fundamental direction the Administration is heading in.
Note – the questions above have been addedd to the list on the FY13 Budget-Questions, Comments & Errors Page. Again, as I get answers to the questions posed, I will put the information in that Page.