The FY13 Proposed Budget showed that Mr. Wilkinson was the King of Fiscal Restraint – but this title evaporated when the actual budget was approved. In the Proposed Budget, IT spending was cut from the prior year by over 11% – while maintaining a very respectable $420 annual spending for each of the students and staff. But something happened on the way to approval and budgeted spending increased by $2.7 million, or an annual increase of $56 per student and staff. After all is said and done, the IT spending approved for FY13 is $24.3 million – just slightly higher than for FY12.
There are some things I just do not understand. The constituency IT serves is in going down – student enrollment and staff positions are projected to decline by 6.2% and by 6.9%, respectively. It would stand to reason that IT spending would decrease consistent with the constituent base it serves – if it had, the FY13 spending would have come down by at least $1.5 million. However, the initially proposed cut of $2.7 million was even better.
What happened? And what future benefits will APS get from the increase in IT spending? Can we count on future efficiencies that will reduce spending on IT or in other areas? Are there quantifiable educational outcomes that can be pointed to? Why was such a major change made without a clear and unambiguous statement made justifying the increase and quantifying the benefits?
I have learned a lesson – in the future, awards will be tentatively granted based on the Approved Budget and then awarded based on actual spending. Mr. Williamson – Give Back the Fiscal Restraint Crown!