The FY14 Budget for the Operations Management team and the Facilities Departments is up $366 thousand over the FY13 Amended Budget. Given the school closures over the past year, this increase appears to be unwarranted. And even more shockingly, the Budgets for these Departments are up over $2.3 million or nearly 13% in just three years!
Below is a Summary Chart of the key financial information. In addition, there is a detailed list of departments included at the bottom of the post. As a note, I have excluded Transportation, Custodial Services and Security and Safety from this analysis as each of these functions is very distinct from Facilities.
The following are a some of observations and questions regarding these Departments:
- Given the school closures in the recent past, why is the cost of Facilities increasing from $20.7 million in FY13 to $21.0+ million in FY14?
- Since FY11 staffing has increased by 9 positions and increased by 14 positions in FY14. What additional significant tasks are being completed by this group that would warrant the increase in staffing?
- While the actual cost of Salaries has come down by $624 thousand since FY11, the Professional Services, Purchased Property Services and Other Purchased Services has increased by $1.6 million. Why have these accounts increased so much and what justification is there for the increase?
I am not sure why these Departments have escaped incurring any budget cuts in the last several years. My experience is that the Facilities areas in many other industries have faced significant budget cuts during the same time period. Why has the APS Operations Division escaped this trend? I believe it is time for some major cuts here – at least in the neighborhood of 10-15% or $2.5 million. The savings can then be redirected to Direct Instruction to reduce class size.
Below is the detailed Department listing along with key financial information for each Department.