Gregory A. Hamilton: District budget woes
June 13, 2015
While I do not consider myself an expert, I have audited and reviewed school district budgets around this state for more than 35 years as a certified public accountant. Therefore, I do know how to read and analyze a budget set by a school district. The proposed 2015-16 budget for the Moffat County School District, as pointed out by board member Darrel Camilletti, is indeed $1.3 million short of balancing. After reading about last Thursday's board meeting in the Craig Daily Press it seems to me that the administration and remaining board members still do not understand this problem. If the budget does not balance, you need to evaluated and analyze where the money is being spent and adjust this appropriately. Moffat County Schools per pupil expenditures are very much equivalent to other school districts, which have far better results. For example: Moffat County reading results on standardized tests have decreased dramatically for the most grade levels the past three years. Teachers in the classrooms are what education is about.
A great concern is the technology department. This department needs to collaborate with other area districts and our very own CNCC located right here in Craig to cut unnecessary duplication of hardware, software and expertise. Seems like a perfect way to reduce expenses.
Here are some pertinent questions for the administration before asking the taxpayers of Moffat County for a mill levy override:
Do we really need assistant principals at the high school and middle school?
Since some elementary principals only spend about 40 percent of their time in the building, why not have one principal for the schools instead of four?
Instead of sending out teams of administrators and teachers to South Dakota, New Mexico and who knows where else to recruit teachers to come here, maybe we should have a district where teachers are eager and begging MCSD to hire them.
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In conclusion: More money into the equation is not the answer. Better and more efficient management of current resources is the solution.
Gregory A. Hamilton
Retired CPA and taxpayer