Hysterical Headlines (Funny or Absurd) for June 22nd – Palm Beaches County's School District excuses
Bottom Line: Your daily doses of nonsense in the media and my takes on them...
Use reserves to hire school cops? The district says it’s not so simple – Palm Beach Post
Excerpt: Rather than suggest new sources of money or places to cuts in its existing budget, the grand jury recommended that the school district spend money from its reserves – pointing especially to an $88 million ” miscellaneous reserve” that the district said exists only on paper.
“Using that money for additional headcount doesn’t make any sense to me,” Schools Superintendent Donald Fennoy said. “It’s not a fiscally responsible thing to do. Those monies don’t come to us like that.”
Contrary to the jurors’ insinuation that the district is sitting on a excessive stockpile of money, administrators say their $55 million “contingency” reserve is lower, proportionally, than that of most Florida school districts, the county government and even the state government.
State law calls for school districts to stockpile the equivalent of 3 percent of their annual budget for emergencies, and federal guidelines for districts recommend as much as 10 percent, administrators said. The district said its reserve amounts to 7 percent.
“To suggest you don’t have any reserves is kind of irresponsible and foolhardy,” said Mike Burke, the school district’s chief financial officer.
The district is also planning to ask voters for a property tax increase that would generate an extra $150 million next year, much of which would be dedicated to police and safety spending.
Fennoy said the jurors’ recommendations weren’t surprising. Public school financing is notoriously complicated.
So much so, officials said, that even in a school district with a $2 billion budget, it’s very difficult to find large pots of money that aren’t already spoken for or restricted somehow.
Right it's called priorities. The District endlessly has taken in substantially more money and spends it as quickly as it can, so it can cry poor around every corner. Here's another excerpt from the Palm Beach Post on July 26th, 2017...
Thanks to the one-cent sales tax increase that went into effect Jan. 1, the Palm Beach County School District has been able to get started on $1.3 billion worth of improvement projects — including new roofs, lighting upgrades, paving and water intrusion prevention.
The revenues from the tax increase referendum, approved by Palm Beach County residents in November, will be used to upgrade each campus in the district, increase security, update and expand technology resources, and buy 78 new school buses, according to a release June 21 from the school district.
“It’s important that the community sees their dollars being used quickly and efficiently and that promises made are promises kept,” said Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa, in the release.
This is simply a larger version of what municipal governments did during the housing boom. They took in huge revenue increases every year and spent every dollar that came in crying poor as soon as the boom was over. Most then resorted to property tax increases to perpetuate their irresponsible spending habits. Palm Beach County needs compete leadership that can exercise fiscal restraint and use its abundant resources responsibly. Not yet another huge money grab that comes from the roof over every resident's head.