Buyaki's Budget View: Room To Trim For Albemarle Schools - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, S...

An Albemarle County school board member is speaking up about the $3.7 million funding gap the system is facing. Read more

“Equal Opportunity Not Results!”

Since: Nov 08

Charlottesville

#1 Feb 16, 2012
Go gettem Jason!
Adam

Charlottesville, VA

#2 Feb 16, 2012
If inefficiencies exist, it is proper they should be addressed, regardless of the expectation of additional funding. That is one function of a budget review.

In my opinion, Mr. Buyaki is on track.
Shell Game

Charlottesville, VA

#3 Feb 16, 2012
Mr. Buyaki will now be scorned by this board. If you don't march to te beat of mckeal & co, expect to be bullied.
Every member of the board should be questioning the cost and accountablity of the budget unless they are lackadaisical as mckeal & co appear to be.

Kudos to Mr. B!
Good Thing

Charlottesville, VA

#4 Feb 16, 2012
Someone on the Board doing their job. What a refreshing bit of news. Now if we could only get School Administrators to do theirs...

“Equal Opportunity Not Results!”

Since: Nov 08

Charlottesville

#5 Feb 16, 2012
For decades the method of our public schools to produce a budget has been the following.

Let's say the 2000 budget was $1,000,000 and towards the end of their budget year they had only spent $800,000. They would at that point find a way to spend the remaining $200,000 on just about anything because if they didn't their next budget would be reduced. So for the 2001 budget having spent the $1,000,000 they would ask for $1,200,000. However over the last 4 to 5 years the administrators have had to find ways to cut spending. And what do they do? They use fuzzy math and move the money around to make it look as if they are making cuts.

Education funding for the most part has always been about politicians buying votes rather than actually educating kids. It's time that it stops and hopefully Jason will continue to find areas that can be cut and hold bad teachers and administrators accountable for decades of failed teaching practices.
Albemarle County Citizen

Charlottesville, VA

#6 Feb 16, 2012
C-Ville Patriot wrote:
For decades the method of our public schools to produce a budget has been the following.
Let's say the 2000 budget was $1,000,000 and towards the end of their budget year they had only spent $800,000. They would at that point find a way to spend the remaining $200,000 on just about anything because if they didn't their next budget would be reduced. So for the 2001 budget having spent the $1,000,000 they would ask for $1,200,000. However over the last 4 to 5 years the administrators have had to find ways to cut spending. And what do they do? They use fuzzy math and move the money around to make it look as if they are making cuts.
Education funding for the most part has always been about politicians buying votes rather than actually educating kids. It's time that it stops and hopefully Jason will continue to find areas that can be cut and hold bad teachers and administrators accountable for decades of failed teaching practices.
Amen to C'ville Patriot...the need to put educating students as the TOP priority is a must...cut the frills and big salaries!
heh

Charlottesville, VA

#7 Feb 16, 2012
"Even Buyaki stressed that the numbers for Albemarle are up in the air, and now it's a waiting game for the schools to see what kind of money comes from Richmond and the board of supervisors."

So why jump the gun? This guy needs to play some poker.
GoUVa

Nokesville, VA

#8 Feb 16, 2012
C-Ville Patriot wrote:
For decades the method of our public schools to produce a budget has been the following.
Let's say the 2000 budget was $1,000,000 and towards the end of their budget year they had only spent $800,000. They would at that point find a way to spend the remaining $200,000 on just about anything because if they didn't their next budget would be reduced. So for the 2001 budget having spent the $1,000,000 they would ask for $1,200,000. However over the last 4 to 5 years the administrators have had to find ways to cut spending. And what do they do? They use fuzzy math and move the money around to make it look as if they are making cuts.
Education funding for the most part has always been about politicians buying votes rather than actually educating kids. It's time that it stops and hopefully Jason will continue to find areas that can be cut and hold bad teachers and administrators accountable for decades of failed teaching practices.
If ever I read a post that truly hits the nail squarely on the head I believe yours is it. We don't agree on much but I'm on board with you on this. Well said!
nicknameoscar

Charlottesville, VA

#9 Feb 16, 2012
C-Ville Patriot wrote:
For decades the method of our public schools to produce a budget has been the following.
Let's say the 2000 budget was $1,000,000 and towards the end of their budget year they had only spent $800,000. They would at that point find a way to spend the remaining $200,000 on just about anything because if they didn't their next budget would be reduced. So for the 2001 budget having spent the $1,000,000 they would ask for $1,200,000. However over the last 4 to 5 years the administrators have had to find ways to cut spending. And what do they do? They use fuzzy math and move the money around to make it look as if they are making cuts.
Education funding for the most part has always been about politicians buying votes rather than actually educating kids. It's time that it stops and hopefully Jason will continue to find areas that can be cut and hold bad teachers and administrators accountable for decades of failed teaching practices.
Add me to list of people thinking this is an OUTSTANDING post. Are you listening BOS, school board and politicians in general - I highly doubt it but you should be. There are a bunch of infuriated citizens out here ready for some real changes to the status quo of budgeting. If you people don't want to make these changes then we citizens can see to it that you don't keep your jobs. Kudos to Mr. Buyaki as well !!
heh

Charlottesville, VA

#10 Feb 16, 2012
There is a finite amount to be allocated by the state. If Albemarle does their due diligence comes up with actual cuts in advance, then that is just a larger slice of the pie for another county to grab.
Good Thing

Charlottesville, VA

#11 Feb 16, 2012
C-Ville Patriot wrote:
For decades the method of our public schools to produce a budget has been the following.
Let's say the 2000 budget was $1,000,000 and towards the end of their budget year they had only spent $800,000. They would at that point find a way to spend the remaining $200,000 on just about anything because if they didn't their next budget would be reduced. So for the 2001 budget having spent the $1,000,000 they would ask for $1,200,000. However over the last 4 to 5 years the administrators have had to find ways to cut spending. And what do they do? They use fuzzy math and move the money around to make it look as if they are making cuts.
Education funding for the most part has always been about politicians buying votes rather than actually educating kids. It's time that it stops and hopefully Jason will continue to find areas that can be cut and hold bad teachers and administrators accountable for decades of failed teaching practices.
How true!
Flip

Charlottesville, VA

#12 Feb 16, 2012
Since nobody else has, nor likely will come out in support of the Board, let me be the singleton. I love it when my school system hides gross expenditures behind smoke screens. I love the fact that the County Office Building is over staffed on the third floor, and even more thrilled by the additional spending that goes to support the school admin annex on 5th Street. I love sending teachers to China to learn about an education system that in no way can be duplicated here. I love having 3 elementary schools open, with class sizes of 10-15 kids, when we could save millions by consolidating them. I love having a school lunch program that serves such slop that it actually operates at a loss. Most well run school systems make a great deal of profit from their cafeterias. The list goes on and on, but my point is clear.
TJs Watching

Glen Allen, VA

#13 Feb 16, 2012
Flip wrote:
Since nobody else has, nor likely will come out in support of the Board, let me be the singleton. I love it when my school system hides gross expenditures behind smoke screens. I love the fact that the County Office Building is over staffed on the third floor, and even more thrilled by the additional spending that goes to support the school admin annex on 5th Street. I love sending teachers to China to learn about an education system that in no way can be duplicated here. I love having 3 elementary schools open, with class sizes of 10-15 kids, when we could save millions by consolidating them. I love having a school lunch program that serves such slop that it actually operates at a loss. Most well run school systems make a great deal of profit from their cafeterias. The list goes on and on, but my point is clear.
Amen! I think it's time the residents of Albemarle demanded a third party audit of school expenditures. Not the rubber stamp audits we get every year, but a true line by line explanation of where the money has gone. We have been giving Pam and her crew a $140+ million check and as long as they don't go over that amount no one seems to care. If we really knew where that money was going there would probably be some real "house cleaning" in order. Would you be sweating Billy Haun???
nicknameoscar

Charlottesville, VA

#14 Feb 16, 2012
TJs Watching wrote:
<quoted text>
Amen! I think it's time the residents of Albemarle demanded a third party audit of school expenditures. Not the rubber stamp audits we get every year, but a true line by line explanation of where the money has gone. We have been giving Pam and her crew a $140+ million check and as long as they don't go over that amount no one seems to care. If we really knew where that money was going there would probably be some real "house cleaning" in order. Would you be sweating Billy Haun???
YAWP - Yet Another Wonderful Post

Seriously, I wish there were several thousand posts (even 100) just like the ones I have replied to. Yet it seems most people can't be bothered - sheep being led to slaughter.
Process Broken

Charlottesville, VA

#15 Feb 16, 2012
Flip wrote:
Since nobody else has, nor likely will come out in support of the Board, let me be the singleton. I love it when my school system hides gross expenditures behind smoke screens. I love the fact that the County Office Building is over staffed on the third floor, and even more thrilled by the additional spending that goes to support the school admin annex on 5th Street. I love sending teachers to China to learn about an education system that in no way can be duplicated here. I love having 3 elementary schools open, with class sizes of 10-15 kids, when we could save millions by consolidating them. I love having a school lunch program that serves such slop that it actually operates at a loss. Most well run school systems make a great deal of profit from their cafeterias. The list goes on and on, but my point is clear.
I won't come out in support - but I'll play a little devil's advocate. 1st of all it's Charlottesville that went to China, and the 5th street annex is a gov't annex for police, not education. Granted two buildings for taxpayers to keep up, but both are not schools.

Now as for budgeting- we love to talk about inefficiencies, and I'm sure there are - but before you go casting stones and calling for heads to roll - some things to consider before demonizing educators, a group that includes everyone who works for the school system:

-there is a difference between inefficiency, and cutting. I don't read from Mr. Buyaki's quotes anything about cutting.
- the current request is far less per student than the request say 5 years ago - both inefficiencies and cutting have taken place.
- The actual revenues that the schools receive is always 1-3 million less than projected - if they ask for 151 are promised 149, they'll likely get 146.
- unlike the federal government, it is a crime, a felony I believe for the superintendent to spend more than she receives, not more than is budgeted, more than she receives.
- The prices of things like gasoline are highly volatile and fluid throughout the year, as are people who may quit their jobs etc.

With the above process - it is impractical for any reasonable individual (say a superintendent) to request exactly the amount they will end up spending (a perfectly efficient system). Mr. Buyaki is right that they should see where money ends up getting transferred, and see if they can make a clearer budget, and through that process there will likely be some inefficiencies found. The search for a perfectly efficient public budget, however, is like a search for the fountain of youth - it will be fruitless. The system is set up so that it can't happen. At least in public budgeting, Moran doesn't get to keep the money she comes in under budget, that only happens in the oh so superior private sector.

Imagine that your boss was to base your salary on what you needed to spend. You had to give him that figure in advance, he likely wouldn't end up paying you that much money, and you'd be charged with a crime if you spent more than he gives you. You say 30K, he agrees, then pays you 28K criminal charges if you spend 29K. What kind of number are you going to tell him? Moran can't be perfectly efficient, and she can't go over, which means she has to spend less than she gets. She'll get less than they tell her she'll get. so to spend less than budgeted, you need to spend less during the year than you planned, and need to ask for a little more than you will probably need. It's not the way it should be, and it leads to the very things that Buyaki is trying to get rid of, but it's the system that is in place - one that the shcool board and the superintendent have no control over.
democracy

Charlottesville, VA

#16 Feb 16, 2012
There's little question that the Albemarle County schools "leadership" has lost credibility. School Board members rely far too much on what central office staff – especially the superintendent –– tells them. Sadly, they pay far too little attention to what students and parents and teachers have to say (witness the recent debacle over the 8-period day).

Perhaps the most egregious waste of money was on SchoolNet, the $2 million software failure that supposedly tracked student test scores but was peddled to teachers as an instructional tool. The superintendent, with Board's blessing, is still withholding 268 emails to and from SchoolNet officials related to that epic failure. Perhaps Jason Buyaki should push (hard) for their release.

Having said that, it's a shame that C-ville Patriot (who is undoubtedly a conservative Republican) makes the fallacious claim that it's time to "hold bad teachers and administrators accountable for decades of failed teaching practices." Huh? C-ville Pat has no idea what he's talking about. The Reagan-era polemic A Nation at Risk, warning of a “rising tide of mediocrity” that threatened Americans national security. It was grossly in error.

For example, the Sandia Report (Journal of Educational Research, May/June, 1993), published in the wake of A Nation at Risk, concluded that:

* "..on nearly every measure we found steady or slightly improving trends."

* "youth today [the 1980s] are choosing natural science and engineering degrees at a higher rate than their peers of the 1960s."

* "business leaders surveyed are generally satisfied with the skill levels of their employees, and the problems that do exist do not appear to point to the k-12 education system as a root cause."

"The student performance data clearly indicate that today's youth are achieving levels of education at least as high as any previous generation."

And, Despite a larger, poorer, and more ethnically-diverse student population, public schools are doing pretty well for most students. As Richard Rothstein recently reported:

“The only consistent data on student achievement come from a federal sample, the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Though you would never know it from the state of public alarm about education, the numbers show that regular public school performance has skyrocketed in the last two decades to the point that, for example, black elementary school students now have better math skills than whites had only 20 years ago.”

It's one thing to condemn local education leaders for making some stupid decisions (and they have). It's quite another to slander an entire profession based on narrow, unsubstantiated, and inaccurate opinion.
Fire All IncomptntTechurs

Charlottesville, VA

#17 Feb 16, 2012
If you got rid of all the union protected overpaid union teachers, the moron teachers who just show up to collect a paycheck and spread their socialist agenda to innocent kids, and the stinking liberal shills with their unconstitutional Obama stickers on their cars, you could make up the entire cudget shortfall, cut taxes, ans still run up a huge surplus!
Flip

Charlottesville, VA

#18 Feb 16, 2012
Process Broken wrote:
<quoted text>
I won't come out in support - but I'll play a little devil's advocate. 1st of all it's Charlottesville that went to China, and the 5th street annex is a gov't annex for police, not education. Granted two buildings for taxpayers to keep up, but both are not schools.
Now as for budgeting- we love to talk about inefficiencies, and I'm sure there are - but before you go casting stones and calling for heads to roll - some things to consider before demonizing educators, a group that includes everyone who works for the school system:
-there is a difference between inefficiency, and cutting. I don't read from Mr. Buyaki's quotes anything about cutting.
- the current request is far less per student than the request say 5 years ago - both inefficiencies and cutting have taken place.
- The actual revenues that the schools receive is always 1-3 million less than projected - if they ask for 151 are promised 149, they'll likely get 146.
- unlike the federal government, it is a crime, a felony I believe for the superintendent to spend more than she receives, not more than is budgeted, more than she receives.
- The prices of things like gasoline are highly volatile and fluid throughout the year, as are people who may quit their jobs etc.
With the above process - it is impractical for any reasonable individual (say a superintendent) to request exactly the amount they will end up spending (a perfectly efficient system). Mr. Buyaki is right that they should see where money ends up getting transferred, and see if they can make a clearer budget, and through that process there will likely be some inefficiencies found. The search for a perfectly efficient public budget, however, is like a search for the fountain of youth - it will be fruitless. The system is set up so that it can't happen. At least in public budgeting, Moran doesn't get to keep the money she comes in under budget, that only happens in the oh so superior private sector.
Imagine that your boss was to base your salary on what you needed to spend. You had to give him that figure in advance, he likely wouldn't end up paying you that much money, and you'd be charged with a crime if you spent more than he gives you. You say 30K, he agrees, then pays you 28K criminal charges if you spend 29K. What kind of number are you going to tell him? Moran can't be perfectly efficient, and she can't go over, which means she has to spend less than she gets. She'll get less than they tell her she'll get. so to spend less than budgeted, you need to spend less during the year than you planned, and need to ask for a little more than you will probably need. It's not the way it should be, and it leads to the very things that Buyaki is trying to get rid of, but it's the system that is in place - one that the shcool board and the superintendent have no control over.
You made two incorrect statements in the first paragraph alone. I dodn't even bother reading the rest. Albemarle DID send teachers to China. I know one of them personally. And drop by the 5th street annex sometime. I houses many school division employees. Stop making statements for which you have no knowledge to back up!
YankeeDoodle

Charlottesville, VA

#19 Feb 17, 2012
Fire All IncomptntTechurs wrote:
If you got rid of all the union protected overpaid union teachers, the moron teachers who just show up to collect a paycheck and spread their socialist agenda to innocent kids, and the stinking liberal shills with their unconstitutional Obama stickers on their cars, you could make up the entire cudget shortfall, cut taxes, ans still run up a huge surplus!
Not sure where the union talk comes from. There is a teacher's union in Virginia, but they are virtually powerless, except in their own minds. The union has no control over protection of teachers. That's all based in the tenure system. Thankfully, the GA is working to pass a law that dumps tenure and replaces it with 3 year contracts.
nicknameoscar

Charlottesville, VA

#20 Feb 17, 2012
YankeeDoodle wrote:
<quoted text>Thankfully, the GA is working to pass a law that dumps tenure and replaces it with 3 year contracts.
From what I just read the House passed the bill but the Senate rejected it 20 - 18. What a shame.

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