When you do your home budget, do you watch your pennies?
Wait 'til you take a look at the 2021-2022 School Year budget for the school board! Not for the District; just for the School Board. Are they watching your pennies? Not hardly. They are just spending OPM. Other Peoples' Money. Comment below.
The recent attention to TRAVEL spending by certain school board members is in the spotlight, thanks to good questions by one school board member who is getting cheated out of a portion of her travel allowance, because other school board members have blown right through the ceiling on their travel allowances.
Even though at least one board member has money remaining in her $7,000 annual allowance for training and travel, the Total for the entire board has been surpassed. That's because of sloppy policies and poor oversight. (The December 14, 2021 meeting recording contains worrisome comments by the superintendent about reimbursement procedures; there appears to be no set District-wide procedure on timing for reimbursement requests.)
Details on individual trustee travel/training spending to follow, as soon as the District complies with my FOIA Request.
When the budget was created, board members were receiving $900/month salary (stipend), which is W-2 income for them. The Chair got more.
Board compensation changed on January 1, 2022, when the District decided to comply with State law and pay board members a per diem, rather than a flat monthly rate. Board members now receive $384 per meeting, and the board chair is now paid $480 per meeting. If chaos is one of the conditons for pay, we're definitely getting our money's worth.
School Board "Salaries and Benefits" total $174,845. Remember; the budget is based on compensation in effect when the school year began on July 1, 2021.
If the board chair was paid $1,200/month, that's $14,400 for the budget.
Six board members at $900/month totals $64,800 ($900x6x12) for the budget.
Salaries total $79,200
How in the world could Benefits total $95,645 (174,845 - $79,200)???
Board Expenses in the 2021-2022 School Year Budget are estimated at $240,200, with this breakdown:
$42,000 Audit Services
$19,500 Legal Services
$60,500 Organizational Dues
What is in that $55,000 "Other" list?
Why $60,500 in Organizational Dues?
What does $42,000 Audit Services provide?
Just think, if one or more board members hadn't blown past their spending limit, we'd probably never be paying attention to their spending!!!
The link to the First Quarter Spending on the Board was quickly repaired after I reported it did not work.
What did I find?
The annual Budget for Board Salaries and Benefits shown in the First Quarter Report was $150,026.
The annual Budget for Board Salaries and Benefits shown in the Second Quarter Report was $174,845.
Why and when were Salaries and Benefits increased by $24,819 (16.5%)?