The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

(Board of Ed) Some annoying questions -- big and small -- for tonight's budget hearing

Despite a promise the revised proposed budget would be
online 72 hours before the March 29 meeting, a peek at the
properties sheet shows it was created on Monday morning.

Despite a promise by Plainfield schools superintendent Anna Belin Pyles that the modified proposed budget would be up on the District's website "72 hours before the [March 29] meeting", the budget went up on Monday, March 28, some time after the document was created at 11:43 AM (see screenshot above), barely 31 hours before the meeting.

The revised budget total is $189,643,334 -- $2,260,000 more than the budget introduced on March 1 ($187, 023,334).

Annoying Question #1: Why is an adjustment being made at this late date to add in $470,000 for out-of-district tuition? Why wasn't the amount included in the original proposal? If this amount is new, is it displacing some other funds that are not being mentioned?

Annoying Question #2: The budget resolution for tonight (XI. A), says that the Board of Ed took action at its March 1 meeting to adopt the prposed budget "for the purpose of advertising". I was there; I remember that and wrote on it here. The next meeting was a community forum, hosted by Belin Pyles on March 10 at the PHS cafeteria (see my post here). The next meeting of the Board was its business meeting of March 15 -- which did not include any notice of a budget hearing.

So here's the question: Tonight's resolution states that the Board "took action at the public hearing" to  modify the budget by $2,620,000. What public hearing? There was none on March 1 or March 15. March 10 was not a Board meeting. So, when was this "public hearing"?

Annoying Question #3: What ever happened to the staff reductions and medical benefits savings projected at the March 10 community forum. By March 15, these were being downplayed? So, will there be no layoffs or cuts in medical benefit costs? If so, where is the District finding the extra money?

I hope the executive session before the 7:15 PM budget hearing includes plenty of Pepto-Bismol for Board members. I have a feeling they're going to need it.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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