Some parents are incredibly simplistic in their understanding of how the Edmonds School District operates. They are quick to praise the virtues of school administration for providing a few token dollars for core mission issues but continually fail to realize the real cost of delivering those few token dollars.
I recently read in the Herald that the President of Citizens for Schools feels that the District is spending money wisely. My first question is how would she know? When did Tracy Greene work for the District? When did she manage a bunch of projects or monitor a budget for the District? When did she sit in a staff meeting and discuss how to reconfigure seven cubicles for $11,000.00? When did she meet with Capital Projects to discuss a transition of $150,000.00 in matchable money only to see it swept under the rug?
People like Tracy Greene are incredibly simple. Perhaps she represents the majority of parents. Perhaps every active parent fixates on the end result and fails to acknowledge how the end result happened. It might be true that $10 made it to the classroom but it cost the taxpayer much, much more to get it there. Sure, the District could be praised for contributing $10, but what about the untold fortunes that have been misdirected along the way? These fortunes are untold because active parents in our community fail to recognize the real problem with education and would likely refuse to tackle financial issues even if they knew of them.
The education side of the house suffers because they have no comprehension of how the operations side of the house conducts business. Their support base has no regard for the manner in which property is acquired, developed or maintained. There is a huge drain on the District budget and it unfortunately has very little to do with educating our youth. When a superintendent allows the operations side of the house to run amok, as this one most certainly has, the consequences are catastrophic.
Without a doubt, parents like Tracy Greene possess a degree of faith that is woefully misplaced. It is far easier to believe that everything happens for a reason, that corruption doesn't exist and that some higher power will decide the time and place of our demise. Perhaps their response to global warming would be to change nothing and just stock up on sunscreen.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Stock up on sunscreen.
Posted by ESD15.org at 5:35 PM
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I think when I had children attending school in the Edmonds District I too thought that the tax dollars were being careful used and of course I actually thought the state watched those tax dollars so that the district would use the money wisely. Boy have I grown up over the past 20+ years as an employee of the district my eyes have certainly been opened. The waste I see on a daily bases is ridiculous. Do you want your tax dollars used to pay for motel rooms and travel expense so that your family can have a vacation? Do you think that when a district employee goes to a conference and needs to spend the night that their spouse (family)should get to go and have everything (room, meals) paid for at the expense of our tax dollars? You see I think that if the spouse goes then they pay their own expenses, but the district does not see it that way at all. This is only one issue believe me their are many more and it all adds up to monies that are not available to the students of the district.
Great example. I have also seen others do this.
Tracy the next time you have a thought, just let it go. You are completely outclassed here. The smartest move you could make would be to keep those lovely thoughts inside your melon, and never again put ink to paper. Your IQ is not more than a half eaten kudos bar. Parents like you should be confined to monitoring Sunday school at Gloria Dei. You should have to prove you can feed yourself before you do something with so much responsibility. Open up some reference material. It is not that difficult.
We have become a nation of sheeple rather than people, yet the behavior of the masses continues to surprise.
I for one saw a workable solution in the charter school initiative. Imagine a check and balance empowering the vocal minority (amd one that would, I believe, have spread like a good cancer throughout the public school system.
Educational vouchers enabling parents/guardians to take their children to the institution of their preference. That was another engaging idea.
Instead what the sheeple have accomplished was to eliminate the supermajority for levy purposes, thus empowering the administration further.
There is no "sunscreen" capapble of mitigating our own stupidity.
OKay you are gonna have to help me with this one. A teacher in my building was going on a trip for the school. He was going alone, so his room and plane were being picked up by the district. Just before the trip, his wife's schedule opened up, and she bought a plane ticket to attend with her husband. She paid for her ticket and all of her meals.
Are you really suggesting that she should have paid for half of the hotel room as well? That the room was going to have a different rate with him in it alone?
Sorry but you've lost me here.
Looks like we have our first confession. That is exactly what I am saying.
My current employer (also a public agency) directed me to take an agency car home over the weekend - because I was working through the weekend. The cost of the car for the weekend was credited to my paycheck, taxed and then deducted from my pay again. The value of having a public car in my driveway was a taxable benefit.
Now, what if I had decided to drive around Washington all weekend. Would that be an acceptable use of public resource? I should cover the value of that resource, like the operational cost per mile.
I would imagine you wouldn't see a problem with using a public car as a taxi, as long as the mileage was covered. The profit could go right into your pocket.
Apparently that was Tracy Greenes sister that got lost above. You people amaze me. How about you earn something on your OWN? Jesus H. Gimme, gimme, gimme! What a soft lazy world these folks live in. Come on up to my hood, I'll show you how to get out of bed and have a productive day. You will feel better about yourself.
Sorry. No need to be disrespectful of people. I'm sure there is a more civil way to point Tracy to the truth (even though research tells us that people tend to not believe anything that runs counter to their previous understanding of an issue).
It is very hard for people to believe that administrators can do any wrong. If you don't see it first hand, experience it first hand, or live it every day, the mismanagement of money and human resources doesn't fit with most people's preconceived idea of school administrators' work. It is the job of the administrator to keep the public in the dark.
One of our principal's favorite ways to cut you down was to tell you "that's just YOUR perspective," (with a pejorative emphasis, as if he is looking down his nose at you) whenever you pointed out a flaw in his plan. But he actually didn't speak a more true word. If your "perspective" is that administrators can do no wrong, then they are perfect. Those of us who have to work with them, however, do have a different "perspective."
Our goal is educate the voters/taxpayers/parents of the district of the mismanagement of resources that is occuring by bringing out examples of this mismanagement into the light.
Which Supreme Court Justice was it that said that light is the best disinfectant? Holmes?
Yes but there is a big difference between the two. You could have done that, and it would have been wrong: a misuse of public funds.
But if I'm being sent on a trip for the district, and it is going to cost the district $300 in hotel rooms to send me and me alone....how is the cost of the room any different if my wife is in the room with me??
In the first case, the cost of the district trip is $300.
In the second case, the cost of the district trip is still $300.
I think Ms Greene is also guilty of accepting the district's version of the truth. By believing all of the guano Marla Miller and company spew out you are ignoring the facts. Ask current and former employees about all of the waste. Read the blog. Attend the school board meetings and ask the hard questions. Study the numbers. For starters, why are administrator salaries so much higher in the last five years? They've been earning more and more purchasing power while the underpaid front line has not.
Regarding the hotel room, one could adopt a similar philosophy with a district office or cubicle. Why couldn't an employee return to the ESC after working hours and run their personal business from their desk? Sure, there might be a slight increase in the elctrical bill, but many leave their computers on all night anyway.
Why not just make phone calls and send email with district equipment? Why not make a few photocopies (of course, use your own paper)?
Sometimes doing what is right isn't as easy as consulting a manual. You have to evaluate the circumstances and use your best judgment.
I don't travel much these days, but isn't there an additional charge for the second person? Just what exactly is "Per Person - Double Occupancy" all about?
Okay, a quick check on Hotels.com seems to indicate that the second person may not be at additional charge - depending upon the location, of course.
The same could be said about taking district laptops home for personal use.
Yes - I've checked and you are quite wrong. There is no charge for a second person in any hotel I could find. I agree that if the expense goes up because of a spouse, then the cost should be paid by the employee, but that's not what you wrote.
Well, in that case one could hire a prostitute and make additional use of the room without additional charges.
One could also check out early and rent the remaining hours to someone needing a shower.
What about the towels and robe you take with you when you leave?
How would you cover the taxi from the airport to the hotel?
Again - it's the same cost. Any airport taxi charges by distance, not the number of people in the car. If the district was going to reimburse $30 for a cab for one, and the cost is the same for two, then it is the district's cost.
I hear you, Mark. I'm not interested in paying for spouse's meals, or flights, or movie tickets. However, when there is no direct cost to the district, then there is no issue.
I'm sorry but I really don't care if $300. allows someone to have 4 people in a room the room is for you and you along so everyone else needs to pay their share. When I go to a conference and a group of us room together we each pay our share to have a room together. So wife you need to pay your half and not use my tax dollars to have a free weekend with hubby. And how about that taxi cost?
When you allow a public employee to interpret the rules as they see fit - especially when there is a personal benefit at stake - you eventually get people justifying a Piano Scam or over-paying for property.
I wish everyone could be trusted to do what is right. But when everyone is trying to save a few dollars here and there, and getting distracted by lesser problems, others are raiding the General and Capital Funds like a personal bank account.
Shuttle Express and other similar operations charge by the passenger and based on the zipcode to or from the destination. Not the same as a taxi. Husband and wife going to the airport would get charged for two fares.
And, in the case of Shuttle Express, the wife would have to pay for her half.
But let's remember one important thing about the ESD's systems: there are humans at work who actually DO their jobs, sometimes toooooo well.
And anyone who has tried to travel for the district knows exactly who I am talking about. You just TRY to get an expense sheet past that woman without every piece in place.
Not gonna happen. You can't get a credit card without a letter from the President of the US. And I appreciate that about her!
Well now that the levy passed all employees should have a laptop to take home and use for personal use after all it's only tax dollars.
I wonder what happened with the 10 districts that were being audited?? We never heard the results maybe they weren't good either. I thought it was suppose to be completed by Dec. 2007.
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