Thursday, July 19, 2007

Enrollment projectiles and other weapons of war.

For the few among us that are not aware, the Edmonds School District spends considerable time tracking student demographic trends. Since a considerable portion of funding comes from the state and is based upon actual enrollment, the District eagerly attempts to determine how much money they will get in the forthcoming budget years. One of the key instruments used to capture and promulgate this information is the Capital Facilities Plan, which - as established in previous blogs - nobody actually reads.

While previous budget analysts and planning specialists have worked hard to predict actual enrollment patterns, other elements in the District used figures entirely of their own imagination. The purpose for this is to artificially adjust enrollment upward to manufacture budget shortfalls when staffing needs to be trimmed back or programs need to be cut altogether. In doing so, administrative priorities can be kept on track and any fallout from disgruntled personnel can be attributed to diminishing birth rates and a shrinking kindergarten class.

The CFP has been showing a gradual and irrefutable downward trend with a subtle upswing only taking shape in 2011, at the earliest. Why would anyone, in their right mind, plan on anything other than a shrinking financial contribution from the State of Washington? Clearly, certain departments have fallen from favor and need a makeover, though the results would be unfit for even the sleaziest of talk shows.

The manipulation of data and the orchestration of "unanticipated cutbacks" smells like old sushi - particularly on the heels of irresponsible property choices and misguided leadership priorities. Far too often, public servants misinterpret data, manufacture crises, and spoon feed imminent financial peril to elected board members, who then gobble it up without regard to what squirts out of the other end. Regrettably, the public is always in the firing line.

Mark Zandberg, Moderator
Former Planning and Property Management Specialist
March 2001 - June 2007


Anonymous said...

I have heard this described like this before. Changing gears, I do have some questions for Mark in regard to leases, use, permits, and what budgets benefit from revenue generated from Mike O'Brien? said...

I welcome all questions and will respond as completely and honestly as I can. Such an approach to inquiry makes me unfit for employment with the Edmonds School District.


Anonymous said...

This must be reference to the new, Jaguar and Landrover parking lot at 19800 Birch way Lynnwood 98036. Good point, and maybe Mark knows what fund benefits from this new arrangement? This is at the school district warehouse site. Are there county permits involved for something like this? I think the O'brien group is parking about 20-25 vehicles on this site everyday. Who is liable for any damages incurred? said...

If a District employee hits any of these expensive cars with their own, personal car the employee's insurance will pay the bill. If they hit the cars with a District vehicle, Risk Management will file a claim and the District will pay the first $50,000. If a visitor hits any of the cars, make sure you videotape it.

District policy requires the payment of $5 a day for the rental of an entire parking lot. With the manner in which contracts are written these days, I wouldn't be surprised if the District is paying Jaguar. Call Steve Woody and ask what he pays. He can be reached at the dealership.

Anonymous said...

Who is MIke O'Brien?

Anonymous said...

Part of the O'brien group, no?