Monday, November 12, 2007

Would you like to buy a chocolate bar for $1.00?

While parents and students work night and day selling cupcakes, chocolate bars and whatever else might turn a buck for their latest fundraising event, the District is smiling.

The District uses the Capital Partnership program to appeal to voters and tug at the heart strings of parents imagining new playground equipment for their sons and daughters. But the project you want to install comes with strings of their own.

Once that bucket of tax money has been defined and a portion of the proceeds have been earmarked for Capital Partnerships, the school has to compete with dozens of other hungry schools just itching to improve their much neglected playground. In the earlier rounds, your odds might be better. But as time passes, the money starts drying up and your chances of success blow away like dust in the wind.

If you do manage to get matching funds for your project, watch the numbers. While the District used to manage the projects as a courtesy, in exchange for your willingness to endow district property with the fruits of your labor, that has all changed. With the shift of these partnerships to Capital Projects Office, a hefty management fee will be levied against your project.

So, to recap, you contribute a portion of your property tax to the District to cover the partnership fund. You then sell cupcakes and chocolate bars to raise money for a playground the District should have installed in the first place. You then compete for limited dollars and if you manage to get a few bucks, you'll be paying a District employee to manage the project for you.

"Partners" need to be aware that the District will either show you how they are taking money by deducting their standard rate from the project budget, or they will just wait until the overall balance falls under $150,000.00 or so and sweep it back into their capital fund to cover costs.

A request has been made to provide an accounting of the final $150,000.00 that should have gone to future partnership projects. We will see what happens and I will share the District's response, when, and if they actually provide one.


Anonymous said...

Great atricle; I worked in an elementary school for 26 years and counted and deposited monies earned by kids selling everything from Candy bars to Christmas wrap to raise money for Camp, Playground equipment, and watched as parent groups contributed through PTA, PTSO, to purchase and install playground apparatus, coverd play areas for recess, for kids, while the "Big Wigs" at the top laughed all the way to the Bank with their pay checks with humongous(sp) raises. It just isn't fair; what can we do?

Anonymous said...

We all need to watch & ask alot of questions where our money goes.
These jokers at the top don't give a f*^% about our kids!
all I can say look at your kids lunch at school. $$$$$$

Anonymous said...


How much does a project manager in Capital Projects make? What are their credentials?