The Chronicle posted yet another of its limited utility yet temperature-raising reports on SFUSD this week. This one is particularly prettied up, I have to say. It starts with a big number (half a million), but one that certainly includes salaries and dues and things like that. The meat ends up being relatively small sums - $22,000 for food (food that doesn't meet the Districts' nutrition plan for schools, which as a NPTL I must note with disappointment), blah blah blah.
Still, I do think this is indicative of two larger SFUSD problems:
1. SIZE ISSUES.
I have heard the Superintendent say "It's only a million dollars!" That's true enough when your budget is five million dollars, but the thing is that all of those millions add up, and when you're laying off teachers in March we don't forget them. Is $22,000 a lot of money in the Big Picture of SFUSD? No. Is it a lot of money? Yes. I am tired of getting annual pink slips and twenty cents for supplies. Every expenditure really needs to be means-tested if you are going to go on and on about belt-tightening and sharing the pain.
Every teacher in the District took a pay cut by furlough. District employees and Board Commissioners need to pack a meal. (FYI: As you can see here (courtesy the SF Budget Blog), working at the District Office - even for those working for the Board - is more lucrative than teaching in SFUSD.)*
Dear BoE, Superintendent and Similar:
When this stuff comes out - and it always comes out - you feed nasty notions about school budgeting. "WHY FUND THOSE BLOATED ADMINISTRATIONS?" howl deformers. "Hmmm," says the voter. "I just read that the SFUSD Board of Education is going to a lot of conferences."
THINK ABOUT IT.
Your teaching staff.
*Which is not to say that I think these salaries are unwarranted or excessive, because I don't. And goodness knows there are lots of SFUSD employees who aren't making this kind of money and are working at the DO. That said, buy your own food. In interest of demonstrating my moral righteousness, I am also against catering teacher PD days, which I may have gone on about earlier on this blog.