On another post Anonymous wrote:
"How we got where we are, part 15
April 7, 2008: The April 2008 Business/Finance Committee meeting featured a presentation on the District's finances. Anyone surprised by this year's layoffs and those to follow should read this carefully.
The 3rd slide poses keystone questions including: “Do we have enough resources to support Excellence for All?” and “How much do we need to reduce our budget by?” and “How do we set priorities for allocating resources?”
The 5th slide points to one of the problems with resource allocation, that PPS spends roughly 33% of all of its resources on support services (and this is even before Mr. Roosevelt would create the Office of Teacher Effectiveness).
The 6th slide highlights the adequacy of Pittsburgh's resources by demonstrating that PPS spent $4,000 more than 15 other PA school districts with more than 10,000 kids.
The 7th slide further illustrates the adequacy of resources by comparing PPS' cost per pupil with a national selection of districts, with Pittsburgh again spending far more per pupil than other similarly sized districts, such as Milwaukee.
Slide 8 is a warning that state and local revenues were not and will not be growing quickly.
Slide 9 pictures the growth in expenditures over the last five years. The commentary around slide 10 features employee benefits as a trend that would continue, led by PSERS employer contributions (which were expected to grow from single digits to nearly 30% in less than a decade) and health care (which doubles roughly every 10 years). In fact, slide 11 charts in absolute dollars the benefit increase in five years of nearly $20 million.
Slide 12 draws attention to the operational inefficiency of running so many small, under enrolled high schools, with the utility cost per pupil at said high schools being nearly three times that of other PPS locations on average.
Slide 13 shows that staff reductions did not keep pace with enrollment decline.
Slide 14 illustrates the local debt burden growing, albeit slowly.
Slides 15 to 19 highlight a long range financial forecast where the only way to stabilize the budget in the long run was to trim the payroll by 10% for two years in a row and then by 3% thereafter.
Slide 20's summary points include “Expenses are growing faster than revenues”; “Continued enrollment decline fuels excess capacity”; “Underutilized facilities create inefficient cost structures”; “Our 10 year outlook requires strong stewardship and
prioritization of spending demands including restraint...”
Slide 21 implored the Superintendent and Board to reduce costs in the fashion suggested by slides 15 and 19, concluding that “By imposing greater discipline, we will spend proportionately more on the things that matter, yet still reduce the overall size of our budget and make substantial progress toward controlling our cost per pupil and delivering Excellence for All.”
Not surprisingly, Roosevelt would eliminate the practice of holding a monthly Business/Finance Committee meeting. It's no wonder that our former CFO Berdnik was silenced to prevent him from announcing, repeatedly, “I told you so.”
The actions of the Roosevelt/Lane/Fischetti/Weiss administration after seeing the next 10 years laid out for them speaks much louder than words:
1. More capital and operating dollars spent on small, boutique schools, such as Uprep and Sci Tech;
2. More spending on administrative costs, such as the creation of the Office of Teacher Effectiveness and what seems like an annual event, the reorganization of Human Resources;
3. More Broad residents;
4. More PELAs becoming “directors” or placed in created central office slots;
5. More chasing one-time or short-term revenues (Broad, Gates and TIF) that carry huge local contributions over time, despite the fact that PPS already has plenty of revenue per pupil.
6. More Communications and Marketing to numb our senses and pain."