Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Various spending items

On another post Anonymous wrote:


Another great blog posting . . . .
Target 11 Investigates: PPS School district spending

As a city of Pittsburgh School District taxpayer, do you want to see the school district laying out money for these types of expenditures?” said Eric Montarti, of the Allegheny Institute, a conservative government watchdog.

This is an excellent presentation of wasteful spending- very ambiguous responses from Brentley and the stunned and disturbed comments from Lane.

As usual the Board always wants certain things that parents should pay for after school-and that includes the great dancing.

Altogether, I wonder how much this all amounted to as tax dollars.

Especially, when majority of districts are charging fees for sports.

At Carrick High School, a $25,000 contract has been granted to teach bagpipe lessons to students. – A Jean Fink School

Etiquette for students at Peabody? A $3,700 contact was approved to hire a consultant to teach etiquette to students at Peabody High School The school is closed.



Anonymous said...

"At Carrick High School, a $25,000 contract has been granted to teach bagpipe lessons to students."

I have no problem with that at all. Carrick has a long tradition of bagpipes!

And let me add this: it's the better students - the honors students - who take advantage of such programs.

If the city wants to keep honors students, it needs to offer programs such as this, in every school.

Unfortunately, the negative publicity will probably kill this program.

If you want to look for wasteful spending, don't look at student-centered programs!!! Look at the central office.

Questioner said...

Especially consultants.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the consultants!

But, I have a concern when the contractonly goes to certain schools as in the bagpipes to Carrick!

This Board approves Taxpayer dollars to certain schools while the contract excludes other schools-we are not talking about consultants this Target 11 reposrt went directly to the taxpayer dollars and contracts.

Not going to consultant contracts as venue was not on the agenda because Brentley would have given a rightful boot to get rid od the constultants.

Anonymous said...

Classic example of lazy reporting. The reporter cherry picked low cost stuff that would get attention. A real investigative reporter could win an award for investigative reporting if they decided to do some digging into PPS. The amount of waste and corruption is astounding, and not even well hidden!

Anonymous said...

Something is not accurate. Ballroom dancing was underwritten by Mercy Behavioral Health. Whether or not the entire cost was covered could be questioned but it is disingenuous not present all the facts and cause criticism. It is programs like dancing classrooms that cause kids to want to come to school. Let's cut sports while we are looking at saving money. Keep only swimming. Swimmers don't seem to have an instinct to fight anyone.

Anonymous said...

Brenley was right. Those small contracts that are student based are small potatos. But the big give away to consultants is ridiculas and has not made a different in the district. Lane is simply out of her league in urban education. Please lets get a leader in here that knows what they are doing and get some of the people back who left or was let go cause they could not take it anymore.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of spending how did it go with the ipads? Which schools have them and are they being used frequently? Any problems with lost/broken/stolen etc?

Anonymous said...

iPads? You mean the wifi only iPads that were put in schools that do not have wireless? I bet that are seeing little to no use. Good thing the kids can still do their work on the 8 year old computers that are in the schools!

Questioner said...

What? Did someone not realize the schools lacked wireless or are there problems installing the wireless or what?

Anonymous said...

The CIO rans up there with the rest of the adminisration. It is horrible.

Anonymous said...

As a city taxpayer, I have no problem with providing extras that directly impact or provide extended opportunities for the students. Finally, a reporter began looking into consultant contracts but he made one big mistake or intentionally so by only looking at small contracts that are for the good of students. If he would have looked more closely at the funding source for these offerings, he would have found that general account monies are rarely if ever used. Many schools fund these programs through grant proposals provided by local supporters or businesses.

I agree with Feb 7 @ 8:31 AM, the reporter needs to dig down deep into consultant contracts whose main purpose is to provide a service to Central Office administrators who lack practical experience as classroom teachers and school based administrators. When you have to hire consultants to assist you in forging an educational pathway to improve student achievement, discipline in the schools, or parent/community engagement that tells me that those who are charged with leading the school district are deficient in the skills required to get the job done.

Questioner said...

The explanation is that administration has cut back so now they are short-staffed.

OK then let's see a cost comparison, who specifically would have been performing the job a consultant is now doing, and is it really cost efficient to have a consultant doing the work (provide specific calculations). Things need to change.

Anonymous said...


PPS has Central Office Team who are way out of their depth. Quite frankly they have no idea what to do in a large urban district. Admittedly, its not an easy task, but there are many, many skilled educators who have what it takes to engage both the students, their parents, and the community in a productive effort. Pittsburgh truly could be a model for urban districts with the right leadership.

The CO Team is trying,but they do not have the skills or wisdom to know what to do NOR even to choose consultants who could actually help them. It is a sad, sad, sad situation

Anonymous said...

"PPS has Central Office Team who are way out of their depth."

One thing they just doesn't understand is the key concept of employee morale.

And it's not that a hard concept to grasp! Using threats and crushing personal initiatve... that's simply not a good way to motivate people in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Well Feb 8 @ 2:19pm better plan on teacher initiative and creativity being crushed for many years to come. The past two administrations set the stage with their PELA program for the next 20 years or so. These folks have been brainwashed and instead of producing school leaders who are visionary, we have non thinkers who do and say what their bosses drilled into them. Talk about mind control.

Your best bet is to find a district that has not fallen victim to big money reformers like Gates, Walton or Broad. Their objectives are to crush unions, create more charter schools and have young professionals offer their first three years through Teach for America. Don't even expect your union to save you. You got sold out by Tarka and Esposito has taken the same path.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of mind control...many parents heard about PULSE and PELA when they were just in the planning stages and some had themselves believing that Pittsburgh could become the place where strong administrators come to train. Seriously, an educational middle managers academy, kinda like Broad. Sheeeeesh.