How can it be that a school district that is in $251,000.00 deficit, as reported by the district itself and the local newspaper, suddenly comes up with hundreds of thousands of dollars at the end of the school year? Where does this money come from? Why does the newspaper have such a lack of interest in this budgeting slight of hand? My husband and I pay $250.00 a month in property taxes for our modest home. So I'm guessing most of you pony up similar amounts. Helena just passed a levy, so these taxes are all going up PERMANENTLY.That means forever,your grand children will be paying this money and their children after them. Every new levy that gets passed is FOREVER too, and each one is added to the ones from all the years before- you get the idea- accumulated paying.People vote for these levies because they think the district needs the money. They think the district is down to its last dime and can't make it without more money. But, is this really true if the school district has hundreds of thousands of dollars left at the end of the year? The newspaper has such a lack of interest in this subject it wouldn't even report about my public comment on the issue at the last board meeting.
Is there a cover up here? Maybe an actual honest budget that details all the school districts expenditures and income should be required to be sent out to each homeowner before every levy election. Do you think we have a right to see honest budgets? I do. So how much money did the district have left this year? They had $620,463.00 left in round numbers, or around four times the amount of the levy. I can understand that the district may round things up so as not to run short, and you can't budget down to the penny- but seriously, more than a half million dollars over? THIS HAPPENS EVERY YEAR. That's right, the budget is set to have hundreds of thousands of dollars left as a slush fund at the end of every year.
So how is the money spent? This year $35,675.00 is being spent on Common Core (Obama's national curriculum).$17,500.00 of that amount on who knows what- it just says Common Core in the "Proposed list of expenditures for "unexpected" budget balance". $21,175.00 of the Common Core amount for MASCD/MEI professional development Common Core. This is undoubtedly for teacher workshops. MASCD is the Montana branch of the ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).The founder of this organization believed, and the stated objective of the organization is, that NOTHING should be taught in school that is not teaching Values. Another words, you never teach reading for example, for the sake of reading alone- you teach it with the INTENT of changing values.So, Common Core, along with being odious, is a money wagon for places like the ASCD. We get to pay for this. There are many other things on the list but one that I thought was of particular interest was the $142,600.00 for land purchased next to Lincoln School . The school is closed to our elementary students but open for programs. Now the district has purchased a new lot next door, and supposedly, they have no idea why they want the land. Is this where they will put one of there new "Family Resource Centers"( centers for job training, mental health, food, and who knows what else, in the socialist nonprofit dream world) when you pass the bond?
But here's the point- if they can't afford trailers for Jim Darcy why can they afford $142,600.00 for land that they have no purpose for? There are "No immediate plans for the property" as stated in the school board minutes. Parents who think the schools are out of money and that is why there is overcrowding in the valley are mistaken. The school district just has other plans. The principal at Rossiter stated that they could take ALL THE INCOMING KINDERGARTNERS IF THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO HAVE HEADSTART IN A CLASSROOM. Even with full day kindergarten, which took classrooms away, the valley could house all their children. The district has other plans.
Remember this when the schools come with pockets turned out begging for a big bond. You might keep in mind that apparently the city, which overspends on every Federal Grant from Urban Foresters to Complete Streets( bike paths) and is looking at funding a "non-discrimination" ordinance to control your free speech, has a proposal to raise your property taxes too.You can't stop the city (unless you finally,someday, vote for a conservative city council), but you can vote against levies and bonds. Vote against this stuff and put that year end gold in your own pocket!!