This doesn’t start out “Sexy,” but you have to understand how Dawkins and senior school board staff hide and waste your tax dollars. The NCLB/IDEA Combined Budget (Title I, II, & II.IDEA, Federal Funds), which totals almost Nineteen Million Dollars was first submitted to the school board as a short summary in July. When questioned by board members about disbursement of funds, Staff and Dr. Dawkins said: “all the allocations were requested by principals and teachers.” They also implied that nothing could be changed, so the board had no choice other than to approve it. However, members Crawley and Rachal insisted on more information, so the vote was postponed, and staff provided a more detailed version to any members who requested it. This budget was scheduled for a vote at the most recent meeting, but Dr. Dawkins pulled it right before the meeting started and formed a study committee. We believe he is aware that there is some scrutiny to his actions.
An investigation revealed that most of the budget was decided by staff, not principals and certainly not by teachers. When given a choice, every principal contacted would rather have more teachers than ANY of the following: consultants, out-of-state travel, poster-making machines, expensive back-to-school speakers, and certainly refreshments. The following are examples of the most ridiculous of the central office staff’s misplaced priorities.
- $1,923,501 is the total budgeted for consultants to conduct workshops in subjects staff spent over $800,000 traveling to learn how to present. The staff does not seem to understand that we are in a financial crisis.
- “Supplemental Education Services Consultants-providers not secured” accounts for $1,893,676 of the consultant fees in this budget although SES was designed, according to the U. S. Department of Education’s web site, to provide tutoring services. Again, why is the staff traveling to out-of-state conferences if we need to hire almost two million in consultants?
- Someone will be paid $250 per hour for two hours to be a motivational speaker for back-to-school parent nights. One would think that any of the CPSB staff, paid $100,000+ per year, could do excellent presentations as part of their jobs.
- Data entry clerk (300 31 HC) paid $23 per hour for a total salary of $44,000. This fee is totally out of line for our area; the highest fees paid anywhere in the nation are around $16 an hour for a data-entry clerk.
- Stipends for teachers for parental Involvement are only $20 per hour (100 31 SL), and four contracted enrichment teachers are paid only $25 per hour.
- More than $44,435 is budgeted for parent, consultant, administration, and staff refreshments. It is impossible to determine the exact total because two entries are massed with numerous unrelated items that don’t have subtotals. This hides and distorts the true costs.
- Another part of the consultant fees, $33,855 goes to providers of expensive computer programs and manipulatives. In the past, training and support was included for FREE as an inducement to purchase a particular package. Math Mastery (Math Counts) has a free training video, and Every Day Math says they can provide free consultants if enough products are purchased, but they both insist that their programs are so easy to learn that no consultants are needed. However, the CPSB paid $11,500 for their consultants. This does not include money spent on computer program technical support contracts.