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Date Posted: 13:58:40 05/01/10 Sat
Author: Donald F. Valtman
Subject: Re: What's up?
In reply to: Donald F. Valtman 's message, "Re: What's up?" on 15:35:33 03/20/10 Sat

Let's talk GCPSS budgets:

After coasting along for years, GCPSS 'discovers' out-of-the-blue there's going to be around a $100 Million deficit in its 2010-11 OPERATING budget. This cited annual deficit apparently is a combination of the State reducing its 'austerity funds' by about $75 Million + a reduction in local school property taxes of about $45 Million. How is GCPSS planning to make-up this estimated $100 Million deficit? Same old education industry approaches -- increasing class sizes (cutting teachers); eliminating salary increases for selected employees; cutting operating expenses; freezing routine new hires; and reducing its contributions to employee pensions. The estimated total of these steps adds up to around $72 Million (See 04/15/10 AJ/C article entitled A SCHOOL SYSTEM'S FISCAL STRUGGLE for details). Ironically GCPSS's estimated 'cuts' only offset the State reduction of $75 Million in 'austerity funds."

But the local print media says GCPSS "--- plans to cut $251 Million in expenses next [school] year ---". So where's the $179 Million difference ($251 minus $72) coming from? Why it's coming from GCPSS's CAPITAL budget which is funded by SPLOST and LEASE-PURCHASE revenues NOT by State 'austerity funds' and local property taxes!!!

Thinking Gwinnettians should question how GCPSS can cut back on new classrooms/schools when it continues to project MORE future K-12 students out as far as the 2014-15
school year? Is it possible that Wilbanks and current BoE members know or strongly suspect that:

- GCPSS has reached its apex number of K-12 students and it's feeding you a lot of double-talk to get your vote for future SPLOSTs or get you to buy into more LEASE-PURCHASE schemes to build more schools that will end up being closed? More about L-P in my next post.

- the current OPERATING 'cuts' just about offset the reduction in State 'austerity funds' -- how about the effects of a permanent reduction in local property tax funds? Was this just a purposeful oversight so that next year GCPSS can say 'we tried but there just ain't any more fat in our OPERATING budget to cut, so we have to raise your property taxes?

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