The below two documents are approval letters from the US Department of Education for budgeted amendments of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Money just keeps flowing into this endeavor!
Aside from the Division of Health & Human Services, the Delaware Department of Education is the second biggest expense in Delaware. So what do they spend all that money on? For Fiscal Year 2015, the DOE spent the below funds in many different areas. This is all based on figures from Delaware Online Checkbook. Their biggest expense should not be a surprise, but some others may very well surprise you.
Association Dues and Conference Fees: $723,107.30
Auditor of Accounts (Dover): $31,387.00
Casual and Seasonal Salaries: $56,346.95
Common Carrier In State: $995.30
Common Carrier Out of State: $115,152.39
Computer Equipment Software: $12,604.76
Computer Services: $5,289,454.15
Computer Supplies: $336,305.01
Council of Chief State School Officers: $242,166.00
Delaware Teacher Corps: $273,500.77
Employee Charitable Contributions: $14,873.86
Employee Compensation (funds sent to schools to pay for staff):
$1,990,812,872.14 editor screw-up, to be determine, but will fix. Thanks to Avi with Newsworks for pointing out my colossal error!
Employee Garnishments: $37,292.95
Employee Recognition: $786.75
Employee Union Dues: $15,343.57
Federal Grant Returns: $23,690.00
Fleet Rental: $112,402.55
Food (not food sent to schools, spent using purchase cards): $7,580.55
Food Service: (funds sent to Delaware schools, including many private schools, for food) $64,911,964.82
Governor’s Workforce Development Grants: $1,181,672.54
Grants In Aid: $363,923.00
Health Insurance Employers SH (within DOE): $2,593,414.63
Indirect Cost (within DOE): $207,736.63
Instructional Supplies: $1,936,082.17
Legal Services: $29,375.16
Lodging Out of State: $111,126.96
Lodging In State: $4,711.40
Meals Out of State (within DOE): $21,052.65
Meals In State (within DOE): $7,972.60
Mileage Out of State (within DOE): $9,380.23
Mileage In State (within DOE): $39,623.76
National Association of State Directors: $26,634.00
Office Equipment: $32,713.99
Office Supplies: $559,922.49
Other Professional Service: $36,767.871.52
Other Rental (i.e. Dover Downs): $1,008,787.95
Other Travel In State: $3,100.19
Other Travel Out of State: $23,795.68
Pension Employer’s Share: $4,748,014.37
Printing and Binding: $89,092.20
Promotional Supplies: $21,118.21
Salaries Wages-Employees (DOE Employees): $23,020,983.56
Temporary Employment Services: $256,645.73
Termination Salaries/Sick Leave: $116,839.20
Termination Salaries/Vacation: $238,417.97
Training Supplies: $31,246.75
Transportation Equipment (funds for actual buses): $3,337,161.00
Tuition Out of State or Private (residential treatment centers, typically, DOE pays 70% and districts pay 30%): $4,721,434.89
Wages To Inmates (Special Needs Programs): $35,797.51
Workmen’s State Compensation: $375,175.01
This is your taxpayer dollars at work! The biggest expense is salaries for teachers, administrators, and staff at the public schools of Delaware (doesn’t include private schools), and after that it is funds for food at schools. Some of these expenses are paid through federal dollars, but the bulk of them are paid through the state.
Some of my favorites in here are the Council for Chief State School Officers, nearly a quarter of a million dollars for the Mark Murphy club. As well, the employee recognition doesn’t even break the four figure mark. That says something right there! But then again, it’s not like the employees are giving back that much as their employee charitable donations are less than .001% of their salaries. Yes, they could be giving outside of their paycheck, but geesh! The one that probably shocked me the most was their “rentals” of over $1 million dollars. I know they use Dover Downs a lot for their different banquets and award dinners and Common Core Pep Rallies, but that is a lot of coin.
The biggest wastes would appear in “consultants” and “other professional services”. A consultant is just that, but other professional services can be just about anything. This where the bulk of their vendor costs get sucked up. It is very telling that they spend more on outside sources than in house. I’ve been told this is to remove bias on important projects, but come on! We all know the bias of the companies they contract with. Most are full-fledged education reform companies! I think for funds totaling over $36 million dollars, it should be broken down more, by vendor and what they do. Should a vendor be a consultant on other matters at the DOE? Do we even know what the difference is?
This is not every cost at the DOE, but these are the main ones.