Jack Wells Shows Red Clay Support Salaries Far Exceed Any District In Delaware… And They Need More Money?

I really have to catch up on my email!  Jack Wells sent another Red Clay money email and this one is very illuminating:

The information provided below shows the  spending on salaries for Supervisors General Support by the Red Clay School Board.  This type of spending is an example of why Delaware Ranks 40th in Education and 14th in “Total Current Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Day Schools per students.  Does anyone except the members of  Red Clay School Board believe this is the most effective use of $3.1 million dollars?

How is it possible that one district, in this case Red Clay can spend more on salaries for Supervisors General Support than all the school districts in either Kent or Sussex Counties, over a million dollars.  It is possible because in Delaware  providing local school boards the authority to spend public funds without any oversight, without being required to provide justification or without any requirement to inform the residents is more important than  ensuring $2.4 Billion annually is used effectively so our children will receive the greatest opportunity to receive the best education possible.  

Spending          Percent of

       On           Salaries Funded

   Salaries       From State Funds

       95,503           70.9           Appoquinimink

1,024,330         35.7               BSD

1,222,845         47.5               CSD

   666.990         28.1               Colonial

   722,523         53.0               NCCVT

3,197,002         18.1               RCCSD

6,929,193        Total

 

   469,018        52.2               Cape Henlopen

   103,309        80.5               Delmar

  469,057        56.9               IRSD

   170,777        37.5               Laurel

   643,009        36.3               Seaford

     78,617        54.0               Sussex Tech

   314,969        46.0               Woodbridge

2,248,756   Total

  

   525,104       70.0               Caesar Rodney

   600,593       66.9               Capital

   418,992       40.3               Lake Forest

     24,705       82.1               Milford

   217,755       42.7               Poly Tech

  275,040       86.1               Smyrna

2,962,189      Total

 

While the money of the hard working taxpayers are wasted, it is the “children” who are denied the opportunities to receive the best education possible.  Unfortunately power to the school boards is more important than education opportunities.  

How and where are we expending over $2.4 billion annually for the education of our children?  Since Delaware is ranked 40th in Education and 14th in total current expenditures, you would think, my question would be the battle cry of our education decision makers, unfortunately their battle cry is, we need more money if you want us to fund our schools based on the needs of our children.

Here is where in just 2 account codes, the Red Clay School Board expended $14,498,184 in 2014-2015, an increase of $12,479,933 over 2006-2007.  I believe if our legislators are going to do what is best for our children, than they must require the Red Clay School Board to provide an explanation/justification for this spending.  Unfortunately in Delaware, school boards are authorized to spend millions without justification or informing the community.  

     Total                    Total                Increase         % Salaries    Federal Funds

Compensation  Compensation           in                Funded by      Expended

  6/30/2014            6/30/2006      Expenditures  State Funds     6/30/2014

 4,571,712              2,018,251          2,553,461         18.1              2,858,733       Supervisors

 9,926,472                  none               9,926,472         29.6              2,709,089       Salaries General

14,498,184              2,018,251        12,479,933                               5,567,822

 

Comments:

A.      The job title Salaries General was created when our state implemented the Statewide Financial Management System. It was created to be used by our school boards when they create positions that are not identified by the State.  When I compared the old and new system, the only positions I could identify that were deleted were those used for transportation. Those implementing the new system did not want the public to know the cost of transportation. Why would they not want the public to know the cost of transportation? Answer: Those making the decision did not want the public to know how many millions were/are being expended on transportation for activities.

B.      Except for bus drivers and bus aides I believe most of the employees being charged to Salaries General work above the school level, in any case they are not teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school level employees. The districts salary scales show positons like Education Associate with 6 digit salaries that are not identified by the state.  The board establishes these 6 digit salaries without providing justification or informing the residents. I strongly oppose allowing 4 elected officials to create these positions and these salaries without justification or informing the community, NOW THAT IS POWER OVER PUBLIC FUNDS.

C.      The percent of state funding supporting these positions clearly show Red Clay has determined more overhead is required than determined by the state, once again no justification required.

D.      Expending $5,567,822 from federal funds that are mostly earned by our low income and special needs children, than informing the community, we have no money to fund the needs of our schools, requires an explanation.  Why are these funds not being used to hire employees for our schools? 

We have a choice, continue to allow school boards to spend money without justification and without informing the community, or require accountability on how and where districts are using $2.4 billion annually. I vote for accountability. Why? That is what is best for our children.

Being ranked 40th in Education and 14th in Total Current Expenditures is a disgrace.  Is this the best we can do for our children, if so, shame on us.

Jack Wells

 

Published by

Kevin Ohlandt

I am a proud parent of a son with Tourette's Syndrome and several other co-morbidities. I write on this blog to educate other parents so they know a bit more about not only special education, but all the really bad things that are happening with public schools in Delaware and the USA. We are all in this together, and if our children aren't able to advocate for themselves it's up to us parents! We need to stop letting companies run our schools, and demand our children get a proper education. Our Departments of Education in our states have become weak with fear from the bullying US DOE, and we need to take back our schools!

5 thoughts on “Jack Wells Shows Red Clay Support Salaries Far Exceed Any District In Delaware… And They Need More Money?”

  1. Sorry Kevin, I don’t care who you are or how well they claim to be informed. Comments like this: “Unfortunately in Delaware, school boards are authorized to spend millions without justification or informing the community.” And this: “Does anyone except the members of Red Clay School Board believe this is the most effective use of $3.1 million dollars?” and this: “I believe if our legislators are going to do what is best for our children, than they must require the Red Clay School Board to provide an explanation/justification for this spending.” are steaming piles of cow manure.

    And if Mr. Wells honestly believes that statement to be true I recommend you look elsewhere for your info on public school finances.

    “Those implementing the new system did not want the public to know the cost of transportation. Why would they not want the public to know the cost of transportation? Answer: Those making the decision did not want the public to know how many millions were/are being expended on transportation for activities.” Transportation expenses are usually listed under “Equipment Rental”. Why? Because the buses are either 1. State owned, and Districts lease them or 2. Owned by independent contractors and Districts lease them. Yes, Activity buses are listed under equipment rental as well. Except in Christina. We got rid of our activity buses.

    “We have a choice, continue to allow school boards to spend money without justification and without informing the community, or require accountability on how and where districts are using $2.4 billion annually. I vote for accountability. Why? That is what is best for our children”

    There are those of us who chose to utilize the existing methods of public school funding oversight to receive justification for expenses and educate ourselves rather than make assumptions and jump to conclusions about things we were not well informed about. Myself included. Which is why 2 years ago I got involved with CBOC and learned a LOT. I continue to learn at each CBOC meeting I attend. And that’s why you’ll never find me writing material like Mr. Wells is sharing with us all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brian, I understand where you are coming from, but many people don’t know how all of this works. You went one route and Mr. Wells went another. I think both are equally important. If his numbers are to be believed, I find the Red Clay numbers with General Support salaries to be very alarming. I know they have a lot of high-needs students, but so do Christina, Capital, and many other districts in our state.
      When people go to board meetings or view school finances, it is very hard to see the whole picture. Like I said in the last article, I would love to see you and Mr. Wells have some type of forum about all of this. With all due respect to both you and Jack Wells, not every one has the time to join a CBOC or attend the meetings for them. I don’t know how much he has contacted Red Clay to get some type of justification for all of this. I know he has been doing this for many years.
      I actually spoke to him about special education funding about a year and a half ago. I know deep down it is about the best for the students.

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      1. And while that may very well be true, the accusatory rhetoric causes more problems than it solves (you know this, you’ve listened to our Board meeting audio recordings). I think you’d be hard pressed in Red Clay or Christina or any district office to find someone sitting in an office wringing their fingers like Mr. Burns in The Simpsons with piles of money everywhere. Accounting systems aren’t easily understandable period. Hell I don’t understand everything in the state accounting system yet and I’ve been getting help with it for a couple years now.

        What I do know, is that when you’re frustrated, emotions tend to get the better of you. Tossing out accusations out of frustration is a road to nowhere. I’ll happily discuss any aspect of school funding at any point in time, but there will have to be several points in time because it’s not something that can be hashed out in 1 sit-down.

        I don’t really have the ‘time’ per se to get involved with the District either (3 young kids, full-time job, etc). But, as you said, I made the choice. I donate hour of my time once a month to learn about how it’s all funded and what an absolute MESS the State funding system is. And I would do it all over again without question. There’s a steep learning curve to it, but once you begin to navigate it, the lights start popping on and things start to make more sense.

        There is, absolutely, unequivocally, justification and oversight for how Boards authorize the Districts to spend funds. Every District has it in large part due to Christina’s financial meltdown in 2006, Charters have it too, though they tend to use their oversight less frequently than Districts do.

        Jill Floore would likely be happy to answer financial questions about Red Clay. But a lot of public education financial questions just cannot be answered electronically.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ok.. Wells does not go into detail. One, Red Clay is the only public school system that runs it’s own charters. How many charters does Red Clay have? Where do you include those principals, asst. principals, etc since those positions are not recognized by the state? Plus you would need some type of charter office structure to run them since there is additional things that charter require which are not included in regular school board budgets.

    Secondly, Red Clay is about to absorb Wilmington’s Schools. If any district needed an extra million to function, it would be Red Clay.

    Thirdly… Where on earth does the figure that Delaware is ranked 40th in education come from? Not the Smarter Balanced. Not the PSAT, Not the SAT…Not the NAEP. On all we tend to be somewhere near 15th Percentile… What hat is Wells pulling his figures out of?

    That alone, makes me doubt Mr. Wells has a clue what he is talking about.. Sounds like someone trying to throw mud on walls so janitors have come by to clean it up… I mean you can’t go saying Delaware is 40th in education when most of your readers know that simply is not true……

    I’d give him a rating of pants on fire…

    Like

    1. It’s also worth noting that art, phys ed, library, and music teachers are not positions defined by the State either. They’re created by local school districts and receive no state funding unless a District opts to give up a core-classroom teaching position to pay for one of the ‘un-defined’ positions.

      Like

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