Our parent community has been active in obtaining public documents from the District so as a community we can get a better understanding of where the money is being spent. We start with Torrey Pines High School, because parents at this school have been active longer, trying to better understand what it costs to run our high schools.
Many may ask, Why is this so important, Why do we care? The answer is simple: Lack of oversight, can lead to corrupt behavior where money is concerned in public and private institutions.
We are finding that the indifference we have developed as a community has lead to behaviors (as we saw at the last School Board Meeting) that has left many of us realizing that an unchecked Public Institution (especially a school district) will become complacent and fail to reinvigorate itself as is necessary with changing times.
We are also finding that our School Trustees may not be shared the site level specifics, which we find a little unnerving since they are the ones charged with the fiscal responsibility of the District. Our Site Budgets are the funds that directly reach our students.
At the October 12, 2017 School Trustee Meeting, we will be presented the first iteration of the proposal from the Teachers and Classified Unions as their current contracts are up. Don't we owe it to our District to communicate what is important to us as a community and further understand the budgets. All we hear from the District Administration and the High School Foundations is how underfunded we are, so given that we have no money how will we be able to support our Teachers?
Let's breakdown what we have learned about Torrey Pines High School's Site Budget.
1. FY16-17 Audited Actuals will not be available until the end of the year. We do know from the site budget that the revised budget ended up being $16,889,889.
2. FY17-18 Adopted Budget is $16,414,399
3. FY15-16 Audited Actuals showed a cost to run TPHS of $14,865,588
If we go back to Simple Math we - in FY15-16 our ADA at Torrey Pines High School was 2,602. If we divide $14,865,588 by 2,602 we get:
$5,713 is spent on Torrey Pines High School Students
We need to just stop right here and ask:
Where is the Money Going?
Remember in our "Simple Math" story we learned that the Entire District receives in their General Fund $10,474/per Student. Only $5,713 reaches the Student or 55% of General Fund Revenues reach our Students.
Where is the remaining $12,387,760?
- Is this District Office Overhead?
- It is not construction, we have a bond?
- Are all school sites receiving equitable amounts.
** There is also an update to: Why such a disparity between real costs v. Foundation donation requests?