Thursday, November 11, 2010

APS "administrative cuts" inconsequential

To hear Governor Elect Susana Martinez tell it; there is more fat to be cut in the administration of the public schools.

To hear APS Supt Winston Brooks and his gang tell it; there's no more fat to cut in the full to gunwales, link, leadership moored at 6400 Uptown Blvd.

The Journal reports, link;

Although it is too soon to talk about which programs, departments or jobs might be cut, (APS Chief Financial Officer Don) Moya said this round of cuts can't come strictly from central administration.

"I don't have $64 million at City Centre," he said.

In fact, Moya said the total amount spent on central services and administration is about $28 million. So even if it were all eliminated (including services such as payroll and human resources), the cuts would have to affect classroom instruction.

It's a bit of a red herring. While all of the cuts can't come out of administration, that doesn't mean all of the cuts that could come from administration have been made.

What is necessary is, an independent examination of the administration of the APS, taking a long, hard look for waste. Only when we have an impartial assurance that the administration is not taking care of itself first, can we look at cuts that affect students.

Brooks expects stakeholders to simply trust him and following when they say they're running on fumes. Their record does not justify that trust.

I'm sure that Brooks (if he were inclined to respond to inconvenient but legitimate questions) would say APS cannot afford such an investigation.

Which begs a question;
Could they afford it if they hadn't just spent more than $20K on a board member and staff junket to Tampa?
They always seem to find money for what they want, and they never seem to want an independent evaluation of their efficacy and efficiency.

For what reason, except that they have something to hide?


Anonymous said...

We are also being told that the block schedule imposed on the high schools are now going to be imposed on all middle schools. When it was pointed out that block schedules cost more to operate, the answer was the same as yours. APS always has money for what it wants. Who cares if we have 50 kids in a classroom, as long as the schedule de jour is upheld.

Anonymous said...

Colorado and many other school districts have gone to a 4-day week in Middle and high schools. This saves 20% on Busses, lunches, heating, cooling, staff wages, etc...
They still have the same class contact hours by adding about 45 min to the end of the remaining 4 days.
Someone told me that each bus costs about $100/day to run. If 20% of that was cut each week, then we'd be in much better standing!

ched macquigg said...

I'm with you up to wages; I can't imagine staff taking a 20% pay cut, especially if they're putting in the same number of hours overall.

Else, good ideas. Now how do we get them on the table?

Anonymous said...

I was mistaken to put wages in there. Teachers, janitors and secretaries would be there the extra hour as well. Bus driver wages would be down 20%, I would assume.
How does a citizen put an agenda item onto the board meeting for discussion and review? I haven't seen anything online so far for submitting.

ched macquigg said...

Unless, I've screwed up the math, it doesn't look like 45 minutes a day would do it.

Currently; 180 days X 6.5 hours a day = 1170 hours

80% of 180 days is 144 days.

1170 hours divided by 144 = 8.125 hours or one hour 45 minutes more each day.

Up until a students attention span is exceeded, the longer the class period, the less time consumed by role taking and other daily obligations; announcements etc.

ched macquigg said...

Seems like are comments are crossing in the ethos.

As far as I know, the public forum at board meetings is your only opportunity to say anything with any assurance of being heard.

Anonymous said...

The actual mathematics take into account some deviation such as professional development days, passing periods and lunch time, which is not contact hours.
For example, in an 8-period setting, in APS the class contact time is :42 minutes each period. Thus, :42 x 8= 336 min/day = 5.6 hours per day.
Spread the 5th day over 4 days would be 10.5 min per period per day, over the 4 days.
You calculated fairly close, but with 8 periods, they would only have about 10 min more per class, which is actually time needed.

ched macquigg said...

thanks for the clarification

Anonymous said...

Ched, you host the most sensible forum for public interaction and present various viable solutions by engaging the Abq community.
For whatever reasons, that pisses some sourpusses off, but many of us appreciate you providing this forum!

ched macquigg said...

thank you for your kind attention.

Were it not for the occasion supportive comments, this effort would be almost impossibly difficult.

thank you again