Search This Blog

Friday, February 26, 2010

Rock Hill Schools Public Hearing Comments

The Rock Hill Schools Superintendent and Board Chair had a public hearing on the 2010-11 school budget at the Cotton Factory Thursday night. Some folks have a misconception of the problem and a distorted view of actual expenses. A couple of questions centered around turning off the lights (schools are too bright), fixing the heating/AC systems and selling equipment (activity buses, district office).

There is nothing wrong with those ideas, but the issues go much deeper. My comments:
  • Selling equipment is a one time deal. We must eliminate recurring expenses. This financial crisis is not just for this year - we already know we'll be an additional $5 million short for 2011-12, and worst case projections are we will not get to the 2007 funding level until 2016. With 85% of the budget tied up in salary, there is not much left but to eliminate jobs.
  • Here is how bad the financial crisis is - if we decided to shut off all electricity to the schools next year (not just turn off the lights), we'd still be $6 million dollars short.
  • As for saving on utilities, we already have an energy management system in place which monitors building temperatures, shuts down Heating and AC during times no one is present, and we have the most energy efficient florescent lighting available. I suppose we could turn off lights, but when we upgraded the lighting systems a couple of years ago, we went to the lighting level standard required for schools. If we go below that standard, what would our liabilities be?
The bottom line though, is people want to help. There are opportunities to reduce cost, save money, and increase revenue - and - with our district's 70,000 citizens watching - we will find a way through this.

No comments:

Blog Archive


Subscribe Now: Feed Icon