Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A budget that sticks in your throat

Lani Lutar writes in Voice of San Diego today about the three members of the San Diego Unified School District board who last week approved a $2.2 billion budget without knowing what they were approving:

"None of the board members disputed the fact that the $2.2 billion budget was nothing more than a compilation of undecipherable spreadsheets. Yet three out of five board members signed off on it, nevertheless. Their reasons differ, but as the voiceofsandiego.org's Vladimir Kogan reported last week, at least one board member believes that the governing board's role is limited to approving the budget, not formulating it. That same board member also believes that the community doesn't have a right to get involved in the budgetary process.

"Another board member said she felt comfortable approving the budget after being assured that the trustees could make amendments to some programs in July, and making clear that she wanted the process changed next year. And yet another proclaimed that approving the budget was the right thing to do "for the children." I almost gagged when I heard that one."

The last refuge of scoundrels in schools seems to be the claim that they're doing something "for the children." I gained new respect for Lani when she acknowledged that fact.

Why have a board at all if it's not going to oversee anything?

Now, if Lani would just apply these same standards to Chula Vista Elementary School District. The San Diego Taxpayers Association gave CVESD an award a few years ago WITHOUT EVEN LOOKING AT THE SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION BUDGETS! Why didn't you gag on that one, Lani?

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