Monday, September 28, 2015

"PUBLIC SCRUTINY" the 2014-15 Salary List

Suspicion anyone who criticizes our release of this salary list. Remember this is public sector, not private. That is why KY law requires school districts provide for "public scrutiny" of the salary list for each fiscal year just ended. Shame your local newspaper to whom the list must be provided will not publish it.

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) recommends school districts spend no more than 73% of their annual operating budget on salaries.  Scott County Schools spends 83% of its $54 million budget. According to KDE's recommendation, Scott County should spend NO MORE than 73% of $54,000,000 or $39,420,000, but in fact spends 83% of $54,000,000 or $44,820,000.  $44,820,000 minus $39,420,00 means Scott County Schools spends $5,400,000 more than the maximum recommendation on salaries EACH AND EVERY YEAR!!!

No one, least of all us, begrudges any of the teachers and necessary support personnel in the list below their well deserved salaries.  But there's plenty of names on this list whose efforts have little or nothing to do with students in the classroom.  Over five million dollars each and every year is spent on employees whose activities lie outside the classroom, explaining all those bimmers and such choking the parking lot outside Central Office during school hours many school days. Who knows where they are when not at Central Office? And we wonder why we haven't the money to build a proper second high school.

Remember, there are two piles of money in school districts - the General Fund and the Construction Fund. The General Fund funds the operating budget, and the Construction Fund builds our schools.  Scott County Schools robs its Construction Fund regularly to satiate its salary appetite, yet never provides its Construction Fund any General Funds money, which is entirely allowable and even encouraged by law. The salary list below is where  $44,820,00 of the General Fund is spent each year, leaving just $9 million dollars to operate all other facets of the district. No wonder we could never (and still can't) afford all day kindergarten.

Each year in early September your duly elected School Board raises your school taxes 4%, just as they did a few weeks ago again this year.  Just a couple of years ago the Roger Ward led School Board approved an outrageous 27% school tax increase, but rescinded it only when a citizen petition forced it to be placed for a public vote. Our current School Board can not snap its fingers and undo the years of previous Board's complacency (or complicity), but contribute to our salary burden by not scrutinizing new hiring and new positions.  Analysis of the list below shows that in the last two years alone, non-school bus driving personnel costs in Scott's Transportation Department have increased over $200,000 dollars. Well over $200 thousand in fact, just in administrative positions in this one department. Where's the value added?  Take your 4% if you must School Board, but don't expect the taxpayers of this county to ante up any more to cover the excesses.

KY State Law requires school districts to provide the list below to their local newspaper.  Your newspaper's publisher, Mike Scogin, receives but chooses to not publish the list, claiming it too expensive to do so.  He also refused to provide a copy of the list this year (see previous post) and refused to quote a price for others to pay him to publish the list.  But his heart is truly revealed in his not posting it on his newspaper's website. There, it costs him nothing, save perhaps his wife's job in the school district and his paper's propping up.

Remember the list below is for what each listed employee was paid for the entire fiscal year ended this past June 30.  Low salaries may be explained by an employee not working the entire year. Oh, and understand there are many different contract terms - such as Mike Luscher's 100 day a year contract, all the way up to "full time" 260 day contracts that the list doesn't specify. Should you wish to compare to the 2013-14 list we posted last year, you must search the "older posts"  and go to the September 24, 2014 post "Public Trough".  The random nature of the list is Superintendent Putty's signature. Wonder who it is she has purposely randomize it.

While this list doesn't explain where the construction money goes, it does show why we can't fix Garth's AC.

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