Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Maintenance & Operations Budget: Accountability Questions

As a TUSD Governing Board Member, I would ask:

·      The Revenue Control Limit (RCL)
o   How Daily Route Miles and the Teacher Experience Index are employed in calculating the M&O budget.
o   What system does TUSD use to ensure that the extra monies TUSD receives from the State on behalf of individual children (for impairments, etc.) actually benefit from those individual children (see A.R.S. § 15-943)?
o   What systems has TUSD put in place to recruit students to the district?
o   What system does TUSD have in place to recruit teachers whose average years of experience exceed the State of Arizona average (as referenced in A.R.S. § 941)?
·      The Transportation Revenue Control Limit (A.R.S. §§ 15-945, -946).
o   How can we better utilize funds to transport students? 
o   How to ensure that only eligible students follow eligible route miles.
·      Capital Outlay Revenue Limit (CORL)
o   How can TUSD close outdated buildings to save money, as recommended in the Gibson Efficiency Audit, rather than increase the budget by override?
o   If override makes the most sense, how can TUSD better use funds to prevent issues and invest in updated technologies?
o   How to increase salaries by lowering fixed costs.
o   Partnering with the University of Arizona to more effectively use of funds to train teachers, not administrators.
·      Desegregation
o   Ensuring that all funds are spent on desegregation efforts—not just on paper, but in reality, as evidenced by the student achievement rates of black and Latino students in TUSD.
·      Dropout prevention
o   Response to intervention—what system does TUSD have in place to ensure that each student is receiving the assistance he or she needs to achieve at his or her highest potential?
o   What research-based strategies has TUSD employed to ensure that all students graduate with an appropriate (tailored), high quality education?
o   Prop 202—how does TUSD use 50% of the fund to increase teacher salaries?  Drop-out prevention?  Reading programs and the like?  How can these funds be better utilized?
·      Additions to the Budget (Tuition, Budget Balance Carryover).
o   Classroom Site Fund (Prop 301)
§  How to ensure that teachers receive 100% of Prop 301 monies. 
o   Government sponsored projects—how many federal and state projects has TUSD applied to complete?  What additional projects or applications are planned?
o   How has TUSD reduced food costs?
o   How has TUSD ensured that the local community takes advantage of the extracurricular tax credit?
o   How can community schools be better utilized to serve the local community?
o   Has the board eliminated the use of hard copies?  Have they reduced their office staff to one person?  

o   Does the district have a sufficient or excessive cash balance?

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