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Entries in Colorado Department of Education (5)

Friday
Jan252013

Mesa Valley District 51's Tax Spending Exposed!

VetTheGov recently located an extra $2.124 Million in surplus and after digging in a little deeper we have put together a breakdown of the spending for the Calendar Year 2012. VetTheGov used the Monthly Check Registers located on District 51's almost transparent website and used only checks written for $10,000.00 or more. You can download the VetTheGov Excel Spreadsheet here to follow along!

2012 Top Recipients of your Tax Dollars:

  1. First Student   $5,028,533.33 - Bus Program. Time to make Prius buses!
  2. Home Loan State Bank   $2,106,604.07 - Taxpayer Re-Investment Program.
  3. Xcel Energy    $1,948,501.92 - How about this energy consumption?
  4. Western Colordo FCU    $1,590,151.05 - At least some monies staying local.
  5. Grand Valley-BOCES    $1,518,972.56 - Really more layers of bureaucracy!!!
  6. Delta Dental   $1,337,323.72 - Teeth costing more than Health these days! Smile!
  7. Dell Financial SVP LP   $1,227,034.59 - Why Apple stocks aren't doing well!
  8. LOCO Inc   $976,954.67 - Cost of Fuel for these Global Warming buses!
  9. Andrews Food Service   $970,334.51 - Must be because they have cheap food!
  10. Reliastar Life Ins    $823,855.55 - Another promised benefit!
  11. Evans Newton   $687,814.34 - Consulting? Curriculum? Tough Times call them?
  12. Trane   $645,279.38 - Someone has some new AC/Heat!
  13. Meadow Gold Dairy   $594,670.50 - We all know Milk is pricey these days!
  14. Mesa Valley Edu Assoc  $546,947.32 - The all powerful Union! See where it ends up here!
  15. Colorado Dept of Edu   $470,544.26 - Must have overpaid the District or extra services!

Honorable Mentions:

Hoskin, Farina, & Kampf - $230,632.61  D51 has no staff attorney but you would think with CDE & BOCES they could afford to split a full-time attorney to handle any legal matters. Or better yet CDE & BOCES should just provide one!

Colorado West Regional Mental Health - $140,733.95  One can only wonder how many teachers and administrator's are being treated at the moment???

Gallup Marketing - $31,970.00  This was for the 3B campaign for even more of your taxes!!!

Next the Procurement Credit Card Gone WILD:

  • Jan 2012  $273,827.99
  • Feb 2012  $299,635.91
  • Mar 2012  $301,096.44
  • Apr 2012  $373,072.25
  • May 2012  $425,300.70
  • Jun 2012  $506,707.43
  • Jul 2012  $201,564.76
  • Aug 2012  $301,945.19
  • Sep 2012  $377,856.65
  • Oct 2012  $326,890.01
  • Nov 2012  $258,024.92
  • Dec 2012  $434,469.60

WOW! $4,080,391.85 in Credit Card swipes. From Amazon.com to Walmart to Lowes to plane rides and hotels, these cards get used and hopefully not abused. Now the BIGGEST question is who gets one??? What are the limits? Do they get abused? How do we know? Lot's of nickel-and-diming at these stores! Just a few questions to begin asking the School District Administration and UNISERV folks at the next School Board Meeting!

Current CASH available as of December 2012 - $31,875,277.00

Sorry didn't hear that in the we need more money budget video! Remember after 3B failed last year there was an immediate removal of School Resource Officers from several schools and fears of many schools having to close. Notice how they always flip this nonsense back on the local hard working makers by sparking emotion in the community rather than fact by pulling away funding to programs that are needed "FOR THE KIDS SAFETY!" Hopefully you now understand that District 51, CDE, CEA, The State, and The Feds are all responsible for these out of control budget issues and internal spending nightmares, NOT YOU!!!

Hear it from a recent School Board meeting that they have more funds! Thanks for visiting VetTheGov and stay tuned for more in-depth coverage of local government spending and accountability!

Thursday
Jan102013

Mesa Valley District 51 had a SURPLUS in 2010-2011 of $2.124 Million!

Contrary to popular news flashes and propaganda released by the Mesa Valley School District 51 and their Union TABOR buster handouts, they actually show a Surplus in the recent 2010-2011 Colorado Department of Education (CDE) Total Expenditures and Revenues.  This is after the hotly contested Mill Levy Override requested last year by the District Administration for 3B in which Mesa County homeowners and businesses rejected!  The businesses and homeowners were asked to give up a Starbucks coffee and a movie in return for an increased property TAX and the District pleaded that if the Levy override wasn't passed schools would close immediately.  To date NO Mesa Valley Schools have been closed and at the January 8th, 2013 school board business round table discussion it was mentioned by a Board member that the District had extra funds available this year as well.

BUT what is interesting as you dig into the PAST you discover A SPENDING Problem during some of our best financial years!!!  Also notice the per pupil funding as it differs often from the low $6,100 you always hear. 

Here are the 2010-2011 Totals based on 21,025.2

Total Revenues (Incoming Taxes) $212,037,042.00 or $10,085 per pupil

Total Expenditures (Outgoing Cost) $209,912,512.00 or $9984 per pupil

Surplus (What's left over after all Cost) $2,124,530.00 or $101 per pupil

Just to completely verify the above numbers as accurate, VetTheGov contacted CDE finance office staff via email. Here is the Exchange:

Hello Theresa,

Questions on Total Revenues vs Expenditures at the District Level.

Do the totals in Table IIB rows J & K for 2010-2011 represent every dime from that District??? Is there any other Expenditures or Revenues not shown here and if not where else would they be???

Do reimbursements for transportation or special needs appear in these calculations???

Mr./Mrs. _______,

It reflects all reported expenditures reported by the districts. If you asking about state categorical funding for transportation and special education? If so, yes the revenue and associated expenditures are reported.

Theresa Christensen | Sr. Consultant Public School Finance | Colorado Department of Education

Since we have been hearing about the dire straight budget constraints over the past few years of recession lets look back a couple of budget cycles.

Here are the 2009-2010 Totals based on 20,996.2 pupils

Total Revenues (Incoming Taxes) $202,371,247.00 or $9638 per pupil

Total Expenditures (Outgoing Cost) $201,300,376.00 or $9587 per pupil

Surplus (What's left over after all Cost) $1,070,871.00 or $51 per pupil

Here are the 2008-2009 Totals based on 21,041.8 pupils

Total Revenues (Incoming Taxes) $195,144,726.00 or $9274 per pupil

Total Expenditures (Outgoing Cost) $199,263,059.00 or $9470 per pupil

Deficit (Overspent Revenues) $-4,118,333.00 or $-196 per pupil

Here are the 2007-2008 Totals based on 20,241 pupils

Total Revenues (Incoming Taxes) $188,562,683.00 or $9316 per pupil

Total Expenditures (Outgoing Cost) $194,187,598.00 or $9594 per pupil

Deficit (Overspent Revenues) $-5,624,915.00 or $-278 per pupil

Here are the 2006-2007 Totals based on 20,206 pupils

Total Revenues (Incoming Taxes) $179,871,623.00 or $8902 per pupil

Total Expenditures (Outgoing Cost) $194,976,795.00 or $9649 per pupil

Deficit (Overspent Revenues) $-15,105,142.00 or $-747 per pupil

Interesting to Note that in 2010-2011 the CDE administration's budget was $38.5 Million for 110 Full Time Equivalents (FTE) and has been raised during this recession to just over $80 Million for 150 FTE's!  So CDE how can you justify 40 new administrators during a recession for twice the previous allocations???  Taxpayers these are the questions you need to ask your elected officials, otherwise the Smoke & mirrors campaign pushes forward!

After following the PAST money trail it appears during the Boom cycles Mesa Valley District 51 Overspent by a large amount and after being over $24 Million in the RED  they finally have their hands around how to budget!  Kudos to the current administration especially Melissa Devita for stopping the bleeding but it leaves many questions as to why the HUGE deficits when times were best and now when times are poor you are actually in Surplus. Mesa County residents these are the questions to begin asking the school board and school administration!  Where have the TARP monies been spent???  Why are you not discussing all Revenues when discussing the budget only State and local funds???  Why do you state that Federal funds are directed to be spent in certain areas when you know that is an untrue statement???  Why did you overspend back in the BOOM cycle???  How much monies from Referendum C did you receive???  Why the ATTACK on TABOR???

Here is the Districts Smoke & Mirror campaign of trying to cover up the past OVERSPENDING issues when State Tax Revenue times were at their pinnacle!!!  Enjoy the Video!



Monday
May282012

2011 Mesa County School District 51 Total Expenditures Released

Mesa County citizens have continued to hear that the Local Mesa County School District 51 needs more money yet they never give accurate information on how much per pupil they actually receive.  The Daily Sentinel will have you believe that the school budget is tight and the State keeps reducing their funding and programs cut and teachers are losing jobs, etc., etc.  Ironic when you look at Total Expenditures to the District they continue to rise each and every year. 

The 2010-2011 Total Expenditures were recently released from the Colorado Department of Education which show for 21,025.2 pupils $209,912,512.00 was allocated to the District or better put $9984.00 per pupil!  Compared to the previous year of $9587.00 per pupil this is the biggest increase per pupil over the past several years! $397.00 per pupil or $8,612,136.00 increase from last year to be exact and the highest ever total expenditures in the District and somehow this wasn't enough! 

The Smoke & Mirrors campaign is still full steam ahead and the continued shame being placed on the local Mesa County citizens will continue because you failed to pass and agree to more taxes and fees without any financial accountability.  See VetTheGov's previous story on why Voting NO on 3B was your only way of holding the Big Government tax and fee robbers at bay! 

VetTheGov will also continue to keep an eye on increased and new fees as they will use 3B as an excuse to continue to find more ways of revenue collection with scare tactics!  Stay Tuned and Thanks for visiting VetTheGov! 

Thursday
Sep012011

Are you ready for College if you graduate from Mesa County District 51???

How many of you have been hearing the battle cry for more money to the Mesa County District 51 school district? About every day in the local papers sounds about right. VetTheGov located some interesting stats from the Colorado Department of Higher Education and would like to share a few items of interest. 

Some quick stats that won't require much reading! Direct link to the entire legislative report.

2010 Remedial classes needed in at least one subject for first year students attending Mesa State - 47% compared to state average for 4-year public schools at 18.3%.

2005-2010 Remedial classes needed in at least one subject for first year students attending Mesa State - 51.7% average compared to state average for 4-year public schools at 19.4%.

2007-2010 Remedial classes needed in at least one subject for first year students attending Mesa State from District 51 High Schools compared to state average at 28.6%.

* Central HS average 44.125% 

* Fruita Monument HS average 33.525%

* Grand Junction HS average 36.25%

* Palisade HS average 49.925%

Are you children getting a quality education from Mesa County School District 51??? Please watch the video below and determine if a College Education, with its increasing cost from rising inflation, is worth it. Stay tuned for more to come on higher education!

Friday
Apr082011

Mesa County School Budgets 101 and how the game is played!

VetTheGov spent some time looking into the media hype of why the local, state, and national media during so called budget cuts and why schools get targeted so quickly.  Hopefully this information helps you open your eyes and mind to where your tax dollars go when discussing school budgets. 

VetTheGov started with the State budget proposals, Colorado Department of Education Finance site and then looked close to home here in Mesa County Colorado District 51 posted budget from 2010-2011.  VetTheGov gave a quick glance at the current proposal by Democratic Governor Hickenlooper's administration and especially focused on the management portion on the budget line.  If you look here at the State's total Management budget you will notice that there is requested one more FTE (Full Time Equivalent) than the previous year along with $4,159,401.00 in additional funding.  The total for the Management budget is $49,791,498.00 for only 152.1 FTE's which breaks down to $327,360.28 per FTE.  For Mesa County District Schools office of Superintendent and Executive Directors on page 27 of the budget receive $1,638,236.00 for only 8.6 FTE's.  That equals $190,492.56 per FTE. 

In looking at the District level allocations in the proposed budget you will notice another increase.  The 2011-2012 fiscal year increase to $3,491,017,037.00 (yes this is in Billions of tax dollars) from the 2010-2011 budget of $3,180,288,681.00.  That is a $310,728,356.00 increase.  The current media is reporting a $250 Million decrease to school districts.  VetTheGov is struggling to figure out how they are playing with the numbers and Per Pupil Funding (PPF) allocations.  Here is Hick's latest proposal and YES VetTheGov was correct in that the cuts are coming from the increased line item so in reality there are no cuts but actual increases.  If the above media story is correct that it ended up that only $250 million was decreased in the overall line item then it is over a $52.8 Million increase from last years budget.  Also notice in the revised budget how they use the the Per Pupil Funding wording to state the funding decreased by $496.52 at the bottom of the page from the original proposed budget but not compared to last years budget.  You have to love how the government plays the taxpayers! 

VetTheGov followed the money trail on the actual funding monies provided to our local schools in Mesa County.  CDE only has up to date financials from the 2008-2009 fiscal year.  VetTheGov picked out a couple of interesting portions that create further questions.  In the allocations to the three districts located in Mesa County the Per Pupil Funding (PPF) was significantly higher than being shown on Mesa County's PPF numbers.  District 51 received $9,470.00 Per Pupil for 21,041.8 pupils for a total of $199,263,059.00.  Note here the District shows $6,713.92 Per Pupil for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.  These are the numbers we always hear in the media and so you can now see how they get skewed all the time.  So where does the other $2756.08 go and why isn't this counted in overall PPF? 

VetTheGov noticed a difference in benefit packages and allocations shown.  Here you will observe for the same 2008-2009 fiscal year Mesa County School salaries and benefits.  For District 51 the totals show $6,804.00 Per Pupil.  Another interesting item to point out is the benefit package totals of $28,318,337.00.  Per General Accounting procedures District 51 does not have to show totals of benefits that fund their retirement program called School District Trust Fund and Health Care Trust Fund in which both tie into the Public Employment Retirement Association (PERA).  The district only mentions percentages which are 8% from member and 14.75% match by the State of the covered salary.  Based on District 51 budget numbers they received $15,100,922.00 in revenue for Medical, Dental, and Insurance.  This leaves $13,217,415.00 left over for PERA matches which do not appear in the budget but accounts for $628.15 Per Pupil.  If you take out for PERA from the remaining $2,756.08 Per Pupil you still have $2,127.93 unaccounted for.

Here is where we find some interesting trends towards education.  The first is called Title I Part A.  From the website the purpose of these funds are, "funds support extra instruction in reading and mathematics, as well as special preschool, after-school, and summer programs to extend and reinforce the regular school curriculum."  This section of At-Risk programs found in the District 51 budget account for $20,324,070.00 or $965.89 Per Pupil.  Again the media never tells you of these additional funds funneled through the District for these additional welfare type programs.  If you read the top of the At-Risk section you will notice if a pupil is on the Free Lunch or Reduced Lunch program they are considered At-Risk.  VetTheGov would like to point out that over 45% of pupils qualified for At-Risk programs.  That means 9,756 pupils received free or reduced lunches while 11,686 did not. 

There are also several media reports and more focus being driven towards health and fitness and yet District 51 has a deal in place with Coke.  VetTheGov listens to media all the time that discussed these deals benefitted the schools budget and is why they approved vending machines into the schools.  VetTheGov found that this again is another loser program with the only one benefitting being Swire Coca-Cola.  As you can see the program hasn't made a dime since its inception and is currently on track to lose over $8,000.00 annually. 

VetTheGov is currently researching PERA benefits and a couple of questions come to mind.  First if you are in the PERA program which many are, What happens to your investment if the State of Colorado ever files BANKRUPTCY?  Secondly for Taxpayers, what happens if the PERA funds continue to lose their investment ratio of 8%?  Interesting to note PERA Operating budget for 2011 of $56,988,409.00 was approved by Board of Trustee's in November 2010.

Great charts and information on PERA: http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/01/colorados-pera-222-funding-plan.html

PERA paper by Dr. Barry Poulson: http://transparency.i2i.org/pera-transparency/

VetTheGov hopes you found this information helpful and we welcome any comments on this subject or any others of relevance.