Government School Culture 101 - Follow the Money

The driving force behind the Government School Culture is money. The government funding, the life support of the GSC, is the glue that holds the GSC in force. The rules and regulations that determine funding, is the way our state and federal governments maintain control over our local schools. However, we still have control over our local school board and we can still make a difference. 

When our families, or our businesses, experience a decrease in expected revenue, we don't have the ability to tax our family members, or customers. We adjust our budgets to fit our expected revenue. The GSC trains our administrators, and school board members, to believe there will always be more money in the future. They believe that instead of restructuring their budgeting process, they just have to make a few minor adjustments each year and wait for the state employee unions to put pressure on our legislature to raise more revenue through taxes.

At some point tax payers are going to say we've had enough. This already seems to be happening all over our country except in the State of California. It seems the politicians we keep sending back to Sacramento don't see a limit to the level of taxation they can impose on us. Our local candidate for state assembly is already telling us how he will focus on blocking cuts to the education budget. In my opinion it is going to take a complete collapse of our state economy before California voters wake up and start electing responsible people. Representatives who will make the difficult decisions required to turn our economy around and protect the future for our kids.

The GSC lives and thrives off of our local school district budget. If we want to eliminate the GSC in Beaumont and adopt a new culture that will benefit our kids, we have to start with the budgeting process. Each year, our administrators begin the process by starting with last year's budget and then finding ways to trim expenses inflicting as little pain as possible. Because the employee salaries are such a large percentage of our expenditures, this is where they begin to focus.

Usually, about this time of the year, the administration starts floating suggestions about teacher and classified staff layoffs. They threaten to eliminate crucial programs like transportation and they talk about eliminating established and popular programs like dual immersion. They will openly discuss which school could be closed to generate the largest savings. This is all part of the show.

You won't hear them talk about eliminating any assistant superintendent position; or scaling back their new district head quarters; or slowing down the adoption of the new government required standards. This is all about "The Show" and "Managing the Public" (see earlier GSC 101 posts). They are more concerned about being the first to adopt the new standards than putting our kids first.

When it is all over, I predict they will end up shortening the school year by 5 days and reducing the amount of instructional time our kids receive. If they are truly interested in putting our kids first, they will first look at their budgeting process. Board members, please educate yourself about Zero Based Budgeting, it's something we all do for our families and it is the process followed by most businesses. This is something parents should demand our school district implement before making any budget cuts. 

Here are some links to my previous posts on Zero Based Budgeting.

Zero-Based Budget Strategy, is it right for Beaumont?

What if? - A New Budget Strategy

Time for a New Budget Review Process 


Well it all starts Tuesday night. "The Show" begins a little earlier than usual, about 6:30 PM. The board of trustees will conduct a "budget and force reduction workshop". Hmmm, what do they mean by force reduction? Could they mean layoffs? Why don't they say that? They won’t because it's all about "managing the public".

There is no need for you to show up. I will listen to the full podcast so you don't have to.