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Thread: Projected cost savings from elementary school reconfiguration

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    ... but am happy to discuss and answer reasonable questions such as the amount of the associated cost savings.
    Glad to hear that.
    As any accountant will tell you, you can't know the savings of something without first identifying any and all costs incurred to achieve them.

    So, I am still hopeful that you will provide a detailed list of all of the costs associated with this reconfiguration, so that the total projected savings will be a meaningful number.


    .
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Ah, I understand the question now (I think). The "3 school with ~$600k" budget would have been a reasonable (but not necessarily obtainable) spend for that configuration. Similarly, the "2 1/2 school without ~$600k" budget is reasonable for this configuration.
    Thanks Jeff. Your summary above is close to what I'm getting at, but not quite there. What I'm saying is that the "3 school with ~$600K budget" scenario was not reasonable and should have been rejected prior to moving to the reconfiguration. In my research into this I can't see the justification for all the additional teachers, etc. I understand and agree with the premise of your illustration of how reconfiguration saved class sections but my subjective opinion is that the total real savings don't justify it.

    To the uninformed observer: (1) Last year we spent $6M; (2) This year we're spending $6.3M (hypothetical 5% increase) for a reconfigured version of (1); (3) The SC says we're saving $.6M. The uninformed observer would say that if we're saving $.6M, why are we actually spending more than last year? Why would (1) have cost $6.9M? The informed observer should ask the same questions, too.

    The main reason people migrate to towns like Wayland for superior school systems is driven by class size. In my opinion, every educational benefit is derived from that. To sacrifice class sizes -- even when they mostly stay within SC guidelines -- is a decision only to be made as a last resort and if cost savings are the driver, one must be absolutely sure about those savings.

  3. #18
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    The latest elementary school cost savings projection is available on the Wayland School Committee web site here, updated 12-18-2008. A brief summary is below.

    • SCHOOL BUDGET SUB-TOTAL: $451,364
    • MUNICIPAL SUB-TOTAL: $98,500
    • OVERALL TOTAL: $549,864

    The difference between this estimate and the prior one is the removal of one elementary school classroom section. The estimate above correctly accounts for the difference between the number of elementary sections that would have been needed for a three school configuration (59) during the current school year compared with the actual number in the "two and a half" school configuration (57, with one fewer at the Kindergarten and Grade 4 levels).
    Last edited by Jeff Dieffenbach; 12-19-2008 at 08:14 AM. Reason: Added explanation for revision

  4. #19
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    Jeff,

    You are continuing to muddy the waters here.

    To be clear, the numbers above do NOT factor in the considerable expenses associated with the "reconfiguration". People need to be aware of that.

    Also, you are now talking about town-side savings. While they are relevant, there is no consistency in just adding that into the mix now. And if you do, you also need to look at town-side expenses resulting from the reconfiguration - police details at the beginning of the year, new sidewalk at HH, etc.

    Your touting these enormous savings while burying an inaccurate footnote that refers to only some of the expenses which need to be subtracted from these alleged savings reminds me of George Bush standing in front of the Mission Accomplished banner on the aircraft carrier.

    And the SC's ongoing spin reminds me of the administration's attempt to re-write history and conveniently forget that moment by photoshopping the banner out of that photo on the official White House page photo.

    Even the fact that you call this "The latest elementary school cost savings projection" is misleading. It is not. it is the gross, not the net. People shouldn't need to search for that in the fine print. It should be clear from the outset to anyone reading this that this does not factor in expenses.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    To be clear, the numbers above do NOT factor in the considerable expenses associated with the "reconfiguration". People need to be aware of that.
    As you note below, the document clearly states what savings are and are not yet included. I don't think that it's asking too much of the reader to make it through 9 full sentences.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Also, you are now talking about town-side savings. While they are relevant, there is no consistency in just adding that into the mix now.
    Your statement is incorrect. The municipal-side savings have been part of the conversation going back to the spring, when they were an element of the "community chats" that took place around town in advance of the override. And they have been part of the reporting done by the School Committee since the start of school. I trust the reader to be able to understand that expenses might fall into one of two "buckets"--school and municipal.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    And if you do, you also need to look at town-side expenses resulting from the reconfiguration - police details at the beginning of the year, new sidewalk at HH, etc.
    Regarding police details, if those costs were above and beyond their normal operations, I agree. [Update 12-19: there were no police detail costs above their normal operations.] As for the new sidewalk, the schools neither asked for nor approved it, and I would not include it in the analysis.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Your touting these enormous savings ...
    "Enormous" is your word, not mine. The School Committee has reported the savings at the request of residents including you. Call that "touting" if you like, I call it being both conscientious and responsive.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    ... while burying an inaccurate footnote that refers to only some of the expenses which need to be subtracted from these alleged savings reminds me of George Bush standing in front of the Mission Accomplished banner on the aircraft carrier.
    "Burying?" Hardly. And your analogy falls flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    And the SC's ongoing spin reminds me of the administration's attempt to re-write history and conveniently forget that moment by photoshopping the banner out of that photo on the official White House page photo.
    What "spin?" Be specific. With respect to the ES reconfiguration cost savings, where's the "spin?"

    If a person were, hypothetically speaking, to accuse you of ongoing bullying, that wouldn't make it true. Perhaps you are saying that any time anyone on either side of an issue opens his or her mouth, they are engaged in "spin." In that case, I guess, I agree that your guilt is equal to ours.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Even the fact that you call this "The latest elementary school cost savings projection" is misleading. It is not. it is the gross, not the net. People shouldn't need to search for that in the fine print. It should be clear from the outset to anyone reading this that this does not factor in expenses.
    You appear to have a low opinion of the ability of Wayland residents to read a 9 sentence report. There is no "fine print"--I checked, the font is the same size throughout. This analysis DOES factor in expenses--namely, personnel expenses. As it quite clearly states, it does not yet factor in non-personnel expenses.

    If there's any muddy water here, John, you might look at the big stir stick in your own hand as a leading cause.
    Last edited by Jeff Dieffenbach; 12-19-2008 at 11:13 AM. Reason: Additional information about police details

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    The latest elementary school cost savings projection is available on the Wayland School Committee web site here, updated 12-18-2008. A brief summary is below.

    • SCHOOL BUDGET SUB-TOTAL: $451,364
    • MUNICIPAL SUB-TOTAL: $98,500
    • OVERALL TOTAL: $549,864

    The difference between this estimate and the prior one is the removal of one elementary school classroom section. The estimate above correctly accounts for the difference between the number of elementary sections that would have been needed for a three school configuration (59) during the current school year compared with the actual number in the "two and a half" school configuration (57, with one fewer at the Kindergarten and Grade 4 levels).
    Because we newbies to "the process" are a little dense, what you are saying is that -- from the school budget perspective -- the costs of one additional kindergarten and 4th grade class section are ~$350K ($450K less the approximate salary of a principal). I know you'll point out that there are other line items but in reality, this is how you quantify 2 elementary class sections, correct?

  7. #22
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    Paul, I don't understand your question. The various elements of the cost savings are listed at the URL I provided above.

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