JCPS spends only .003% of budget on Pre-K. No wonder the kids are failing

The Courier-Journal article in Wednesday’s paper really jumped on my last nerve with the schools in our area.

For one, My child cannot even go to our elementary school 5 blocks over, because JCPS wants her to commute 2 hours each way for “diversity” to the school ranked last of all elementary schools. So my ( our/your)  taxes are spent on drivers, fuel etc., just so the JCPS can gain the state monies when mixing our kids up like Yahtzee dice. This I uncovered in the SEEK program.

So, to say it adds insult to injury to pay the property taxes to these people who aren’t treating anyones kids well. And I don’t care who you are or where you live or what you make- all of our kids are getting shorted an education on OUR tax dollars. What? Yes.

Property tax raises are mandated in part by the state in order for the schools to receive state “SEEK” money per child.  SEEK is Support Education Excellence in Kentucky program that replaced the Minimum Foundation Program as well as the Power Equalization program.  SEEK is a method of assessing each of our kids a dollar figure, the schools then allocate the mix of assessed values in a system meant to “equalize” the money per school. This takes all of our kids like poker chips of said value depending on their circumstance, and they shell-game the chips across the school districts until the dollars are even.
Oh, and to get the SEEK money, you have to do this:

Equalization of per pupil revenues among local school districts under the SEEK program begins with a requirement that every local school district levy a minimum equlvalent tax rate of 30 cents per hundred dollars of assessed valuation. This tax level may be attained via local property taxes, available alternative taxes (occupational, utility or income) or any combination of such taxes. The yield from this tax effort serves as a deduction against the revenues guaranteed by the state under SEEK . Every district is guaranteed that its minimum tax levy will produce the same dollars per student regardless of the district’s property tax base. This results in the state providing a greater proportion of per pupil revenues in those districts with lower property wealth per pupil.

I will go in depth into SEEK in a followup post. Onto the preschool numbers that do not lie;

Guess how much JCPS allocated to pre-school services?
$3.5 million. Out of almost a BILLION. thats only .003% of the budget. And we wonder why:

From the C-J Article : Two-thirds of Jefferson County Public schoolchildren enter kindergarten unprepared to learn the reading and math skills they are expected to master, according to a school readiness survey given districtwide for the first time last fall.

Just 34.6 percent of incoming kindergartners were armed with the basic knowledge they needed to begin classes without extra help — such as knowing shapes, letters, numbers and telling right from left.

Because JCPS spends almost nothing,  on the preparatory work for preschoolers, we are failing our country and their futures. I know its also on the parents to work with their children. To provide good training early on, to use moments at home for learning, however, that’s practically impossible for any working family. If you have 2 working parents, often working two jobs each, split shifts, with no time, how can they feed their kids, let alone teach them?
Not to mention any single parents, low income and at –risk homes. The list goes on.

Without JCPS stepping up and taking responsibility as well, theses kids don’t stand a chance.
Not to mention that the JCPS and the state are using the kiddos as pawns in a huge money game , which is WHY we are “shipping” the kids all over. Financial gain. Lets explore the numbers and facts as to why these kids are being slighted.

The JCPS General fund money total was:      $922, 260, 213 Million  September 2011-12

The General Fund is made up from:

Your Money: 70% local

$369.7 million   Property Taxes

$123.8 million   occupational taxes

$    5,088,585 million    Omitted property taxes

State: 29.59%

SEEK program ( state equality dollar value for each kid – and why we have to Yahtzee our kids all over Jefferson Co.)
$233, 317,572 million

$140, 200, 133 million “ Other State Sources”  and numerous other sources to make up the total.

 

 Spending: 

General Fund support of early childhood services:

$3.5 million Pre-School services ( ages 3&4 ) Only offered to low income, at risk kids. And, folks, the money is there, but someone needs to hold JCPS accountable for erroneous spending.

The article goes on to say:

“There are lots of children who need to be served who aren’t,” said Cindy Heine of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

The committee wants the state to serve more children by raising the qualification threshold for state-paid preschool
from 150 percent of poverty ($35,325 for a family of four) to 200 percent ($47,100 for the same family). But that would cost $31 million more a year.

With new funding unlikely amid tight budgets, JCPS and Metro United Way are planning a push for greater parent education, extended school for struggling early learners and working with private providers to help them teach necessary skills.

SO-   Lets talk about WHERE your money goes, shall we?

Total General Fund FY12 Budget Allocated Directly to Schools $564,971,228

Shown in percentage of budget and millions of dollars

    .30 %       $1,717,790  Preschool
.42 %        $2,385,850   Security
.73%         $4,120,775   Textbooks
1.21%            $6,864,207  Activities & Athletics
1.07 %           $6,061,350   Limited English Proficiency

40 % elementary schools

14% Middle schools

15% high schools

( then building maintenance, admin  etc)

Are you getting the picture now?

The priorities are SKEWED for these folks, lets look at a few dollars spent for fun.

JCPS reports expenses in their 2012 revised budget:

( I chose a few good ones to compare.)
$     3, 481,194    Library books

$     5, 447, 740  Diesel Fuel   ($1.9 M more than Library books.)

                                                           6, 258,506   Textbooks

$     8,390,655    Vehicles (2,132,149 more than textbooks)

$   18,677,879    Custodian Salaries

$   31, 204, 800  Driver Salaries

$ 106,927,726    Facilities & Transportation

$ 319, 152,406   Teacher salaries ( thats good I suppose)

$    90,580,502    “contingency”  (what? is that?)

I have attached the PDF file here. This is the JCPS Working Budget 2011-2012

So is this enough to get you talking, moving, taking action?