House Bills 87 & 88

After I posted the update on the board meeting, I realized there was another topic I wanted to comment on that the Blogger Kilroy has used to take pot shots at an organization I am a member of, the Delaware School Board Association. Currently, there are two Delaware House bills 87 & 88, which are in committee and have to do with transparency in the finances of Education. It has been said that this organization is out to kill any legislation that offers transparency, and that its members are “so righteous to oppose this legislation but yet they stand by while their districts piss money away in wasteful inefficient spending.”
This member takes offense at the suggestion I stand around wasting money because I believe transparency can be accomplished without singling out Education alone! Currently, the state central agencies have the ability to produce standard websites (using existing data), and there should be no problem with the state pulling the data from the existing payroll and accounting systems and publishing that data to the web. Where many others and I take issue with and oppose this legislation, as its written is education should not be in a separate bill as all districts use the same payroll and accounting system as other state agencies, and therefore the data should be published the same for all state agencies. The other part of the language, which needs to be clarified, is the additional information being requested like, ‘synopsis of the bidding process’ and ‘expected and past performance outcomes’ as several of these introduce subjectivity to the data. Education finance transparency can be accomplished without singling out, and without defaming an organization that not only offers training to new board members, but is also made of volunteers who pay their own way to meetings and training sessions!
Just a final note, I spoke with our district CFO and he informed me that the state is to have a new financial system (to replace the current DFMS) effective July 1, 2010. Based on this information would it not make sense to establish the new requirements in concert with the new system so that the web posting is done in the most efficient manner, and the new system captures the data needed for posting at the startup.

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About Gary M Wolfe

The Author spent 10 years as a member of the Milford Delaware Board Of Education, and is currently seeking the 18th Senatorial seat in the Delaware Legislature.
This entry was posted in Delaware Politics, Education. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to House Bills 87 & 88

  1. Kilroy says:

    Sorry to offend Mr. Wolfe but we’ve had enough in New Castle County. Pointing the finger at the state re: all agencies not being transparent is understandable however, it is the local school boards that raises taxes and plays the cards for “it’s for the kids” when in fact “some” school districts mismanges monies, violates state law such as contract bidding and charter school approvals!

    “I spoke with our district CFO and he informed me that the state is to have a new financial system (to replace the current DFMS) effective July 1, 2010.”

    You are just finding out about this now? Transitioning has already started. Format has changed!

    “without defaming an organization that not only offers training to new board members, but is also made of volunteers who pay their own way to meetings and training sessions!”

    Are you suggesting local school board members pays association fees out of their pockets and aren’t pay by the school distircts?

    “Where many others and I take issue with and oppose this legislation”

    So there are DSBA members who oppose this legislation? Make note “other” state agencies don’t levy local taxes on the people! Only school boards! But do make note DOE is next on the hit list! Education is over 1/3 the entire state budget and this the best place to open government.

    Honestly sorry to offend but the people/ parents don’t have lobbyist groups such as DSBA and DSEA. So if I am bull in a china shop that’s all I have.

    So my upsetting you caused you to ask questions of your CFO and in returned you gained some interesting information. Why didn’t your CFO communicate these changes to the board? I’ve known about it for a year and know the impact it has on orientating district manager and finance personel.

    “I believe transparency can be accomplished without singling out Education alone!”

    Goes back to those local tax levies the board imposes! But do make note the movement is for 100% full financial transparency for all state agencies starting with the department that cost 1/3 the state budget.

    Thank you for your service to the community, this blog and boldnest to speak you mind and feelings! I feel an organization like DSBA consisting of elected officals such as school board members taking a position as an indpendent body that is counter-porductive to the communites’ desire for financial transparency questions why should the taxpayers pay the assoication fees? However, I’ll put this question to the Red Clay community.

    • Wolfe Gary says:

      Kilroy, A quick FYI, as the DSBA collects dues from its member districts, but it is no different then say, The association of State Legislators; the association of state Governors; or even the association of state correctional administrators. All these groups are financed by dues not paid by the members themselves, and yet all but the school board members are paid by the state as employees? The DSBA dues grant the member districts access to the National Association, and provides the members with access to training and resources like, policy reviews, superientendent searches, and legal assistance. Also all travel to and from the association meetings is paid for by the members themselves, and not on a state credit card.
      As to being able to levy taxes even that is limited into how much can be raised, and outside that percentage requires a referendum that the public votes on. Last time I looked the state can raise taxes on everything from alcohol to cigerettes without public approval.

  2. Kilroy says:

    Gary,
    The attached is from our CFRC meeting notes 03/31/2008 re: DFMS
    see “July 2009” Didn’t hear anything about is being delayed?

    “Jill announced that Dover is in the middle of the ERP (Enterprise Resource Production) project, which is a PeopleSoft-based software system, and the DFMS financial system will be replaced by July 2009. Appropriation and IBU numbers will change, report formats will probably change, and object codes will be renamed “commodity codes.”

    http://www.redclay.k12.de.us/SchoolBoard/CFRC/0708/Minutes/RCCFRC_MeetingMinutes_3-31-2008.pdf

  3. Kilroy says:

    ” Last time I looked the state can raise taxes on everything from alcohol to cigerettes without public approval.” You’re right and but education is out of control! I am sorry if I offended you but the community struggles to be heard and now we are!

    You see HB 117 and I am not to pro on that! We need change such as board members not being elected at large and only within their nominating districts! Also, need to put stop to allowing a board member to move out of his/her nominating district and keep their seat until the end of the term. It’s unfortuante you folks down state get the negative rap slower Delaware but up here we are getting rolled under the bus by agendas and mismanagment.

    It’s a bit strange that board members are the only elected offical that don’t get $$ compensation yet get’s the dirty task of rasing school taxes. The fees and travel expenses and not to forget those steak dinners (smile) You should move to Red Clay because they prefer “freshly” baked rolls!

    Gary, state government needs to come clean aka transparent! My niche is education and 1/3 the state budget is what 1.3 billion dollars going to public education! Yes the state unfunded and underfunded mandate re: Education needs to stop! Do you remember Title 14, Chapter 2, Subchapter I section 207 ? re: require educational impact studies before any legislative vote?? It required funding source!! I blew the lid off it that law not being followed I believe 2002 and it was repealed! Slipped in at close of session! We need impact studies don’t first! Yea, you might say it with HB 87 and 88 but putting checkbook ledgers online is a cake walk! Don’t need a searchable just put it in pdf. monthy!

    Look at you! A blog and willing to openly debate and communicate! Wow! and I mean that in a good sense! Sure you put yourself out there but you are an open book and who you are! Sure you can speak for your board but my God it great you can openly speak for yourself! I am sorry if I offended you! As far as DSBA re: REd Clay members it would disapoint me that they may oppose HB 87 & 88 as DSBA but not openly express those concerns in Red Clay! I don’t know their position just saying!

    Check out HB 117 I am not too sure!

  4. kilroy says:

    Gary did you delete my last response?

  5. Pingback: News Affecting Delaware High Schools for 04/07/2009 « Delaware High Schools

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