MoneyWatch- Saving the District $$$

Part of the FROST plan is Fiscal responsibility  and  Smarter School Spending and took issue with the manner in which my predecessor used taxpayer resources.

Yes, I agree with my predecessor that to be effective we must have influence on the Lawmakers. I don't think we need to spend a bunch of money to make that happen. Instead, I think that the money should stay in the district and benefit the teachers and students.

General practices in which I engage to save the taxpayers money:

  1. I don't submit mileage - this is covered by the salary and even processing the paperwork costs the district money
  2. I don't accept a meal allowance- I was planning on eating that day anyway and can pay for my own meals
  3. I avail myself of high-quality internet based professional development rather than expensive site-based training

 

So far: February 20, 2015

  • No district cell phone $60/mo (*48 months) $2,880 I use my personal cell and welcome calls from constituents
  • Returned the district issued laptop and asked them to put it in the hands of a teacher, classroom, or student as part of our 1:1 initiative. It was a brand new and very nice laptop with an estimated value of at least $850. All email is contained on the servers and can be produced by public records request. I access my email via the web-mail function. I didn't need it and thought it belonged in the classroom.
  • Mileage- I haven't submitted a request for mileage reimbursement. On one trip, Ms. Stang being the astute assistant she is, prepared the form and according to the formula I was due $155 for travel to Tampa. That's nuts. I spent $24 in gas and the salary more than covers the occasional travel. 
  • When I travel to Tallahassee to represent the FCSBM, that travel doesn't come out of local district money. Either I pay it or it could come from FCSBM member dues. At the time of writing, I've always just paid it.

Future savings:

In December I attended a somewhat mandatory training in Tampa and unfortunately spent $155 for the conference fee and another $169 for a night in the "host" hotel. 

In the future, all of my professional development will be done online. The amount saved per year will be at least $359, but I'm not including this in my total. 

February 25, 2015:

Today, I am doing my annual 4 hours of ethics training, being provided by the Florida Commission on Ethics (the ultimate authority on the subject) and it is 100% free. Plus I can break it up into smaller blocks and take a break whenever I need to. The FSBA charges $155 for their online training. Later in March I will take a course on education reform and it will cost the district absolutely nothing. 

 

Total savings so far: $4,040

Ideas for future savings (will require board action):

  • Replace lobbyist expense ($6,700) with a subscription to lobbytools (for about 1/10th the cost)
  • Exit the FSBA which will save the district at least $15,300 / year
  • Total savings with these two tweaks- $22,000! (or 44 computers)