Thursday, October 8, 2009

Crappy! Chart! Thursday! Attempts an Upgrade

It’s Crappy! Chart! Thursday!, but I spiffed the charts up AND, well, tried to embed all of them in a power point presentation. The google viewer thing is less than optimal, but an attempt with a different converter scrambled the whole thing like a bad omelet. I've included a link to a document below the viewer. Try to contain your excitement.

Can I remember, when packing a soccer bag for my boy so my folks can get him to soccer practice, remember his CLEATS? No. Do I go to the grocery store with the intent of buying things for, say, an omelet, and neglect to buy eggs? Um. Maybe. Can I run CAGRs and log scales for all kinds of different categories (although no log scales this time. Which probably would get snarking from strategy consultants, since using one gives a slide pack a nice geekily-competent vibe)? Yup. And no, I don’t know why I can do one and not the other. Incompetent at daily life but super-nerdy? You be the judge. Or, um, maybe don’t. I’m not sure that I want total honesty on that front.

Anyway, enjoy the charts, which are all about cost efficiency in the Central Administration of Seattle Public Schools. Geeky? Sure. Interesting to see what’s happening with taxpayer money?



And if you want a non-microscopic view:
http://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AVRHgOkrxGL8ZGhta2I4cXJfMGZqbjZqampz&hl=en

Well… yeah. It kind of is, especially when it turns out there’s a disparity between what is presented to the public and what’s filed with the state (the totals come to the same amount but categories within the budget are very different). If you want to know where I got all the information, sources are listed at the bottom of each slide, and the very last page lists all sources. Take a look for yourself.

If you’ve got questions, fire away in the comments and I’ll see if I can answer them. But let’s not go down the primrose path of corruption and eeeeeevil. I don’t have answers to questions like that.

16 comments:

Robin said...

I have been reading your blog for a little while now and not just for the Crappy Charts!, which are astoundingly crappy, but I love the other blogs you like. We have met, I am Robin, aka TT Minor parent involved in losing battle aspiring for talent in numbers such as you have. Okay, here's my question/suggestion. Is there some link between succeeding students and budget in central admin. I am thinking there might be a strong possibility that those district that have less spent on central admin have students that do well, maybe even better than Seattle district kids. Crappy chart suggestion. You are amazing by the way, this is awesome you are putting this information out there. Are you planning on presenting this to the board?

Robin said...

hmm, I hope you know I meant that comment about your charts as a compliment, it should read to you as "astoundingly awesome".

another mom said...

Meg,
Amazing work and very understandable even for the technologically challeged among us...me. Last year's Oct. 1 counts had SPS enrollment at over 45 thousand. Your chart indicates 42+ Were they really 3K off when the budget was submitted? Explains the crowding in the NE part of town but geesh. Have either of the newspapers contacted you?

Meg said...

Robin - I didn't include student performance (sometimes even I hit the wall on the amount of geekitude I'm willing to achieve), but it could be an interesting bit of data to pursue. No offense on the crappy chart - I named it that myself. And I do remember you - did you end up going w/ Leschi, where the Montessori was placed? How is that going (if you did)?

another mom- I tried to stick with the OSPI F-195 budget reports for data consistency. The F-195 report for 2008-09 put enrollment as 42,551, while the OSPI P223 form puts it at 44,970. Clearly, there is variance in the different data sources. However, whether you use the OSPI F-195 budget reports or the OSPI P223 forms for your enrollment numbers, you will still get an overall decade-long slide in enrollment.
I hope that didn't sound snotty. I really, really don't mean it that way.
I don't think they were 3K off; I think some of it has to do with the way FTE counts are done.

another mom said...

Not snotty at all. I thought it maybe in the when and how and who figured in the counts. And yes, enrollment has declined even with a baby boomlet in the NE.

southend girl said...

Meg, I'm so happy to have found your blog. Just what I needed after the SAP mtg. at Aki last night. Thanks for bringing the gross overspending at SPS headquarters to light. I love your sense of humor too. The geeky/funny combo is just the ticket for me. Thanks.

Meg said...

another mom- glad it wasn't snotty.

southend girl- well, thanks. Although I'm sorry the meeting at Aki was so discouraging.

The English Teacher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LA Teacher's Warehouse said...

Meg,

I don't understand exactly what "Supervision of Instruction" pays for. If I understand the OSPI reports correctly, the most recent budget records indicate that it paid for 147.75 certified employees and 76.699 classified employees, for a total of 224.449 employees.

What do these employees do? I can't find a breakdown of they do. Do you know?

Meg said...

LA- hmm. I'm not totally sure. I've come across this budget document on the SPS website: http://www.seattleschools.org/area/finance/recommendedbudget08.xls, and it looks as if the CAO and her office are in Supervision of Instruction, as is the office of advanced learning, the research, evaluation and testing dept, education directors, L&T fiscal compliance (nope. don't know what that is), the deputy CAO's office and, honestly, a bunch of other stuff that appears at first, second and third glances to be straight-up Central Administration.

I will say, I only recently dug the document up, and have not had much spare time to nerd out with it. So, who knows, maybe on the fourth and fifth glances, one or two items would, if you looked at them sideways with your eyes partly closed, possibly seem like they COULD be teaching support. Every third Wednesday when the moon is full. And after a few strong drinks.

LA Teacher's Warehouse said...

Meg, the link got cut off in your comment. Could you repost it? Thanks.

Also, this document indicates that the FY09 budget for Supervision of Instruction was $25.1 million and the FY10 budget was $31.4 million.

I'm anticipating the district's response: the increases in funding for Supervision of Instruction have come from grants.

Meg said...

LA- if you click on the post title so that the post and its comments all come up, the whole link should come through. If it doesn't, I'll give it another go.

The $6.1M of additional budget money in the 2009-10 Supervision of Instruction is ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) reserve money. On slide 7, I note that the segment is still overgrown, even if you don't count the ARRA money. It's not totally clear to me why the reserve was allocated there.

Maureen said...

Meg, thank you so much for all of your work on this. I really enjoy your entire blog!

LA Try here for the budget doc Meg referenced (the .pdf got cut off when I tried to follow her link, but I'm pretty sure this is it).

If you go to this PI link and look at the "Director/Supervisor" and "Other District Administration" tabs, you can find the names of $12,074,773 worth of employees from 07-08. I could find about half of them on the current SPS contacts page. The others may or may not still be at SPS (I know one is-but he's not on the contact page).

Maureen said...

Ooops, I cut off one of my links! The PI Salary Site is here. You have to choose a category for "Duty Title" and "District" to get the information I looked at.

Meg said...

Thanks, Maureen. Both for the link and the compliment.

LA Teacher's Warehouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.