Mark Your Calendar --
Announcing the formation of “Citizens Auditing DeKalb Schools” (CADS):
August 14, 2010: The Libertarian Party of DeKalb County announces the formation of the Citizens Auditing DeKalb Schools (CADS), which will examine the DeKalb County School System budget, both income and expenses, and recommend ways to lower the school portion of our property taxes and possibly eliminate our 1% “Educational” sales tax. The Committee is seeking other citizens interested in participating in this longneeded independent review.
About 60% of all state and local taxes go toward the school systems. State budget reductions create pressure on local government to increase property taxes to make up the difference. Recent embezzlement charges of top bureaucrats in the DeKalb school system indicate that the budget may benefit from closer scrutiny by the public. This is best done by an independent panel not subject to the protests of special interest groups. Interested parties are invited to attend an orientation meeting to learn more and decide if they want to participate. The orientation meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 7th, 2010, 7:00 PM in the big hall at the rear of the Famous Pub in the Toco Hills Shopping Center at 2947 North Druid Hills Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329.
Libertarian Party of Dekalb
Christopher Barber, Chair
David Montané, Vice Chair
Barbara Rickard, Secretary/Treasurer
While we need an audit and maybe even an audit like this, the fact that this group thinks that taxes can be lowered and SPLOST eliminated is somewhat delusional. There is certainly waste, but not of the amount that could make a significant difference in our tax bills.
Libertarians are generally not friendly to public education.
DCSS, you'd better watch out.
More scrutiny from people who want to find WMS! ( Weapon of Mass Spending)
There will be others: the Feds!
Clean-up your finances, salaries, and hiring practices. Where is Shayna S.?
I think it's a great idea and a good place to start. My wife and I did a FOIA, Freedom of Information Act request, we were given access to files however, DCSS made it very difficult. We had to keep files on property, copy what we needed on premises and it was a very long process. We combed through 100's of documents. An organized effort by many could very well work. But we must put partisanship aside. It's for the kids!
Years ago, a CPA friend and I spent two days plowing through the DCSS budget. It was a nightmare of nonsense. We actually went down to the central office and went through the many books that comprised the budget at that time.
The problem is that there are these large catch all categories for both revenue and expenses.
If this group can really drill down and examine DCSS expenses, especially by the Central Office, heck, it can't hurt.
"We had to keep files on property, copy what we needed on premises and it was a very long process."
WHAT? A working copier that belongs to DCSS?? You must have been at the central office!
While I believe aduting the finances of DCSS is a good idea, I don't believe it will solve the root cause of DCSS's dysfunction.
The solution, my Libertarian friends, is to dissolve DCSS and replace it with a group of smaller school districts. This would eliminate the waste, fraud and abuse systemic to DCSS. This would give tax payers more control over their public schools. This would make public schools leaner and more efficient. This would reduce administrative overhead and reduce taxes.
If the Libertarian Party of DeKalb is interested in leading the effort to dismantle DCSS, I'm with you.
If the Libertarian Party of DeKalb is interested in leading efforts to reform (i.e., roll back / eliminate) property tax support for DCSS, I'm with you.
But, at this point, auditing DCSS feels a lot like rearranging deck furniture on the Titantic. It'll give us something to keep us busy, but it will not solve the root cause of the disaster we are in.
While I agree with the idea of breaking up the system, I firmly believe that we can't even make a move in any direction until a complete audit has been done. Our board has made NO move in this direction. I applaud the Libertarians for initiating a start on their own.
I spit coke all over my screen. Yes it was a working copier at the OLD CENTRAL OFFICE! However, we had to bring our own paper. We copied a lot that day. I'm surprised they didn't force us to bring toner too!
Maybe they'll stumble onto the Title 1 and other fraud while hunting "cost effectiveness". Audits lead to criminal findings.
BTW--the Libertarians are just the people to do this. They are clearly outside the mainstream political process. They couldn't be "partisan" if they dreamt of it.
However, I will say this--oxes will be gored and no one will accept their recommendations.
What most here are failing to realize is that audits are already being done, at a local, state, and federal level on the books. Due to staffing cutbacks over the years, auditors are unable to really scrutinize the data at a micro level. A clear example is many employees at the school level that have either been reassigned or fired because they did not have balanced books or could not account for some money.
The Libs won't find anything that others either don't know or don't want to know. These problems are not unique to DeKalb, they happen at EVERY school system around the country. Running schools systems is BIG business.
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