Debunking a County Commissioner Myth from this week

I have to keep this brief but I wanted to address a publication I saw in regards to Mike Ritz and his “fact based” numbers surrounding the affordability of municipal districts. Two assumptions that drove his numbers:

1) Municipal Districts will have to pay for the buildings

2) Municipal Districts will not achieve the cost savings that the unified district will bring

 

Both assumptions are absolutely false. And actually are incredibly misinformed.

1) Buildings follow children much like money follows children. In the world of an ASD takeover of a school, the entire school goes to the state with no cost. When a charter school converts, they are required to pay rent. When a municipal school converts, there is legal precedent for those schools to follow those children. The reality is that our board must confront the disparity across all schools within its policy to make them make them consistent(if we don’t the state will). We cannot allow one different access than the other when an entire school is converted. But his worst case scenario that he uses for his figures to inflate property tax numbers have little merit.

2) The cost of urban and suburban education is vastly different because the of the habits of people in both socio-economic areas. Case in point, Tuesday night, our board reviewed several contracts for companies to provide services. The first one was:

  • Dunbar armored in the amount $400,000.
  • Loomis armored in the amount of $165,000

These 2 contracts were to provide money pick-up services for schools across the entire district for the entire year. Interestingly enough though, it does not make sense to do this across the entire district.  Urban schools take almost only cash due to the high amounts of bad checks that are written. However, the suburban schools no longer take cash but only checks and debit for things like lunches. Checks can be remotely scanned for deposit while cash has to be collected and physically deposited. If you can carve out the money pick-ups from 25% of the schools, you could potentially save $141,000 worth of unneeded pick-ups.

  • Allied Waste Pickup in the amount of 1.1 million/ year.. – some municipal can pickup the trash and institute recycle program instead on contracting trash. On 11 schools that could be 65Kish per year…

 

And this goes on for hundreds of line items.

The reality is that Mike Ritz assumes the same socio-economic preferences and technology preferences of the urban districts which are much higher in costs  than suburban districts making his overall numbers incredibly inflated. That will not be the case in suburban district making them ultimately less expensive and more focused on education. He does not take into consideration shared services which potentially  drive down overall costs even more..

And making Mr. Ritz analysis,  How can I say this nicely? Garbage

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2 Responses to Debunking a County Commissioner Myth from this week

  1. eadi says:

    So he is either incredibly ignorant of the facts, or is being completely disingenuous. Knowing Mr Ritz’s track record, I’d say he is sowing discord, confusion, and muni mutiny. This is a situation where municipalities are acting within the law to implement the citizens’ wishes per the recent referendums. I don’t recall asking for his advice on this; why does he feel compelled to give it over and over? BUTT OUT!

  2. Our elected leaders are acting on the wishes of their constituents (what a concept, Mr. Ritz; you might consider that some time). In Germantown we approved muni schools by a 93% margin. So now we are going to form our own school district and have local control of our children’s education. We are voluntarily choosing to enhance the value of our community. We have voluntarily agreed, by an overwhelming majority, to increase taxes on ourselves to pay for it. We fully understand the financial situation, and we embrace it. Mr. Ritz, thanks so much for your concern about our welfare; we really appreciate you looking out for us. But in the sage words of your pal Sidney Chism, we got this. You can butt out now.

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