Friday, January 30, 2009

Temper, temper, Larry Gauvreau

Things didn't suit Charlotte-Mecklenburg School board member Larry Gauvreau at this morning's CMS session on possible budget cuts. So a little more than half way through the meeting he grabbed his stuff and left in a noisy huff.

He wasn't interested in listening to a report from Education Resource Strategies, the consultants who were suggesting strategic ways to use available resources. He said the report compared apples to oranges when it looked at other school systems nationwide vs. CMS because the cost of living is different. But the consultant said the figures were adjusted for regional cost differences.

Umm. Maybe Gauvreau, a constant CMS critic, just didn't like that fact that the comparisons put CMS in a favorable light. For instance it showed CMS spent less on its central administration than all but two of the seven urban districts.

But Gauvreau really got ticked off when the CMS staff starting talking about potential budget cuts. The state government, which provides much of the school system's money, is asking for budget reductions. So is the county. CMS staff identified potential cuts of 5 percent or so based on suggestions from the state and Mecklenburg County, which provides the second largest chunk of money for the schools.

But what about my request for a scenario showing 10 percent cut, Gauvreau asked. Did you do that? No, said Gorman tersely.

A few moments later, Gauvreau was gone.


Anonymous said...

Why is anyone talking about budget cuts in our state's schools?

What ever happened to the Education Lottery that was marketed as the answer to all of North Carolina's problems when it came to education funding?

With all the money that people have thrown away on lottery tickets, one would think our schools would be in great shape.

Anonymous said...

I guess your are too little to actually look and understand the report intead of trying to make yourself look important bashing Larry ala Nancy Pelosi. I have read the report and it is a joke to compare CMS to those school systems. You need to compare CMS to comparable systems, student size and FRL. Anyway, when you look at who those systems are, I would be glad to be nothing like them. A clear conclusion you can get from the reprt is that we are expedning extraordinary amounts of money on a small group of students and letting the rest of the students essentially get their education on their own. I know most in the minority community applaud that. Take a few minutes and read the NY Times article from January 23.

Rev. Mike said...

Anonymous, the lottery money got intercepted by the County, which ostensibly applies it to debt service for CMS. However, I have heard the County finance director state that the money actually goes right into the County's general fund.

Anonymous said...

The 40 million does not even come close to covering CMS's debt payment each year. And yes in the annual budget, all debt payments are paid from the general fund. It is a shame because the county commission tried to create a pay as you go line item to pay for school construction each year instead of floating bonds but Parks Helms needed more cups of slaw each year to buy votes.

Anonymous said...

It is worth noting that Gauvreau asked for a specific scenario and was dismissed by Gorman as though it were Gauvreau -and by extension his constituents- who work for Gorman rather than the other way around.

If I answered a request from a member of my board for specific data or plans with a terse "no", it would not be the board member who would be leaving the room.

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