After massive tax hike, Cleveland schools spend big on employee travel

By Steve Gunn on Monday, February 8th, 2016 in Spending No Comments

CLEVELAND – It’s hard to blame the teachers and residents of the Cleveland school district for questioning the need for budget cuts over the past few years. In November 2012, Cleveland voters approved a massive 15-mill property tax increase to provide new revenue for the school district. The four-year levy, described by as “the […]

Kenosha schools don’t change big-spending ways, despite scrutiny

By Steve Gunn on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 in Spending No Comments

KENOSHA, Wis. – Perhaps we’ve reached the point where government can’t even be shamed into controlling its spending. In 2013, EAGnews released a report revealing that the Kenosha, Wisconsin school district had spent large and questionable sums of taxpayer dollars on hotels, air fare, rental cars and restaurants during fiscal year 2011-12. To their credit, […]

Despite hundreds of six figure administrators, less than half of Jefferson County students proficient

By Steve Gunn on Monday, January 25th, 2016 in Spending No Comments

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Top-heavy administration in public schools often seems to be a recipe for sub-par academic results. One example is the Jefferson County, Kentucky school district, which includes the city of Louisville. In 2014, a story broke on about the percentage of resources the school district was spending on administration versus the classroom. […]

Just 14% of Baltimore students proficient, despite high administrator salaries

By Steve Gunn on Friday, January 22nd, 2016 in Spending No Comments

BALTIMORE – A published list of top salaries for the Baltimore City school district in 2013-14 is a little confusing at first. One column of the spreadsheet lists “regular earnings,” which is obviously what each employee was paid in regular salary or hourly wage. But there are two more columns – titled “additional earnings” and […]

1,272 Milwaukee school employees make over $100,000 a year

By Steve Gunn on Wednesday, January 13th, 2016 in Spending 1 Comment

MILWAUKEE – It’s hardly a secret that Milwaukee Public Schools dug a deep financial hole over the years with overgenerous benefit packages for employees. As far back as 2010, Milwaukee City Alderman Bob Donovan pointed out that the district was spending 74 cents on employee benefits for every dollar in salary. The average teacher had […]

Tulsa staff jet to Vegas, New Orleans, DC — despite numerous ‘failing’ school grades

By Steve Gunn on Monday, January 11th, 2016 in Spending No Comments

TULSA, Okla. – Every year, public schools across the nation cumulatively spend hundreds of millions of dollars to travel and participate in various educational conferences, conventions and workshops. They justify the expense by saying that teachers and other staffers are networking and improving their skills, which will benefit students and increase the quality of instruction […]

225 Philadelphia principals make $100K+, despite woeful academic results

By Steve Gunn on Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 in Spending No Comments

PHILADELPHIA – Who should be held responsible for the academic problems in the Philadelphia school district? Many people would blame the thousands of classroom teachers, who are on the front lines of student instruction. They make, on average, somewhere around $65,000 per year. But what about their bosses – the principals and assistant principals – […]

Dallas schools’ financial state a moving target as administrators rake in big bucks

By Steve Gunn on Tuesday, January 5th, 2016 in Spending No Comments

DALLAS – Last spring, Dallas Independent School District officials were accused of transferring special “at risk” dollars that were meant for schools with more economically disadvantaged students to schools with wealthier students. After a complaint was filed with the state, district officials made corrections and started to fully fund at least some of the disadvantaged […]

Seattle schools spend nearly $1 million on travel as parents donate to retain teachers

By Steve Gunn on Monday, January 4th, 2016 in Spending No Comments

SEATTLE – In October, administrators of Seattle Public Schools announced that 25 teachers across the district were being transferred – a month into the school year – because district enrollment projections had fallen woefully short. Parents reacted with outrage. One father was moved to make an unplanned $77,000 donation to Seattle’s Alki Elementary to help that school […]

Columbus, OH administrators make big bucks, despite employee cheating scandal

By Steve Gunn on Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 in Spending No Comments

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Someone should poll the residents in the Columbus school district, and ask if they are comfortable with the fact that 69 school employees, mostly administrators, made at least $100,000 per year in the 2014-15 school year. Their combined salaries for the year came to about $7.8 million. Chances are residents would not […]

Minneapolis administrators cash in, despite below-average academic performance

By Steve Gunn on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015 in Spending No Comments

MINNEAPOLIS – Minneapolis Public Schools had no shortage of leadership in 2014-15, at least on paper. At the top of the district’s leadership chart are a superintendent, chief executive officer, chief operations officer, chief of schools, six associate superintendents and an assistant to the superintendent. They all made at least $100,000 per year in straight […]

134 Tacoma school workers make six-figure salaries; Student proficiency under 50%

By Steve Gunn on Friday, December 18th, 2015 in Spending 1 Comment

TACOMA, Wash. – How many highly-paid administrators does it take to run a public school district? In the Tacoma, Washington district, the answer is “a lot.” And those administrators  preside over a district with disappointing academic scores and a low graduation rate. In most businesses, a boss making a lot of money while producing mediocre results […]

Buffalo administrators rake in big bucks, despite dismal school performance

By Steve Gunn on Thursday, December 17th, 2015 in Spending No Comments

BUFFALO – In January, M&T Bank Corp. Chairman Robert Wilmers, who has long been involved in educational efforts in the Buffalo area, delivered a speech on the condition of Buffalo Public Schools. A few short sentences from his speech, published by the Buffalo News, summed up the dire situation: “The BPS student graduation rate in […]

Aurora, CO schools spend big on hotels, airlines while academics lag

By Steve Gunn on Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 in Spending No Comments

AURORA, Colo. – The Aurora, Colorado school district is having severe academic problems, according to various news reports. It’s considered a ‘priority improvement school district” by the Colorado Department of Education. It’s also on the state’s “lowest performing districts” list. The district fell well short of state averages in student testing in several academic disciplines […]