Friday, March 23, 2007

CCSD Finances: Why Feign Surprise?

Since June of 2006 CCSD has known that school funding would change and that those changes would not favor Charleston County. That's when the SC Legislature voted to swap "pots" from property taxes to sales taxes for a new state funding system for its school districts. Perhaps the magnitude of the shortfall is a surprise, but no one paying attention could have believed that funds directed to CCSD from the state would not fall as a result of the reform.

Charleston County (and other coastal counties such as Beaufort) has high property values, higher than those represented, for example, in the Corridor of Shame. As a result, it has spent more per pupil than the state average. Clearly the formula now in place redistributes state funds so that those districts spending less per pupil in the past will get more from the state.

Now it gets interesting. Beginning in 2008 sales tax money will be divided up based on school districts' 2007-08 baseline budgets plus allowances for growth, poverty, inflation, etc. Thus, CCSD naturally wants that budget to be as high as possible. In fact, it is taking the issue directly to McConnell & Harrell in hopes of an exemption or one-time relief or a miracle.

Why didn't they take it to them before now? McConnell and Harrell had to have known this situation would develop. I'm curious--what were they thinking?

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

The editorial page in the P&C last Sunday certainly looked like an orchestrated effort to cry poor mouth in two part harmony, between MG-J and the P&C editor. Are you suggesting that CCSD is playing us for fools? I guess they are since CCSD recorded a 30% tax increase in 2005, and through Don Kennedy, their babbling CFO, they tried to convince us that it really was a tax cut. These people are either idiots or they think we're dumber we look. Maybe it's both.

Anonymous said...

Why can't we get a forensic audit of the whole mess? CCSD will probably get help from the Legilators only to turn around and raise our taxes. Just watch, it's coming.

I understand the Mt.Pleasant people have been really upset over construction plans. There is no community input there and Bill Lewis has pretty much told them all they can take a hike. With half a billion dollars at his disposal and a new 3-year employment contract extended to him by the county board last October, he can pretty much do and say what he wants. Hope he's enjoying all those gifts and perks extended from his contractor friends. Has anyone ever thought of just auditing Bill Lewis?

Anonymous said...

Where's Henry Copeland when we need him? He could set you straight on this one, Babbie.

Anonymous said...

That's true. I already miss Henry Copeland too. Dr. Goodloe-Johnson and Sallie Ballard tried to demonize him because he was on to them. I hope Henry stays involved in school issues. Henry Copeland and that entire board should be proud of themselves for standing up to the most powerful people in the lowcountry. They did it all for the children of downtown Charleston. The bad guys usually won but the constituent board slowed them down a little.

Anonymous said...

Wow, its not only money they beat us out of. Nancy Cook owes over a thousand bucks in parking fines in her Mercedes SUV and they can't catch her.

Anonymous said...

I watched the JICHS handicap bus get ticketed for speeding with aload of children onboard. Coach Michael Hepner was driving. I thought he was fired from CCSD for missing PTA money at Toole Military Magnet.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know anything about the poor management of buildings and capital assets? It would be helpful if people could post any knowledge of waste or possible corruption involving CCSD's buildings and facilities. This is an issue that is county-wide and involves millions of dollars in taxpayer assets being misused.

Anonymous said...

and what is the connection between the Buist address scandal and the Mayor's fight against the town of James Island?

Anonymous said...

No money is nothing new to us in District 20 our 54 million in taxes last year went across the rivers. No the CCSD knows how we feel. Karma is hell isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Please give me the name of the family that used a false address that is connected to Governor Mark Sanford and the name of the family that used a false address that is connected to Joe Riley via the fight against the city of James Island.

Anonymous said...

Are you talking about the Langsams? They didn't really use a false address, did they? They are good people.
And if you're talking about the Seinsheimers, I think you're mistaken. You need to be careful. Grandma Seinsheimer has done wonderful things for Spoleto. These are powerful people with close ties to the mayor.

Babbie said...

Ok--I'll bite. To the last poster--WHY do we "need to be careful"?

Anonymous said...

A couple of years ago CCSD sold the Chisolm Street school property for only two million and some change to a real estate developer. The land alone was worth more than that and the building was eligable for millions in historic preservation tax credits. What happened? Did Bill Lewis push this sale into friendly hands?

Anonymous said...

Babbie-
Maybe we should allow some others to properly answer that question. Are any of you out there?

Anonymous said...

If you guys are outing the people connected to the Governor and the Mayor you are braver than the Post and Courier and the City Paper. Why not out the names of the other people who used false addresses and explain why they too are such VIP's at Gregg Meyers Academy for Advanced Studies located on Calhoun Street.

Anonymous said...

Who was the developer on the Chisolm St property? I bet no one has the nerve to say. Was it a developer that helped out financially in the fight against the town of James Island? Is anybody connecting the dots?

Anonymous said...

If Mark Sanford has relatives that used a false downtown address to get on the failing schools list does that mean he knew about it? Maybe he still doesn't know about it. I don't think he would be very happy about it.

Anonymous said...

The first round of sealed bids on the Chisolm St. property would have gone to the high bidder of less than two million dollars, except some downtown residents complained about yet another sale of downtown school property at give away prices. Several members of the county school board got cold feet when they heard the complaints. Over the objections of both downtown reps on the county board in 2001, they put it out for bids a second time, but still let it go for cheap to a residential condo developer out of Atlanta. And the high bidder in the lowest of low ball first round was...dah dum...the Beach Company.

Anonymous said...

What's the deal with moving Laing in Mt.P? Bill Lewis wants to move it seven miles out from where it is. He won't listen to parents and neighborhood residents who want the new school to be built right where it is. Lewis claims the site isn't large enough and has ignored suggestions to buy some additional lots next to the school. What's he got going? Are some 'friends of Bill' planning a new subdivision near where Lewis and Company (otherwise CCSD's Facilities director) plans to move Laing? What are we paying Bill Lewis and are 'they' paying him too?

Anonymous said...

Sanford sent his own children to private school. I find it hard to believe that he has relatives cheating to get into Buist. How are they related to him?

Anonymous said...

They were reporded to be his brother's in-laws.

Anonymous said...

If Sanford knew about this Buist situation it is a bigger story than the Sullivan's Island tax story, right? The Post and Courier does know about this in case you were wondering. Will they ever write about it?

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone should inform a Columbia paper about this. I don't know if it is true but it is worth investigating any potential cover up.

Anonymous said...

In response to the posting regarding the Beach Co. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Beach Co. move out the public housing located on the Ashley River where Toya Green currently resides in her $750,000 plus home? Its called "Longborough", right? Eventhough, she always said she was from Wagner Terrace.
Oh, this has to be a bad movie. Hollywood couldn't write this stuff if they tried.

Anonymous said...

Yep. J.C.Long's post WWII low income apartment complex known as Shoreview was leveled in 2001 to make way for the upscale yuppie neighborhood known as Longborough.

Anonymous said...

How much is CCSD paying its private contractor, First Student, to run the county bus system? Why are kids from North Charleston who have been transferred under NCLB arriving at Moultrie and Laing two hours late? What kind of results can these kids be expected to achieve on PACT and other tests if they are missing so much classroom time? How is this hurting the other students? Is this contractor really doing the best job? Why can't CCSD contract with CARTA since as taxpayers we are paying for both systems? Did First Student make any campaign contributions to school board candidates or the groups that backed certain candidates in the last election?

Anonymous said...

How did they arrange to use First Student and CCSD buses for the Bridge Run today? I have noticed that the same public school equipment and employees have been used for such events as SEWE in the past. I hope someone is keeping track of who's paying for the use of these public assets and where the money is going. If the answers are simple and legit then there should be no problem in making this known to the public.

costa rica said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Omar Cruz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.