Feb. 25, 2016
Top priorities??? If ANY business were run the way the CBE runs, it would go bankrupt.
Get rid of administration personnel. 0 based budgeting. But that wont happen since it's tax dollars.
Whats your biggest expense? Come on, you know. Salaries!
If CBE employees are not IN the schools, teaching sweeping etc, they are BLOAT.
Seriously... The people (like me) are putting their hard earned money where their mouth is, and voting with their feet. Ever hear of charter schools?? They LISTEN. Why does the CBE have schools that need to run on a lottery system? Hmm, Perhaps the CBE and their BLOATED bureaucracy, are incapable of teaching the "basics" the way parents want their children taught. But instead of changing, they figure out, even more ingenuous ways to squander money. Like busing kids all over the city.
Be Practical! If a school is below capacity, CLOSE IT! Move those resources to newer communities that need one. Stop busing kids to support your broken model.
END school lotteries! If it's been over subscribed, put more resources and budget towards it! If it's at "capacity" get it MORE. Folks it's really that simple.
CBE budget = 1.3Bil. / number of students 115,000 = $11,304 per child / year.
If that money was given to parents, who in turn gave it to the school of THEIR choice, how quickly would the "system" respond? It would change overnight.
Another fun fact, 115,000 students / 13,000 CBE employees = 8.8, ok make it 9. Do we have class sizes of 9??? Nope. Heck, do we have a class size of 18? (Half the staff could be non student facing at that point). Nope. It's obvious where the BLOAT is.
Will it change? Nope. The "system" is only interested in keeping the system going.
Good luck with your propaganda campaign.
Thank you for your thoughts and comments. For your information and perhaps in the interest of others I would like to add some additional information to your thoughts.
A reality of public education is that schools are built in communities and the size and composition of communities change over time. When we have a lottery system in place at a school it means that we have significantly more students seeking to attend the school than the school has capacity. To manage that unfortunate reality we have implemented some rules related to who can get into the school as well as the lottery mechanism. Everyone in the CBE acknowledges that a lottery is not ideal but we do not control where and when new schools are built. That responsibility resides with the provincial government. Our responsibility is to use the facilities available to us to the maximum extent possible.
You mention busing. Busing is in large part due to the number of schools that we have that are full to the brim and bursting at the seams. Rather than looking to close schools, we are challenged with efficiently using the facilities that we have available to address the fact that many of our community schools are well above the provincially mandated utilization maximum of 80 per cent. Some are well above. That means we have to bus students to where the spaces are. This is not our preferred model but it is a reality given provincial funding decisions related to new schools and modernizations of existing schools. If new school construction does not keep pace with our enrolment growth, our busing challenges will only grow.
You mention getting more resources. Once again, funding for public education is the responsibility of the provincial government. Like you, the CBE is committed to an adequately funded public education system and we advocate regularly with the province related to education funding. We would love to have your support in assisting us in our advocacy efforts and would very much encourage you to contact your local MLA to talk about the importance of public education in the future of the province.
A point of clarification on your numbers. Our budget is $1.3 billion as noted. I would clarify however that the number of Full Time Equivalent positions is about 9,650. Said another way, the 13,000 staff share only 9,650 staff positions. And we will have more than 117,000 students in 2016-17. That is about 12.12 students per FTE. I would also note that the vast majority of our staff are school based. In addition to teachers a schools needs library support, a caretaker, a principal, an administrative assistant, etc. We watch those numbers closely to ensure we maximize the positions available to support students in the classroom. Also, we need to do the payroll, pay the bills, order supplies, maintain the facilities, etc. I think we can all agree those are not tasks that we should burden our teachers with.
While I take your point about staffing I would want to point out that the CBE has Board and System Administration costs of less than three per cent. This is among the lowest across the entire province, including charter schools and private schools.
With regard to charter schools and private schools specifically, I would further note than unlike those institutions the CBE is legally obligated to take every student. We do not pick and choose. We do not turn students away who do not meet an eligibility criteria. Everyone who registers with the CBE gets a top notch education and our student achievement results back that up.
I imagine that we will agree to disagree on a number of points. Nevertheless, I trust that this additional information is of interest and use.
Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.
Brad (Chief Financial Officer, CBE)