Monday, March 12, 2012

Schools request really about $47.5 million

I'm looking at this story we ran about Superintendent Jim McIntyre's quest to convinced the mayor – or rather taxpayers – into handing over an “extra $35 million” (click right smack here for it) and two things stick out.

One, the proposal doesn't increase the budget “by more than 45 percent,” but rather 9 percent or thereabouts. And two: It's not $35 million, but rather $47.5 million.

You see, there's $12.5 million or so in natural growth that isn't immediately factored into that headline.

That said, I'm wondering just how much the good superintendent and school board lord is really gunning for. Let's go under the assumption that the $35 million request for whatever it is he needs it for (come on, you don't really think I read the story do you?) is at the top end of the ambition scale.

I figure that's really his shot at the moon in the art of negotiating. What's he really expect (or even need)? $15 million? $20 million? I don't know.

I suppose we'll find out when his proposal makes its way to the County Commission. I'd suggest, however, that people keep an open mind before condemning him for making the request. Our test scores kind of suck. Maybe it will help. Maybe not.

In the meantime, I suppose it's a good thing, McIntyre gets an $800 a month auto allowance. He's going to need it as he drives around the county, trying to sell the plan.

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