County Manager John Crumpton sent an advanced letter to the School Superintendent today indicating his preliminary recommendation to fund public schools at an increase of about $160,000 in operating expenses and $150,000 in capital expenses this next FY. Plus, because of capital project financing for the schools, the county is spending $180,00 or so more in debt service this next year. All totaled, Lee County taxpayers would have to spend $.5M more on public schools this year than they did last year; but mercifully, without a tax increase.
Coincidentally, Dr. Moss just today called for an emergency Board of Education meeting on May 24th to discuss reductions in force that will be necessary; an interesting development in light of this announcement of an INCREASE in local school funding. Of course, Dr. Moss hasn’t had time yet to study the county manager’s letter and perform an impact assessment, but somehow he already knows he is going to do wholesale reductions in force.
Call me crazy, but I just don’t see any sense in Moss jerking the BOE around like that. The County BOC hasn’t even begun its formal budget review session yet, and the county isn’t likely to complete work on its budget until June 20th or so. Why in the world would they be jumping through hoops to discuss RIF’s right now, in the midst of school year close-out, and in a manner that will prove very disruptive to the teachers and schools? Well, it’s a simple answer– Dr. Moss is doing that because he gets maximum shock effect that way.
Remember that, back in 2009, Dr. Moss transmitted the layoffs of 49 teachers’ assistants without proper advanced warning to his principals and to the BOE. So, it comes as no surprise he is repeating his boorish behavior again in this budget year. It’s right out of the Dr. Jeff Moss playbook for advanced superintendent bullying. Scare all of the teachers and goad the BOE into action. Well played Dr. Moss!