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Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Uncounted Ballots that could be Accepted to Save $96 Million Tax Dollars


12-3-15 update: $5,000 funding goal met; however more support needed for SWC4P

How you can help:
Case filed against ISD833 to get all the Votes Counted


Here are the 19 challenged votes that are worth $96 million dollars on the November 3rd 2015 South Washington County School District 833 bond vote that initially had passed by just 19 votes with question 2.... after the Friday recount it only passed by 18 votes. 


After the following Wednesday Canvassing board review all but 5 ballots were accepted as no votes (Ballot #2,#9,#11,#16, and #18).

This article is a raw reference for the public to see each ballot close up. 

Update 11/29: Ballot #2,#9,#11,#16, and #18 are going to court, as of today they are just $700 short of raising the needed $5,000 to pay for the Court bond (money down on a court case). The money is due by the end of today (11/30) according to sources. (12-2: goal was met. please continue to donate see 12-3 update above for details)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=injFdNeXoMU

Donate Here:


These articles by Alpha News MN do a great job laying out all the details of the evolving story:

Alpha News MN's release of the challenge letter from Attorney Erick Kaardal to District 833 Canvasing Board:
http://alphanewsmn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Letter-to-Canvassing-Board-11-24-151.pdf

-Matt Behning


Withdrawn by the attorney for the challengers of the election results

Ballot #2 rejected by Canvassing board

accepted no vote on question 2 by canvasing board

accepted no vote on question 2 by canvasing board

accepted no vote on question 2 by canvasing board

accepted no vote on question 2 by canvasing board

accepted no vote on question 2 by canvasing board

accepted no vote on question 2 by canvasing board

Ballot #9 rejected by canvassing board

accepted no vote on question 2 by canvasing board

Ballot #11 rejected by canvassing board

accepted no vote on question 2 by canvasing board

accepted no vote on question 2 by canvasing board

accepted no vote on question 2 by canvasing board

accepted no vote on question 2 by canvasing board

Ballot #16 rejected by canvassing board

accepted no vote on question 2 by canvasing board

Ballot #18 rejected by canvassing board

accepted no vote on question 2 by canvasing board
Here's the folder to the 19 challenged votes that are worth $96 million dollars:
https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0BxFL7FIlX7ijMTBoY2ZzUGQ5ZVU&usp=sharing

-Matt Behning

Monday, November 2, 2015

ISD 833 spends over $400,000/year per class

11-3: To clarify the word "classroom" is figurative in the sense we use the 833's own admission the "classroom" is 30 students in a "classroom" for one day at School. Yes kids go to different classes through the day but that's accounted for by the district in their calculation. Lastly, some feel that 28.68 is the average class size (insignificant difference). 

The ISD 833 establishment appears upset with reports of their actual per pupil spending before the November 3rd vote in South Washington County.

"Per pupil spending" is a common term when referencing how much school districts spend. However what that term means is not universally agreed upon. School districts in Minnesota and across the country use their own standardized per pupil calculation that only includes spending on select student expenses instead of the logical alternative of counting all expenses. Usually the neglected costs include the cost of school buildings, maintenance, utilities etc.

This discrepancy between the school district's selective "per pupil" calculation and the actual per pupil calculation (that factors in all the costs) gained statewide attention earlier this year with a controversial billboard put up by Better-Ed.org across the street from the MN department of education. The billboard read that Minneapolis schools spend $525,000 per classroom of 25 students per year.  Using the actual per pupil rate of $21,000 calculated by dividing the Minneapolis School's total expenditures by the amount of students. The Minneapolis school district's preferred per pupil calculation was a much lower $14,000 per student using the cherry picked expenses. Linked Star Tribune story: Billboard shames Minneapolis school district spending


This difference in the district's cherry picked per pupil spending vs the actual per pupil spending is why the establishment is so upset when anyone references the total expenditures as an indicator of per pupil spending.... In their world counting all expenses is unfair; In the real world, it'd be ridiculous to consider anything less. For example, would you use the school district's same faulty logic that buildings and related expenses don't count so you could house yourself in a mansion by simply ignoring the expense in your budget? Of course not.... but MN school districts do whenever they spout their deflated per pupil rates.

How does 833 match up in all this?
On the District 833 website under "Frequently asked questions" they explain they currently spend $10,500 per pupil... under the accurate per pupil formula it's *$13,631. So you can see why school districts like South Washington County prefer the smaller number.

*2015 budget of $241 million (source 1), 2015 enrollment 17680 (source 2), Divide and you get actual per pupil cost of $13,631 a year. No fuzzy math.

Another point to consider:
South Washington Schools spend $408,936 per classroom of 30 students... PER YEAR! 

District 833 has a budget of $241 million (source 1), enrollment was 17680 (source 2), Divide that you get actual per pupil cost of $13,631 a year. Multiply that by the current average student to teacher ratio (e-12) of 30:1 (p.3 second source).