Dec 042016

As if it wasn’t bad enough that we have had to weather weeks of protests by whining liberals, college snow flakes, Democrat sore losers, Green Party shills and even over wrought Broadway actors, but apparently we now have a secret Facebook group called “Action Together Network Admin Group” purportedly to be parents representing parents of the Marvin, Weddington, Cuthberston, Parkwood and Sun Valley clusters is attempting to intimidate the new Board Of Education into browbeating parents.

The following post has been making the rounds to scare up signatures to present at the School Board meeting on Tuesday.

This statement will be presented at the BOE meeting this Tuesday. We are trying to get as many names as possible to sign.
Please let me know if you are willing to add your name to this statement. Thanks
We are a group of concerned parents with children in the following Union County Public Schools clusters: Cuthbertson, Marvin Ridge, Parkwood, SunValley, and Weddington. We have come together to make a request of our Union County Board of Education. As a response to the recent elections and other events, we propose that the UCPS Board of Education and Superintendent Houlihan relay the following statement as a Connect-Ed message (phone and email) to all parents of UCPS students. Union County Public Schools is a welcoming, safe, inclusive, and supportive school system for all of our families, including those who have been Union County residents for a long time, those who are new here, and those who speak English as a second language. We support our students’ rights to an education free of bullying, harassment, intimidation, and discrimination as stated in the Board of Education’s Policy 4-7 Prohibition Against Unlawful Discrimination, Harassment, Bullying (Students). It states: The Board believes that all employees and students should be free of unlawful discrimination, including harassment and bullying, as a part of a safe, orderly and inviting working and learning environment. It commits itself to nondiscrimination in all its educational and employment activities. The Board expressly prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment, or bullying however motivated, directed toward any person or group, including, but not limited to acts reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics. Our district firmly rejects discrimination of any kind, whether from students, volunteers teachers, staff, or administrators. Anyone (whether student, volunteer, teacher, staff, or administrator) who experiences or witnesses discrimination or harassment for any reason should tell a school counselor or principal immediately. Our school counselors are ready and able to support anyone with concerns. UCPS is committed to ensuring that every student feels accepted. We hold high our Board of Education’s core values of fairness and equality. Thank you for your time. Signed,

I look at this effort as an attempt to do locally, what the Democrats having been doing nationwide. The group writes in their post “As a response to the recent elections and other events”, which ties it into Democrat hysteria over the Trump victory, but reference to ‘other events’  most likely concerns the changes to the board voting majority which will likely make changes restore fiscal sensibility to the school system.

I expect that we will see this group and their allies in the Union County Democrat Party to bring more of the attack and intimidate tactics, we’ve seen elsewhere in the state.


If you’d  like to read the BOE Policy follow this link. 4.7 Prohibition Against Unlawful Discrimination, Harassment, Bullying (Students)

The policy was expanded this past February, beyond the requirements of Federal law.

Addendum #2

Well last night was the School Board Meeting and I thought VSO reader would enjoy watching the “Action Together Network Admin Group make their presentation.

Frankly, I had expected more, like perhaps some supporting statistics or personal anecdotes. All we got was verbal finger waving.

 Posted by at 10:39 pm
Oct 092015
Not Scott Buzzard

Not Scott Buzzard

One would think that a candidate running for office for the second time would know that the School Board is a separately elected entity and the ONLY way a Town Council can effect REDISTRICTING is to STOP approving all those subdivisions!!!

How bizarre.

Creating a “Town Committee” to keep open communications with the School board is just folly.

The School Board assigns a board member as liaison to each town council and considering how the School Board ignored thousands of parents from Weddington, Wesley Chapel, Indian Trail, Rep Craig Horn and the County Commissioners to displace 5800 students, a town committee will have no more influence than Obama has on Putin.

Voters should be wary of empty ideas that sound good, but do nothing to solve real problems.

Years ago a candidate in Indian Trail promised voters that she would get the NCDOT to widen and re-pave Old Monroe Rd.

She didn’t get elected and Old Monroe Road remains the same. Pandering only goes so far.

A town council members business is the business of the town. For most of those who actually get elected that’s enough.

 Posted by at 10:50 am

UCPS refutes County characterization of unspent Budget funds.

 Budget, School System  Comments Off on UCPS refutes County characterization of unspent Budget funds.
Jul 062015

Considering the experience of the last few years, the lack of transparency of UCPS and the School Board, the treachery of their collective and individual behaviors during the Redistricting and the budget process, I would STRONGLY support a 3rd party auditor.

We have reached a point in this county, where many citizens have very little faith in most of our elected officials and the bureaucrats they employ.

UCPS Unspent funds

UCPS Unspent funds

UCPS offers different view on spending

Has Union County’s school system beenunderspending its budget? Union County Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Yates raised that issue at a recent board of commissioners meeting. During a slide presentation that explained why the county planned to give the school system $12.5 million less than it requested, Yates showed a chart that indicated the school system hasunderspent its budget in recent years – by millions of dollars per year.However, Union County Public School’s annual audited financial reports give a different perspective.And so does UCPS Chief Financial Officer Daniel Karpinski, who said the chart was a distortion because it doesn’t give a complete picture of the school system’s revenues and expenses.

“You have to take all these numbers in context,” Karpinski said.

He put the numbers in context on June 29, the morning before the commissioners approved their budget, which gave $91.9 million to the schools instead of the requested $104.4 million.

Karpinski said he wants taxpayers to understand that Union County Public Schools uses tax dollars wisely.

He pointed to the chart’s information for fiscal year 2013. The chart showed a budget of $88.2 million that year, with expenditures of $86.5 million – a difference of $1.7 million.

Karpinski said the chart didn’t show that $1.65 million of the budget that year was “returned back to the county” because the $1.65 million designated for teacher assistants ended up being funded by the state, instead of the county.

So, the $1.7 million difference would have been nearly erased, he said.

“It’s taking budget versus actual,” he said of the figures on the chart. “Why wouldn’t you do actual revenues versus actual expenditures?”

For fiscal year 2015, the chart estimated that the school system would have nearly $8 million of its budget left unspent by the end of the fiscal year. Karpinski said he’s been running numbers every day and that estimate is much too large. There could be $3 million left over, he said.

He disputed other figures on the chart too, including a box claiming UCPS underspent its 2014 budget by 8 percent.

Karpinski also said any money remaining at the end of the fiscal year goes into the budget for the next year. And sometimes unspent money is saved for multi-year projects such as the technology program called the 1:1 initiative, which provides laptops for students to use. That technology initiative reduced the school system’s general fund balance by $3.1 million during the 2014 fiscal year.

The chart Yates presented said the difference between budgeted and actual amounts for 2014 was $6.9 million. But the 2014 annual report said UCPS’s remaining fund balance after that technology expenditure was $741,838.

The annual reports provide perspective to the school system’s budget requests and needs. For example, in 2014 it had $353.4 million in expenses. Nearly $3.5 million of those expenses were categorized as “payments to other governments.”

Karpinski said this is the category UCPS uses that includes payments to cover Union County residents who attend charter schools – even when those charter schools are in other counties.

Other expenses included $255 million for instructional services, $69.4 million for supporting services and $17.6 million for school food services.

Comprehensive annual financial reports for UCPS are available online for the last seven years. The 2015 report won’t be posted until late fall or early winter because the final audit is not scheduled until October, Karpinski said.

Source: UCPS offers different view on spending | The Charlotte Observer

 Posted by at 4:49 pm
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