The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools has notified parents about incorrect information in supporting documents in Superintendent Neil Pedersen’s recommended budget. The school board is expected to vote on the budget Thursday night before sending it to the Orange County commissioners.
The incorrect information led to claims that funding given to the district's three high schools was not being distributed fairly. We published one such letter in today’s Chapel Hill News,
The district has released a spreadsheet that accurately reflects the funding provided to the three schools. There still are differences, but the district says they reflect variations in years of experience (and higher compensation for those with more years of experience) held by staff members at the different schools. According to the new spreadsheet, the per pupil allocation breaks down like this:
Carrboro High School: $6,939.47
East Chapel Hill High School: $7,197.13
Chapel Hill High School: $7,937.49
Here is an explanation of how the mistake occurred. It comes from schools spokeswoman Stephanie Knott and was forwarded to us by parent Susana Dancy:
“The document in the budget booklet represents a compilation of current information, historical information, and formulas that have been manually pulled from reports and printouts that are meant to give the Board of Education an overview of the variety of programs and areas which make up the Superintendent's recommended budget. The historical information used at the program and school level was not completely updated for our actual expenditures at those same levels for this year (2008-2009). Particularly, for Carrboro High the projected salaries for 08-09 and 09-10 were extrapolated based on salary and benefit increases and did not include the added teacher salaries for the senior class. This combined with some spreadsheet formula errors resulted in inaccuracies in our projections for 2009-2010 at the individual school levels.”