Letter: We Can't Afford Selcer's 'Leadership'
"Anyone comparing costs per student of various school districts would have a hard time agreeing with the claim that Selcer showed strong cost management."
Several people have written letters here praising Yvonne Selcer for her work on the Hopkins School Board as ‘responsible,’ ‘strong’ and ‘effective.’ They claim we need her ‘leadership’ in St. Paul supposedly so she can do there what she did in Hopkins. Let’s look at the costs of her ‘leadership.’
Anyone comparing costs per student of various school districts would have a hard time agreeing with the claim that Selcer showed strong cost management.
Hopkins School District reports a cost per pupil for fiscal year 2011 of $17,392. Minnetonka reports $11,606, Wayzata $11,187, and Eden Prairie $13,496. And the Annual Financial Report shows that declining enrollment will mean this trend for Hopkins will continue. That’s more than any of the other districts around Hopkins. Selcer managed costs, alright. She managed to raise them more than any other school district.
The Hopkins School District increased their borrowing by $100 million over the past 10 years in part to fund deferred maintenance costs. Fiscal prudence would have saved money to cover these known costs from operating funds like apartment associations do. Why didn’t Selcer set aside funds for this instead of placing Hopkins in deeper debt and paying interest on the monies used?
Another $20 million was borrowed by the Hopkins School District to pre-fund employee benefits. Like the maintenance costs, instead of setting aside current money for this, Selcer placed Hopkins in even deeper debt and saddled taxpayers with even more interest payments.
It’s this kind of DFL ‘leadership’ in St. Paul that spent a $2 billion surplus and left us with a $6 billion deficit at about the same time Selcer was ‘leading’ Hopkins into deeper and deeper debt. We can’t afford Selcer’s type of ‘leadership.’
Keep the adults in charge of the State by re-electing Kirk Stensrud in November.
David Johnson, Eden Prairie
The cost per pupil is reported by each school district as an attachment to their comprehensive annual financial report(CAFR).
¹http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/123275/kirk-stensrud Specifically: HF 1752
²http://www.hopkinsschools.org/sites/default/files/Hopkins_Public_Schools-CAFR-FY11.pdf See Pages 38 and 72 for maintenance and page 39 for OPEB bonds.
³Hopkins FY 2011 Cost per Pupil page 139 $17,392 http://www.hopkinsschools.org/sites/default/files/Hopkins_Public_Schools-CAFR-FY11.pdf
Minnetonka FY 2011 Cost per Pupil page 143 $11,606 http://www.minnetonka.k12.mn.us/administration/Budget/Documents/District_Audit.pdf
Wayzata FY 2011 Cost per Pupil page 125 $11,187 http://www.wayzata.k12.mn.us/Page/3338
Eden Prairie FY 2011 Cost per Pupil page 108 $13,496 https://webmedia.edenpr.org/District/Documents/comprehensive_2011.pdf