Tuesday, January 13, 2015

APS Insiders: Arlington Public School System Wastes Tens of Millions Every Year


Hello, Yupette,

I attended the Civic Federation's monthly meeting last week and it appears that Superintendent Murphy finally has a dim realization (reinforced by pointed questions from CivFed delegates) that he and APS can't continue to spend wastefully, extravagantly, and unnecessarily. Based on what APS insiders tell me, the County won't have the revenues to keep funding the ever-increasing number of Pat Murphy's pet programs, projects, and special interests.

So, what do these include? First, there's the more than $1 million that APS has spent on the PR effort to have Murphy named America's "Schools Superintendent of the Year". Next, add the ongoing residency exemptions for County employees including at least 400 students at a cost of about $8 million. Murphy's preference for hiring new teachers with advanced degrees and at least 10 years experience costs Arlington taxpayers at least another $10 million each year....although he has no data to substantiate whether teachers with bachelors degrees and several years experience teach as well. Then there are the myriad special programs that serve a few students and cost $30,000-and-up per student per year. Then there's the open-ended invitation to enroll refugee children and young adults from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and other countries currently undergoing serious civil unrest. Three hundred refugee students were enrolled last year at a cost of about $6 million.

Then there's "More Seats for Students", Pat Murphy's ambitious program to provide an expensive brick-and-mortar classroom for every one of Arlington's students, at 22 students per classroom. Concomitant with "More Seats for Students" is "More Parking for Parents", another ambitious program to provide large new parking lots and drop-off space for parents, teachers, and staff who want to drive themselves or their children to school. This in addition to an expensive school bus transportation system that typically operates at 5% to 50% of capacity.

Also, APS is funding increasingly extravagant high school sports and activity programs. And APS is top-heavy with administrative staff.

 Have I reached $50 million per year in wasteful, extravagant, and unnecessary spending yet?

APS insiders, i.e., teachers who are truly concerned about education, mince no words about Patrick Murphy's misplaced spending priorities. As one of them recently stated to me - "the amount of money APS wastes every year could fully fund the operation of school systems in two small counties downstate."

Thank you for this blog.

Sandy
22207

63 Comments:

At 13 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out Wakefield H.S. where sports, recreation, and after-school activities are the priorities.

 
At 13 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat Murphy does the same thing in APS that Jay Fisette does in County Government...uses tax dollars to buy approval.

 
At 13 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too much teenage obesity in a school system that never saw a team sport it didn't want to turn into an NCAA sport program.

 
At 13 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of the NCAA, how much does it cost us to make every school playground into a dedicated intercollegiate outdoor soccer field?

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it's all true. I'm a parent of a learning-disabled child and Patrick Murphy does not like to spend $$$ on educating learning-disabled children.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The planetarium and Reeves Farm parents have to hold bake sales to raise money for education...soccer and other team sports parents are fully funded and then some by APS.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a fed-up parent whose child graduated from W-L in 2012 I am all for parents home-schooling their children and completely avoiding the Arlington Public School System.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a parent of Arlington kids and spouse of one of its teachers, I've not seen or heard of these numbers or the overall claim. Ever.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Almost 80% of APS teachers have obtained Master's degrees and typically earn over $70,000 per year.

The real money in APS is earned by technical (e.g., IT) and upper-level administrative staff, typically $90,000 and up.

Many IT and technical staff do little but sit and watch IT vendors install and maintain hardware and software and attend meetings to plan the acquisition of new hardware and software.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another sheeple parent heard from.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was obviously a Patrick Murphy impersonator who admitted at the CivFed meeting last week that he's clueless about teacher education and experience vs. student performance.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, they typically earn $70,000 for 10 months per year teaching. So $70,000 X 1.167 = $81,690.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous underpaid and overworked at APS said...

Pat Murphy won't hire entry-level 20-something teachers from Teach for America, he'd rather raid other school systems for 40-something teachers with 10 years experience and Masters Degrees.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat Murphy underpays the admin staff and the techies who actually do the work so he can give big salaries to their supervisors.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since Pat Murphy has a Ph.D. in Sports Education and Recreation he obviously knows all about building a team of parent cheerleaders who will boost his approval in return for extravagantly funding their childrens' sports teams.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much will flying Pat Murphy's entourage to San Diego for his coronation next month as "Superintendent of the Year" cost Arlington's taxpayers?

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Must have been a Pat Murphy impersonator who told the CivFed last week that he only wants to hire teachers with 10 years experience and master's degrees.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous another parent unhappy with APS said...

Patrick Murphy shouldn't be 'Superintendent of the Year'...he should be fired.

Why did my Wakefield 'honors student' have to take remedial courses upon entering college?

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do so many unhappy teachers complain about teacher compensation at School Board meetings?

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Latest on the APS waste and mismanagement front is Abingdon School students will lose education and activity space inside the renovated and expanded school building because Abingdon teachers, staff, and parents are demanding a big expensive increase in parking and drop off space.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick Murphy refuses to explain where the unexpected 300 student increase came from last year. They came from Central America. Several of them are 23 years old and sitting next to my 9th Grader. "Minor disciplinary problems" are to be expected. Don't worry be happy Lexus Liberalism at its worst.

Yes, I am yanking her out of APS and going down the home equity loan route to send her to a private secondary school in the very near future.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Blogger Arlington Yupette said...

The founders of this blog were forced to pull our kids out of Abingdon 20 years ago and send them to private schools at great expense because Abingdon was allowed to deteriorate into bedlam.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous 1426 said...

FYI - The American Association of School Administrators sponsors the National School Superintendent of the Year Award. AASA HQ is located in Old Town Alexandria and Pat Murphy knows and is known by the AASA HQ staff.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just what we need -- more and larger award-winning designer school parking lots and student drop off areas. If there's X million total dollars budgeted for a school's renovation and expansion how much do the gourmet parking lots take from whatever additional features could be included in the school building?

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask Scott Prisco and John Chadwick.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

APS junket to San Diego next month will be roughly comparable to County Government's junket to Norfolk for the U.S.S Arlington's commissioning last year.

 
At 14 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat Murphy at least lives in Arlington, unlike Barbara Donnellan.

 
At 15 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Scott McCaffrey is using personal frequent flyer miles to cover AASA'a annual meeting in San Diego it indicates to me that Patrick Murphy has been selected "Superintendent of the Year".

 
At 15 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You a probably correct. McCaffrey trades endorsements of candidates and won't print embarrassing information in return for future inside information and exclusives.

 
At 15 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do LOTS of Wakefield graduates have to take remedial courses upon entering college?

 
At 15 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Donnellan wants to give the 6 - 7 % tax hike based on homeowners' assessment increases to Pat Murphy.

 
At 15 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick Murphy isolated APS from County Government to the point that the County's population growth was not correlated with student population growth.

 
At 15 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to know how many additional student political refugees from Central America and Mexico will be enrolled in APS this year.

 
At 15 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where are ACTA and ACRC? Ranting about Obamacare and Hillary.

 
At 15 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Residency exmptions'? Like a child attending Arlington schools from the time the parents move to PW when their kid is in 1st Grade until their kid graduates from H.S.?

Been going on a long, long time in Arlington.

 
At 15 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then there's the duplication of services like snow removal from public sidewalks.

 
At 16 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This information and what is coming out of the County Manager's office sounds very like the kind of allegations that were coming out of the Governor's Mansion when Bob McDonnell was Governor.

Isn't APS supposed to have an internal auditor?

 
At 16 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't blame me, I voted for Audrey Clement last November.

 
At 16 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We want more school parking....Pave the f-----g open space if you have to.

 
At 18 January, 2015 , Anonymous fed up Dem said...

The residency rip-offs have cost taxpayers at least $100 million over the past 20 years.

 
At 18 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

More parking for Second Generation Yuptard Lexus Liberals and their Third Generation Yuptard soccer brats.

 
At 19 January, 2015 , Anonymous L O L said...

So Scott McCaffrey says he's clueless about AASA selecting Pat Murphy to be Supe of the Year? McCaffrey also says he's clueless about what the Chamber of Commerce is planning.

 
At 19 January, 2015 , Anonymous CEC said...

McCaffrey is clueless about the battle raging about expanded parking for teachers vs. green space preservation at Abingdon School, 100 yards from his home. Showdown meetings are January 20th and 21st.

 
At 20 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Local media suck. They contribute nothing economically to the County...their only physical presence is their distribution infrastructure.

 
At 20 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

County Board members are set to inflict an elementary school on the TJ neighborhood.

 
At 20 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott McCaffrey posts comments to his Inside Nova Editor's Blog using the name "Dave Shultz".

Name is recycled from one of his and Antonelli's "Jane Barcroft" novels.

 
At 21 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so tired of the many people who fabricate lies and misinformation in this community here an other sites and who hide their names and even whether they are a male or female behind fake or anonymous names. Where's your proof for any of these lies? And Murphy has a master's and doctorate in educational administration. I guess you believe that anyone who started out in health and physical education is an idiot. What an insult to a lot of great teachers in this country! And there are many people in this community who really wish Scott McCaffrey could be so easily swayed!!

 
At 21 January, 2015 , Anonymous Fed-Up Taxpayer said...

Fed-Up Taxpayer's response: Pat Murphy has admitted that many, if not most, of his programs are popularity-driven, not data-driven...meaning outcomes analyses are not done on many, if not most, of Pat Murphy's programs!

Meaning --- let's go on paying $75,000 to the 80% of Arlington's teachers with Masters Degrees who Pat Murphy hires rather than hiring teachers with bachelors degrees in Education and 2 years experience with Teach for America, without any analyses of which group of teachers do better, or COULD do better teaching K-12 in APS if Pat Murphy hired the aforementioned Teach for America veterans.

Then there's APS's Top Secret Program to enroll an unknown number of children who are political refuges from Mexico and Central America, without telling anyone outside the APS Top Tier anything about it!

Then, there's "Coach" Murphy's significant bias towards massively funding sports, recreation, and other non-education activities.

I won't go into the decades-long rip off of Arlington taxpayers from non-residents allowed to send their kids to Arlington schools, which long pre-dates Pat Murphy's tenure as Supe.

Yeah, Pat Murphy HAS massively used at least $1 million of tax dollars to lobby AASA to be proclaimed "Supe of the Year".

Give us owners of single family homes a break. We will be paying for all of the above with 6% to 7% real estate tax increases on our homes every year for the next 5 years !!

 
At 21 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me why APS is spending millions for new school parking lots rather than millions on better school buildings?

 
At 21 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also for new parking garages at TJ for 2nd Generation Lexus Liberal and Range Rover Republican Yuptard parents and their 3rd Generation Yuptard brats?

 
At 22 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to convince people you are right, using ridiculous words like "Yuptard" is not the way to do it.

 
At 22 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much are we paying / will we pay for Pat Murphy's Top Secret Program to enroll young economic / political refugees in APS?

 
At 22 January, 2015 , Anonymous another fed-up taxpayer said...

'Yuptard' perfectly describes the Lexus Liberal - Range Rover Republican know-nothing brain-dead little shits who are destroying Arlington as a livable county.

 
At 22 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does McCaffrey posting to his own blog under the pseudonym 'Dave Schultz' stating that McCaffrey was not party to the massive lobbying of AASA by Pat Murphy et. al. tell you something about the local media?

 
At 22 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even with the windows tinted I can see that most school buses are nearly empty as they pull up to the elementary school in my neighborhood in the morning.

 
At 22 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So one of the contenders for "Superintendent of the Year" was just fired from his school system? What for?

 
At 22 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary Ellen Elia was fired by the school board of the district she served outside of Tampa. Reported cause -- lack of attention to basics.

 
At 22 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Special Needs parents were pissed at her...sound familiar?

 
At 24 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much are we paying for a grossly underutilized school bus system?

 
At 25 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe $10 million per year.

 
At 31 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Part of the problem with the busing, is how far out you have to live in order to be eligible to ride the bus. At my neighborhood elem. school, the majority of kids live within the limit, which means they either walk or get driven. Very few kids live far enough away to qualify- there are 5 buses and they are half-full at best. Massive waste of resources!

 
At 31 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No fooling. Kid lives 20 minutes from his or her school via school bus route and 5 minutes via Mom's SUV, kid gets driven to school.

How much does that cost taxpayers?

 
At 31 January, 2015 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like $20 million per year?

 

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