The Broward Teachers Poll: Perception Is Reality

A Broward Teachers Union poll taken of the county's school teachers illustrates just how much the people closest to the Broward County School Board feels that it is an abject failure.

To put it lightly, teachers don't trust this board, and they don't think elected board members know what the hell they are doing when it comes to managing taxpayers' money.   

The poll ran from September 16 through the 21st and involved about 1,600 teachers, according to the BTU. It was a web-based survey, so it's not exactly scientific, but it was available only to teachers, and the computer program prevented participants from taking the survey more than once from any computer.

BTU President Pat Santeramo threw in a quote with the poll for good measure:

"Our district's leaders cannot claim we are in a financial crisis and keep playing the same games and doing the same things. We need leaders who don't chastise auditors for calling officials on fiscal waste or refer to taxpayers as 'ninnies.'"

The reference was to board members -- led by Stephanie Kraft -- browbeating Auditor Pat Reilly after his office had discovered rampant waste and potential fraud in the School Board's construction department. 

Speaking of all that, School Board Member Phyllis Hope has belatedly filed a gift disclosure form after taking that free ride on December 10 in the FBI boat. You can see the form here, as posted by blogger Chaz Stevens (who has taken after Hope with his usual pugnacity). I reported on the morning of October 2 that she hadn't filed any gift disclosure forms with the state despite the fact that her party boat ride with the FBI -- which she took with her hubby and other family members -- was clearly worth more than the limit of $100. Well, she filed the form later that very day.

I'm not sure that her late filing -- after the world found out about it -- will do her any good. She put the value of the trip -- during which she and her guests ate and drank to their hearts' content and took home food in doggy bags -- at $500. Fair enough. She claimed that the gift came from the federally charged Beverly Gallagher, which is false. It was courtesy of Uncle Sam, of course.

The results of the poll come after the jump -- and remember, this poll ended two days before School Board Member Beverly Gallagher was charged with bribery, extortion, and wire fraud.

Do you think district officials are honest with employees, parents and the public about how they spend their tax dollars?

5%     Yes

95%    No

Do you think district officials are honest with employees, parents and the public about district waste?

2%     Yes

98%    No

Do you think school board members understand the district's budget?

18%     Yes

82%    No

Do you think school board members question district officials enough about budgetary decisions?

3%     Yes

97%    No

Do you think TAXPAYERS believe district officials are properly managing the district's finances?

26%     Yes

74%    No

I observe waste of district resources on a regular basis.

40%     Strongly agree

43%    Agree somewhat

13%     Disagree somewhat

5%     Strongly disagree

District waste of school system resources takes place at every level and all areas of operations.

62%    Strongly agree

28%     Agree somewhat

5%     Disagree somewhat

5%     Strongly disagree

Do you think during the 2008-2009 school year, district officials could have cut waste from the school system's budget in order to reduce or eliminate the need for layoffs?

94%    Yes

6%     No

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Bob Norman
Contact: Bob Norman