Even after budget cuts, the SF School District has money for a non-event

I received this email last night. They questioned whether the event was a worthy expenditure after the budget squeeze this past year;

The school district “mandates” that all district employees use “property taxpayer” time (they are paid for their time) to drive to the Arena for a “General Session – For All District Staff, Wednesday, August 17, Sioux Falls Arena, 7:30-7:55 am – Refreshments and Open Seating, 7:55-9:30 am Program”

The program is usually Pam Homan giving staff the same annual pep rally and bringing in a pep rally national speaker.

Refreshments are muffins and juice, staff will also get their annual district t-shirts (which they can wear on Fridays throughout the school year)

All I can think of is all those pay cuts from last Spring.

Refreshments: $_________

Salary time lost attending a pep rally not working: $_____

T-shirts: $_____

Cost to rent Arena: $______

Cost of out of district “speaker”: $_________

Misc. district costs to prepare this questionable event that most staff dislikes :$___________

I’m wondering if anyone else has knowledge or comments on this event?



#1 Alice15 on 08.16.11 at 9:02 am

I have no comment because this is one more example of wasteful spending. One of my children, for the first time, is going from being in a class of 23 students, to a class of 29 students. Why? Because budget cuts are affecting the ratios. Hey – but as long as we have a pep rally – which from what I hear, most of the teachers basically can’t stand Sup Homan anyways – that should make the difference in our child’s education. Right? I wish we could have an election for Superintendent. My hunch is Miss Pam would be voted out as fast as Debbie Hoffman was because teachers actually could have a voice. I guess I did have a comment.

#2 Scott on 08.16.11 at 9:44 am

You have no comment?

#3 katie on 08.16.11 at 11:26 am

This is an object lesson in wasteful spending in education. This story needs to be repeated again and again as people come around wanting signatures to get a permanent extra penny sales tax for education and medicaid put on the ballot. Is there any way to find out the total cost of this wonderful event?

#4 l3wis on 08.16.11 at 12:58 pm

Call Todd Vik, Business Manager (605) 367-7909 and ask him.


#5 Alice15 on 08.16.11 at 9:49 pm

And….Kelo did a story on Pam’s daughter working for the district tonight at STI and of course, our lack luster school board just supprots this crap. Unbelievable.

#6 Jackilope on 08.16.11 at 10:12 pm

Shirts are donated annually from Arch. Inc. Home Federal donates the food.

#7 l3wis on 08.17.11 at 12:43 am

I wondered if there was some sort of donation going on. I also wonder if the Arena donates the space. Like I said above, I encourage people to call Vik and ask him.

#8 Poly43 on 08.17.11 at 6:44 am

One of my children, for the first time, is going from being in a class of 23 students, to a class of 29 students. Why?

Pam Homan makes $181,000 a year for starters. Another 30 “administrators” make in the six figures.

#9 l3wis on 08.17.11 at 8:11 am

You have to pay people 6 figures to hand out FREE or reduced lunches.

#10 Costner on 08.17.11 at 1:16 pm

Regardless of what Homan’s salary is, it has no bearing on the number of students who are receiving free or reduced lunches. Those two issues are not linked and the root cause really isn’t under Homan’s control I’m afraid. (I sort of doubt the quarter per year the average taxpayer is tossing towards Homan’s salary determines whether or not they fall below the threshold to get free or reduced price meals).

I can’t say whether she is overcompensated since I have no idea what other cities our size pay their Superintendents… I suspect she might be on the high side of the range, but that is merely a guess on my part. However if you feel her salary is too high, can you give us a range you feel would be more reasonable?

Let me also ask: If you were to find out that Homan’s direction was leading to more well educated students who go out to become more productive within our society rather than a burden… would that justify her salary? It is possible that she directly leads to lower societal costs which in turn could pay her salary many times over in one year (I believe it costs around $30k a year to house an inmate, and unemployment, food assistance, heating subsidies and other social programs could easily equate to over $1000 a month for a single person).

I realize that is a stretch and I’m not trying to claim she has resulted in any magic occurring within the district… I’m merely asking a question – because maybe she is making a difference and it just can’t be seen from the surface. Then again maybe she is doing more harm than good… who really knows.

#11 Detroit Lewis on 08.17.11 at 2:10 pm

I was being sarcastic about the admin salaries. Do I think she is overcompensated? No. Do I think she bends the rules quite a bit. Yes.

#12 Costner on 08.17.11 at 4:32 pm

I agree about the rules bending… but at the same time she has done that since day one. Remember the rule about living within the actual district? She got a waiver on that, and eventually got the entire rule thrown out.

Now I’m not saying the rule made any sense (I thought it was silly and petty to begin with) but if you know a rule exists when you take the job… you should follow that rule. She didn’t, although I do believe a few years later she eventually did move within the district.

And I have no idea if she is overcompensated or not. She might be a great value, or she might be paid about $110k too much. I’ll have to admit I’m clueless on that one.

#13 Poly43 on 08.17.11 at 9:09 pm

I been looking for something to hang on Pam and her salary. This is what I found. In 2012 she will take a 3% pay reduction, 2% of that from the state reduction in funding, the other 1% she voluntarily gave up. That will put her 2012 salary at $175,570, down from $181,000.

The same position in Sioux City pays $199,896 a year.

#14 l3wis on 08.17.11 at 10:34 pm

I have heard for the size of the district, she doesn’t make as much as she should. But pay has never been my beef with Pam. It’s not about money with her, it is about power.

#15 Alice15 on 08.18.11 at 10:53 am

A year ago, she had a quote in the AL saying we were “lucky” to have her at that salary. Here’s my quote – “don’t let the door hit ya.” There are plenty of people that would take that salary today.

Did you see today’s paper regarding the pep rally. She has officially lost her mind. You don’t have to like Daugaard or Obama or whomever – but you do have to respect the office. I don’t agree with cutting education funding – but her bully tactics regarding the state have done what for our kids? She is basically not even invited to the table to talk funding. Heads up – not a great plan to consistently attack the hand that feeds you. It is obvious he has dismissed you and your ways which is a disservice to our kids. Congratulations.

#16 l3wis on 08.18.11 at 11:13 am

Surprised she didn’t where a white hood with her cape.


#17 Alice15 on 08.18.11 at 2:14 pm

And this little skit yesterday helped our kids how?