It is a statutory legal requirement for every board of education to be presented with a detailed and itemized budget proposal prior to the annual budget vote each year. In fact, it is a requirement that the itemized user friendly budget is posted to every district’s website during the budget development process. To say the Sparta Board of Education has voted on budget proposals that “lack detail” or itemization is false and disingenuous to voters. You can find the Sparta School District’s user friendly budgets, as well as, the annual financial audits for the past five years at

A unique area of expertise that I contribute to the Sparta Board of Education is my extensive background in school finance. In my professional life, I am responsible for a school budget of $95,000,000. During the past five years, I have been responsible for a total of over $450,000,000 in public school funds. Additionally, I have supervised $30,000,000 in school capital projects ensuring completion on time and under budget. All the while, I have collaborated with stakeholders to develop budgets that increase programing, achieve cost savings, and enhance facilities. I am also a university professor who teaches master’s and doctoral level school finance and school law courses to aspiring superintendents and principals. The focus of my doctoral dissertation was in school finance.

If elected in November, I will leverage my knowledge of school finance to work with the district administration and my fellow members of the Board Finance Committee to switch from an inefficient and traditional incrementally developed budget to a zero-based budgeting model. Simply put, zero-based budgeting saves the taxpayers money by eliminating unnecessary repeat allocations that get handed down from year to year. Zero-based budgeting is more work, but ensures a completely new budget is built each year that is focused on the district's strategic goals. The Sparta taxpayers deserve the use of a more deliberate and discerning budgeting system. I have the know-how and I will put in the extra effort to conserve the public’s hard earned dollars to ensure a return on the taxpayers’ investment. 

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We are facing unprecedented challenges. Every penny counts! It is more important than ever to elect board members who possess the necessary financial acumen to eliminate waste and spend money in a manner that supports the success of every student. My teammates and I have the knowledge to right the district’s financial ship. We have honed these skills during decades of successful leadership experience in the fields of business, medicine, and education.

If the switch to a more efficient zero-based budgeting model resonates with you, please show your support by casting your ballot for the team committed to Integrity, Transparency, and Innovation:

#2 Mike McGovern

#3 Robert Zywicki

#4 Richard Snellings

1 Yr Vanessa Serrano

We are accomplished professionals, loving parents, and committed community volunteers who want to collaborate with our fellow Spartans to take our town’s public schools to the next level.  

To learn more about our team please visit our Facebook page.


Dr. Robert R. Zywicki

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Sparta Board of Education, or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.