Timberlane’s staffing problem just got worse.
For starters, Sandown Central is not in the 2015-2016 budget that was approved by the Timberlane Budget Committee last night. Of the 35 staff in that building, only 9 positions were removed. Even the principal has retained a job but we don’t know what that job will be. Dear Mr. Rolph is a principal without a school.
And if that weren’t bad enough, the district has added a technology assistant as well as a fractional Assistant Principal position at Danville Elementary to bring that position up to full time despite continuing enrollment decline. Throw in a floating nurse and an Intervention teacher and you’ve got a $389,298 increase in salaries and benefits — the amount that the budget exceeds a flat line.
Here’s what was cut from the first draft budget:
- $744,000 Sandown Central operation
- $500,000 for transformer replacement in the middle school (because this is being done for $290,000 from this current year’s surplus.
- 12 unfilled staff positions (not counted in staffing statistics)
Here’s what was introduced and then cut from draft 3
- $265,ooo sprinkler system for Sandown North
- $90,000 playground expansion for Sandown North
That is the totality of cuts. Close a school and look no further for other cuts to your expenditures! This shows a lack of budgetary discipline and willingness to do serious introspection.
Superintendent Metzler will probably be looking to the school board to spend more surplus money this year for the last two items. This is the consequence of a toxic combination of irresponsibly big structural surpluses, “bottomline” budgeting, and a school board that looks for “emergencies” and “safety issues” at the end of every fiscal year with a lip smacking surplus glinting in the spring sun.
UPDATE 12/29/14: It’s been pointed out that this post needs clarification. Closing Sandown Central resulted in a cut of only 9 positions. In the third draft of the budget, 4.5 positions were added, so the district-wide effect is a net loss of 4.5 positions. Is it worth closing a school for 4.5 positions? This is how Timberlane’s staffing problem just became a lot worse.