Don’t Ask About Staffing at TRSD

When I ask about staffing, I get a stone wall…. to the point where it would be comical in its obviousness, if it didn’t involve taxpayer money.

Watch me bring up the topic twice at the last school board meeting.

First I ask about 23 positions described as cut from the draft budget. Watch Mrs. Steenson deflect it like a fast ping pong ball.  The conversation then goes to the bogus $125,000 added to the budget for a withdrawal study. When discussion finally wends its way back to my staffing question, watch Superintendent Metzler say something utterly incredible in the real meaning of the word.

To put this in context, compare this discourse with the Londonderry superintendent’s staffing  explanation in his school district’s 16/17 proposed budget:

Staffing Reductions for FY17 – $187,695 – Please note that since 2006, we have a net reduction of 65.2 FTE certified staff (1 for every 20.5 student drop in enrollment) and 85 FTE’s of non-certified staff (1 for every 15.7 student drop in enrollment) for a net reduction of 149.4 administrators, faculty and staff which represents the drop of 1 position for every 8.9 drop in enrollment or 21% since 2006. Additionally, we are projecting tuition revenue for FY17 of $1,226,954.

Londonderry runs 6 schools.  Timberlane runs 6 schools and a TLC.




Filed under Sandown Issues

4 responses to “Don’t Ask About Staffing at TRSD

  1. I’m surprised you didn’t include your statement that another withdrawal study shouldn’t cost anything!

    Winnacunnet regional consists of four towns geographically very similar to Timberlane feeding into a regional HS. Student teacher ratio is lower and cost per pupil is higher. It is the closest comparison you will find in NH.

    Why aren’t you blogging about that school district and how it compares to Timberlane?

    Single town school districts aren’t comparable to a cooperative school district.

    By the way, Timberlane’s cost per pupil is still in the middle of the pack compared to the rest of the state.

    • TRSD per pupil cost used to be at the state average. The DOE publishes figures that are two years old in this area so your claim is based on outdated info.
      Winnacunnet is NOTHING like TRSD. All Winnacunnet district does is run a single high school. The four sending towns are separate school districts with their own elementary schools, budgets and school boards. One of those towns even belongs to a different SAU.
      Here is Arthur Green’s response to this old canard from Mr. Collins, dated Jan. 19, 2015:
      So much misdirection in Mr. Collins’ comment. But let me start by acknowledging my error. I did leave out Hampton School District in my posting which listed the schools making up Winnacunnet enrollment. The cause of this error is instructive for the discussion. Winnacunnet is a cooperative district managing one high school. It is in SAU 19. The NH DOE web site for SAU 19 lists the associated school districts which manage the elementary/middle grades, and these are the districts I mentioned in my post. Hampton is SAU 90, with a separate superintendent, managing 3 elementary schools.
      So I apologize for my error in not digging to deeper on Winnicunnet to explicitly confirm the participants in the cooperative.
      Going back to my original criteria, however, I stated explicitly that I selected all the districts which run K-12 under a single district organization. Winnacunnet does not. Exeter does not. Mr. Collins’ comparison assumes that the organizational and cost differences between Timberlane versus these multi-district and multi-SAU cooperatives are not material. I do not know how he can claim this. Separate boards, separate SAUs, and we are comparing costs to Timberlane?

      Mr. Collins is welcome to build his own model of cost comparisons based on finding someone who is spending more than Timberlane.

      Mr. Collins resurrects 2012/13 numbers for CPP [cost per pupil] and STR [student teach ratio] on the argument “that is the last year we have a full data set”.
      Of course, we do have a full set of CPP and STR comparisons for 2013/14 from the NH DOE, and we’ve shown that Timberlane costs jumped in just the one year. We are discussing the costs associated with the 2015/16 budget, and the past Chairman of the School Board is arguing that our costs were not out of line in 2012/13. This shows that Mr. Collins is more interested in disguising and distracting from the runaway cost increases rather than forthrightly explaining to the residents why he thinks his spending program merits support.

      • Shame on Superintendent Metler for his continued disrespectful answers to board members questions. If he doesn’t know the answer, then he should politely say so and direct the board member to the admistrator that has the information. In the case of how many staff positions are currently filled, a board member should not have to “assume” anything. Mr. Metler are you aware board members are your supervisors and not your inferiors?

    • mark Acciard

      Rob, we are discussing economics. The numbers you most certainly can compare a cooperative district with a town district. as long as they have similar enrollment, The cost drivers are similar. Once again you know this but CHOOSE the spin, and obfuscation over transparency and honesty.

      Winnacunnet is NOT a comparable district and you know that as well. It is only cooperative for the secondary schools. elementary are individual towns districts.

      As I brought up at the deliberative session a number of years ago. Pinkerton then has 3400 students in the high school, and only had 7 administrators in the high school. 1 school psychologist, 11 in its administrative offices. and better academic achievement. While at that time TRHS had 12 administrators for a population of 1,390 students, 4 psychologists(not all on staff) and the SAU had if I remember correctly 19 employees.

      When I asked the question I was told I did not understand public school admin. I agreed because in my world you provide value for a dollar.

      HOWEVER, as to staffing info WHY THE OBFUSCATION? What have you to hide? It is public info BY LAW!!! Just provide it. And please educate your compatriot Ms. Steenson to this fact.

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