Timberlane Superintendent Argues Against Proposed Budget Cuts

Hear the Superintendent Speak to His Budget

You will never hear these facts anywhere but here:  Timberlane’s student enrollment has declined by 24% in ten years (1100 students), but our staffing has decreased by just 3%.  Timberlane’s cost to its towns has gone up 36% in those 10 years.

Sensing that something is out of kilter, Timberlane’s school board directed Superintendent Metzler to give them a budget 2.7% less than the current operating budget.  The superintendent had previously proposed a 4.6% increase over the current operating budget.  (Timberlane’s budget is $71.8 million for 3556 students.)

It has long been my conviction that management practices that result in good fiscal discipline also result in good educational outcomes.

A clip from the last school board meeting on Nov 30, 2017 shows the superintendent expressing “great concern” over his reluctantly proposed budget cuts.   The discussion  should not be missed.





Filed under Sandown Issues

14 responses to “Timberlane Superintendent Argues Against Proposed Budget Cuts

  1. Pingback: Timberlane Superintendent Argues Against Proposed Budget Cuts | The New Media Militia

  2. Ken in NH

    The contempt that Metzler has for the board is bare for everyone to see. If I said to my employer, “are you a software engineer?” in response to him asking me to explain my decision I would be rightfully fired. Dr. Farah was more restrained than I would have been.

  3. These numbers aren’t accurate. C’mon Donna, at least tell the truth!

    • You are a piece of work, Mr. Collins. When you can’t use specifics, you just denounce. Same old. Same old. Show where the numbers are wrong and please do it on Facebook so I don’t have to deal with your spin by myself. Thank you and good bye,

    • Mark Acciard

      Rob, you are incorrect, once again. According to NHDoEd. TRSD fall enrollment for the 2016-2017 school year is 3542.

      Click to access dist_fall16_17.pdf

      According to the TRSD website the current year budget is $71,759,415.28

      Click to access TRSD%202018%20Budget.pdf

      Care to challenge MY numbers, Rob? Note that unlike your false and venal statements my numbers are factual and duly linked from their sources.

      BTW, that is $20,259.58 per student.

      Try honesty.

      • I don’t dispute those numbers Mark. I’m disputing Donna’s because they are misleading and she knows it.

        That cost per student you calculated is comparable to the state average. Always has been. The cost of education is increasing and the state keeps forcing NHRS on us, that budget line alone is up over $5,000,000 in the timeframe Donna is discussing. That’s $1,411 per student Mark, $1,411 the state should be paying.

        Try understanding what you’re talking about.

      • AND WE HAVE 96 MORE STAFF THAN WE NEED. Does the state force those retirement costs on us? If so, I’d say we deserve it.

      • Mark Acciard

        Rob, Your first statement was that her numbers were inaccurate. I posted and linked to the exact numbers and they are largely the same as hers.

        Now you say her numbers were “misleading”, HOW? if they are accurate?

        As to the cost of education, you should understand that if TRSD were delivering an outstanding education, few would complain about the price. The complaints come because elsewhere the cost of a better quality education is less.

        The PROBLEM here is that rather than deal with the facts presented, and the questions asked, THIS DISTRICT, chooses to shoot the messenger, as it always has, at least for the last 17 years. This district engages in costly legal actions to avoid producing public information. This district obfuscates, and avoids answering pointed questions about its practices. For 20 years the Budcom has been little more than bobble heads, nodding along and succeeding superintendents and Biz mgrs wrote the very budget they would then spend. Whenever any reasonable attempts were made to shine sunlight on this process, and produce accurate budgets, the result of due dilligence, these attempts were demonized, the conscientious budcom members slandered, and the information simply not produced. You and your band of merry men, and women have perverted the public transparency, demanded, and now you exhibit some kind of high moral dudgeon whenever a taxpayer has the temerity to ask the employee working FOR THEM(at least supposed to be) to be accountable. YES, health insurance has increased, and will continue to do so, until someone chooses to address the underlying cost drivers. However to use this as the basis for the $15M increase in the budget over that time is misleading.

        The issue is an 900 student decline in enrollment, during the same period of that $15M increase in the budget. and the resulting question is why staffing has not decreased commensuate, or nearly so with enrollment? And accompanying question would be; Why is the current staffing justified in light of other similarly sized districts working with far fewer staff? And these are legitimate questions.

      • Once again, you miss the mark, Mark. I think you’re drinking too much of Donna’s blog Kool aid…

        I’m not talking about insurance…did you read what I wrote??

        Staffing HAS decreased but TRSD has also, at the same time, ramped up special education staffing in an effort to house more of our special education population. I love that we make a solid effort to educate as many students as possible within our walls.

        My complaint about Donna’s numbers is that she cherry locks the years to reflect a large Delta in enrollment whole showing a small Delta in staffing without context.

        If TRSD spending and staffing are so out of whack why is that not reflected when comapring us to the rest of the state through the NH DOE published cost per pupil data?

        BTW, Mark, you’re so dramatic! What town do you live in now any way, lol.

        Oh, and Donna, why aren’t you comparing to comparable schools when looking at staffing?? Or is it too much to ask to find a preK – 5 elementary school or a 6-8 middle school? ….or, is it that those comparables don’t really show data that looks favorably on your analysis…

      • Answer your own questions with some research. Show what sped programs have prevented out of district placements and with what staffing. Show different comparables so I can shoot holes without any facts as you do.

      • Mark Acciard

        Yes Rob, you were discussing retirement, I typed insurance by accident. does it really change what I said? No, it does not.

        BTW, stating a decade as the time frame is not “cherry locking” it is a nice round number. And once again, it changes nothing. The salient point here is that TRSD uses far more staff to educate than comparable districts. You can not keep fleecing the taxpayers, while failing to achieve excellence in your service.

        I live in Derry, as you know, and while a deflection from the issues at hand, Rob, once again changes nothing about this debate. Why do you have so much trouble factually supporting your claims. BTW, the NHDoEd published cost per pupil data, as demonstrated by me at Deliberative session 6 years ago is not complete. It is a formula that omits approximately 30% of the budget, the year I presented that the NHDoEd. cost was $10,002/ student. The ACTUAL cost(budget divided by enrollment) was $15,783. It is this cost that the taxpayers are paying. Not the spin produced by the state.

      • The A12 shows the staffing changes. You have those.

        CPP relative to the rest of the state should satisfy your thirst for financial information.

        Knowing that we are making an effort to keep our children within our schools and close to home is good enough for me. The system isn’t perfect but I’ve heard from many about the quality of our special education programs, the state reveres us.

        You should really get out more, talk and listen to parents. It might be enlightening for you!

      • Mark, it’s not spin, it’s a normalized number for comparison purposes.

        Donna didn’t trend a decade of data she picked a school year from the past and compared it to the most recent school year. She chose that year based on enrollment but staffing increases dramatically after that year as enrollment began to decline because there was an effort to beef up special education. It has paid off.

        Spitting out numbers without context only gives half of the story.

        There really aren’t any comparable schools out there. We are very unique in our cooperative structure. Even the MSs Shee compared weren’t comparable, Bedford only has 2 grades and sees some efficiencies there we don’t see with our 3 grade MS.

      • Rob has given no evidence that we have beefed up our sped in the last 10 years. When I have a chance, I will look at the sped private tuition line and I can guarantee you it is going to be higher now than it was then and if so, so much for keeping more of our kids in district. He offers nothing but denunciations and no facts whatsoever. Of course every school is unique and every child is unique so why measure anything whatsoever? If a school has the same number of students as one of ours and functions with 25-30% fewer staff, how is that not comparable? Has nothing to do with a cooperative structure.

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