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USD 497 - Excessive Administration Costs

Advertisement The Administration costs of the Lawrence Public School system are in excess of $8,000,000 (eight million). This includes 33 principals, associate principals, and assistant principals for 23 schools; 26 administrators at the ESDC (Administration Building); and, 55 administrative services employees.

The school board wants suggestions on how to reduce the budget by $4 million.

One half of the amount could be realized by reducing administrative personnel and combining positions. Cut the number of ESDC administrators by 50%; this would save $1.3 million per year. One obvious example is the Director of Human Resources. There is currently a director of classified and a director of certified employees; combine these functions and save $100,000 per year. Repeat this process 12 more more times. The district will still have 12 administrators at a cost of $1.36 million.

Reduce Administrators at the school level. Each High school could eliminate the assistant principals, leaving a principal and associate principal. South and Southwest Junior High, along with the attached Elementary Schools could each eliminate one principal. The Elementary principal could provide double-duty as assistant (the disciplinarian) principal at the Junior High. West and Central Junior High could share an assistant. This would reduce administration at the middle and secondary level by seven. Elementary schools with less then 350 students could share principals; a reduction of five. These measures would save an additional $1.2 million per year.

We are over half way there at $2.5 million.

Learning coaches (teachers that teach teachers to teach) could be eliminated and replaced by a simple peer mentoring program. These 15 positions account for $573,000 of non-federal money.

We are at $3 million and have yet to close a school or fire a classroom teacher.

There was an addition to the budget that reduced the student ratio by one; it was budgeted at $991,961. Rescind that idea and save the final $1 million dollars. Unfortunately, we just cut our first teaching positions. However, these positions were unplanned until the beginning of this school year.

There it is. A formula that will save 4 million dollars per year. This will be an awful solution for 13 ESDC administrators, 12 principals (or assistants), and 15 teacher teachers. But, it will be a great decision for all of the schools, each and every student, and the teachers who actually impact and teach the children.

It is time to quit cutting the janitors, secretaries, librarians, para-professionals, teachers and even school buildings. It is time to cut the real fat - administration.


katjok 4 years, 10 months ago

I agree that we should be cutting admin costs. But having a principal of an elementary school be the disciplinary for a junior high? So the elementary school principal is going to have to drive over to the junior high every time someone decides to cut class, or be disruptive? That doesn't seem effective. And sharing assistants & principals? I'm not sure how that is possible, perhaps you had a plan for that.

alm77 4 years, 10 months ago

kat, the jr. high and elementary schools Did is talking about are already in the same building.

sandersen 4 years, 10 months ago

This makes too much (common) sense! This is a MUCH better alternative than decimating the long-term structure of our community by destroying neighborhoods built on the stability of the elementary schools we already paid for!

And just to address this in advance, my four youngest all attend a west-side elementary...

Freestater456 4 years, 10 months ago

Getting rid of the assistant principals at the high school? While I don't think it is out of the question, I honestly don't think it would work. There are simply too many kids for the prinicpal and an associate principal to handle. Maybe I'm wrong but that's just my opinion. I do agree that many administrative positions could be cut/merged though.

ashmole 4 years, 10 months ago

A great plan. I would prefer to see more cut from sports, but this looks sensible on the whole.

Sue McDaniel 4 years, 10 months ago

PERFECT!!!!!! A great plan!!!! But alas they have already decided who will pay and this is all for show.....

grammaddy 4 years, 10 months ago

Common sense has never been very common in our school board.

bender 4 years, 10 months ago

It might not prevent all school closings, but there is clearly way too much administrative overhead in the district and cutting that needs to be the first step in any plan.

sandersen 4 years, 10 months ago

No one, with the exception of the legislature in it's non-existent wisdom, is forcing the school board to do anything.

We need transparency, and a variety of options displaying the resulting savings should be voted on by the residents of the district. It is quite obvious that those whom should be looking at the overall well-being of our schools and our community are unwilling to make the sacrifices at the top that could get us through the mess our legislature has helped to create...

katjok 4 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the clarification! That makes perfect sense. Too bad it seems like the ones making the decisions and the administrators are in kahoots.

salad 4 years, 10 months ago

Excellent suggestions. This person should be on the school board.

Freestater456 4 years, 10 months ago

True you could merge the positions of vice principals and counselors. I think most people feel like the counselor is supposed to be someone that they can confide in and blah blah blah.... so they wouldn't want to make that person a disciplinarian. While that is a stupid reason, I honestly think it could be true. People are so concerned about the student's feelings these days. Makes me sick and I'm a senior in high school. I would have no issue merging the vice principal and counselors, considering I haven't visited my vice prinicpal in the 3 years I've been at Free State.

I just wish we could get the school board to seriously consider some of these possibilities because closing schools should be the last thing on the list of ideas.

bearded_gnome 4 years, 10 months ago

in the media it just seems they've already decided on closing New York School! the crp about it being the most expensive per student there!
okay, out of grades k-6, which is the most expensive per student? then, let's cut out third grade!
DIST, your blog posting is magnificent. good luck convincing
somebody* in decisionmaking!

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