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Thread: Salaries

  1. #16
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    Here's some additional information on Wayland's administrative costs, but not yet a firm answer. A May 2007 survey of MA school districts shows FY2008 salaries for central office administrative positions (director and above) for some but not all of our peer towns: Belmont, Wayland, Wellesley, and Weston.

    1. Wellesley (4,682 students in FY07): $835k
    2. Belmont (3,811): $814k
    3. Weston (2,401): $749k
    4. Wayland (2,905): $712k

    By comparison, DOE lists the following "total administration" costs for these 4 towns.

    1. Wayland: $2,128k (2.99 x central office salary)
    2. Weston: $1,299k (1.73)
    3. Belmont: $1,212 (1.49)
    4. Wellesley: $1,091 (1.31)

    I'm still working to understand why the ratio of DOE Admin cost to salary survey cost is so much higher for Wayland than the other three districts.

    Several additional considerations when comparing administrative costs.

    • When comparing across districts that don't differ too much in size, the larger districts will have an administrative cost per pupil advantage, since the cost of a particular position (e.g. Director of Technology) will be spread across a larger number of students.

    • Districts with greater administrative longevity will be at a cost per pupil disadvantage, as more senior administrators tend to have higher salaries, all else being equal.

    • Administrator salaries are an "input" measure, not an "output" measure such as quality of education. It's reasonable to pay more if the results are better.

    As I learn more about the DOE numbers, I will post in this thread.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Here's some additional information on Wayland's administrative costs, but not yet a firm answer. A May 2007 survey of MA school districts shows
    Jeff,

    Could you provide a link to that survey? Thanks.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  3. #18
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    I only have a hard copy, your best bet is to make a request through the Superintendent's office.

  4. #19
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    Ok, thanks.

    In the meantime, would you be willing to take a minute to list the rest of our peer communities, beyond the 3 you've got there?
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  5. #20
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    My 6:52a post this morning contains a link to the peer towns.

  6. #21
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    Yes, it does. Thanks.

    But, what I'm looking for is this information about the other 12 towns:

    Wellesley (4,682 students in FY07): $835k
    Belmont (3,811): $814k
    Weston (2,401): $749k
    Wayland (2,905): $712k

    Could you post those for us, please?
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  7. #22
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    There are a total of 19 towns that make up 11 single-town and multiple town districts (for instance, the Lincoln schools, the Sudbury schools, and the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School make up the "composite" Lincoln-Sudbury district). Unfortunately, the administrator salary survey only had enough data to compare the 4 districts listed above. I'm trying to get the remaining data.

  8. #23
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    Mar 2008
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    Jeff,
    I'm wondering if you have been able to come up with any more information regarding administrative costs.

    According to the DOE website, we paid about $650,000 more in administrative costs in 2007 than we did in 2006. I wonder why. Why did we need to spend more than half a million dollars more last year?

    As a percentage of our 30 million dollar budget, the jump was from 4.03 to 5.54%, so that we are paying a greater percentage of our budget to administration than any of our peer towns AND the percentage of our budget going to administration has gone up instead of down, as it did in most of our peer towns.

    We'd love to know why. What that money was used for and why it was deemed necessary.?
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  9. #24
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    I'm still looking into this. It's taking longer than than answering other questions because it's the end of the year and because it requires getting information from DOE.

    As I outline in posts #9 and #16 above, the DOE numbers don't make sense relative to what we have compiled locally. The administrative cost difference doesn't appear to be due to out-of-line administrator salaries relative to peer districts, however.

    Part of the apparent jump may be related to legal costs related to salary negotiations. Part may also be due to the way that some municipal (not school) administrative costs are allocated to the school budget by DOE.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    it seems to me that unless the DOE has it wrong, and is comparing apples to oranges by using different crieteria as they compare one town to another [with respect to school administrative costs], which seems doubtful, then however WE want to define it is irrelevant, because we still spend a greater % of our budget on Administrative costs AND the % we're spending on it is going up instead of down, compared to our peer communities.
    The Department of Education (DOE) "profiles" web site reports school Administrative Function costs (select "Administration" from the second drop-down box). Wayland's FY07 cost is $1,937,977 for 2,905 students compared with, for instance, Weston's $1,298,516 for 2,401 students.

    Given the similar size and administrative structure of Wayland and Weston, the difference above is surprising. As it turns out, one line item of the Administrative Function cost is a "municipal assessment" (which includes business/finance, technology, and other costs on the municipal side of the budget).

    According to a spreadsheet sent to me by DOE (attached), Wayland reports a municipal assessment of $687,839, compared with $38,905 for Weston (and $0 for Boxborough, Concord, and Wellesley). Only three towns report any municipal expenditure for technology: Acton, Brookline, and Wayland. Only 4 (including Wayland) report municipal legal expenditures.

    The DOE municipal assessment spreadsheet does not report costs for the regional districts. Of our peer *towns*, Wayland's Administrative Function cost ranks 5th (out of 15). If we subtract out the uneven municipal assessments, Wayland's rank drops to 7th.

    In short, the Administrative Function cost comparison is in fact apples to oranges. I don't really know why this is true (that is, why some towns choose not to report numbers), but it is.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  11. #26
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    Apr 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    With the new accounting system implemented by the municipal Finance Department, we redefined our budget categories (including "Administration") to be in accordance with guidelines from DOE. So, the discrepancy isn't a case of our defining something how "we want to."
    Jeff,
    I heard that this accounting system was intended to replace administrative staff in the school's administrative department. Is this true, and if so, what savings was realized from this?

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Barber View Post
    Jeff,
    I heard that this accounting system was intended to replace administrative staff in the school's administrative department. Is this true, and if so, what savings was realized from this?
    My understanding is that this idea originated with the Finance Department on the municipal side of town government, and that it was proposed hypothetically without a specific plan for savings.

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