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Thread: Save Our Secretaries!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    448

    Default Save Our Secretaries!

    Business As Usual with Wayland’s School Committee

    Barb Fletcher said she's not in favor of arbitrarily making cuts at the central office without first understanding the impact.


    Does she understand the impact of cutting teachers?

    Deb Cohen claims to be unable to make a judgment regarding cutting admin staff.
    Why is it that she can make a judgment about cutting teachers and aides?

    What exactly do these people do?
    Is it not their job to review things like this prior to deciding where to make cuts? Why do these come up as issues at the last minute, where they claim to not have sufficient time to determine the impact or make a judgment?

    Is this not why we have a school committee?
    Are they not the Superintendent’s boss and in a position to tell him how things need to be, and not vice versa?
    Have they no backbone whatsoever?
    Must they always base their decisions on what their subordinate says he wants?
    We should ALL have a boss like that!

    Facts to consider:
    • The Central Office, where the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent and Business Administrator work employs 7.8 secretaries, 3 of them working full time for Gary.

    • The cost of these positions is $1.2 million dollars annually.
    • Our Superintendent’s salary is $185,483 plus a town provided car and fuel card. (This is public information and can be found here.)
    • His assistant’s salary is $136,065, and he has a secretary.
    • The business administrator, whose duties include designing and implementing the bus routes, as well as disbursement of the $30,000,000 budget, makes $128,957 annually for what she does. And she also has 2.5 people secretaries working for her.

    • This School Committee voted unanimously to give administration a raise last year, even though the bottom had already begun to fall out of the economy by that time and several Superintendents around the state were taking voluntary pay cuts, in light of the downturn.

    • The Administration did not put in for raises for themselves in this budget. Nor did they take voluntary pay cuts as so many other towns' school administrators have done.

    • The School Committee just signed off on another $30,000,000 budget based on a 10 page “detailed” version and a partially redundant 28 page “Personnel” version. From this and the very little breakdown they asked for, they determined that this $30 million dollar budget, like the one last year and the year before that and the year before that, seemed about right, without ever getting into any serious breakdowns or details.

    I have yet to see the final cut list, but no doubt there will be more to talk about once it is released.



    .
    John Flaherty

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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Wayland MA 463 Old Conn Path
    Posts
    382

    Default

    John,
    I read the email that Lou Jurist sent out to the school committee and the 'citizen' by mistake. I respect Lou's judgement when he said that (and I paraphrase) 'we could get rid of one secretarial position and the work will still get done'. So what is there not to understand?

    The fact is that if you cut support staff then the staff just works harder. Works that way for me at my job.... bet it does for everybody else.
    The work will get done... but if you cut a teacher... that's another story.

    I would like to post Lou's email here but I think I need some permissions.... and/or requests.... perhaps the citizen can give me permission.
    Last edited by AlanJReiss; 01-21-2010 at 11:50 AM. Reason: left out the ?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    448

    Default So, the emails from Gary Burton’s 2006 evaluation are out.

    There is much revealed by these emails about the School Committee and the Superintendent, as well the policies and relationships between them. There is much to say about the contents, but most of that will wait for another thread on another day.

    For now, though, I couldn’t help but notice the paragraph below written in 2006, which mirrors my own ongoing frustrations with the budget and the lack of transparency it provides.

    “The process, however, and communications throughout the building of the budget was not as open as I would like to see…… during the budget process, because the principals were never given the option of building a budget from zero up this year, the School Committee was never aware of the items that were not being included in the budget in order to meet the Fin Com guidelines. I asked for this information and did not receive it until Gary recently distributed the list at the class size meeting with parents. We were never given the opportunity to say that we wanted to push back on the Fin Com and say we needed more money in specific areas.”

    "...the School Committee has not had the opportunity to disucss whether or not to advocate for an increased budget because we have not had enough information to know where the cuts or lack of growth have been."


    It’s as if one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing.

    Roughly $30 million dollars every year is written into a budget with very little detail, which is then presented to the School Committee, where they banter a few things back and forth over the course of a few meetings and then sign off on it.

    Does ANYone know what’s in this thing?
    Can ANYone account for how the money is being spent?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    117

    Default

    I have only seen the emails from 2004. John would you please post the data you have from 2006? Thanks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    448

    Default Ooops!

    You are right, Ben. I was mistaken.
    These emails are from 2004, not 2006.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    448

    Default The Six Habits of Fiscally Responsible Public School Districts


    Somebody sent me this link.
    I'm not at all surprirsed that minimzing adminiatrative costs is Habit #1.

    Yet our school committee voted to NOT make any additional cuts to administration besides the 0.5 secretarial postion that was already in the proposed budget by the Surperintendent. Instead, they favored maintaining the cuts to teachers, aides, and other expenditures that more directly impact out children and their day to day education.

    I was talking with a friend from Arlington last night.
    They have 1 superintendent, but no assisstant superintendent.
    They have about 60% more students than we have - 4532.
    Their budget is about 2x what ours is - $60,988
    They have one administrator for every 144 students, compared to Wayland which has one for avery 113 students.

    How do they do that?
    Why can't we?
    Last edited by John Flaherty; 01-23-2010 at 05:19 PM.
    John Flaherty

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

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