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Spotsy school superintendent addresses perceptions about administration
Date published: 3/24/2010
Spotsylvania County Schools Superintendent Jerry Hill told supervisors last night that some people have a perception that the school system has too many administrators.
Supervisor Hap Connors said the perception is partially from teachers.
Connors said two teachers complained to him that the schools' fiscal year 2011 budget has a disproportionate number of staff cuts in instruction when compared with staff cuts in administration. Connors said teachers also are upset that the administrative budget increases.
"I don't know if we will ever resolve the perception that there are too many administrators and that they don't do anything," Hill told the Board of Supervisors during a joint budget work session. "I've been here nine years, and I know how hard these folks are working."
The School Board has cut $15 million from its budget, eliminating 138 positions. The School Board is anticipating the Board of Supervisors will approve a budget that includes level funding of $113.8 million for the school system.
Hill said he could not have made the $15 million in cuts without impacting teachers the most because instruction is 77 percent of the budget.
"We are hitting areas we don't want to be in." said School Board Chairman Gil Seaux.
The schools' chief financial officer, LaShahn Gaines, said the administrative budget increases because eight employees in central office, including Hill, are retiring and they will get a check for 20 percent of their salary as part of the early retirement program.
Hill also answered questions about teacher morale and why the school system is considering a fee for students to play sports.
Hill said school principals have told him that teacher morale is "still very good."
Supervisor Gary Skinner said he does not think morale is as good as Hill says it is. He said teachers are being asked to do more with less.
"The morale has got to be very carefully looked at," Skinner said.
Hill said principals and athletic directors are reviewing all ideas that avoid a fee structure for sports. He said there should be a firm proposal for sports programs that the School Board can review by May 10.
Connors said the school system should try sponsorships or field-naming rights to raise money to keep sports programs funded. Skinner encouraged the School Board to avoid charging a fee to play sports.
"If we have one student that doesn't play sports because they can't afford it, then we are doing something wrong," Skinner said.
Dan Telvock: 540/374-5438