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Cuts And More Cuts

School directors look to reduce projected $3.5 million deficit

May 7, 2013

Additional cuts are likely in order to balance the 2013-2014 budget of the Warren County School District....

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May-07-13 2:10 AM

As long as the board is full of cowards this district will eventually self implode. True leaders make the tough choices even if it is not popular.

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May-07-13 5:35 AM

Help me to understand please, on the one hand Amy Stewart mentions cutting K to 1/2 days saves 420,000 and cuts 7 teachers; then she goes on to advocate for hiring 2 - 3 elementary positions and mentions the "unknown" enrollment for K ? Why not wait for the enrollment to be known before adding positions you don't even know if you'll need. On another note, the board could save a lot of showmanship if they just went ahead with the tax increase and state variance to cover those taxpayer guaranteed pensions because I'll guarantee that's what they'll do anyway. Finally, I challenge the board to publicly list the total payroll costs (wages, and benefits) now compared to 2 years ago so we ALL can see just how deeply the staffing and related costs were really cut.

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May-07-13 6:01 AM

Cutting kindergarten? I'm confused because our all day program is paid for with a grant called abg.

James, she is concerned about teachers because the enrollment is going to be higher than she expected. I'm betting that since all day is paid for by a grant, she said it may bee cut so that people will consider enrolling in other programs. That is what happened when we almost lost that grant before.

As far as salaries, these are public access/record. Do a right to know request. I've seen them. Salaries haven't been cut, staffing has. What you should ask is how many administrators have we had each year for the last 5 years and how many directors plus the job titles. As many people have seen the unemployment line from our district, booty one director or administrator had. Instead they keep changing the titles of directors to administrators so to make it seem like they have less.

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May-07-13 6:02 AM

Booty one? Darn phone.....not one!

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May-07-13 6:03 AM

James--I would like to see a comparison of cuts to the teaching staff (which has been great and deep) and that of administration (which has been added to instead of cut).

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May-07-13 6:14 AM

And this is Teacher Appreciation Week... with tomorrow designated as School Nurse Appreciation Day.

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May-07-13 7:22 AM

So why are they not looking to consolidate sugar grove and Russell until they are ready to go to the new school? Oh, yeah, pitch forks hurt.

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May-07-13 8:03 AM

Based on the performance audit report dated January 2013, multiple boards have been asleep at the wheel since 2008...if not before then. Woefully inadequate in leadership and management of the super(s) and busienss manager(s).

The argument against having business people on the board is we need educational experts. Well, education is suffering and so is the budget.

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May-07-13 8:38 AM

I see the administration would also like to add an accountant to its staff.

Perhaps someone to look over the WCSD plastic while the big boys are entertaining themselves at the casino.

Or maybe someone to count the number of children in the county who will be entering kindergarten next year. The current administration apparently can't narrow that down and would like three extra teachers on standby in case, say, 60-75 more students than expected show up on the first day of school.

Still no mention of cutting the bonus dollars being paid out to those slaving in the absence of our former Slot Machine Superintendent.

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May-07-13 8:51 AM

I'd agree with SaveourSchools. The teachers took a pay freeze last year, and a good many furloughed, where are the cuts at the top?

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May-07-13 9:23 AM

Really!! Continue cramming kids on top of kids and they will learn how to become a babysitter before they learn how to add and subtract!!! Seriously, when one teacher has 25 kids to try to continue to keep under wraps as well as teaching them the basics, only the kids will lose out in that scenario, especially the youngest of our most prized kids!!

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May-07-13 9:32 AM

Keymaker, they are working without a Superintendent, and saving all that money from his salary, oops sorry my bad, I guess there is no savings.

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May-07-13 10:00 AM

The retirement payments that are such a big concern are not just for teachers but all district employees. When the directors received supplementals to compensate for the additional work it also boosted their retirement incentive.

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May-07-13 10:09 AM

The audacity of the Board and Administration knows no bounds. Now the talk is cutting Kindergarten to half day, cutting teachers, cutting programs etc. Yet, led by the Board President, this Board handed out $100,000 in bonuses to top executive staff, was asleep at the wheel and then reacted in a feeble manner to inappropriate usage of credit cards by the Superintendent and reportedly let the Superintendent claim mileage reimbursement for trips unrelated to moving to the area. Maybe in looking at computer and technology needs we can get an accounting of the age of technology provided to the top administrators. I’m willing to bet they don’t have the 6-9 year old stuff. No that would be for the students and teachers. What do we get as a cut from Administration? Do any of our administrators lead by example and give back their bonuses? Does the School Board re-consider and cut the bonuses? No, what we get is “We need to add an accounting position”. I’m sure our Board President will once ag

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May-07-13 10:14 AM

I’m sure our Board President will once again assure us that those bonuses and that accounting position are all about the kids. The most stunning thing is that I believe this Board actually thinks they are going to get future concessions from the Unions. The old saying that "The fish rots from the head down" has rarely had the applicability that it does with this Board and this Administration.

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May-07-13 10:34 AM

Let's make sure we have facts folks.

1) Board gets no salary!!!!

2) Would you work a year for free? Come on that's no answer, let's be realistic.

This district is only big enough (meaning enough tax base) for 1 high school. Getting us to two would've helped a lot.

Leaving 4 will eventually doom the district and we're getting close to the doom.

This has never about kids and education, it's always been about buildings and communities. Shame on all of us.

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May-07-13 12:29 PM

Speaking of realistic, this will never be a one high school district. Maybe someday 2 or 3 but going to one is never going to happen. The main reason consolidation was a political non-starter was the intransigence of Warren area residents with regard to how consolidation would look. It always was the County schools closing. Someone once proposed utilizing Sheffield as a middle school and WAHS for a high school and combining the schools - Continued

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May-07-13 12:31 PM

That idea was skewered as we would lose the savings of the small portion of Beaty students who walk to school. Well now you're getting 16 million dollars plus in rehab to Beaty. That could have bought a lot of transportation. With too many Warren folks it was always okay to transport into Warren but never out and that one sidedness ended any chance of cooperation from the outlying areas.

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May-07-13 12:45 PM

I agree Brazil that one school would be a tough sell to the citizens but it's still the appropriate thing to do. Hence why I stated 2 would've helped.

I live in Warren, close Warren High I don't care. Make one school somewhere in the county!!! But you're right Brazil very, very tough sell.

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May-07-13 12:53 PM

Brazil, I hope the dedicated wahs fans realize that there is no money for wahs in the future. Notice how not one mention of the FACT that the federal government is already going back on its pledge to pay our interest on our loan(qzab)for the current projects. We just lost $100,000. We are drowning in debt and bills, we are on borrowed time with our hold harmless subsidy. The current projects will eventually come at a savings but that savings only provides enough to cover the costs of the buildings. There is no money for anything else or anyone else.

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May-07-13 1:12 PM

In regards to the comment of the board not quite being sure of what enrollment there will be for Kindergarten, they seemed so sure of what the enrollment would be when they voted to close South Street. When questioned about WAEC's capacity, they were certain that kindergarten would be declining. That was quite the turn around.

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May-07-13 1:13 PM

The 6 million of potentially frittered away dollars by the lack of oversight and accountability of the board since 2008 would certainly go a long way in today's financially strapped times. Some of the items were in the 2008 audit and ignored.

Most of that looks to be attributed to the transportation issue and payroll withholdings. Very basic items.

Perhaps the district should start there.

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May-07-13 1:29 PM

Good point Mom. Those projections were solid enough a few months ago to close South Street but now Ms. Stewart seems to claim the best they can do for the upcoming School year is project plus or minus 3 staff. This Board has boxed themselves in a corner of their own making. They had to realize that we have a governor who cares not a whit about education. They had to realize that their ability to extract further concessions from the unions was dead on arrival once they larded bonuses on top executive staff. I once was strongly in favor of the need for concessions but with a Board whose primary objective and mission seems to be excusing and covering up inexcusable superintendent behavior and catering to the whims of senior administration I no longer find myself able to support the Board on the issue of concessions.

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May-07-13 2:22 PM

Pp, that's all you got from the old audit? Recognize that this has nothing to do with the audit that is currently happening. Also recognize that the audit you are looking at was completed while Dr Terrell was here and he was doing everything he could to skew issues of who should take responsibility. I look at that and see that not much has changed in regards to many issues and wonder when the state will finally slap our district for it.

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May-07-13 2:31 PM

SOS. No. Those were the main head scratchers. The board has ultimate responsibility to make sure that all rules are followed and previous audit issues were resolved as the district noted they would be. Looks to me that from 2008 through today, we had a board that did not do their job.

The errors were accounting 101 and following directions 101 issues. The board, business manager and super during this 5 year stretch should hang their heads in shame. If there are any leftover board members from that 2008 audit, they should resign, regradless of Region.

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