Proposal to Consolidate Administrators
My letter is more or less for the local area school board members. Our local school boards are in a unique position to make a real difference to both students and taxpayers in Bradford County. With the proposed tax cuts for our schools, it is obvious that we need to see significant spending cuts to protect the already burdened taxpayers in the area. However, the school board members must resist the urge to allow the cost-cutting measures to be left in the hands of local administrators.
As I read and hear stories about how school administrators are making cuts, I can’t help but wonder if they are incompetent, greedy or just don’t care about the students they are entrusted to serve. For example, in Canton there is a discussion of cutting Shop and Ag. Does the Canton Administration have a clue about the demographics of the area? This is one of the few areas in the county that still has farms. Why would the school administration cut two of the most relevant programs for their students? Incompetence? Greed? In Towanda, the discussions swirl around cutting cheerleading, band front and allowing the band to travel to away football games. Come on administration . . . are you really tackling the problem spending with these cuts?
As for the school board members, it is time to put aside school vs. school rivalries and look out for the common good of the students. This means that school boards from neighboring schools need to come together and formulate agreements to combine administrative offices for their school districts. Think of the savings for your districts if you eliminate some of the highest cost positions from your districts and protect the student’s educational and extracurricular opportunities at the same time. For instance: Wyalusing, Northeast and Towanda consolidated under one administration. This would allow the elimination of two superintendents, two business managers, two principals and many other positions without hurting a single student program. I don’t have precise information on the salaries for these individuals, but you can bet that it is a lot more than the nickel and dime cuts that these administrators are proposing.
School board members, be sure that I am not naïve enough to believe that there is not waste and fat beyond the administrations. However, if you leave the cost cutting in the hands of the current administrations, you will be missing the biggest opportunities to cut unnecessary costs without hurting the educational opportunities for the students that you are elected to serve. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that you have in your hands.
As I noted earlier, if you wait for your administrations to act, you will miss this opportunity. The greed and self-preservation goals of the current administration will prevail, and the students will be the ones left suffering. Act now.
James Brown (taxpayer and parent)