Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Reason #8 to Vote YES on April 20:
Want cuts to administration? We’ve done it.

Throughout the process of talking about the budget over the past few months, some in the community urged us to try for equity in spreading the impact around and keeping the fallout as far away from students as possible. If you look at the entire list of cuts, we are actually making fairly major cuts in administration & Ed Center staff.

As part of a restructuring of supervisors, there will be a reduction of three supervisors: there will be a new, combined position of Director of Wellness & Athletics. Similarly, the positions of Math Supervisor and Science Supervisor will be combined. The Director of World Languages position will be eliminated and those responsibilities moved to another supervisor (at the moment, I can’t remember where).

At the Ed Center, the cuts include:
-- Elimination of the Director of MIS
-- Elimination of the Director of Curriculum
-- Elimination of a Staff Developer
-- Elimination of the Public Information Officer*
-- Elimination of a secretary in the Curriculum Dept
-- Elimination of a secretary in HR
-- Cutting a Community School secretary to half-time

There may be a couple more secretarial positions, but the administrative cuts listed here total approximately $850,000

I know there is a perception among some people that we are "administrator-heavy." But the facts do not bear this out. We are a large district, the largest in the county. We have very few administrators, and these cuts will help to streamline even further. (See Reason #9 for voting yes on April 20: high ratio of students-to-administrators.)

For those who advocate cutting in the Curriculum area: we do need someone to direct our curriculum. Aside from the regular updating that must take place to keep up with the state's core content standards and to keep our curriculum current, many of the changes we're implementing due to these cuts will require that new curriculum be written or existing curriculum be revised. In addition, the Office of Curriculum and Instruction is responsible for all staff development, instructional improvement, state testing & analysis, observations & evaluations of first-year teachers, supervising K-12 librarians and supervising K-5 Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and Science.

Don’t forget – one of the issues that was discussed during the recent math "situation" was the community's desire for less "site-based management" of elementary curriculum and instruction, and more consistency across the district. The Asst. Superintendent of Curriculum is responsible for that consistency.

That being said, the administration has proposed cutting the Director of Curriculum, which removes a "layer" from that department.

All in all, the 2010/11 budget represents a pretty significant reduction in administration and supervision.

Please vote YES on April 20.

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