Administrative salaries, positions must be reduced
To the editor:
Thank you for your recent article entitled "West Genesee Considers Salary Freeze." It seems like every week now there is a front page feature article on the fiscal state of our schools and the budget gaps we face going forward.
All of this recent media attention inspired me to look into just where all the money is going. I did not have to look long to confirm what has been stated previously that most of the budget is tied up into bloated salary costs and long term retirement plan payouts. Attached is a listing of administrative heads and school principals. As you can see, just these 20 positions alone preposterously consume almost $2 million annually in salary costs! That doesn't include healthcare benefits and the long-term retirement payouts that will ultimately follow. These are the highest salaries ever recorded in the district, which will also have the highest retirement plan payout in history. We have more school administration officials and principals than ever before in a school district that has less students than it did thirty years ago. When my children went to Stonehedge Elementary in the 1970s there was one principal and one main office. Now there are two principals and two offices with fewer kids. How does this make any fiscal sense?
Everyone wants government to consolidate and save money; why are we not asking the same of the school districts?
I guess what I am ultimately wondering is does anyone really think that the trivial salary freeze discussed in your article will accomplish anything? Things have gotten completely out of control and we cannot continue this way. It is simply not sustainable. We have to cut and cut deep, and please don't throw out the usual, "Well we have to cut sports or arts, or transportation or special programs for the kids." These are the usual soft spots targeted to get a budget passed. We need to cut administration and reduce salaries. There isn't a private business in Central New York that pays their Human Resources director $110,000 per year but the school district does? How many assistant principals and assistant superintendents do we really need? Based on the current employment status of many displaced workers in the area I would bet many of these positions could be filled with highly qualified candidates at half of the listed salaries? Especially when you add on the lucrative benefit package associated with all the positions. Residents of this area receive two major tax bills each year, one for property taxes and one for school taxes. Each year the town board starts off the year announcing all the staff salaries and approves them. Why doesn't the school board do this?