Schools should do more with less

By May 10, 2011

Re Jeff Hudson’s May 8 article about the appointment of Matt Best to take over part of Kevin French’s responsibilities:

The story said this move was approved by the school board. Not to take anything away from Best, but the district and school board can’t be serious! Also, “an announcement is expected in a few weeks” about who will take over the balance of French’s responsibilities.

What is going on here? We just barely approved Measure A to assess most homes in Davis an additional $200 to support the school district. Aren’t our principals, teachers and school staffs expected to do more with less? This should apply to the district staff also.

How many of the new $200 assessments will it take to pay for Best’s new compensation package and the compensation package for the additional administrator likely to be hired to fulfill the rest of French’s former responsibilities? This money can be better used in the classrooms.

There are 20 positions on the leadership team with the word superintendent, director, manager or coordinator in their titles. There must be enough senior leadership in the district to realign French’s former responsibilities.

Yes, it will be difficult. But that’s the reality for the rest us — do more with less. I suspect this move was not made and announced prior to the Measure A election because district leadership knew it would give Measure A opponents additional fuel for their campaign.

Someone at the district probably will say, “Funds for administrator compensation are different than funds for classroom support.” Funds from the taxpayers are funds from the taxpayers. We expect that our funds will be stretched as far as possible — not to support two new administrators.

The school board should rescind Best’s appointment and direct Superintendent Winfred Roberson’s team to do better. If it is necessary to have someone perform French’s former responsibilities, then the district should find a way to do it without adding staff or payroll. After all, isn’t that what we pay them for — to be creative and make the hard decisions?

Bill Kuhlman


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