Sadly, a lot of misinformation and flat out lies have been put into the community by a handful of opponents and we need to set the record straight and get out and vote. Otherwise, our schools, students and community will suffer from losing this vital funding.
Fact: The number of administrators did not increase by 52%. In 2011 we had 41 administrators and in 2014 we decreased to 38.
Fact: Teachers, administrators and ALL staff have agreed to only a minimal cost of living increase for the next two years, and the District continues to look for more ways to lower costs without directly impacting the classroom.
Making an investment in our children is making an investment in our future - not just as a school district, but also as a community. Momentum is on our side, we are rebuilding our schools, strategically planning for a better future and our Tiger Nation pride is growing. Protect our schools. Vote on Issue 2 this Tuesday.
Other key points to address questions resulting from the misinformation:
In order to be fiscally responsible, the District constantly looks for ways to streamline or be more efficient and effective – in particular when a decline in student enrollment necessitates a reduction in staff or for example with the closing of Wiley Middle School. When this happens we attempt to keep any reductions as far from the classroom as possible. Periodic levies are necessary because we do not have an income source that rises with inflation to maintain the program offerings we have in the District. Our opponents claim we are decreasing funding to the classroom. This is false. Spending in instruction dropped in 2014 because teachers agreed to move 2 months (or 20%) of their pay into 2015. This is one of the ways we stretched the last operating levy an additional year.
Fact: We have approximately the same number of teachers we had in 2011. The district cut no educational programs after voters approved the 2011 levy. As for teachers, the district had 486 teachers in 2011-12 and 481 teachers at the end of the 2013-14 school year.
As stated, the number of administrators has actually decreased since 2011. The opposition flier lists 3 superintendents, two assistant superintendents, and lists former Superintendent Nylajean McDaniel collecting salaries for two jobs for 2013-2014. These are obviously false statements. Fact: Other costs are classified as administrative, not just administrators - large expenditures such as technology, legal fees for recent labor negotiations, and increased county fees for collecting property taxes for the levy passed in 2011 have increased administrative costs significantly when you compare 2010 to 2014.