School budget issues debated

February 13, 1997


Staff Writer

Staffing increases should be limited to teachers needed to maintain the current student-teacher ratio, the Washington County Board of Education's Budgetary Advisory Committee recommended Tuesday in its report to the board.

Superintendent Wayne F. Gersen's proposed operating budget for the 1997-98 school year includes funding for 33.3 more employees, 18.5 of them teachers, Committee Chairman Gordon Crabb said.

If there is a "true need" for some of the new positions, the committee recommended making adjustments so employees could be reassigned, Crabb said.


Other budget items questioned by the committee included:

  • The priority of $27,000 in equipment purchases under Fiscal Services.
  • $28,000 for contracted audit fees. The committee questioned the amount and whether the audit requirement can be met another way.
  • $55,000 for a vocational education assistant principal. There wasn't enough information to support the request, according to the report.
  • $165,000 for equipment under Data Processing Services. The committee called a request for seven computers and six printers for central office staff "wishful thinking."
  • $45,000 for 1.5 activity managers. The committee suggested exploring other options besides increasing personnel.
  • $30,000 for an administrative intern. The Principals Association might be interested in developing a grant to fund the position, the committee suggested.
  • $140,000 for "Alternative School Expense for High School." The committee questioned the amount, intent and administration of the program.
  • $120,000 for family/school liaison services previously provided by the state. The additional pupil personnel/social worker recommended in the budget should give existing employees more time to provide more liaison services.
  • An increase of $79,306 for bus drivers under Student Transportation Services.

To increase the school system's revenue, the committee recommended hiring a grant administrator.

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