Hiring a part-time superintendent

Published 9:09pm Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The current recession has forced budgetary constraints on families, businesses, and schools.

Managing a school district’s finances is of utmost importance.

Tight school budgets have influenced some school systems to consider restructuring their administrative staff.

This includes creating part-time superintendents with neighboring school districts, and consolidating roles in the central office.

Some education leaders advocate having a superintendent to also serve as a principal.

A small rural Texas school district’s superintendent made a pitch to his school board last year by asking to be placed on part-time status as a means to save money for his cash-low system and to protect art programs.

Although, this superintendent had retired from another school district and receives a pension he argued, “It makes financial sense for the district to make him a part-time superintendent, paying him for 145 days of work instead of 260.”

This model is being observed by many of the nation’s school boards.

An interim superintendent in a central Alabama Black Belt school district recently declined a monthly travel expense supplement due to the sluggish economy and he wanted to save money for the system.

He quipped, “It is my contribution or avenue to give back to a school system that has allowed me numerous opportunities.”

Sharing a superintendent between two school systems is also being utilized to reduce administrative costs.

The April 2011 edition of The School Administrator, a publication of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), explored the issue of shared superintendents in depth

The Teachers’ Retirement System of Alabama should revise its policy that limits a retiree’s salary to $22,000 per year.

Individuals with higher pensions will possibly work for a lower salary when hired as a superintendent. It is not unusual in the present economy for local school boards to negotiate a $68,000 yearly contract for a superintendent, if he or she is already receiving a pension.

Sound fiscal management today involves engaging school personnel in contracted services, part-time employment, and outsourcing.

The proper utilization of these management tools will not compromise the quality of students’ education.

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