It never ceases to amaze me. Living in a small town and working in a small town–the rumor mill is lightning fast and intermittently accurate. I know it and it still amazes me.
We offered the NYS Part A retirement incentive to our eligible employees and five additional teachers took the incentive. While it means the loss of some of our best educators, it is a good financial decision for the district. Replacing a teacher at the top of the salary schedule with a new teacher cuts the cost of that teacher about in half.
Two of the retirees to take the incentive last week are not being replaced with new teachers. One of the two has been teaching part of the day while supervising our In School Suspension program the other part of the day. Our plan for this position is that the Math Department can cover the classes and we plan to hire a teaching assistant to supervise ISS, with at least two hours of teacher coverage in ISS per day. I can hire a teaching assistant for $11.00 per hour versus a new teacher at about $36,000.
The other position is in Technology. This is where the rumor mill has been charged up. We have had three (3) full time Technology teachers at Randolph for the last several years. When the state budget was better, this was a program that the District expanded to offer opportunities for our students. It was done under the leadership of the previous superintendent and the idea was a good one at that time.
With things the way they are in Albany and with our commitment to keeping the tax levy where it is for our taxpayers, we had to consider if it was prudent to keep three full time technology teachers plus an Ag teacher on staff.
There is no other district of our size which employs three full time tech teachers. The opportunities afforded our kids through our amazing Ag program and through our two remaining technology teachers will be ample and rich. And I would argue that they will still be equal to or more than any other district of our size.
Are we eliminating wood shop after we just built that addition? Are we going to have a big, brand new addition sitting there empty? No sir, just utilizing the faculty we have to our best advantage. I’m certain that Mr. Freeman and Mr. Perison will do a fine job of teaching the technology classes that our children need and want at RCS.