Goff said he’s found $16.2 million in expenses for fringe benefits called for in the union agreements with the district.
Board member Vicki Saviers questioned extra money paid to teachers to take classes that in many cases are taught by other teachers for “professional growth.”
Guess said these classes don’t count toward professional development hours. Upon questioning from Saviers, he said there is no proof that these classes help student learning.
Guess said there are many compensation items for personnel that are above and beyond what is required by law. He said he will request that the unions re-open negotiation on the contracts. He said he hopes to point out that the situation would be “fatal” if there are no changes. He said he has a plan for “unilateral implementation” of a plan without a successful negotiation. He said he hopes to find $7 million in savings from the $16 million in extra compensation.
Guess said returning to a 7-period day in middle will save a substantial number of positions in the middle school. He said such a change would help with the implementation of Common Core.
“I want to reassure parents that we have plans for a very good academic year in 2012-2013,” he said. “We are going forward aggressively and confidently. I’m excited. ”
But he said everyone needs to realize the dire financial situation.
Board member Joe Black said planning by the previous administration at PCSSD would have helped. He said one-tenth of the good financial planning by Guess and Goff presented today on the front end would have prevented such a dire situation.
“This is a preventable disease,” Black said.
Guess said the frequent turnover in administration at PCSSD has left the district “without a rudder.” He said his experience in Arkansas schools has helped. He said he understands the constitutional requirements for funding schools and how that affects budgets.