Whitaker: Countywide school districts could save $21 million

An alteration of the state’s public school system from the current district set up to countywide school districts could save more than $21 million, according to a release Sen. Ruth Whitaker posted on the Arkansas General Assembly website today.

Personally I’m skeptical that deleting the salaries of the administrations and school boards deemed unnecessary by the bill would do all that much in saving money for the state. Mathematically it makes sense, but is it feasible to run such massive school districts without keeping extra administration on hand at each school thereby sacrificing some quality?

For more information about the specific bill and local reaction see today’s News-Times.

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5 Responses to Whitaker: Countywide school districts could save $21 million

  1. The lone reader says:

    There are many people that agree with the logic behind this bill. But your the reporter, do a little research and see what the Superintendent of Parkers Chapel makes per year. Add to that the cost savings that will come buying items in larger quanities and you will see some real savings.

    This will happen sooner or later. Personally I’d like to see it happen sooner.

  2. Admin says:

    Further research has shown that the $21.3 million in savings projected by Sen. Whitaker’s bill is taken from an average salary of $130,222, according to Richard Wilson with the Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Research.

    Needless to say, the superintendents in Union County don’t make anywhere near this amount. Stay tuned for another blog post on the specific numbers when (perhaps after lunch) I get calls back. So far only Junction City and Strong-Huttig have been able to respond — Junction City with an approximate and Strong-Huttig with the precise number.

  3. ArVet says:

    Admin, I don’t get it. In your Mar 11 post, are you saying that you can’t have quality without quantity? Surely not. Quality always trumps quantity.

  4. Admin says:

    Of course quality always trumps quantity, but that’s not what I’m referring to in the above comment. I’m addressing the logic used to determine that $21.3 million could be saved by the state should the countywide districts go into effect. My point of contention here is that there’s no way that number can be accurate since it’s based on average of $130,222 per year superintendent salary when there is no way that Union County’s average (or any rural county’s) will come anywhere near the number they based their findings off of.

    Rural school districts serve fewer students and so it makes sense that their superintendents make less money. However, that still doesn’t take away from the fact that the $21.3 million in based on faulty logic.

    Going back to quality over quantity, I still believe that a number of quality superintendents will do better than one mediocre superintendent. And even if that one superintendent isn’t mediocre, even if he or she is brilliant, this person still won’t be able to maintain the kind of personalized control over such a large district, even in a rural area that serves fewer students.

  5. Pingback: UC’s average superintendent salary falls short | Between Editions

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