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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Questions For Rock Hill School Board

These excellent questions were sent in after our work session on Monday. The answers are mine and do not represent the views of the board or the administration.

1) When administrators are moved out of their current positions do they go back to the lower salaries or do they keep the higher salaries? Why to whatever the answer is? It seems obvious to me that even if they stay at the same salary level the cost of the teacher or principal is saved but this is apparently not obvious to some people. I think the important issue is that a position was eliminated and I hope we treat the employee fairly. Salary is not a motivator, but can be a demotivator, and the eliminated position is where the savings are. The short answer is I do not know what happens to the salary.

2) If we have a reserve fund "for a rainy day" isn't this a rainy day? Why should we keep any money there at all? Especially why do we need to keep money there when people are likely to be laid off? A few people seem to think we should have reserve funds but cannot explain why to the rest who don't see the need. "Rainy day" is not a very good name for the reserve fund. We need to keep some money in the fund for good accounting practices. When we meet reserve fund targets (a little less than two months reserve), we get favorable financing for short and long term bonds for operations and capital projects. Our district ran out of money in the early 90's when there was an accounting error by the County (and there was no reserve fund). Positions went unfilled and I'm sure some jobs were eliminated in mid-year. You need a fund to cover unexpected expenses which may come up and unexpected revenue shortages as we are going to experience this year (and last). Because the process to build the reserve fund is slow (took 15 years to get up to a desired level) we should be careful that we draw it down only for emergencies which come up during the year. We must remember that revenue is not an exact science, nor does it come in during the year in equal amounts each month. It is difficult to predict what the number will be each year and we need reserve funds to pay bills during the year as well as years end.

3) What is not happening now that we have fewer administrators? This must be publicized if we ever hope to get the positions back. It would be impossible to give an answer that would cover every position. But, either the work has been eliminated or someone else is doing more work.

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