News that there was a $16 million mistake in budgeting for raises in local supplements came as a shock. Overstating how much money was actually available for announced and approved raises by that amount is an egregious mistake. The timing, the context, and the environment of our school system made the situation that much more deflating. Naturally anger and frustration arise.
Mistakes such as this mathematical blunder would certainly cost people their job. WSFCS is one of the largest employers in the county and this school system is the 5th largest in the state. That monetary mistake affects a few thousand people.
It might be easy to put blame on the office of the superintendent for this situation. You can dissect the letter or the words of the voice message and question many things: How long had they known about the mistake? What were the checks and balances in place and why did they not work? Why do we not know exactly what happened in the restructuring of the Finance department?
Answers to those questions and others not yet asked will come – maybe during the Tuesday school board meeting.
But any mention that our superintendent should resign or be fired for this mistake should not be acted upon. This teacher supports her being in that office.
Can you think of a more difficult time to become the superintendent of a large school system than these last 18 months? In this state? Under the circumstances in which the office had become vacant? In the past three years, that office has had four different people serving as super (remember we had an interim after one resignation).
To come in and replace every person in every position in Central Office after every new superintendent took control is unrealistic. To do it during these last 18 months while dealing with the pandemic is fantasy.
What this superintendent has done is consistently listen to teachers and take time to communicate with as many stakeholders in the public school system as possible. Openly and in personal conversations shared with me, I have only known of her to be positive and put the students first.
This is a situation that could be remedied. The school board, the county commissioners, Central Office can come together and find a resolution. The superintendent can make sure that can happen.
We need continuity. We need a leader willing to learn from mistakes even if she is not the person who made them. We need someone who is student and teacher- centered.
We are still in unprecedented times as far as public schools are concerned.
I support this superintendent.