The director of curriculum position for Region 14 is still a top priority for Superintendent Jody Goeler.
"I would be irresponsible if I said we did not need a director of curriculum," he told the board and approximately 25 members of the public at a Thursday, May 17, special board meeting at .
He said he and his administrative team are not interested in only helping 80, 90 or 95 percent of the district's children. Morally and professionally, he said the goal is to help 100 percent of Region 14's students.
"I believe in my heart of hearts that the director of curriculum is essential to fulfilling that initiative," he said.
The cost for the director of curriculum position is $153,658. At a , Goeler acknowledged that voters did not seem to support the director of curriculum position in the budget.
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The region's voters rejected the $31,205,513 Region 14 budget at a . That budget featured a 3.17 percent increase, or $959,484, over the 2011-12 budget of $30,246,029.
The board supported the latest budget figure, with the exception of Gary Suslavich.
"While I believe this is a good start, I don't believe it goes far enough," he said, adding that a 1.89-percent increase over the last year's budget, in light of the economic times and lower enrollment, is still too large.
Suslavich said there are areas of the budget that can be reduced without directly impacting students. He gave the example of the snowplowing line item and said it is high compared to past history.
Figure Residents Will Vote on Next
- $30,817,765: A reduction of $387,748 since the May 8 referendum
- A 1.89-percent increase, or $571,736, higher than the 2011-12 budget
- 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, at Memorial Hall in Bethlehem and the
Suslavich said he does not want the board to get into the habit of micromanaging. Rather than discuss the merits of the director of curriculum position over any other budget component, he said the role of the board is to support a dollar amount.
How the administration chooses to spend that money is up to them, a sentiment Woodbury resident Duncan McDougall mentioned during privilege of the floor.
"If you really think the curriculum coordinator is something you need, let him do it," he said of Goeler. "Tell him what the budget is and let him do the job."
If the director of curriculum position makes its way back into the budget, Goeler said the $50,000 potentially earmarked for a consultant and additional professional development support would not be needed.
"A Reasonable Approach"
Board member John Chapman said the newly proposed budget figure represents a reasonable approach the board can support and present to the public as prudent and rational.
Board member Pamela Zmek said she hopes the 1.89 percent increase is viewed as a good compromise by the voters.
"I know I'm going to be disappointing my friends out there in the audience but I feel this is as low as we can go," she said. "If this budget doesn't pass, I feel like our next conversation is going to be a very painful one."