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Resignation Southern Boone

Resignation Southern Boone

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Published by: Columbia Daily Tribune on Jun 18, 2012
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06/18/2012

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June15,2012TotheSouthernBooneCountyR-1BoardofEducation:IwilldeclinetheofferofacontractfornextyearbecauseIcannolongertoleratethelackofprofessionalismandwasteoftaxpayermoneythatcharacterizethedistrict'scurrentmanagement.Ofcourse,thelaststrawformewasbeingofferedaraisethatwaslialfthatofferedtomostadministrators.WhenIaskedCharlotteMiller,superintendent,whymyraisewaslessthanothers',shesaidthattheboarddidn'tunderstandtheassistantsuperintendent'sjob.That'sridiculousasthispositionhasexistedatSouthernBooneforoveradecade,heldbyothersbeforeme.Itexistsinallotherschoolsoursizeandmanysmallerones.Charlottealsosaidthattheboardthoughtthatmysalarywastoohighbutdidn'texplainwhyIampenalizednowafterservingthedistrictfor4years.Ofcourse,it'sactuallyatwo-yearpenaltysincemypayincreaselastyearalsowassmaller
than
thatgiventoselectedotheradministrators.Charlottecouldn'texplainwhytheboarddoesn'tobjecttoverylargeincreasesinherownsalaryorthatofherfavoredadministrators.First,mysalaryisnotsmall;manyfamilieswouldappreciatesuchanincome.However,theassistantsuperintendentsalaryhereisnotoutoflinewithsimilarschoolsorwiththeknowledgeandexperienceneededfortheposition.Theassistantsuperintendentataschoolalmostidenticaltooursinsize(WrightCity)earns$5,000morethanSouthernBoonepays.Schoolswheretheasst.superintendentearnslessareallsmallerschools,andtheirsuperintendentsarepaidmuchlessthanoursuperintendent.
In
addition,someschoolsgiveanextrastipendtostaffmemberswhohaveearnedadoctorate;SouthernBoonepenalizesmeforthataccomplishment.Whileanasst.superintendentpositionisnotahigh-profilejobwiththegeneralpublic,mostsuperintendentsanddistrictsrecognizethevalueofworkencompassingawidevarietyofareas.BecauseCharlotte'sexplanationsweresoweak,Ibelievethatthisdecisionispersonalandbasedonmyspeakingupagainstabusesofotherstaffmembersandagainstthewasteoftaxpayerdollarsoverthepasttwoyears.I'vealsorefusedtosubmitfraudulentclaimsforstatefundsbasedonenrollmentandattendance.Despitethelipservicegiventocollaborationandtheadministrative"team,"itseemsthatopinionsthatconflictwithCharlotte'sandthatofherfavoritecolleague(BobSimpson)arepunished.
It
alsoappearsthatsomeboardmembersmayputtheirpersonalfriendshipswithCharlotteandBobaheadoftheirresponsibilitiestothedistrict.However,becausetheremightbeboardmemberswhocareabouteducationandrespectthetaxpayers'supportofthecommunity'sschools,I'llprovidedetailsofsomeofthewasteandabuses.
Nepotism/wastefulstaffing
Forinstance,Ihaveobjectedtothecreationofunnecessarystaffpositions.Lastyear,CharlotteandBobcreatedapositionforCharlotte'sniece,costingtaxpayers$45,000insalaryandbenefits,alongwithadditionalcostsforspecializedtraining.Bobusedtheterm"behaviorist"totrumpupthecredentialsofayoungwomanwithonlya
 
temporarycertificateandnoteachingexperience.AsCharlottetoldastaffmember,"Afterall,youcan'texpecther[theniece]toliveonanaide'ssalaryforever!"Ignoringlegitimateneedselsewhere,thispositionwasplacedattheMiddleSchool,staffingitwithnon-corestaffatafarhigherlevelthananyoftheotherschools.Tohidethenewposition,Charlottepresentedadocument(2011-12StaffChanges,attached)showingthatherniecewasreplacingateacherattheElementarySchool.However,thepositionbecamethe
4th
specialeducationteacherattheMiddleSchool,whichpreviouslyhad3sped.teachers.Bobclaimedthatstudentneedsjustifiedadditionalstaff,butthesamestudentswereservedbyfewerteachersatotherdistrictschools.AstaffreportwhichIpreparedthisspringto
try
tolookatthesituationobjectivelyisattached(twopages:StaffingbyBuildingandReadingSpecialists).Fortunately,
this
situationisresolvedfornextyear;thenieceisrelocating,sotheMiddleSchoolwilldowithouta"behaviorist."FacilitatingCharlotte'snepotismmaybeBob'sspecialtyasthesamethingoccurred4yearsago,withthecreationofanat-riskpositionfortheMiddleSchool.ThepositionwasthengiventoayoungwomanassociatedwithCharlotte'sfamilyalthoughshelackedateachingdegree.Suchapositioncouldhavebeenfilledbyanycertificatedteacherinthestate,apoolofthousandsofqualifiedapplicants.Instead,thetaxpayersoftheSouthernBooneDistrictgenerouslypaidtuitionreimbursementforCharlotte'sassociate(Bob'schoice)togetamaster'sdegreeandcertificate.Thenormal(andrare)circumstanceinwhichthedistrictprovidestuitionreimbursementiswhentherearenoqualifiedapplicantsforapositionandateacherispersuadedtotakeontheassignment.Thatsameyear(2008),Charlotte'sstepdaughterwashiredasat-riskteacherforanotherbuilding.Thiswasmorecrediblesincethepositionexistedpreviously,andthatyoungwomanwasactuallyateacher.However,Charlottetoldadistrictemployeethatherstepdaughter
was
hiredbecausetherewerenootherapplicants;thatwasnottrue.SinceBobiswillingtocarryCharlotte'srelativesandassociates,Charlottereturnsthefavor.Atanadministrativemeetinglastspring,CharlotteandBobproposedanassistantmiddleschoolprincipalposition.Inotedthatwewere100studentsbelowwherestatestaffingguidelinescallsuchapositionnecessary.Facedwiththisfact,Charlotteendedthediscussion,buttheidealivedon.Lastsummer,Charlotte"re-assigned"ahalf-timeadministratortoafull-timeadministrativeposition,withaverylargepayincrease.The"re-assigned"responsibilitiescontinuedtoincludetransportationdirectorandaddedalternativeschooldirectorandsomethingcalled"K-8administrativesupport."Duringtherecenteconomicdownturn,mostMissourischoolseliminatednon-essentialadministrativepositionssuchasdirectorsforalternativeschools,butSouthernBoonehasaddedone!Thisisespeciallyoddsincetwoyearsago,Charlotteclaimedtohaveeliminatedanadministrativeposition(RickBriedwell's)althoughhalfofRick'spositionwasrestoredimmediatelyintheformoftransportationdirector.Now,theentireadministrativeposition
has
beenrestored,
in
amuchlessefficientorusefulform.Astothisyear'sso-called"K-8administrativesupport",absolutelynonewasprovidedtothePrimarySchool,andfewerthan10hours(total,fortheyear)werespentattheElementarySchool.Therefore,thesupportwassolelyforBobSimpson,creating
 
anassistantpositionbuthidingitunderadifferenttitle.Asanadditionalexpense,inordertoprovidesomeonetoactuallyteachthealternativeschoolclass,Charlottecreatedanewlevelontheclassifiedsalaryscheduleforan"instructionalprofessional."Thepurposeofthatappearstobetopretendthatnonewteachingpositionwascreatedbythismaneuver.Astheyearprogressed,itbecameobviousthatthewomanhiredforthispositionhadsoleresponsibilityfortheclass,butshewasn'tpaidateacher'ssalary(otherissuesoffairnesswillbedescribedlater).Previously,thealternativeschoolrequired2staffmemberswhentherewere2distinctsessions;currently,there'sonly1session,apparentlyrequiringanadministratoraswellasateacher.The"K-8administrativesupport"isanoutrageouswasteofmoney.NootherdistrictinMissouriwouldfundanassistantprincipalposition(whateversillynameisused)foraschoolof350ruralstudentswithalowpovertyrate(accordingtostandarddefinitions).Norwouldanotherdistrictpayamiddleschoolprincipalasmuchasahighschoolprincipal(anotherexampleoffavoritism)sincethelatterisafarmorecomplexjob.ItappearsthatthepurposeofthenewpositionwastofillinforBobwhilehefollowedCharlottetomeetingsunrelatedtoaprincipal'sresponsibilities.
In
otherwords,thetaxpayerspaidforCharlotte'sandBob'seffortstogroomBobforhisaspirationtobeSouthernBoone'snextsuperintendent.Thecostofthatgroomingisnearly$32,000,calculatedathalfofthe"K-8administrativesupport"position'sbasesalary,plusbenefits.CharlotteandBobmayclaimthatheis"interning"byshadowingher,buthesupposedlydidthatinternshiptheprioryear.Nootheraspiringadministratorwouldrequiremultipleyearsofinternship,muchlesschargethetaxpayers$32,000toenableit.Tofurtherunderstandhowwastefulthisfull-time,12-monthpositionis-evenbeyondtheunnecessary"administrativesupport"-rememberthatthealternativeschool,servingabout20studentsayear,doesnotoperateduringthesummer.Astotransportation,onlyonebustakesafewstudentswithspecialneedstosummerschool.Themechanicpreparesthebusesforinspectionwhilestate-requiredtransportationreportsarepreparedprimarilybytheassistantsuperintendent'ssecretary.AndsurelyevenBobcanhandleasummerschoolof45(oftenfewer)studentswithouthelp.Ataboardworksessionlastsummer,boardmembersBridgetCanadayandJoeMillerspokeinfavorofamiddleschoolassistantprincipalposition.Lately,therehavebeenrumorsthatadifferentteacherisbeingconsideredasapossibleassistantprincipalfortheMiddleSchool.Normally,suchrumorswouldn'twarrantamention,butsincethe"K-8administrativesupport"positionwascreateddeceptivelylastyearandnotadvertised,itseemsthatanything'spossible.Itisn'tclearhowthe"K-8administrativesupport"positionwaspresentedtotheboard,butthemajoritymusthavegonealongwiththisexpensivenotion.Thequestionis,howmuchsupportdoesBobSimpsonneed?
Staffinginequities
Staffinginequitiesthatresultfromfavoritismhurtthedistrict'sstudents.TheMiddleSchoolisstaffedatafarhigherratethanotherschools.Forexample,whenthe"behaviorist"wasgiventotheMiddleSchool,theHighSchool,with4gradelevelsand

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