Letter to the Editor Concerning School Administration Costs

January 27, 2011

To the Editor:

Your editorial in last week’s issue about administrative downsizing and what Putnam Valley is considering was right on the money. In it, you challenged me to host a meeting to discuss this very subject. As you know, and I assume this is why you highlighted me in the article, I have spent much time focusing on the issue of making government smaller and more efficient in order to save money and be more productive. Just last fall I hosted a forum entitled Shrinking School Budgets through Sharing and Consolidation with experts who spend their time researching ways municipalities and school districts can work more efficiently.

I think a roundtable discussion with school districts would be an excellent opportunity to further explore this issue. We could look at ways school districts have downsized already, and brainstorm how they could share such entrenched positions as top level administrators, or consolidate same, either through attrition or careful planning.

Certainly, the example of Briarcliff and Pocantico, neighboring school districts who were both in need of a superintendent at the same time, begs the question: couldn’t they have shared? How can we take opportunities like these and turn them into cost savers? I have already started working on this, and thank you for the suggestion. Look for an informative meeting in early April.

Sandy Galef
Assemblywoman, 90th A.D.