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Do the math, administration costs at ISD 696 are too high

With the loss of yet another member of the administrative staff at the Ely school district, the board has an opportunity to right a ship that has too many at the top.
Principal Dan Bettin, who by all accounts did an admirable job as the high school principal  this past year, has resigned. That means once a new principal is chosen, it will be the sixth at EHS since 2008.
To make matters worse, beyond having a revolving door for administrative positions, the bottom line is there are just too many of them. The icing on the cake: legal costs have skyrocketed as well.
The school board will meet Monday night and look at options for an administrative configuration for the upcoming school year.
After operating with as few as 1.5 full-time administrators with similar enrollment levels several years ago, that number has since grown back to three with the hire of a full-time superintendent and two principals.
We’ve seen the political spin that these three have taken on other duties, but the bottom line is they are still being PAID as full-time administrators.
If a principal is being paid at top dollar wages to do a job that previously had a wage less than half of that, how are you saving money? The truth is, you’re not. Two plus two still equals four.
We believe the board needs to strongly consider moving back to fewer people at the top. Need some proof? Bettin has been hired at a district where there are more students, but they only have a part-time superintendent.
Board members have resources available to them to find out how Ely compares to other districts of similar size. If you’re one of the smallest schools with three full-time administrators, you’re spending too much.
And if a majority of the board believes the district is money ahead by paying top dollar wages for additional duties that could be paid a much lesser wage, then the board is not doing the math.
We believe the district has not been able to offer additional courses, especially at the high school level, due to paying too much for administration. Business courses are nearly non-existent, computer courses are very limited and vocational classes do not come anywhere near what our students should be offered.
It will not be an easy or popular decision with the current administration to make cuts. But this is an opportunity to make changes without cutting. You have a principal leaving already. Do the right thing and go from three full-time highly paid administrators to two.
This can be done. It’s been done before and is done day in and day out at districts with more students than Ely has.
All you have to do is do the math.

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