Letter: Rein in the school spending

I finally was able to really digest the superintendent’s preliminary proposed 2012-2013 Rappahannock County school budget. I need the Pepto-Bismol. 

I fully agree with Jeffrey Knight’s assessment he so eloquently stated in last week’s Rappahannock News, that eligible school employees must begin contributing to their retirement as well as their health and life insurance programs – not just for the current budget but for the downstream health of our county.

Numerous other items jumped up for attention, but let me focus on just one. Our school system is an enterprise with 182 employees and about 900 “customers” in three buildings. Using rounded numbers, this enterprise is operated by an executive staff of five with nine administrative aides for a cost of $1,263,139. That number is 10 percent of the entire school budget. If you add other administrative services like operations and maintenance, transportation, etc., the total overhead-to-instruction ratio goes to 57 percent. As the military would say, that is a terrible tooth-to-tail ratio (tooth being instruction and support being tail). I know support functions are critical to overall success, but this ratio is staggering.

Bill Freitag
Flint Hill

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