School Department Positions in South Kingstown

In a South County Independent letter to the editor, town resident Edward Collins presents the kind of statistic that raises eyebrows with regards to arguments that escalating public education costs are somehow inevitable…

In 2001 there were 519 people working for the school system serving 4,400 students. Over the last 10 years we’ve served 900 fewer students yet there are currently 590 people employed in the system.
71 seems like an awfully large number of new positions added, especially post-dot-com revenue boom.
Mr. Collins makes a private sector comparison to highlight the apparent inefficiency, but I think a more direct question is applicable to this situation: what is the South Kingston school system doing better now than it was doing in 2001, as the result of adding 71 new positions?

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Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

>>but I think a more direct question is applicable to this situation: what is the South Kingston school system doing better now than it was doing in 2001, as the result of adding 71 new positions?
Why, funneling increased dues to NEARI, of course.

Phil
Phil
12 years ago

I would not automatically except a letter writers “facts”.

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

>I would not automatically except a letter writers “facts”.
Reasonable. Though I’d be more inclined to give the letter writer the benefit of the doubt than I would Pat Crowley’s “facts.”
As to South Kingstown, examine the number of “special needs” / IEP students. As of a few years ago the percentage of these as a component of the overall student body seemed grossly inflated than would be expected given the demographics of that community, or so it seemed to me.
I wouldn’t be surprised if special needs is being used to pad the SK school department payroll and budget.
Perhaps not coincidentally, at least as of a few years ago (and perhaps still) the NEA local’s leader (and de facto school department superintendent, IMHO) was also the head of the special needs there.

John
John
12 years ago

How interesting that such a situation could exist. In Woonsocket, I recently did the same research and found;
Student population fell from 6,839 in 2002/03 to 5,955 in 2008/09, a 12.9% decrease, yet staffing decreased from 910 to 777 in the same time period, a 14.6% decrease.
And before we all jump on Woonsocket, local education support has increased every year since 2003.
We don’t have a lacrosse team here. We do have lots of REAL special education needs though.

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