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In Coming Budget, Pottsgrove Proposes Seven New Hires

POTTSTOWN PA – Administrators in the Pottsgrove School District proposed hiring seven new employees, and promoting one existing worker to a higher classification, during a 2013-2014 personnel budget presentation Tuesday night (April 10, 2013) to the Board of School Directors. It took the requests under advisement but did not act on them.

In Coming Budget, Pottsgrove Proposes Seven New HiresThe additions and promotions represent a total of $239,924 in new salaries alone, Pottsgrove Director of Human Resources Dr. Leticia Rodriguez told directors, but she claimed only $56,981 of that amount created “an impact” on the budget. The balance, she said, would either be paid for by various federal funds or was already included in the current budget in unfilled positions.

By themselves salary and impact numbers were insufficient, directors warned, because all the positions also would receive benefits paid solely by the district. Business Administrator David Nester acknowledged additional benefit costs could amount to significantly more; director Michael Neiffer guessed they might represent another $200,000. “I think we need to break those out, and know exactly what the costs are,” Neiffer said.

Editor’s Note: In a comment submitted Wednesday afternoon to The Post, Neiffer reported Nester earlier in the day had supplied information that pegged the additional benefit costs at about $165,000.

The list of new hires includes:

  • One curriculum and staff development coordinator, an administrative position. He or she in part would assume some duties once filled by former Director Of Education And Assessment Dr. Todd Davies, who resigned last month. The job would be budgeted for a $90,000 salary, which Rodriguez said saved the district $27,000 because the position of assistant superintendent would remain vacant, and another $22,000 would be covered by federal Title II funds targeted for “school leadership” recruitment.
  • One emotional support teacher in Pottsgrove Middle School. The middle school is the only district building without a dedicated emotional support teacher, Rodriguez said. His or her entire $48,032 salary would be covered by federal Access funding targeted for special education.
  • One autistic support teacher for grades K-2. He or she would be needed to bolster the district’s early intervention program for special education, according to Rodriguez. The entire salary, also of $48,032, would be paid by Access funds as well.
  • Two student assistant support staff members, at salaries of $18,045 each, paid by Access funds. They could be – but might not be – required by the district next year. “We’re continuing to assess that need, and although we’re asking to put them in the budget we’re not confirmed to hire them,” Rodriguez said.
  • Two part-time lunch monitors, at salaries of $5,885 each. They would oversee student activity in the high school cafeteria, and would assume shifts now handled by the assistant principal, dean of students, and school resource officer. Their time and talents would be better used elsewhere, Rodriguez contended.

The re-classification would add $6,000 in salary to promote a technology support specialist whose duties would be expanded for information systems reporting, Rodriguez said.

When questioned by Neiffer, Nester said the special education positions could be sustained for several years by Access funding already available in a Pottsgrove-designated account.

Related (to the Pottsgrove School District 2013-’14 budget):

Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ April 9 meeting):

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