No, we are not talking about the graduation rate at the District’s two high schools, not even close. And we are not talking about the District budgeting acumen either.
What we are talking about is how much of the proposed $1.3M operational levy will be going for raises for staff and administrative positions and increases in employee health insurance premiums. 100%. That means no new programs for students and no new technology.
Most taxpayers in Great Falls feel that the District’s high paid administrative positions are like a runaway train and need to be reined in.
Here’s the Top 30:
You can view the spreadsheet for all administrative 2019-2020 salaries here. Data provided by the Great Falls Public School District.
14 Administrators out of the total 48 positions make more than $100,000.
17 more positions out of the total 48 make more than $90,000.
7 more positions out of the total 48 make more than $80,000.
The Governor of Montana makes $115,505. The Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court makes $145,619. OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT MAKES $160,000
The school district will no doubt respond by saying that paying it’s staff more money has a positive effect on student achievement. But does it really produce better student outcomes?
According to a Washington Examiner article from August 29, 2018, “Spending more money on schools doesn’t help students learn.”
The article reports that after examining five years of comprehensive data on spending in all 422 school districts in Wisconsin, it concluded that “the relationship between student outcomes and overall per-student spending, spending on teacher salaries, and spending on administrative personnel, that none of the types of spending examined were found to correlate with better student outcomes. Of the three, perhaps the least surprising is that more spending on non-teaching staff leads to worse student outcomes.”
Just maybe our school district needs a new paradigm, not new taxes.