Cut The Admins In Districts & Schools? How Many Are There? TONS!

If there is one consistent thing I hear all over social media, it is people wanting the number of administrators and their staff in Delaware school districts and charter schools.  I am asked constantly how many there are for various schools or districts.  Robert Overmiller of the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens compiled a list showing exactly how many there are.

Updated: I’ve included the below picture which shows the student ratios required to get state funding for administrator roles:

Some of these numbers are outrageous.  While it is a local school district’s decision, there are certain laws pertaining to how many administrators schools are allowed to have per student in order to get state funding for those roles.  If they go over those numbers, the funds come from local or federal funding.  For example, a Title I or special education coordinator may get funding based on federal disbursements.

If we truly want to look at education funding, this is the FIRST place to look.  Many of these positions get high salaries.  I’ve heard of some administrators who just get jobs in a district office and do nothing all day long.  Does every single administrator need a secretary?  Because that happens more than you think!  It’s the buddy system kicked into high gear.  And our teachers and students pay the price.

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62 thoughts on “Cut The Admins In Districts & Schools? How Many Are There? TONS!

      1. Thanks! I appreciate it. I know in the Indian River School District that people are complaining about Admins too, but some of the positions that should be filled (based on the students population) have been left vacant. Right now we don’t have an assistand Superintendent and I know of at least one school that went part of the year with an Assistant Principal. I do feel like the administators are needed though and should not be cut anymore than the teachers/staff that are being cut.

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        1. Just an FYI. My kids go to Caesar Rodney High School. In JUST the high school, CR has 6 administrators, 2 Dean of Students, 2 on hand Psychologists, and 8 secretaries. Again, that is JUST the high school.

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    1. Good question Brian. See my reply to Christy. But let me ask this. Since I just updated the article with the unit count formula for administrators, and the state gives transportation administrative funding based on every 7,000 students, why in the world does Christina need 10 transportation administrators? That is absurd!

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  1. First, where are you, or is he, getting your numbers because I see that Christina has 98 administrators based on DDOE information found here: http://profiles.doe.k12.de.us/SchoolProfiles/District/Staff.aspx?checkSchool=0&districtCode=33&district=Christina

    Also, are you including the administrators who work in the statewide programs which happen to be located under the Christina School District umbrella, because the 98 administrators counted by DDOE does indeed count the administrators at those STATEWIDE program? Because if you are counting them, Kevin, than you are part of the problem by grossly misleading people.

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    1. Okay, first off, relying on the Delaware DOE for accurate information is not the way to go. I am presenting the information as it was presented to me. If you want to give a breakdown of the information you and Brian are asking for, I would be more than happy to publish it.

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      1. So then where did Robert Overmiller get his numbers? You can’t just use him as a source and not explain where the data comes from, especially since it is very different from what the State is reporting, and he is on an advisory council for the state.

        And again you can present the data as it was given to you, but just like DDOE does online and in everything else, they lump the statewide programs in with the rest of the Christina School District and it is misleading. You know it is Kevin. It makes us look like we have 20+ more administrators in our schools than we actually do.

        Also, until I see the titles of the “10 transportation administrators” I don’t know what to think about them maybe or if they are needed positions.

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        1. I can say Robert did this work independent of his role with GACEC. He has been involved in education for a long time, longer than you and I, so I trust his information. While it doesn’t give information at a granular level, it gives an overall picture. Like I told you on Facebook, this is not a let’s pick on Christina post. It is an overall arching trend of a huge increase in administrators but the increase in students has not been enough to justify those increases at an administrative level. But it keeps happening. And then teachers get the RIF package when the funding runs lower. It is a case of too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

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          1. I trust his data as well, but it is not complete.

            “While it doesn’t give information at a granular level, it gives an overall picture. Like I told you on Facebook, this is not a let’s pick on Christina post. It is an overall arching trend of a huge increase in administrators but the increase in students has not been enough to justify those increases at an administrative level.”

            You can’t say they are not justified without knowing the “granular level” details because you have no idea what the actual positions under the “Administrator” umbrella actually are. Come on Kevin.

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          2. Actually, I can Brian. Based on the fact that the state provides x amount for administrators based on the number of students and then the district or the feds provide the rest. Given that our state is cutting funding left and right and in a sense strong-arming the districts with the bs pretense behind the match tax which is mostly resulting in a reduction of teachers and higher classrooms, then yes, I can certainly say I am justified to take a look at the big picture. Why cut teachers over admins? Why put our students, who are supposed to be FIRST, into a position of having huge classrooms, while admins keep their jobs?

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          3. Actually no you can’t. For the very reason I stated initially. You have no idea what’s under those high level generic terms. For example, you can about halve the number of administrators for Christina to account for principals and APs. Are facilities supervisors or managers in that Administrator bucket? What about IT personnel? Secretaries? DOE classifies personal in more categories than just Administrator or Classroom Teacher. Yet there are only two categories here with not additional info on what’s underneath them or excluded from view.

            I never said you weren’t justified in looking at the big picture. I said you can’t glean meaningful info from a big picture unless you can get close enough to see the details. The granularity you mentioned.

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          4. Actually, I can. When districts recommend RIFs for teachers, does anyone look at that at a granular level? What the true impact will be on students and the ramifications of bloated classrooms? It is a matter of perception.

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          5. Yes, they do. Because there are several factors that play into who is RIFd or not. The reason for the RIF (normal enrollment projections or something else like this turd of a budget) Seniority, areas of certification, retirements, temporary contract non-renewals, how positions are funded (normal state/local, academic excellence units, and so on).

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          6. That’s my point. There are ALWAYS reasons to have to cut teachers, but no oversight on reducing the number of administrators. Come on Brian, are you telling me that EVERY SINGLE admin in CSD serves a purpose?

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          7. So get rid of the dead weight making $100k plus. That is at least two teachers that don’t have to get a RIF. That is what I’m saying. And we aren’t talking A+. I’m talking F-.

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          8. How long did CSD have that mold problem? How long was it ignored until a teacher made the district stand up and take notice? Are those admins worth their salary? I can keep going all day long.

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          9. This is part of the reason the administrator portion of education funding needs to be looked at more in terms of cuts. There are administrators who do nothing more than sit in an office all day. Yet, hardworking teachers who do their very best get RIF notices. It isn’t right, and it isn’t fair. We need more people defending those teachers than overpaid admins!

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          10. Oh, by the “us vs. them” mentality, is that just reserved for education, or do political parties play a role? Based on yesterday’s post on Blue Delaware, that was very much “either you are with us or against us”. Glass houses and all..

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          11. Yeah see here’s more of the either/or thing. It’s not bipolar. There isn’t a single answer. I can support teachers and also support school administrators and also support district administrators. And I can do so equally across all 3 groups.

            If you’re going to construct strawmen, in politics , especially now, you are very much either/or unfortunately. For example if you want compulsory religious education in public schools, you cannot be a Democrat.

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          12. I think there is enough room in both of the big parties to NOT agree with everything a party supposedly stands for. There are many who straddle between different ideals. I’ll leave that up to God on what we can or can’t be. (no, this does not mean I agree with compulsory religious education in public schools)

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          13. Equity how? Districts often have ten-fold as many educators as administrators. So what are the equitable cut lines? % of positions? % of total salaries? Subjective dead weight? Seniority? What?

            My response every time to someone who says “cut administrators” is “Ok, which ones?” I never get an answer and it usually evolves into salary and wage arguments and perceptions of dead weight.

            So cut administrators, then what? Who fills the role? Or who does the work get divvied up to in the remaining staff? My whole point through this back and forth has been that you can’t look at 122 administrative positions in a district and say “cut them” without knowing what exact positions they are.

            Example, you mentioned transportation administrators. Christina employs 174 Bus Drivers and Aides which is something like twice as many as the district that is 2nd on that list. We manage transportation for 15k students in a non-contiguous district. We also manage transportation for homeless and transient students, the Delaware School for the Deaf, and the Delaware Autism Program. They all use our buses. So, which of the 10 do we chop?

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          14. I can’t answer that. Perhaps CSD should put on their website a compilation of ALL their staff so the public can see what they are and what those positions entail. I know, I probably just created another administrative position to create all that! 😉

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          15. Then you can’t say we don’t need that many until you can answer that.

            The positions (and salaries) are available from DDOE. You have to do some leg work to join up the data because, well DDOE. But you can extrapolate amounts spent on each position in each district. Which has been a pet project of mine for a while…Actually.

            Anyway you know I could do this all day/night with you. But dinner and the kids call.

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          16. LOL! Family first. Mine aren’t around right now, so I’ll keep it going. I’m looking at the CSD Table of Organization http://www.christinak12.org/pdf/2016-17-Table-of-Organization-Apr-2017.pdf
            At a cursory glance, why does a CFO have duel titles (Assistant Superintendent Chief Financial Officer)? Why does the Director of Operations have an Assistant Superintendent title as well? The more names in the title, the more $$$. Does the title and the job description match? Veering away from Christina, let’s take a look at Donna Johnson. She is listed as the Executive Director of the State Board of Education. There are two employees in that department, Donna and the receptionist. Her annual review is conducted by the President of the State Board of Education, a non-paid non-state employee appointed by the Governor. This is an extreme example, but how can you be an Executive Director of yourself and a one-person support staff? Do all the admins that have secretaries absolutely have to have those secretaries? I don’t know the answers to all these questions. But when it comes down to the local side of funding, they are questions that should and need to be asked.

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          17. Because CFO is not a state position for School districts. So instead of an Assistant Superintendent AND a CFO/Buisness Manager type you have one human filling both positions.

            Assistant to the Superintendent (not assistant superintendent) and Director of Operations are again two roles being filled by 1 human.

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          18. This is exactly what I mean about the insanity of education funding. You need an advanced degree in physics to figure all this stuff out. So they change the name of the title even though he is essentially a CFO just so they can get state funding for the position, correct?

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          19. And yet there are those of us who dedicate our free time to deciphering it all.

            No, he’s an Assistant Superintendent (third in line behind Noreen LaSorsa) for managing and leading the district. His day to day function is CFO. Were Richard Gregg and Noreen to vanish overnight her would be Acting Superintendent until the Board took action to fill the vacant positions. In just the same manner as a Senior Vice President of Christiana Care can serve dually as the Chief Financial Officer. Or the way the Speaker of the House is third in line to the Presidency but his day to day job is running the House of Representatives.

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          20. I don’t know all the administrators in Christina. So I’ll just throw a name out there. Donald Patton. I know he was put in the district office not too long ago. What is his title and what does he do? Just as an example.

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          21. Donald Patton was a contentious Administrative appointment last year. Multiple public comments were given expressing concern over his move back to central administration and yet the board still voted to approve his contract by 4-3 vote if memory serves. He is one of two supervisors of student support services.

            You know I don’t know what his contract says so I can’t answer that. But that’s what I have on him.

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          22. That’s what I’m saying. I just picked Patton’s name randomly. Like right now I’m looking at that organizational chart. It should be a FULL chart, with all administrators and staff. Or, at the very least, under the “Departments” tab of the district website, list all of them that serve that area. It isn’t rocket science and that would lend more transparency to the district. So when these questions come up (which they always do), the district can say “Hey, we have all that information up, go here”. Instead of trying to put all the pieces together and having to go to a Delaware DOE link. If I had all the pieces in ONE place, I could have a more informed opinion. But I will always question WHY state agencies (which school districts are by default) don’t list that kind of information.

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          23. Anyone who demonizes one group for a perceived benefit to another. Hammering at administration won’t solve our classroom issues just like doing away with teacher unions won’t solve budget problems. There isn’t a single mode of attack that will solve everything. Like it was said earlier, of a solution looks too easy, it is.

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          24. That’s because we (the collective society) have made education MUCH more complicated than it has to be. Demonizing is a funny word. It has become bastardized in some ways. If you are against something, some say you are “demonizing” it, thus an attempt to take power away from the presenter’s argument. I have never said I am against all administrators. I’m saying we need to take a fresh new look at how many administrators we really need, what makes the most financial sense, and not go after teachers first when there must be a reduction in workforce. And in the name of all that is holy, get rid of those who aren’t doing their job. I have no doubt an admin’s job will get busier and more necessary when classrooms have 35+ kids in them. More discipline issues, students having a tougher time concentrating. Almost as if… no, I won’t go there…

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  2. Just FYI – if the solution seems overly simplistic, it probably is. Deceptively so. Admin are required for lots of functions that other staff aren’t able to do for a variety of reasons. Also, admin contracts are renewed mid-year, so at this point in the year they can’t be cut.

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    1. What if we put administrators on a calendar year cycle? Renewals due by June 30 for a Jan 1 auto-renew. At least we’d have a better read on our incompetent GA and their budget shenanigans

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      1. No clue. That’s above my paygrade. HA

        Actually, I just always assumed that had something to do with state code, like the May 15 date for teachers/specialists.

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        1. code provides requirement for 6 month notice:

          Title 14 Education
          700 Finance and Personnel
          700 Finance and Personnel

          Authenticated PDF Version
          725 School Administrator Contracts and Agreements

          1.0 Duties of a School Administrator

          The Administrator shall faithfully perform those duties which may be assigned by the local Board of Education and shall serve the School District in a professional manner. The Administrator shall observe and comply with the laws of the State of Delaware and with the regulations of the State Department of Education and the local Board of Education as currently in force and as from time to time amended, enacted or promulgated.

          2.0 Non Renewal of the Existing Contract and Agreements

          Failure on the part of the local Board of Education or the Administrator to notify the other in writing by certified mail, no later than six (6) months prior to the expiration of the Agreement, of either party’s intent not to renew the Agreement, will automatically result in a one year extension of the existing Agreement.

          3.0 Termination of a Contract with a School Administrator Prior to Expiration of the Agreement

          3.1 The Administrator shall not vacate his or her position during the term of this Agreement without the written consent of the local Board of Education.

          3.2 The local Board of Education shall not terminate the Contract, prior to the expiration date, except for good and just cause and shall provide the opportunity for a fair hearing before the local Board of Education or before a Hearing Officer designated by the local Board of Education. Prior to any hearing in regard to the termination of the Administrator, the local Board of Education shall serve the Administrator with a written statement of the reasons for termination.

          3.3 If the local Board of Education designates a Hearing Officer to conduct such a hearing, a majority of the local Board of Education shall convene to review the record of the proceedings before the Hearing Officer and the Hearing Officer’s report and recommendation to the local Board of Education, and within fifteen (15) days of the hearing before the Hearing Officer, shall submit to the Administrator its decision in writing.

          3.4 If the Administrator chooses to be represented by legal counsel, all legal expenses incurred by the Administrator in connection with any termination hearing shall be borne by the Administrator.

          3.5 Appeal from a decision of the local Board of Education concerning the provisions of the Agreement may be made to the State Board of Education.

          3 DE Reg. 1077 (2/1/00)

          8 DE Reg. 1133 (2/1/05)

          13 DE Reg. 1080 (02/01/10)

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          1. The common perception is that positions are created for administrators who have had some issues with their role in school leadership and/or to make openings for those down the line seeking admin roles. It’s generally perceived that there are too many “chiefs”, too many moved out of the classroom, thus increasing the burden on teachers. Chiefs and coaches who sit in their offices dreaming up more tasks for teachers, more data to be collected, which, in turn, impacts real instructional planning time, and class size. The net result is that it is the students who pay the price.

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          2. However, admin contracts do not specify the position being filled. A district office admin who holds a building admin cert could be moved to a building. Right? They don’t all hold certification but lots do.

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    1. I see you have some current figures, Kevin. I think the public should know their titles /positions as well. For example, Director of Restorative Practices? Superintendent of Professional Development? and what the day to day duties of these positions include…..

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