250 Word Short Essay: Here is the case scenario:
Budget Cutting Time in a Public Middle School
You are the principal for a rural middle school located in the northwest. Your are directly responsible for ensuring the education of 800 students and supervising 45 teachers and 15 support staff. You thought you had an operating budget of $2,200,000, but budget cutbacks have reduced your funding by $200,000. It is mid June, and you know you will not be able to get any more money for the upcoming school year. In addition, student enrollments have been increasing steadily over the past few years and are currently at record levels. The teachers, support staff, and school board all know about the budget cutbacks, and state law forbids public schools from carrying over any debt into the next school year.
Dwayne Jones has been at the school for ten years and recently was voted to be president of the teachers' union. You have always gotten along well with Dwayne, but have had several disagreements about the administration's ability to assess a teacher's impact in the classroom. You feel that teaching is no different than any other profession, and a teacher's ability to make classes interesting and convey knowledge can be assessed through observations made by the administration staff and national testing scores. Dwayne believes it is impossible to adequately assess the impact teachers have on students, and as a result feels all salary, promotion, and termination decisions should be made on the basis of seniority, not merit. You have observed all of the teachers in your school several times over the past year, and you feel six of them are incompetent. In addition, these six teachers have more complaints from students and parents combined than the all of the remaining teachers at the school. However, these six teachers have been at the school an average of eight years and were staunch supporters of Dwayne during the election for union president. Dwayne had promised his constituents he would work hard to ensure all personnel decisions involving teachers would be solely based on seniority. The union contract allows you to terminate ineffective teachers, and you would save $180,000 through this personnel decision (each of these teachers makes about $30,000). However, the contract also specifies both you and the union president must agree before this termination decision can become official. When you tell Dwayne your ideas about eliminating the ineffective teachers, he stated he would not go along with the idea and suggested you eliminate the eight most junior teachers at the school instead. All eight of these teachers are young, have less than two years of teaching experience, and have proven to be enthusiastic and effective teachers. Because each of these less experienced teachers make approximately $20,000 per year, you could save the school $160,000 by choosing this option.
The school has three full time physical education teachers and supports 12 male and female athletic teams. You are good friends with all three physical education instructors, and two of the members of the school board have children on at least one of the athletic teams. Because all three physical education teachers have been at the school a number years, eliminating physical education from the school's curriculum would save $120,000 in teachers' salaries and $70,000 in athletic team support.
The school has 15 nonunion support staff who do jobs ranging from administrative support, custodial and maintenance work, library management, and food services support. You have always felt the support people were the glue that held the school together, and many of them attended the school as teenagers and all will go the extra mile to ensure the school runs well. The support personnel tend to be fairly senior, as the most junior has six years of experience and the most senior has over 30 years of experience. Cutting out the school hot lunch program would eliminate four food services positions ($50,000) and the school's funding obligation in support of the program ($80,000). Eliminating two of the five administrative staff positions would save $35,000, one of the two library positions $17,000, and two of the four custodial positions would save $28,000.
The school has special math, science, and English programs for talented and gifted students. Elaine Simpson teaches these programs, and she has been very successful at getting her students to do well in local and state math, science, and English competitions. You will save approximately $25,000 by eliminating a teaching position and $3,000 in support funds if you cut this program from the school curriculum.
The school board would like to see your plan for dealing with the budget crisis, and they want to meet with you in two weeks. What are your recommendations? STANDARD RONAN CASE FORMAT