BEEKMANTOWN — Education consultants pointed out the potential savings that Beekmantown and Plattsburgh school districts could achieve by sharing leadership positions.
“Big savings are only possible by starting to look at people costs," Alan Pole of Castallo & Silky said during a recent joint meeting of the school boards, where he and colleague Jessica Cohen shared the results of a shared-services study.
At the start of the study, he told the boards that while some legislation indicated the two schools were too large to share a superintendent, other laws suggested it would be possible.
Pole consulted with attorneys, who also feel the districts could legally share a leader.
If the two schools were to share a superintendent, he said, the potential annual savings to Beekmantown Central School District is estimated at $59,558 and to Plattsburgh City School District, $106,884.
The consultants also looked at the savings associated with sharing a number of other leadership positions.
Having a joint business official, for example, could potentially save Beekmantown $32,645 per year and Plattsburgh, $59,445.
And an estimated annual savings of $19,700 for Beekmantown and $36,162 for Plattsburgh could potentially result from sharing a food-service manager.
The savings would increase, Pole noted, if the districts were to share the positions through Boards of Cooperative Educational Services, as they would then be eligible for BOCES aid from the state.
That aid, however, is not available for a shared superintendent.
WHAT IS LOST
Still, Pole said, “there’s more to it than the money."
Half of the time, he noted, the person in the shared position would not be in one of the districts to provide directives and information and execute his or her duties.
In addition, the question of which district would be the primary employer must be answered, Pole continued, and many changes related to sharing personnel require negotiated agreements.