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updated: 8/25/2011 2:10 PM

Cary school board considers central office for savings

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Cary Elementary District 26 school board members and the district superintendent will begin a review of the administrative staff to uncover potential inefficiencies in the central office.

School board members Kevin Carrick and Julie Jette will oversee the process conducted by Superintendent Brian Coleman.

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"It is part of the ongoing evaluation of operational expenses in the district as we work toward living within our means and moving the district toward financial stability," Coleman said in an email. "The goal is to evaluate the needs of the district against the operational expense of the district's administrative center that is currently meeting those needs, and determine if there are any opportunities to become more efficient."

Coleman said employee levels are reviewed annually.

Parents, though, have said the district has relied too heavily on school closings and teacher reductions to find cost savings. The district has closed two schools and laid off more than one-third of its staff in the last two school years.

Still, Carrick said the review is not in response to community and parent calls for more reductions at the administrative level.

"There has always been the intent to review the administration and provide steps to conduct a review on a regular basis," Carrick said.

The superintendent is the lone employee of the board of education and, Carrick said, it is the superintendent's responsibility to review his staff and the jobs they do.

The superintendent's cabinet includes three directors and eight coordinators, as well as several administrative assistants. Building principals also fall under the title of administrative staff.

While there is no specific dollar amount assigned, Carrick said any amount the district can recoup is helpful in the long run.

"There's definitely an eye toward cost savings and efficiencies to be gained with regard to processes and work flow," Carrick said. "Ultimately, we would like to find some savings; there's not a specific dollar amount we're trying to reach, but right now every dollar we save today compounds over time."

Carrick said the results would be presented to the board Sept. 26.

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