By Laurie & Bob Rollins
In Feb. of 2010, the district was suffering from budget cutbacks so they offered teachers a retirement incentive. At this time, Deanne Quinn spoke with Superintendent James Hammond and offered to retire and come back as a part time employee. The district would keep the experience and expertise to maintain the integrity and quality of the GATE/AIM Program. In turn, the district would pay a much smaller salary for a part-time agreement and would not pay benefits or retirement contributions.
The variable services agreement would allow Deanne Quinn to adapt her hours to the needs of the program, spending more time during testing, class placements, etc. She would also be able to work from home on paperwork, when that was appropriate.
Superintendent Hammond stated, “It was a cost savings measure (.6 FTE) and still allowed us to have essential continuity within the program for staff, parents and students.” He estimated that the agreement would save the District about $90-100,000 per year and told Ms. Quinn that she could keep the position as long as she wanted.
Ms. Quinn currently earns approximately $32,400 per year to coordinate the GATE/AIM program. Over the past 4 years, this VSA has saved the District approximately $551,600 in salary and benefits not paid. These savings have been made while maintaining the quality and functioning of the GATE/AIM program.
The proposal to end this VSA is clearly not based on the $32,400 in direct savings since the required services will cost much more when provided by someone else. Clearly, the objective is simply to dismantle the GATE/AIM program.