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Cut fat on Bull Street
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On July 21, Dr. Lockamy, along with other superintendents across the state, participated in a conference call with Gov. Sonny Perdue about furloughing teachers for three days between now and Dec. 31. Though each county can enact furloughs at its own discretion, Superintendent Lockamy and his team called in leaders from PAGE, CAE and SFT/PSRP to share the latest news and asked for suggestions we could offer with regard to furloughs.

As I thought about the budget crunch we're in, I looked at the number of duplicate positions at 208 Bull Steet and began to assess the salaries of board employees versus those of teachers, the people actually responsible for producing quality learners. Some current positions at the Board of Education include the Superintendent, the Assistant to the Superintendent, Chief Academic Officer, Technology Director, Director of Maintenance and Operations, Director of Finance, and Director of Pupil Personnel. The salaries of these positions alone total well over a million dollars.

In Academic Affairs, between the supervisors of elementary, middle and high school, the salaries are over half a million dollars, and that doesn't include the Chief Academic Officer.

When I looked at salareis in Human Resources, there is another half million dollars that includes a Recruiter at $88,000 who recruited 40-50 teachers for the 2009/10 school year, and Staff Coordinator at $92,000. These salaries don't include the Director of HR, the Assistant Director of Human Resources, and the Benefits Director.

Why do we need all these people to run this system, and why has this School Board approved all these positions without question? I believe if we trim the fat at 208 Bull Street, we may be able to generate some much-needed funds to help with the budget. With the current economy, our teachers cannot afford three furlough days.

Why pay these huge salaries to persons who aren't directly responsible for educating our children? Yes, we do need adequate staff, but the amount of positions at 208 Bull Street far exceeds the definition of "adequate."

As taxpayers of Chatham County, we need to  be concerned about the school budget and check the salaries of leaders of this system. If we close our eyes and ears to the problems our educators are facing, then we are closing our eyes and ears to our students, and they are our future.

Alfreda Goldwire

President, Savannah Federation of Teachers