Fewer administrators in Pinellas County
The Pinellas County School District has chipped away at its top-heavy administration.
Pinellas has the fourth highest ratio of administrators to employees of nine large school districts, according to data from the state Department of Education. This year, Pinellas comes in behind Duval, Lee and Orange counties.
That’s an improvement over last year when Pinellas was second highest, beat only by Duval County.
But Pinellas still has a ways to go to fight the bloat. Several larger school districts, including Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough and Palm Beach counties, have a better balance of district administrators to employees.
Pinellas also has more administrators than Polk, the district with the most similar student population. Pinellas has 98 district administrators, while Polk has 67. The gap was a lot wider in the 2011/12 school year when Pinellas had 166 administrators to Polk’s 74.
(Pinellas has about 103,000 students to Polk’s 96,000.)
A sweeping study last year found that the Pinellas district’s too-large administration caused chaos and confusion as people worked in silos, competed with one another and duplicated efforts. Pinellas paid about $20,000 for the study.
The Florida Association of District School Superintendents, which conducted the study, recommended a massive reorganization of the top administration, including changes to the superintendent’s cabinet, overhauling the curriculum department and cutting the position of deputy superintendent. (Jim Madden, who was second-in-command, retired.)
Former superintendent John Stewart promised to slim down the administration – by eliminating five or six top-level positions and reclassifying about 50 other jobs. (We’ve asked for an accounting of how that actually played out.)
According to state data, 3.26 percent of full-time employees in Pinellas are administrators, down from 3.86 percent last year.
The district administrator to all employee ratios:
Duval 1.91 percent
Miami Dade 0.72
Palm Beach 0.71
Duval 1.96 percent
Palm Beach 0.71
Miami Dade 0.65