Pasco School Board approves trimmed list of allocations
Facing questions about his financial priorities, Pasco superintendent Kurt Browning this week brought his School Board a scaled back list of new positions he sought to add to his staff for the coming year. Board membres liked what they saw.
Browning had removed 12 teaching positions, two social worker jobs, five technology technicians and five transportation assistants, on the way to cutting almost 40 requested allocations. He held fast to other additions, such as eight more guidance counselors and two additional professional standards investigators.
Board members had raised concerns about adding salaries to the district so soon after the district eliminated positions because of financial shortfalls. On Tuesday, they reiterated their desire to keep the staff streamlined, to avoid cuts again. Board member Joanne Hurley also warned that she did not want to see mid-year additions, as occurred in past years.
Browning assured the board that he wanted to maintain an efficient employee base, as well as a balanced budget. The projected student-to-staff ratio is 6.523, up slightly from the past year but down from the 6.732 of 2012-13. At the same time, he said, the district must conduct business effectively.
"I have no desire to get bloated again," Browning said. "We do want to make sure, first, that our students are being supported, (and) second that our teachers are being supported," he said.
Board member Cynthia Armstrong said she appreciated the administration's effort to ensure allocations will go to where they are needed. The board unanimously approved the revised request.