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TUSD administration turns budget ax on itself

TUSD administration turns budget ax on itself

CREATED Feb. 27, 2013

Reporter: Craig Smith

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - TUSD's budget is crunching yet again but this time some parents are not all that upset with the way the budget ax is swinging.

The administration budget is headed for $5.8 million in cuts, with the chance of even more coming later.

Parents often see administration as a waste.
Now after deciding to shut down eleven schools, TUSD administration is turning the budget knife on itself.

Joe Williams was picking up his child at Corbett Elementary when KGUN reporter Craig Smith asked him: "Do you feel that's an appropriate place to cut or that perhaps they are fairly efficient?"

Williams says, "There'd have to be more specifics to be looked at.  Obviously if the administrative leader of a non profit organization is making 250 thousand dollars or more.  You gotta look at that."
The budget for the Superintendent's office will drop about $27 thousand as part of close to six million dollars in cuts. Reductions in 16 departments include a more than 10 percent cut in operations, a close to eleven percent cut to exceptional education and a more than 18 percent cut to the governing board budget.
Chief financial officer Yousef Awwad says they tried to limit impact on classrooms, but admin positions do help schools perform.

Craig Smith asked him: "Parents who are upset about the schools closing may well say, couldn't you have done the staff cuts before you did the school cuts?"

Awwad: "When we say school cuts, we're really not talking people.  When we're reducing schools, we're reducing buildings; and that's really important to point out.  It's much more difficult to reduce staff than reduce buildings."
Grandparent Phyllis Reid says parents and grandparents want administration as efficient as possible.

Craig Smith said, "TUSD administration contends administration is quite lean and in line with other districts, what do you think of that?"

Reid says, "Of course they take that position.  It's just like a bank that tells you they're gonna improve customer service by taking something away from you."

TUSD says that administration label often applies to staff like counselors and librarians that parents want and do see as critical to education, but because they not classed as instructional, they're classed as administrative.

These cuts take effect with the budget year that starts in July. 

People will learn if their job is specifically in line for cuts between now and then.