North Kitsap School Board member Ed Strickland has been making quite a fuss lately over planned cuts in the school district’s budget, and Thursday night at the school board meeting he plans to make a little more.
On the agenda is an item to approve a benefits package for administrators in NK. Strickland plans to make a motion to remove the name of Jon Torgerson from that list. Torgerson has been hired to serve as interim principal at Suquamish Elementary for the 2010-11 school year. He will replace Joe Davalos, who will become superintendent of education for the Suquamish tribe. To save money, Strickland wants a central office administrator to serve as interim at Suquamish. Strickland estimates the savings would provide for almost two teachers.
“I just don’t think we need that many administrators at the central office when we’re cutting teachers,” he said. NK did not lay-off teachers this year, but the district did not fill some teaching positions that will be vacant, which will result in slightly higher class sizes for the 2010-11 school year.
Strickland said his proposal is not unprecedented. He recalled when curriculum director Wally Lis served as interim at Poulsbo Middle School for a year. He also made it clear that it’s nothing personal. “This isn’t a reflection on Torgerson, this is a reflection of the budget.”
It’s not clear how successful Strickland will be with this plan. Board President Tom Anderson, who has voiced support for a proposal like this, will be absent from the meeting. That leaves new members Kathleen Dassel and Dan Weedin and long-time board member Val Torrens to weigh in. NK’s board meetings have been interesting of late. I don’t think Thursday night will be much different.