Schools to Pare Administration

Article excerpt

Byline: Anne Williams The Register-Guard

The Eugene School District will shrink its central administration team considerably after this year - a recession-driven task made easier by the pending departures of several administrators.

To help close a gap in the 2009-10 budget pegged at nearly $16 million, Superintendent George Russell has decided he won't replace either Yvonne Curtis, who was hired in 2004 to be the director of student achievement, or Arbrella Luvert, who has filled the post of equity and diversity coordinator as a principal on special assignment. Luvert is retiring, while Curtis has been hired to be the new schools superintendent in Forest Grove.

Russell also intends to fold two other administrative positions - deputy superintendent and assistant superintendent for management services - into a single, hybrid position. Tom Henry, who held the former position, is retiring; Carl Hermanns held the latter job and will move into the new job position.

Also lost will be an administrative assistant position in Hermanns' office, Russell said.

All told, eliminating those jobs will save the district about $500,000 a year, said Susan Fahey, director of financial services. Including all benefits, compensation costs are $188,000 for Henry's position, $162,000 for Curtis', $127,000 for Luvert's and $74,000 for the administrative assistant.

Russell said the size of central administration has waxed and waned over the years but grown significantly since 2003 - the last year the district made sizable budget cuts. According to a district analysis, central support staffing levels are 6 percent greater today than they were that year, with several new positions added in the superintendent's office.

However, compared with 1991 - the year before the impact of a voter-approved tax limitation measure and a restructuring of the way the state funds schools kicked in - central administration is nearly 30 percent smaller.

"It's not to say it's not going to be a strain," Russell said of the downsizing. "We're going to have to figure out what we're not going to do."

The administrator cuts are a relatively small part of planned reductions, which aren't yet finalized. …