Education Department Slims Down

Oct 12, 2012

Salaries have been trimmed and personnel shed as Superintendent John White has reorganized the state Department of Education.

Since the start of the school year, five network leaders have been in place, working with school districts implementing new academic standards and teacher evaluations.

Under the old set-up, state officials in charge of curriculum, turnaround strategies, and other areas were all dealing with local superintendents.

White outlined the changes Thursday, calling his agency's structure more focused.

"Every district has one team that supports them. Not five different groups, not a bunch of different offices able to call them. One team," White said.

The Education Department has also hired a policy liaison to work with districts on changes to tenure and compensation mandated by the legislature.

The cost of salaries for White and his 15 top officials is nearly $200,000 less than before the restructuring.

The agency is leaner overall, with spending reduced by more than 10 percent and the elimination of more than 50 positions. About half of the cuts came from educational program staff, the rest from finance, IT, and elsewhere in the back office.