BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Just as many school districts rushed over the past few months to complete negotiated teacher evaluation plans, the state education department also had to hire additional staff to process all those plans with some rather high salaries.
On the NYSED website you will find listings for project coordinator and starting salaries ranging from $74,000 to $77,000 to $82,000. There is also a separate listing for education specialists who would make $50 dollars per hour. These are temporary appointments with certain requirements. We are waiting for the state to tell us how many were hired and for how long. The state did get $700 Million from the federal government's Race To The Top program for teacher and principal evaluations.
At the same time the New York State School Boards Association is conducting a survey of districts around the state to see whether their costs to implement the programs actually costs more than the Education Department funding provided to them. Association spokesman David Albert says their early impression is that districts are paying more to set up the system. Albert says districts may be paying for greater accountability for teachers and principals at the same time as they must cover rising costs for pensions and health care.
Erie One Boces Superintendent Dr. Donald Olgilvie says most school districts in Erie County did opt to pool their resources and use a "network- team" approach. That way Boces staffers would be properly trained in the new system and then provide the information and their expertise to school district officials.