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Eliminate post in Ripley

May 12, 2013

According to, Ripley Central Schools Superintendent Karen Krause earned $123,000 in 2012....

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May-12-13 7:04 AM

Good question. Why this school is open at all is ridiculous. What is the cost of utilities, janitorial services etc? This school should be closed!!

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May-12-13 7:42 AM

I am always amazed by the fact that we have 18 school superintendents in our county. (20 if you count BOCES.) We could realistically get by with just two along with a few regional assistant superintendents. That would save taxpayers millions each year.

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May-12-13 8:40 AM

Put all that money in one pile and it looks like a lot. Unfortunately the savings on your tax bill would be tiny. Take a typical $20M school budget and eliminate $200,000 from it. That a 1% reduction. If your school taxes are $1,000, with a 1% reduction, you'd save $10 a year. Oversimplified, yes -- but it makes the point. That said, I'm not against the reduction of unnecessary staff -- but I'm not expecting my taxes to substantially go down.

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May-12-13 8:53 AM

AS usual, keep the people at the top with their hugh salaries even when you eliminate people and jobs at the bottom and pretend that if we don't find small savings like 1% they can't add to real savings. I agree less supervisor to began with.

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May-12-13 9:01 AM

Chuck is on to something -- its called math -- that the clueless church lady gaggle OBSERVER board conveniently disregards when its tries to pontificate...

1) what Ripley pays its superintendent is the MARKET rate -- that's right, the market rate regardless of district or enrollment size. Tough to swallow? Only for the clueless...Superintendents are business managers: they manage headcounts in the dozens, a few of facilities & multi-million dollar budgets. Check any job board: these jobs are 6 figures.

2) Ripley residents only directly pay, are taxed, for 25% of that salary -- 25% -- no more. The rest comes from state & federal taxes, which Ripley residents contribution is sub-sub-sub-atomic in size.

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May-12-13 9:04 AM

A few yrs back, I compared what former BPS Supt Dr. James Williams was being paid versus how much was being spent on ALL 18 Supts in Chat Co. Williams was earning $275,000 per yr, but in his defense, he was responsible for 35,000 inner-city kids. In Chat Co, however, we were paying OVER 10X that amt for all 18 supts, but the kicker was the total # of students in Chat Co was 15,000 LESS than the city of Buffalo.

I believe NYS has since "capped" how much a school district's Supt can earn. This caused Dr Williams to follow thru w/his threat and resign.

We must stop paying excessive salaries for Supts in charge of small districts, but how can you impose such reform when many long-term subordinates employed by these same small districts are earning near, equal or above 6-figures per year? The next relative point is: How many students are these subordinates (those teaching a specific course) responsible for per/yr...75-100 tops?

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May-12-13 10:01 AM

It's a tad more complicated than this, but closing schools, ANY schools, even empty schools, is a difficult task in our locale, or seems to be. Buildings seem to take on a living, breathing presence. Even the Brocton/Westfield merger is a joke, both schools plus Ripley clearly should be a part of the Chautauqua Lake district. It is NOT going to happen. Listen to the boo-birds the moment mergers, any mergers, are discussed. Yet those same boo=birds are the first ones in line complaining about their taxes. I forgot, DC, in your mind money from the state is free money, so we're ONLY responsible for 25% of funding, the rest comes from the tooth fairy.

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May-12-13 10:20 AM

Dcron previously offered her twisted analogy to minimize how much it costs to teach kids ($1.50/hr). I believe her msg was something like: "where else can you get such value for your $$$?" Now she defends excessive salaries for district supts by citing the "market rate," a standard undoubtedly established by those who work in public ED.

I'm curious Dc, if Supts have as many responsibilities as you've listed, would you mind explaining what asst supts, bldg principals, asst principals and all the other plethora of admins do on a daily basis?

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May-12-13 10:27 AM

DCron, who the heck do you think pays state taxes that make up that "other" 75%? CLOSE THAT SCHOOL!!!!

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May-12-13 10:58 AM

Every school district in the state must have a Superintendent. It doesn't have to have a Principal however. Ripley can share a Superintendent with the approval of The Commissioner which has been given twice lately. It could seek approval for a part-time Superintendent but it must have one. Babble on please, knowing little; babble on.

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May-12-13 11:28 AM

You people seem to miss the point. Even if the position is funded 100% locally, and even if we inflate the pay and benefits to $200,000, the taxpayer sees very little reduction in his taxes. I wish it were different, but going into denial won't change the numbers, nor will disagreeing with me. If one is to see a big reduction in taxes, it will take closing of several schools and massive lay-offs.

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May-12-13 2:38 PM

Far WNY is drifting out of sight. Oh yes, people will always live there. Not like it was. So cut or pay but the area is shrinking and can not now afford what was natural in years past.

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May-12-13 7:25 PM

There are some who underestimate the impact of administrative costs on the cost of education. In Dunkirk we spend over $4 million per year just on administrators. Elimination of the post in Ripley might not have an enormous impact of the total cost or taxes but it is certainly a step in the right direction. It is not unusueal for districts in other states to have only one superintendent for the entire county. I think that shpuld be our goal and yes, it will have a big impact on costs and taxes.

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May-12-13 10:00 PM

I agree with most of the posts here that the administrative burden is choking taxpayers.

My district has 1 super and 3 assistant supers (cirriculum, facilities, personnel) --- and 3.5x as many students (70,000) as all of Chau Cty --- at a savings of over $3 million per year - per year - over what you're paying.

Saying "the state or the Feds" pick up most of that burden conveniently ignores the fact taxpayers are on the hook for that as well.

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May-12-13 10:38 PM

You guys know zero math: this county has a pop of 134,000 out of a state of 19,500,000; 10% of the state is 1,950,000.

One percent is 195,000 -- that's right -- this county is less than 1% of the state population -- in linear extrapolation, we pay less than 1% of state taxes. So, no, we ARE NOT "on the hook" for the super's salary; we don't even make a dent.

On the federal level, what we in this county pay in federal taxes, compared to the rest of the state and country is laughable, borderline ridiculous-to-even-discuss. So again, we ARE NOT on the hook for the super's salary.

Go spin your whining "We are the taxpayers!" somewhere else,because it doesn't stand up to the math and the facts.

BTW -- whether you believe it or not, all administration salaries are at market -- I thought all you guys were tax-fearing, free market capitalists...

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May-12-13 11:38 PM

If dcron's market rate is correct that is just more reason to get rid of undersized school districts thanks D for more ammo!

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May-13-13 8:41 AM

Dc's math and thinking match the "tax and spend" mentality quite nicely...

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May-13-13 12:08 PM

Nothing is really going to change until NYS itself steps in and mandates mergers between districts.

While I applaud Riply for tuitioning some of the students to another district I would like to point out that the amount they said they would be paying per student is less then half of what they pay to teach them in Ripley.

Using the current budget of $8.4M and 320 students that comes to $26,250 per student.

But they were saying last year that it would cost about $10k per student to tuition them to another school, but let's say it's 50% of what they spend so $13,125.

That means that if they tuition 160 students the school needs $2.1M less this year then last but instead there was a token decrease.

Now I understand buildings and maintenance are fairly constantly, and I could even see adding one or two of the grade 7-12 teachers on to enhance the curriculum of the remaining grades but shouldn't the rest of the teachers be let go?

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May-13-13 12:13 PM

Also with the reduction in students should come a need for fewer ancillary services.

Fewer classrooms in use means fewer that need to be cleaned daily. It also would allow shutting off parts of the building, be it classrooms or wings, which could be locked off and powered down completely, which would save on staffing and utility costs.

And of course with half as many students attending the district the number of administrative personel needed would be drasitically reduced as well.

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May-13-13 2:44 PM

the misogynt dc with his clueless church lady gaggle is at it again. He quotes the market for a declining school disrtrict. Dc, is there any govt program you disagree with ? Hey dcronig where does the rest of the supers salary come from ? the taxpayers.Are you that ignorant or what ? Cronig you must be just a foolish poster. Noone can be that ignorant.And you are not a misogynt ? How many times have you said clueless church lady gaggle ? Dont you know anything else ? What is wrong with you ?

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May-13-13 4:15 PM

"...Cronig you must be just a foolish poster. Noone can be that ignorant.And you are not a misogynt..."

Hello pot, meet kettle.

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May-13-13 5:01 PM

DarkStar, ya beat me to it. :-)

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May-13-13 7:41 PM

Dc sees no wrong w/the runaway spending & endless cost increases for public ED, and attempts to justify these costs by trying to convince the public that it actually amts to a mere $1.50/hr per student, or that district residents only pay 25%, while NYS picking up the rest? This can only mean 1 of 2 things, Dc is either a public ED employee or a sympathetic BOE member.

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May-13-13 9:15 PM

I wish I had summers off and still earned $123,000 a year. Of course I'm too lazy to get the required education to do so, but is it fair that I have to work twice as hard for 1/4 the pay while all the while paying her salary?

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May-14-13 12:34 PM

Just to set a couple things straight:

All of the secondary teachers have been eliminated for next year.

The school is actively working on a couple of agreements to rent out portions of the building.

This next year is a transition, no other school district has done this before, so there is no blueprint. There is a very good possibility that taxes will be further reduced for the 2014-15 year.

Every district needs a superintendent.

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