Purser: No Additional Cost for Associate Superintendent
Superintendent Susan Purser said today the hiring of a new administrator in December came at no additional cost to the school system.
Kathy Kennedy was named the Moore County school system’s associate superintendent for curriculum design and innovation shortly before the new year. A recent letter to the editor that appeared in The Pilot on Sunday questioned the hiring. It generated responses from readers of thepilot.com, who asked why Purser would hire an administrator in a time of economic difficulty.
Last year, the school system was forced to eliminate 50 positions in light of a budget shortfall. Purser said a number of positions in the central office were not filled in light of the economy. The school system also redirected $900,000 in funding from the central administration into the classroom.
Kennedy’s position replaces the “executive director of curriculum” position formerly occupied by Beverlee Beale. Beale retired last year. It also has additional responsibilities, Purser said.
“We did a cost-savings,” she said regarding the hiring. “We did not add an expense. That was one position that was left unfilled until I found the person best suited to fill our team. We did not do away with teachers so we could have this job.”
The school system's Web site says that the instructional design and innovation department, which Kennedy heads, "is committed to providing the assistance, support, and resources needed to support (sustain, maintain) engaging delivery of the curriculum so that all students develop the skills, concepts, attitudes, and behaviors essential for success in school, career, and community."
Dr. Larry Upchurch, who has worked in the school system for 37 years, is the deputy superintendent. Upchurch heads up instructional support services and works directly under Purser.
The school system also has two assistant superintendents — Dr. Brian Phillips and Dr. Eric Porter. Phillips is the assistant superintendent for elementary education, while Porter is the assistant superintendent for secondary education.
The school system is expecting $1.1 million in state cuts this year, though that number could increase.
If the budget Purser and her staff have proposed is approved as is by the Moore County Board of Education, the system will ask the Moore County Board of Commissioners for $26.2 million in local funding, $1.3 million more than it did last year.
Purser explained last week that the increase would cover the costs of opening two new schools next year — Crain’s Creek Middle and West Pine Elementary — and offset retirement rate and health insurance increases.
No one spoke out at the school board’s public hearing on the budget Monday, which lasted only about five minutes.
The board will vote on the budget proposal at a special meeting March 29 at 6 p.m.
Contact John Krahnert III at (910) 693-2473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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