FARMINGTON (WWJ) – A packed house is expected for Tuesday night’s Farmington School Board meeting, where members will begin to discuss the possibility of subtracting support services.
The board will consider a request for proposals for transportation, custodial, maintenance and food services. And, according to district officials, that move could save millions.
School administrators say the district must consider any option that keeps dollars in the classroom to support student achievement.
“Based upon the experience of other districts, subtracting support services may provide a savings of roughly $4 million dollars per year,” said Assistant Superintendent David Ruhland, in a statement. “We would be remiss to overlook any option in light of the uncertainty within the state budget. Any savings that we have can be invested in our core mission of educating students,” he said.
But the union’s Laurie Moore, director of the Farmington Coordinating Council, says there’s more to the story.
“Farmington is a district that is not broke by any means,” Moore told WWJ Newsradio 950.
“I think it’s just a tactic on(the board’s) part to try to force us to take more concessions, since we’re about to start bargaining,” she said.
Moore says that privatizing support services won’t really save any money in the long run.
Privatizing impacts the community as a whole, because a lot of the support staff actually live in Farmington — so you lose part of your tax base when you start firing school employees to bring in strangers,” she said.
To allow more room for seating, Tuesday night’s meeting has been moved to the North Farmington High School auditorium.