GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Greenburgh Central School District saved more than half a million dollars this year by hiring 10 new staff members, Superintendent Ronald Ross reported Tuesday.
At the 8 p.m. Board of Education meeting, the newly-appointed superintendent Ross said he is also looking to save costs by reducing BOCES resources.
Ross addressed parents' concerns that hiring the new teachers would increase the school budget and as a result, Greenburgh resident taxes. But instead, he said six staff members with salaries over $110,000 accepted retirement incentives and the board hired 10 new staff members at lower salary rates.
"I have two goals every day I'm here: One, what can I do for the students? And two, what can I do to save money for taxpayers? The two don't have to be exclusive from each other, Ross said.
The new hires were also necessary to keep up with Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) — state-mandated regulations that were implemented this year.
"We must give Greenburgh a fair chance at trying to pass," Ross said of the teacher evaluations. "Teachers are being asked to do things that they haven't done in the past. With the present staff, we don't believe we would have been able to effectively accomplish that."
Ross, who was appointed interim superintendent in January after Ronald Smalls retired as superintendent in April, said he also wants to look further into saving budget money by reducing outsourcing to BOCES.
There are a number of things the administration do themselves without having to use BOCES as a resource, Ross said. While the board is not looking to completely end the BOCES contract, there are enough developed staff members within the school that can manage the curriculum plans, he said.
Ross also announced at the meeting that Richard J. Bailey School has already been taken off the New York State Education Department's priority list of state schools that need improvement, which was issued in September.
This was achieved by following state recommendations for improvement and "not teaching to the test," Ross added.
"I don't want to get caught up in this teaching to the test," he said. "Life in America is about creative thinking. We did not get to be the No. 1 country in the world by test taking."