Larry Hoyt: Managers and superintendents failed Denair schools

January 4, 2014 

The letter of support for Denair’s interim superintendent, “Hanline deserves Denair’s support” (Letters, Dec. 19), is correct in that few teachers understand the complexity of school finances. But then that isn’t their job. That’s the job of school business managers and superintendents.

Superintendents and managers do things like correctly count the number of students they have; budget by program and ensure that every dollar is spent wisely; do precautionary layoffs and reduce staff as needed; inform the public and the board about the health of the district; and listen to warnings from the county.

Unfortunately, Denair’s management did none of the above. It budgeted based on wild assumptions known only to them, and hid their bottom line from everyone. To put it in perspective, simply not hiring three or four unneeded positions in this tiny district would have resulted in a positive certification. At some point, the hiring of friends and relatives became more important than what was good for the students.

What I don’t get is interim Superintendent Walt Hanline’s new stance. He agreed in May that the district’s budgeting had been a “mess” and that teachers were underpaid. Now he blames teacher compensation – not overstaffing – for the fiscal disaster. So much for integrity.

LARRY HOYT

Turlock

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