District trims principal payroll

By the 2014-15 school year, assistant principals at local middle and high schools will work five fewer days a year, saving Burbank Unified close to $30,000 annually.

The subtraction reflects the schedules assistant principals worked prior to 2005 — the year they took on additional work days to oversee the district's summer school programs.

But as the state reduced funding for summer programs in recent years, Burbank Unified minimized its offerings and focused mostly on students who need to take classes to recover credits.

Also, at least 90% of the summer classes can be taken online, further eliminating the need for supervision by assistant principals, district officials say.

While students used to attend summer school all day for six weeks, many online courses today require students visit the campus only three hours a week for five weeks, said Sharon Cuseo, director of instruction and accountability.

Burbank Supt. Jan Britz said the work-day cut is in line with the district's desire to always monitor costs.

"The reason we bring this forward is because we're always looking at reductions," she said during a recent board meeting.

The district will decrease the work days for assistant principals by two days during the 2013-2014 school year and by additional three days the following year.

Altogether, the reduction in days for the 14 secondary assistant principals and one alternative education administrator at Community Day School will provide more than $27,000 in savings each year, starting in 2014.

Burbank school officials will continue to review their budget in the coming weeks following approval of the state budget.

School board member Larry Applebaum said during a recent board meeting that it's a good idea to go ahead and reduce the number of work days for assistant principals even before the district has a clear idea of its financial picture because it's something that should be done anyway.

"Until we have a better idea of where we're going, I think that's going to provide you with the opportunity to have the payroll system corrected," he said.


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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