Port ed board talk targeted expenditures for next school year

Port ed board talk targeted expenditures for next school year
Paul D. Schreiber High School. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

By Matt Weiner

Sean Feeney, Port’s assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and assessment, presented several propositions at the Board of Education’s first meeting of the year, including adding instructional coaches and secondary curriculum directors to the district aimed at bettering the district’s education next year.

Feeney faced many questions regarding his presentation of the several propositions for the 2024-25 school year budget at the Jan. 16 meeting.

The propositions include adding four instructional coaches which would cost $240,000 plus benefits and two secondary curriculum directors – one for humanities and one for STEM – that would also cost $160,000 plus benefits for each position. This would be implemented at all elementary levels.

Feeney conceded that the term “instructional coach” can “seem a little funny” but confirmed they are not overseen by the district’s athletic department. He defined the role as “a master teacher with an expertise.”

This “master teacher” will aid with the proposition to implement and fully support a new K-6 math program that will cost the district $125,000-$180,000.

“I think that Port does not lack talented teachers. What we have struggled with, based on my understanding of the past, is providing sustained regular support for those teachers in terms of professional development,” Feeney said. “This is a very common model in districts and districts that have this – the results speak for themselves.”

Other 2024-2025 potential expenditures listed are the additional assistant director of pupil personnel services that would cost $130,000 plus benefits, staffing six additional security guards, a second guard at each elementary school at the front desk and a night guard at Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School that would cost $220,000, and a new playground structure at John Philip Sousa Elementary School worth $125,000.

“This is a lot of money,” board member Rachel Gilliar said. “You add these numbers up and I think that sometimes the immediate reaction is, ‘Wait a second – why are we spending money on this instead of students?’ And I think it’s important to note the reason you’re [Feeney] recommending all of this is because it is spending money on students. We are pushing toward creating a better education and this is how we get there.”

The propositions are being considered for the district’s 2024-2025 budget expenditures, which has not been finalize yet. It will be voted on by district residents in May.

Once Feeney left the podium, Superintendent Michael Hynes stepped up to address proposed items that included mental health, innovation, nutrition and movement.

“As far as the process is concerned for any of these task forces I’m going to sit down with [Assistant Superintendent of Business] Ms. [Kathleen] Manuel to hear more about a certain amount,” Hynes said, “and once I find out what those recommendations are, [I’ll] slide them in as appropriate for whatever we budgeted for.”

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here