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EDITORIAL: School stats don't add up

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School district's stable of administrators remains the same

It’s election season — and that means campaigns are making confetti out of data. 
Because no matter your argument, there’s always a statistic to back it up. 
Take, for instance, elections for the Oldham County Board of Education — a pivotal race that could drastically alter the course of Oldham County Schools. 
Numbers have been flying around like monkeys in the Wizard of Oz. 
During a candidate forum Sept. 25, Division 3 candidate Gary Gibson cited a number of statistics that have been fact-checked since the forum. 
Gibson, a resident of Pewee Valley, didn’t offer a source for his information, causing much of the confusion. 
However, some of his statistics are accurate when placed in context and referenced. 
Take, for instance, the statistic that only 48 percent of the district’s budget is spent on salaries. 
As it turns out, that figure comes from the Kentucky Department of Education and is self-reported by the Oldham County Board of Education, including the district’s total spending for 2011-12.
The total figure includes the district’s building fund and other monies considered off limits for payroll.
About 84 percent of the 2012-13 general fund budget will be spent on salaries for all employees, including about $40 million on instruction salaries and benefits.
Gibson and other candidates have stated on numerous occasions that Oldham County Schools has a stable of nearly a dozen assistant superintendents.
District officials scoffed at the number. The district currently employs only one assistant superintendent – Dan Orman.
Oldham County Schools is led by a superintendent, chief operating officer, chief academic officer, assistant superintendent, elementary level director, secondary level director, director of academic support, director of special education and director of pupil personnel.
But prior to the 2012-13 school year, Orman wasn’t the district’s sole assistant superintendent.
In recent years, the district has employed several assistant superintendents, and most are still employed by the district under a different title – director.
Some gained a promotion, including Superintendent Will Wells, who previously served as an assistant superintendent. And there are a few new faces in the crowd.
But most of the Directors Formerly Known as Assistant Superintendents are the original artists.
Combined, the district’s top nine administrators earn $1,040,669 annually. Seven of the nine earn six-figure salaries.
Call them what you want. But those who allege the payroll of Oldham County Schools is top-heavy are still focused on the bottom line.

The views in this editorial represent the views of The Oldham Era.