Tupper school may not rehire principal

In an effort to get a better handle on costs, the Tupper Lake Central School District is mulling the idea of not rehiring a school principal.

If the school chooses not to replace retiring middle/high school Principal Pam Martin, the district could save a pile of money, according to district officials.

But they still don't know if the move is feasible, or if it's even a good idea.

District Superintendent Seth McGowan said anytime a person retires, their position is examined for potential cost savings - and the principal is no exception.

"If there is a way to do the principal position in a cost saving way, we need to think about that," McGowan said.

The idea is to fulfill the principal duties with existing staff to save money. But it can't be just anyone. The district is required to have a certified administrator who can handle disciplinary issues in the school.

That rules out McGowan. He said the superintendent can recommend disciplinary action, but under state guidelines he can't actually carry out a suspension or other disciplinary action.

McGowan said that by not filling the principal position, the district could save between $50,000 and $60,000. But it has not been determined whether such a decision would effect education.

"There's a cost benefit analysis to be done here," McGowan said.

Even with a sparse administrative staff, McGowan said that the school continues to look for more efficiency as it strives to pass a budget with a zero percent tax increase.

Last year the school decided not to rehire a dean of students - an administrator that handled discipline in the school. Current staff might also absorb the duties of a retiring payroll clerk and other clerical staff this year.

No layoffs are planned this year, according to McGowan.

The board of education plans to have final staff and budget details by April 27.

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