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Johnsburg superintendent responds to accusations in political ads

Johnsburg Central School Superintendent Mike Markwica

Johnsburg Central School Superintendent Mike Markwica Jim Nash

— 3) The School Board FAILED to disclose how much JCS district pension obligations are unfairly inflated by allowing prospective retirees to pump up their last few years’ compensation before retirement. Our current multi-annual employment contracts permit this practice, by WHY did the board approve them?

Markwica: When we had that second (budget) meeting, we put it out there that next year’s retirees, the amount we have to pay for their benefits, was 600 and some-odd thousand. It was right there. And Tony came up to me and his comment to me was, ‘That’s a mighty big number,’ and I said, ‘Yeh, it is.’ He goes, ‘Well, what do we get for that?’ Well, we got a lot for it. So I don’t believe we failed to give that information.

4) The School Board FAILED to disclose that a major statewide study shows JCS among the most expensive school districts per student while also among the lowest in student academic achievement.

Markwica: I truly do not believe it’s my or the board’s job to put out (that) information. I could be putting out information all day long. Do you know how many studies there are out there? He brought it to our awareness. We’ve looked at it, I can tell you that. But we also looked at the Buffalo Review that was brought up two meetings ago that showed us very favorable.

Information Bulletin 2 (April 21)

1) The board has PERMITTED staff numbers and compensation levels to grow over the years as student enrollment steadily declined. Since staffing accounts for 75-80 percent of school costs, JCS taxpayers have been unfairly burdened by this policy.

Markwica: In five years, we’ve lost 10 and a half positions. I don’t think that’s ‘grow.’ I think that’s a lie ... Every year, we show a slide of the programs we have either taken away or the staff we’ve decreased, and over the last five years, we have decreased 10 and a half positions. Therefore, the total compensation as a whole has gone down. We have not increased staff, we have decreased staff.

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