Auditors contracted by Jefferson County Public Schools say the district’s central administration needs a makeover, including elimination of certain positions and creating others.
The Organizational Structure and Central Office Staffing, Functions, and Operations report is a supplement to the Curriculum Management Audit requested by the board earlier this year. The nearly 80-page report shows the JCPS central administration’s staff is too large and in many cases is overpaid when compared to the national average. Phi Delta Kappa International has made 18 recommendations to JCPS.
“For myself, Steve Imhoff, speaking for himself, we need to follow every one of these recommendations and we need to set the process and get it going,” said JCPS board chair Steve Imhoff.
The report finds the JCPS hiring process is biased towards internal promotions. Over 99 percent of new hires the past two years were from within the department and the audit recommends that at least one-third be hired from outside the district.
Some administration positions will be eliminated under the proposals and more appropriate positions will be created. The auditors also recommended that JCPS create a more diverse and specialized staff.
“We also have, I might remind you, 90 positions that have been frozen since about the second month since I was here so we will look at those positions, which of those positions are mission critical and we’ll post those positions and give everyone the opportunity to apply for those as well,” said Superintendent Donna Hargens.
Auditors conducted several interviews with JCPS staff and many feel like the district’s hiring process is not effective, said Dr. William Poston who helped announce the report’s findings.
“We had input from over 300 people and our findings and recommendations were drawn from that data base. So it’s basically a reflection of what the Jefferson County Public Schools said was the issues,” said Poston.
JCPS has already begun the process of decreasing the central staff based on recommendations made by the auditing firm earlier this year, said Hargens.
The district will carefully consider the recommendations and make necessary changes; some may come quickly, but not overnight, she said.