I have written in the past about how critical the monthly Gains and Losses Report is for the Board to adequate complete its oversight responsibilities. In addition, I have made some suggestions regarding how the Report could be improved to assist the Board in performing this function. However, until such time as the Report is revised, I intend to go through it each month in detail to track departmental changes as they occur over time.
The following, along with my comments, are the key line items to focus on in the Report:
Certified Appointments and Losses – Generally, the certified appointments and losses are pretty straight forward and include teachers and principals. Nothing unusual to see this month.
At Will Appointments and Losses – These sections are where we see which administration functions are being filled and which current administrative employees are leaving APS. The non-certified appointments can have some interesting information in them – as is the case this month. HR seems to be moving forward quickly with hiring for the Project Thrive initiative with 14 positions filled (start dates range from July to September). Also of note, Stephen Alford – Executive Director of Communications – has left APS.
Promotions – It is important to understand both the title change and the new salary band – this provides additional information regarding how costs are changing in departments. There were no “At Will” promotions shown in the Report this month.
Reclassifications – Generally, this represents a change in the job title. However, in the past I have also seen instances in which a job reclassification also results in a change in salary band and a related change in salary. I will be tracking these closely over the coming year. In the current Report, there is only one reclassification for a title change – the salary band remained the same.
All in all, this month’s Report is straight forward with no significant implications for departmental or expenditure changes.
However, remember that a significant part of the FY14 Budget includes $5.9 million in savings from Vacancy Management – savings from a delay in filing authorized positions in non-teaching positions. Tracking the non-certified losses and assessing how long it takes to fill the position will give us a sense of how the administration is doing in meeting this component of cost savings.
Just as importantly, if a position stays vacant for an extended period of time, it certainly raises the question as to how critical the position is to the organization. This assessment will become critical to the budget process for FY15 – it is never too early to start!