August 28, 2014

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Pendleton County Schools Chairman responds to recent letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

First I would like to thank you for the opportunity to respond to the letter in today's issue titled "In Who's Best Interest?" on behalf of the Pendleton County Board of Education. There were numerous misconceptions and incorrect statements in the letter. I want to set the record straight on the following:

1. The benefits and reasons why we support the NKU Ed .D program for the district and superintendent.

2. Clarification on the reduction in positions at the district level and the $140,000 in savings to the district.

3. Explaining the reasons for changes in the salary structure and how that will benefit staff.

4. The reasons for changing our staffing formula and how those were determined.

5. That programs were not eliminated during the change in staffing.

In December of 2012, each member of the board of education received a letter from the Northern Kentucky University College of Education inviting the district and Superintendent Strong to participate in the 2nd Superintendent Ed. D Cohort.

The executive doctoral cohort is a program designed to improve the district by refining and improving upon the skills of the superintendent. This process focuses on developing competencies in the superintendent through work that is to be completed on projects that will benefit the district. The competencies developed will tie directly back to efforts that help improve the district. In addition to the competency work, the district will have access to all programs within the college of education, as well as other departments of the university for a two and a half year period. This type of professional development could cost the district thousands of dollars. The cost of this program is $33,980, less than $5.00 per student over the three year period. The board certainly understands that there is a cost, but more importantly felt that it was an investment in the future of the district. In addition to the board agreeing to pay the tuition, it also asked Mr. Strong to sign an agreement requiring him to reimburse the district for all or portions of the tuition depending upon his length of service to the district. Mr. Strong is also responsible for all other expenses associated with the program. Ms. Key must have been unaware of this information or neglected to share that important part with her readers. Where will this money come from to pay for the Ed.D? Currently the board provides for professional development of the superintendent and other administrative positions. We will redistribute those funds and look at other general fund options. The funds used will not be taken from any reductions made due to staffing.