The Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center will lose one of its four administrators next year, following the center board’s approval of a $2.3 million funding request Tuesday night. It adds an instructor and an instructional assistant, raises staff salaries by an average of 2 percent and eliminates the strategic planning officer position.
CATEC Strategic Planning Officer Daphne Keiser said Tuesday afternoon that which of the center’s four administrative positions gets nixed is not set in stone. As the request is written, however, Keiser will lose her job at the end of the current school year.
Keiser was hired last year to replace Catherine Lee, who transitioned to a different role at the center last summer. Lee is leaving at the end of the school year and will not be replaced, Keiser said.
Lee’s and Keiser’s salaries together came to $210,000 in the current fiscal year, CATEC documents showed.
The line item for those positions in the proposed budget was marked zero, as were the line items for Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax, Virginia Retirement Service and health and dental benefits for those positions.
“Right now in the budget, it is pretty transparent that the strategic planning officer is the position to be eliminated,” she said. “Both school divisions recognize the value of the position, but right now that position is not in the budget.”
CATEC has four directors this year — the strategic planning officer, the center director, the adult education director and an assistant principal. It was unclear Tuesday when the decision on which position gets cut will be final.
The board’s newly elected chairman, Dave Oberg, said that with four administrators, the center has more staff for its number of students than would a traditional school in either division.
“The additional position creates a circumstance in which CATEC had more administrators than any other school in the division,” he said. “We cannot in good faith fund something that is not necessary to the function of the school; it is better to use that money on programs.”
Oberg and board member Juandiego Wade were elected chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the center board Tuesday by two separate unanimous votes.
Carrying out the center’s strategic plan will be left to CATEC’s remaining three administrators, said Charlottesville City Schools Superintendent Rosa Atkins.
“Those three will all now be involved with community outreach,” she said. “What this allows is for us to focus more of our resources in the classroom and expand our academies faster.”
The proposed spending plan is just shy of 12 percent — or $240,000 — larger the current year budget, and is based on a $1.73 million contribution from Albemarle County schools — a $180,000 increase, and $583,000 from city schools, a $60,000 increase.
In addition to the new teaching position and teaching assistant, the center expects an 18 percent hike in its contribution to the Virginia Retirement Service, a 7 percent increase in health care spending and a 5 percent bump in the cost of dental insurance.