Trenton School Board Votes to Outsource IT Department
The Trenton Board of Education voted in favor of outsourcing the Technology Department at Trenton Public Schools to save costs.
The contract includes three employee positions for which the three current technology employees can interview for, but the contract does not guarantee the current employees' jobs.
The decision followed a recommendation from three school employees who are currently vying for the open superintendent spot after former Superintendent John Savel retired. The three are competing in a superintendent internship.
Vince Porreca, principal at Hedke Elementary School, Stephanie O'Connor, principal at Arthurs Middle School and Rodney Wakeham, assistant principal at Trenton High School, presented cost savings for the district by outsourcing the department.
"In looking at our consideration for this recommendation for technology has been that we (as a district) are struggling with it," O'Connor said. "We have spent a lot of time trying to get it to work for us, instead of it being just a background for us and having it be an integration in our curriculum and have it be just a part of what we do."
O'Connor went on to explain some of the problems the district faces with different aspects of computer-related technology, including printers, the network and the server.
"It shouldn't be something that is frustrating for teachers to use, frustrating for students to use," O'Connor said. "We want it to be just seamless."
The cost for the technology coordinator, Dean Massalsky, and two PC technicians, Bob Nelson and Pat Kujala, was budgeted for about $250,500 for the 2011-12 school year.
Two "break and fix" technicians through inaCOMP would cost about $116,000 at 40 hours per week for 52 weeks and a mid-level technology director through inaCOMP would be about $61,000 for about half that time.
When employee costs are added to additional costs for switching to inaCOMP, the district would save about $42,000 annually by outsourcing the department.
Massalsky attempted to speak to board members just before they voted, but Board President Dennis Bearden asked him to speak during the public comments portion of the meeting.
"You guys are about to take away all three of our jobs and I think that after 13 years here that there could be an exception made for two or three minutes," Massalsky said. "If not, that's fine. I'll wait until public comment, but at that point the vote's already been made."
Massalsky left the meeting immediately after board members voted and did not speak during public comments.
"The decision that's about to go forth in this case is about potentially moving to a contractor that we have specifically asked to consider our employees, that are currently in the district, for positions, so this is not a decision about an individual, but a direction for the district as a whole," Bearden said.