Changes to central admin structure will save $680,000 over 2 years, says Shawnee Mission superintendent

Superintendent Michael Fulton said the changes in the organizational chart would save about $680,000 in personnel costs over the next two years. File photo.

As the Shawnee Mission School District gears up for the start of classes for the 2019-20 school year next month, it’s enacted a series of tweaks to its administrative structure — moves that Superintendent Mike Fulton says will save the district hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next couple of years.

Among the most notable changes to the organizational structure:

  • One of the associate superintendent positions has been eliminated. With the retirement of Deputy Superintendent Kenny Southwick last month, Associate Superintendent of Organizational Support Rick Atha will rise to become Fulton’s deputy, and his associate superintendent position has been eliminated.
  • The Assistant Superintendent of Early Childhood and Strategic Engagement position and the Principal of Early Childhood position have been combined.

Additionally, Fulton said, the district will be combining the chief of student services and an assistant superintendent position next year after the retirement of chief of student services Ed Striech. Similarly, Fulton said there will be a cost saving change in the structure of the emergency management operations after the retirement of executive director John Douglass at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

Fulton told the board that the changes would “cut about $680,000 out administrative cost over the next two years.” He said the reduction in administrative costs were key to helping the district cover the $1 million shortfall in Title 1 funding the district faced heading into this year.

But the new structure does not include only the reduction of positions. The district has hired an in-house counsel, a move that Fulton says should reduce the overall costs associated with legal work incurred by the district. It has also hired a new coordinator of diversity, equity and inclusion.