Pueblo City Schools faces a $3 million deficit. The school board will meet this week to talk about eliminating some administrators to balance the budget.
About 18,000 students attend classes in Pueblo City Schools. An administration of 93 people oversees those students and the district.
KRDO NewsChannel 13 wanted to know how the number of administrators at Pueblo City Schools (District 60) compares with similarly-sized districts. We took at look at administration numbers for District 27J in Brighton and District 49 in Falcon. We found Pueblo had more administrators than both, even Falcon, a district with a thousand students more than District 60.
According to information provided by the Colorado Department of Education, Pueblo had 93 administrators during the 2012-2013 school year. In comparison, Brighton (District 27J) had 58 administrators and Falcon (District 49) had 70 administrators.
"I don't think that we have too many people at the top of the district," said Superintendent Dr. Maggie Lopez. "I think that when we compare districts, it's not apples to apples. We have to look at each district and their unique aspects."
School board president Dr. Kathy DeNiro agrees with Lopez. "When you look at the three districts, Pueblo City Schools, Falcon and Brighton, average daily attendance- we're very similar. But when you look at our population that we serve in demographics, we are not similar at all," DeNiro said.
Lopez and DeNiro said Pueblo's high poverty rate and low-student performance are some of the reasons why Pueblo has more administrators. School board member Rose Holloway disagrees. Holloway believes the district is top heavy and Pueblo's demographics shouldn't mean more administrators.
"Especially when our children's achievement levels are so low, you would think we would have more teachers rather than more administrators," Holloway said.
Lopez has proposed to the school board eliminating three full-time administrators. DeNiro said she's asked Lopez to look at making even more administrative cuts ahead of Thursday night's school board session.
DeNiro said, "We are at a point when 85 percent of our budget is on employees' salaries. We're at a point now where we have to look at either employees or building closures."
The amount of money spent on administrators has increased by more than $1.1 million since 2009.
"I think we spend too much on administration," Holloway said. "I think we need to cut there and that's where I'm going to look before I look at increasing class size or cutting teachers."
Lopez said, "At the end of the day, what's critical is that we're supporting kids."
The school board will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday to talk about the budget.