In today’s case of accounting whiplash, Southeast Technical Institute says it won’t need to resort to layoffs. Just three weeks ago, Southeast was saying a two-million-dollar deficit meant staff would lose jobs. I calculated STI would have to cut 40 instructor positions to close the budget gap. Now, Sioux Falls school board president Kent Alberty says they found the money elsewhere:
The efforts of the administrative team over the past weeks have led to a budget that is balanced and sustainable. This has been accomplished through hard work by many and has led to no faculty layoffs or program closure [Kent Alberty, press conference, transcribed from video posted on KELO-TV, 2016.04.27].
STI president Jeff Holcomb spoke of “serious cuts in a variety of areas” and “reduced contracts for some individuals.” Cutting equipment, facility renovation, and other unnamed line items will keep everyone working under a $24-million budget.
Well, everyone except Holcomb, whose resignation Alberty announced at the top of the press conference. Holcomb said he’s a relatively young guy (age 56) and wants to pursue other less stressful opportunities. Holcomb and Alberty both said the departure is Holcomb’s decision, not a booting. I can buy that: if I found an administrator who could save half of my staff from layoffs with some creative budget cutting, I’d probably fight to keep him around.
Then again, I might ask how we got into that mess in the first place and why we were lugging around two million dollars of apparently dispensable equipment and facility projects.
But hey, STI teachers, it sounds like you’re off the hook. Take each other out for a beer tonight, and enjoy your reassured employment.