Additional secretaries proposed for elementaries

Extra staff would offer office support, security called benefits


TEMPERANCE — The Bedford Public Schools Board of Education is considering whether to add a secretary to each of the three elementary schools next year to act as door monitors and help staff handle an influx of students from the closed Temperance Road Elementary.

Edward Manuszak, the district’s assistant superintendent for instruction and student services, made the case for the additional staff at the board’s committee of the whole meeting last week.

He said the “Level B” secretaries would function as office support, improve service to the public, and play a safety role as school entrance monitors, replacing greeters who are being discontinued.

“These are our recommendations to you and will be put into the budget for next year,” he said.

Board Member Joe Gore asked how this unexpected expense would affect the district’s deficit-elimination plan on file with the Michigan Department of Education.

Sharon Ramirez, the district’s chief financial officer, said the spending projection assumed an $850,000 annual saving from closing Temperance Road Elementary, and the change would have to be reported to Lansing. She said, however, that an increase in state assistance could offset the unexpected cost of the three secretaries.

“How are we going to sell this?” Mr. Gore asked. “We’re closing schools, we’re laying off tenured teachers?”

Mr. Manuszak said it could be promoted on the basis the Bedford community values safety and superior service. School board President Michael Smith said the additional secretary would enable principals and teachers to do a better job. He asked for a spreadsheet specifying the costs.

Friday is the last day the Temperance Road Elementary building will be used as a school. Next year, 123 students who would be attend Temperance Road will be transferred to Douglas Road Elementary; 91 will go to Jackman Road Elementary, and 159 to Monroe Road Elementary.