Letter to the editor: ANeSU office workers: Unification means efficiencies

As employees of the ANESU Office of the Superintendent, we want to make our voices heard in the Act 46 Unification conversation.
Much has been said about how unification will benefit student learning. We’ll leave that up to the educators.
Some have spoken to the minimal cost savings the district will realize by becoming one. That’s for the business office to speak to.
What impacts us most in the Central Office is the efficiencies that will be created by operating as one district instead of seven. Currently, the business office operates seven entirely separate entities. Processes that are completed seven times for seven entities at present could be performed once: budgeting, payment of invoices, processing payroll and preparation of the many government, Agency of Education, and local financial reports, as well as all Human Resource activities and procedures. These processes occur annually, quarterly, monthly, or biweekly, times seven. Unification will greatly reduce operational redundancies and eliminate administrative inefficiencies in day-to-day operations.
There are eight school boards and several committees and sub-committees within ANESU that all meet at least monthly. The time that it takes to plan and carry out the meetings would be drastically reduced with only one board to support. The board meeting schedule requires the superintendent to attend at least 10 evening meetings every month. At this moment, there are 16 meetings warned to be held in the next two weeks.
We have seen great efficiencies in areas where we have already consolidated, such as Special Ed, Food Service, and IT. If we could expand that to include payroll, accounts payable, licensing, state and federal data reporting, board work, etc., we would be able to devote significantly more time to improving systems, building a better web presence, becoming more organized and being better prepared to assist teachers and principals to do the best they can for students.
Lastly, Act 46 is mandatory, and if we don’t design our own consolidation process, the state will do it for us, and force us to do it their way. And we will lose any financial incentives that we are eligible for if we do it now.
For these and many other reasons, we fully support Act 46 school unification in Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton, New Haven and Starksboro. Please vote YES on Nov. 8.
BobbiJo Conner, Human Resources
Cathy Ladd, Fiscal Analyst
Chelsea Smiley, Accounts Payable
Cheryl Hughes, Accountant
Jennifer Willey, Administrative Assistant
Karen Wheeler, Executive Assistant
Kristen LaFlam, Payroll
Valli Audy, Administrative Assistant

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