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Proposal aims to divvy up shared supt. costs

Greenfield could pay 60% in proposed plan with Mohawk

If Greenfield pursues a shared superintendency next year with districts west of the Route 2 rotary, it might end up taking on about three-fifths of the total costs.

The Greenfield School Department would pay 60.5 percent, the Mohawk Trail Regional School District would pay 34.4 percent and the Hawlemont Regional School District would pay 5.1 percent, according to a draft proposal sent by Mohawk school board Chairman Robert Aeschback to Mayor William Martin earlier this month.

Aeschback said the proposal is based upon the current shared agreement between Mohawk, Hawlemont and Rowe and is only intended to get the conversation started.

The Greenfield School Committee is seeking a new superintendent to succeed Susan Hollins, who will retire in July.

Mohawk Superintendent Michael Buoniconti has applied elsewhere and is a finalist for a central Massachusetts job. And Rowe may drop out of the Mohawk system’s current superintendent agreement in July.

If the school boards move forward and agree on those shares, there’s a potential for big savings for all parties — at least, in the superintendent line item of the budget.

For a superintendent in the $120,000 to $150,000 salary range, Greenfield would pay between $72,500 and $91,000 next year. The school department currently pays retiring superintendent Susan Hollins $150,000, including $30,000 from grants.

Mohawk, which currently pays just over $117,350 (82.55 percent) of Buoniconti’s salary, would have the most to gain from the agreement, financially speaking. It would pay between $41,000 and $52,000 for a superintendent in the $120,000 to $150,000 range.

Hawlemont would pay between $6,000 and $8,000, compared to nearly $15,000 this year.

Any additional administrators that might be needed, like assistant superintendents, would add to those costs.

The school districts would share only a superintendent in the first year and then, if the arrangement was working, would add more administrative positions — including business administrator, direct of pupil services, technology director and food services — to the agreement the following year.

Martin said the School Committee would discuss it at one of its two meetings this month.

The two school boards flirted with shared superintendent agreements in 2002 and again in 2009. But those talks never went anywhere.

You can reach Chris Shores at: cshores@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 264

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