AUBURN — When Alan Whitman compared this year’s information to last year’s in a School Department flier on the budget, he wondered whether the School Department hired 119 or so new staffers.

In last year’s brochure, the department said there were 254 classroom teachers, 46 special education teachers, 97 educational technicians, 14 building administrators, 24 secretaries, 22 custodians, 10 department directors and seven district staff members. The total is 474 workers.

This year’s brochure said there were 603 employees total, including 307 teachers.

“What numbers are the truth?” Whitman asked the Sun Journal in an email.

Superintendent Katy Grondin explained Monday that she totaled the numbers differently this year compared to last year.

“I didn’t mean for last year to be totaled. This year, I did it differently.”

In 2013, she included some categories but not all. “I didn’t include art and music teachers, I didn’t include technology staff, I didn’t include every administrator.”

This year, she reported the total number of workers, then the number of teachers.

Grondin said she understands the confusion.

This year’s budget represents a reduction of a half of position.

Two and a half teaching positions were cut and an educational technician and a cultural broker were added.

Grondin said next year she plans to report the numbers in the same manner as they were in this year’s brochure.

— Bonnie Washuk

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