Tabernacle shares school district services with Southampton

By Katrina Grant

As part of a continued effort to find ways to save money in the school district budget, Tabernacle Township has set up a shared service with Southampton for two school district positions effective July 1. Tabernacle Township and Southampton Township will share the positions of one full-time supervisor of curriculum and instruction and one full-time supervisor of special services.

“When Tabernacle was going through the budget process we were trying to find more efficiencies because of the six years of failed budgets,” George Rafferty, superintendent of Tabernacle school district, said. “We were looking for ways to reduce costs. These two positions lend themselves to this this arrangement. They are easier to share.”

Craig Vaughn will serve as the supervisor of curriculum and instruction, and Abbie DiMenna will serve as the supervisor of special services. Vaughn was previously an employee in the Southampton school district where he served as the curriculum director and child study team director. DiMenna is a new hire brought on by Rafferty and the superintendent of Southampton school district, Michael Harris. DiMenna is a Tabernacle employee, and Vaughn will remain a Southampton employee.

“Michael Harris and I had been talking about this since around March,” Rafferty said. “Geographically we are only five or six miles apart, so we were looking for something more workable in his district and what best serves our students.”

In addition to the shared service between the two districts, they will also share the costs fifty-fifty. The districts are already noticing savings in costs.

“We are already noticing savings in professional development,” Rafferty said. “We are able to split workshop costs. Because Tabernacle already had full-time people in each position, we are saving on administration costs. We are seeing a huge savings on salaries and benefits I would approximate at $125,000. We essentially eliminated a whole person and having to pay that salary and benefits.”

With the new-shared service, the districts believe going forward the arrangement will be very successful and already see the public embrace of the arrangement.

“We have the ingredients to make this successful,” Rafferty said. “This will work out very easily to share individuals. We have seen a positive benefit and a positive openness to this. We have a climate that supports this with the administration, the board, teachers and the community.”