There’s one benefit in having a school superintendent who wears multiple hats — it saves money.

For many taxpayers that’s a good enough reason to have highly paid public sector managers cover a few bases. A superintendent who manages the finances, oversees large capital projects, serves as the principal of a school. Look at all the money you save.

But we’ve all seen the downside of that system as well. Acquire enough jobs and you start cutting corners to get all the work done. Maintain control over enough areas and you can control and manipulate the information that makes its way to the public and elected officials who are supposed to exercise oversight.

Riverside District 96 has had a robust, expensive technology program. The number of devices — from laptops to iPads and iPods — that the district has purchased over the years has resulted in spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Until last week, if you were a member of the public, you would have thought the program was a well-oiled machine serving the needs of teachers and students and a good return on the public’s investment.

But statements from the new administration at the school board meeting on Sept. 17 painted an alarming picture of how technology has been handled. The district’s new finance director and new superintendent criticized the way the plan had (or had not been) rolled out in the schools, criticized the way devices were tracked and, pointedly, expressed disappointment in the personnel in charge of the program.

It appears the district will seek a short-term plan to right the technological problems they (Hauser Junior High, in particular) are facing. We’re wondering what else the new administration will uncover as it sorts out the situation left by the previous administration.

One thing appears clear, however. The new administration and school board are prepared to seek accountability for what goes on in D96. Sure, those additional administrators in the central office end up costing more money than one person. But they also provide more sets of eyes to make sure the public’s interest is being served.

That’s worth money, too.

This article has been changed to correct the types of devices purchased for students in District 96.