Hold The Line On Supes' Salaries...Please

I learned yesterday that Superintendent Dr. Kayrell’s contract runs through the end of the 2011/2012 school year and the three assistant superintendents’ contracts run through the end of next year, 2010/2011. Unless the board and administration are planning on reducing the supes’ compensation, I don’t believe any of these contracts should be re-negotiated at this time. I understand the assistant superintendents would like the security of knowing they have a contract beyond next year, who wouldn’t?  Looking at the financial situation of the district today, they would be the only employees of the district with this security.

Last year during the budget crisis, many parents and teachers were calling on the supes to share in the sacrifices. The superintendent responded that they had sacrificed by reducing their support staff. We were told the supes could not be required to take a reduction in their pay or benefits because of their existing contracts. Unlike administrators in neighboring districts, none of the supes volunteered a pay cut.  In last week’s budget review meeting, the administration proposed an “across the board reduction in staff salaries” and a shortening of the school year. I think it would be appropriate and courageous if the supes were renegotiating the contracts to reduce their compensation and show they are willing to sacrifice along with our kids. I’m not holding my breath.

If our board renegotiates the contracts and obligates the district for a longer period of time and/or higher compensation, we should all consider it a slap in the face to the parents, teachers, staff and, most importantly, our kids. In November, 3 of the 5 seats on the board are up for re-election. I feel it would be irresponsible for the current board to extend or increase the supes’ contracts leaving a new board to fix the budget deficit with an increased administration payroll. If the contracts are to be renegotiated, it should be done after the budget deficits have been solved and by the new school board.  If all three board members are reelected they could renegotiate by the end of the year. This would give the supes a significantly longer time to find a new position than was given our pink-slipped teachers and classified staff last year.