Prepared Notes for Board Meeting
April 26, 2010
Marc A. Schare
Today, I am planning on voting “no” to the hiring of Nathan Kellenberger to be the new assistant principal at McCord and I want to be crystal clear as to the reason. I will apologize in advance to Mr. Kellenberger, however, as will be clear, my rationale has nothing to do with him personally.
Mr. Kellenberger’s salary was determined by placing him on our district’s Administrative Salary Schedule. When I inquired what Mr. Kellenberger’s previous salary was, I learned that this was not the basis upon which we determined the salary to offer, instead we would just use the secondary assistant principal schedule we have, which has previously only been used at the HS level. By placing the newly created position of “Assistant Middle School Principal” on the administrative salary schedule at the same place as other secondary assistant principals, we are potentially granting an arguably unnecessary and rather large increase in salary/benefits to attract our new administrator to the district. While I fully acknowledge that we are talking about a 240 day position vs. a 185 day position, I have never been a candidate for a job, nor hired anyone for a job where the employees previous salary was not part of the salary/benefit calculation.
Why is this important?
Our district is facing a financial tsunami. We have been warned that cuts at the state level are very possible and even likely. We have been warned by our taxpayers with their votes a year ago that passing high millage levys are going to be difficult. We have got to start thinking out of the box and perhaps out of the comfort zone of K-12 education doctrine, even if that means that sacred cows like the administrative salary schedule must be looked at.
So let me be clear. I agree with the administration that this position makes sense. I am in no way saying that we should not be hiring an assistant middle school principal. My problem is with the business-as-usual method of salary and benefit calculation.
So what could we have done. I have two suggestions. First, since we are creating essentially a new administrative position, we could have created another entry in the administrative salary table. Second, we could have created a bifurcated salary/benefit schedule for administrators indicating that new administrators hired after January of 2010 would not receive (for example) the employee share of STRS, the pickup on the pickup or reimbursement of the Medicare tax. Would this change result in a lower quality of administrator? It’s hard to tell, but what we do know is that we have to change the way we do business or the steady drip-drip-drip erosion in the quality of what can be offered to our students will continue.