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Administrative pay in line with other districts
April 3, 2009 - Kylie Saari
Much has been made on the Sentinel's website and elsewhere about the school district budget cuts. Some are angry the teacher's union put their own teachers at risk to keep their staff development dollars, some are upset that one elementary grade gets a section cut while another doesn't, and some are needled by the money spent on building repairs while people are losing their jobs. But the one thing I hear most when people talk to me about it is a concern about the salary of the administrators. I have heard shock that the cuts are in the classroom and not higher up. I have heard disgust at the amount the "higher ups" get in comparison to other employees. I took the matter into my own hands and researched administrative salaries of our district in comparison with other districts. It turns out, what our administrators -- who for the purposes of this blog I will define as the superintendent, building principals, and director of instruction/technology -- are paid is very much in line with other districts. The superintendent's salary is $113,000 in Fairmont. In Mankato, the superintendent makes $131,000 and in Jackson, $104,0000. Fairmont lies right in the middle for principal salaries as well, and while our director of instruction and techonolgy's salary is a bit higher than surrounding districts, I found Fairmont has one person to do the work that more than one does in other areas. The salaries are high, but I am not convinced they are undeserved. Years of school and experience are included in those salaries, and although I am relatively new to town, I believe the district has benefited from the team that is in place. That said, many in the University of Iowa administration have volunteered a week of no pay with their salaries donated to the budget crunch cause. Others have cut out some benefits. Creativity is necessary in financial crunch times, as is a humble attitude. I don't know the answer, but I have been to every board and public meeting on the topic, and I know the district and school board have working hard and eagerly want ideas. While I have been listening to people express their shock, concern, and dismay over the budget cut list, not one person has taken advantage of the budget cut proposal link on the school's website. If you have the answer -- tell the school district. They don't like this any more than you do.
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