THE HUNTER REPORT
$184,893 PAY SUPPLEMENTS
BOE Budget Committee examines Pros and Cons of Extra Pay
BY: PAT HUNTER
March 7, 2011
School boards face tough decisions with this year’s budget because of pending State revenue shortfalls and cuts. Pay supplements were on the Loudon County Board of Education (BOE) Budget Committee agenda.
Present at Tuesday’s (March 1) meeting: Chairperson Lisa Russell, Craig Simon, Rick Best, Bill Marcus, and Van Shaver. Absent: Scott Newman. Rick Best was appointed to the Budget Committee at the last school board meeting. He attended part of Tuesday's meeting. Gary Ubben also attended but he is not a Budget Committee member.
In attendance, school director Wayne Honeycutt and staff but it was assistant school director Jason Vance who led the discussion on pay supplements, which were provided on Excel spreadsheets (see below). Pay supplements are paid to a range of school personnel including psychologists, teachers, all coaches, principals, assistant principals, secretaries, Para pros (teacher aids), and non-faculty. The duties may range from coaching, data entry, duty free lunch, bus duty, and additional duties.
Van Shaver said that supplements this year totaled $184,893 ($185,000) and he gave a breakdown:
Academic supplements - $34,000 (of that $24,000 goes to assistant principals).
Sporting supplements - $109,492.
Duty Free Lunch supplements - $20,000 ($38,000 comes from the State for duty free lunch). If you take $184,000 less $38,113 then we spend $134,000 in local funds for the supplements. When I look at the BEP funding its $51,258 at 74.4 %, which would give us $38,113. Assistant school director Jason Vance agreed with Shaver’s numbers.
Jason Vance acknowledged that he had not compared supplements with other schools but in speaking to his coaches certain sports (basketball and high school football) supplements were “fairly commensurate with some surrounding counties” but when you look at band and other supplements, they are not. It’s a token of appreciation for showing a crazy amount of time with the kids, he added. Shaver agreed but he said it’s just like the Pre-K program, what’s the priority; I know that we can’t cut them all out, I know that. Shaver spoke about making some tough budget choices. It may come down to supplements or funding pay raises.
School board member Gary Ubben spoke, if you look at the hours worked, you’re probably pay about 10 cents or maybe $1 per hour; it’s probably the best buy. Ubben presented no factual data to support his opinion.
I’m not advocating the position, Shaver said. Whether you’re paying 10 cents an hour or $2 an hour or whatever it is, when you add them all up it comes up to $184,000 that gets into real money. Is that a priority that we have, anywhere from $116 up to $4,000 supplements are those the best plan. I think everyone will have to decide on their own.
Well then the question is what’s the trade-off? If you don’t pay the supplements, are you willing to do away with the programs Gary Ubben asked? Do you want me to answer that out loud; oh I am, replied Shaver. Are you willing to do away with all high school athletics asked Ubben? Shaver replied “It wouldn’t happen that way”.
New Budget Committee member Rick Best spoke about band supplements. Based on his own experience as a band director and supplements and what he received in 1971; the Loudon High School band director has tripled the size of the band program and the countless hours at the school. When the budget committee decides to vote commented Best, I recommend a small supplement to these two band directors; $175 for the band director, and $125 for the assistant band director, in addition to their regular supplements.
I’ll capitalize on that, I don‘t consider band and the arts should even be on the sheet (supplement) explained Craig Simon. “They should be part of our public education period.” That’s a disgrace, Simon added. That’s a direct educational issue. There are pros and cons on that. As a coach, it’s not even 10 cents, and its money well spent.
Van Shaver spoke about seeing the same names on the supplement list. Sometimes its para-pros but sometimes its principals and he asked for an explanation. What exactly is a data entry? Jason Vance replied that position wasn’t funded by the State. That’s been paid since Vance was around and it’s paid to principals or para-pros depending on the school. Why isn’t that part of their regular job asked Chairperson Lisa Russell? Vance replied that’s part of their job. Then why are they being paid extra, Russell asked. As Vance struggled to answer Rick Best answered supplements are essentially for “after school work, weekend work, and summer work.”
Vance wasn’t familiar but he thought that it should be part but of their daily job but when they do that it takes away from other duties. Data entry was about $15,000, and calculated on the number of students.
So supplements are like everything else if their the sacred cow you’re not supposed to make any cuts than there’s not the votes, Shaver said.
Lisa Russell asked when data entry was done, during or after school. School director Wayne Honeycutt looked around to see if any principals were there to respond to her question. Russell asked for more information as to when supplements started but no one could address her questions. Shaver responded that it went back to the “bag of money” from each school. Special Ed coordinator Sissy Foster offered information about the origin of some supplements.
Gary Ubben also spoke about supplements. It’s the best way to go and the best bang for your buck. If you’re paying an employee $50,000 per year for a full time position (35-40 hours) and there are extra tasks that are not in their job descriptions. We could go and hire another $50,000 employee and spread those tasks, or at a very reduced rate, the teacher that is underpaid already, will be willing to take on extra work for another $1,000 or $1,500 more. Or we could rewrite the job description to include the task Russell replied. Craig Simon added to Russell's comments, I hear what you’re saying but this is stretching reasonableness.
Teachers are not required to spend their lunch with students but when they do, they can be paid a supplement for duty free lunch.
Is this supplement list complete Russell asked; pretty much so Vance replied. The Budget Committee took no action at this time.
The discussion about pay supplements was very informative.
CLICK TO VIEW BOE PAY SUPPLEMENTS PDF
To print Supplements set your paper to landscape and borders to minimum margins.
Excel sheets were printed using legal size paper, and all print may not fit on standard size paper.