D161 Member Fleshes Out Reasons for Opposing Contract Renewals for Some
D161 Member Sean Doyle was the sole vote in favor of approving Supt. Barb Rains' contract at the March 13 school board meeting. He wanted her contract approved along with all other administrator contracts.
After a closed-door executive session March 13, the Summit Hill District 161 Board of Education voted 6-1 to renew for one year the contracts for all administrators with the exception of Supt. Barb Rains, who is completing her first full school year in the position. Administrators did not receive a salary increase in their contract for the second year in a row.
Rains' contract is scheduled for discussion at the March 27 Board of Education meeting.
Doyle's verbatim comments at the meeting:
The board’s motion to renew our administrators for next year (by State law, the administrators have to be notified by April 1) included every administrator except Barb, specified each administrator’s exact title and location (i.e. school building), and the specific terms of their salary and benefits. I made a motion to amend their motion in the following ways:
1. Adding Barb Rains to the list of administrators to be renewed on the grounds that her evaluation was formally completed and signed that night. Past practice has always been to include the superintendent’s name along with all of the other administrators to be renewed.
2. Removing the specific titles and locations for each administrator on the grounds that our legal counsel advised the Board that putting the specific titles and locations in their contracts could hamper the Board’s ability to reassign administrators in the event of an emergency (i.e. promotion of an administrator, death of an administrator, departure of an administrator during the school year, etc.).
Even though our principals are assigned to specific schools and our central office administrators have specific titles, all of administrative contracts, except for the superintendent’s, have always had the title as “administrator of the school district” to allow us flexibility.
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3. Removing the specific terms of their salary and benefits on the grounds that past practice has been for the Board to approve a motion, by April 1, to notify the administrators that they will be renewed for next year, with the specific salary and benefit terms to be determined later. This is especially true in years where the teachers’ contract is being negotiated as it is imperative to have the teachers’ contract settled first before setting the financial compensation for our administrators and non-certified staff.
4. Additionally, last year our administrators did not receive a salary increase and they picked up 5% of the cost for family group health insurance coverage. In the Board’s original motion this past Wednesday, next year our administrators will not receive a salary increase and they will pick up 5% of the cost for family dental coverage (this 5% pick up will save the District $269.28).
Thus, our administrators will be effectively seeing a cut in their total compensation for two consecutive years. While no salary increase can be justified on the current state of the economy, I did question the fairness of singling out only one category of employees for having their total compensation cut.
Unfortunately, my motion to amend did not receive a second and, therefore, was not voted on. Their original motion then passed by a 6-1 vote (I was the only dissenting vote).
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