The Observer Dispatch has published the salaries of the Utica School District administrators on its website. What a shocker! It's one thing to be told of a 46% increase in administrative costs, but it is quite another to actually see the rates of increases for individual persons over the last 5 years. A sampling
Elementary Principal Albany Sch. $77,881 to $100,008
Jr. High Principal - JFK $71,919 to $105,366
Academy Principal - Proctor $77,330 to $106,066
Elementary Principal Columbus $76,381 to $100,008
Director Magnet Schools & early Childhood Programs $69,507 to $103,066
The rates of increases represented above far outstrip most public employee's salaries which usually track the rates of inflation. There is simply no justification for these increases ... They certainly are not a reward for a "job well done" since too many children still graduate functionally illiterate, and schools can't even get students' schedules right. What is obscene is that the increases for some people are greater that what the average family in Utica brings home for total income in a year. The fact that Utica's salaries are actually lower than other areas in New York State points to a system that is wildly out of control.
A big problem is inbreeding. The administrators' certification requirements essentially make this a closed system, artificially limiting the potential candidates -- which creates a "shortage" which drives up salaries. While some may argue that certification requirements are necessary to keep unqualified candidates from running our schools, the opposite seems to have happened: we are forced to employ candidates who don't seem to have a managerial clue. The proof is in the pudding. The dissatisfaction rate with school performance is at an all time high, cost is at an all time high, and the situation has gotten so bad that the federal government felt it had to step in with "No Child Left Behind."
It's time to rethink how we choose the people who run our schools ... how we train them ... and how we pay them.