Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Administrators salaries: shocking rates of increase

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.

1 comment:

Arkangel said...

Strikeslip: I challenge the Observer Dispatch to publish W-2 wage information of the Utica City School District Administrators for calendar year 2006. I will bet a substantial donation to charity, if the figures that the O.D. published correspond dollar-for-dollar against each employees 2006 W-2 which is to be reported on their individual 1040 Form.

Interestingly, the "abstract" provided by the O.D. does nothing to validate the real payroll expense of UCSD Administrators. I am sure there are those whose actual salaries are more than that reported by the O.D. Does the O.D. accept Arkangel's challenge as to accuracy and truth in reporting actual W-2 wages?

We might as well go one step further and solicit W-2 Wage information from all schools in Oneida County thus giving the community taxpayers and overview of fairness and equity in pay and benefits. I have no doubt that we may find many, many surprises, if the actual payroll costs were to be published.

Incidentally, W-2 wage statement information is a public record and there does not exist any privacy in the publishing. The requested figures are long overdue for review and analysis.

Lastly, the figures posted by the Observer Dispatch serve no useful purpose. See: http://www.uticaod.com/assets/pdf/0121_salaries.pdf