Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The 100K Club

This from WKYT (Video here):

WKYT Investigates: Fayette Co. school employees making $100K

There are 40,000 students that fill the seats in Fayette County classrooms. There are about 5800 employees and more than 50 schools.
http://www.wkyt.com/home/headlines/87-Fayette-County-school-employees-make-100K-or-more-248264251.html?ref=251

Recently, Superintendent Dr. Tom Shelton said the district is dealing with a $20 million shortfall.

"We never anticipated that when we started seeing reductions in funding in 2007, 2008 that it would have lasted this long. Normally we don't see this long of a trend in reduced spending," Shelton said this afternoon. Just last week Dr. Shelton said he will take a 5% pay cut from his $254,000 salary. He is the highest paid person in the system.

But our investigation uncovered he's not the only person in Fayette County schools making a six figure salary. 1.5% of the entire workforce are employees making $100,000 or more. There are 87 people at Fayette County Public Schools earning that level of pay.

Dr. Shelton said, "When you look at those in the six figures, you have to know they are working year round as opposed to teachers who are working 191 days." He said administrators pay is based on the teacher salary schedule. But more money is added because administrators are paid for 250 days. "These are the most experienced staff in the district"

Shelton says it's not the six figure salaries weighing down the district, it's all of the salaries. The average teacher in Fayette County is making between $55,000 and $60,000 a year. They start with a bachelor's degree at around $42,000.

"We have made a conscience effort to increase the salaries of all of our staff. Our board has been very supportive and had a direct intent to have one of the highest salary scales of all school districts in the state, and they've achieved that," Shelton said.

12 comments:

Susan Weston said...

It's a $400 million a year enterprise that requires leading and organizing more than 45,000 people every day, in work that will affect the life chances of every Kentuckian for as long as we live. Who thinks that can be done with excellence for peanuts? Not me.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but in the private sector a company with 5800 employees and 50 "stores" would be making much more than an quarter of a million dollars. 1.5% of folks make more than 100 grand shouldn't surprise anyone in terms of responsibilities. Do you really expect that folks with expertise in technology or overseeing hundreds of students, educators and/or staff should be making 50 or 50 grand? FCPS is not an easy system to manage compared to others of smaller size. Stop pointing fingers and accept the reality that education dollars are being cut and the system is going to have to absorb those cuts just like any other system.

Anonymous said...

We do not have the most experienced staff in the district in administrative positions. Experienced educators who have multiple degrees and experience are called non flexible and old school. New teachers do whatever they are told even when they know it is wrong because they live in fear of being "pinked". Teachers work well beyond the 191 days they are paid.Administrators are nor seen at school on snow days and summer break . Take away their 250 paid days. At best give them ten days after the school year ends and two weeks before it begins bringing their days to 211. Knock down the over paid central office 100 club. Perhaps a superintendent with an education background would be nice as well.

Anonymous said...

What was not looked into was the amount of positions created over the past couple of years that do not impact the student learning. Dr. Day, look into some departments and you shall find much overhead.

Richard Day said...

Good comments.

Lest anyone think that by posting the story above I am somehow opposed to the salaries today's school administrators are making, let me say that a decade ago when I retired from FCPS, I was on that list. Granted, elementary principals hadn't cracked the 100k mark yet (directors and high school had) but we were well paid for the time. The Herald-Leader ran our salaries every once in a while, and while we didn't necessarily like it, it was within their rights to do it.

The problem with comparisons is that private sector folks don't post their salaries. But consider: even an elementary principal runs a $7-15 million facility, with a budget of a two million or so, managing professional and classified staff, curriculum, professional development, student safety and building security...and some talk of instructional leadership.

I'm not sure what the best private sector comparisons are but I imagine something like a major in the army or a plant manager with extra duties and incentives.

We were air traffic controllers with discipline problems and I don't begrudge today's folks a penny.

Anonymous said...

I agree, what a lousy hatchet job begrudging any educator making a decent wage for serving children. Not sure why folks seem to think being an educator is supposed to align with long hours, high expectations and only low pay. Teachers who want to throw administrators under the salary bus need to be careful, they might end up being next according those who see them as "having their summers and vacations off and only working 8 to 3.

RHockenbury said...

I agree with Dr. Day and others that site the public nature of these salaries as being the crux of the issue. I also agree with the right of the media to post them as we are public employees. A principal should be paid accordingly. However, the outrage (most) people have (I think) lies with those that aren't directly connected to schools and with no clear job description making $100K+ salaries. Such was the case in Jefferson County a few years ago when a news station ran a similar story. Directly or indirectly, it led to an audit and the hiring of an additional in-school administrator at the elementary level and a few less of those $100K+ positions at the district level.

Anonymous said...

I was able to attend the meeting held for district employees to discuss the budget cuts at Northeast Christian Church yesterday. At our table, the number one thing we wanted to do is preserve jobs. We were concerned with salaries, especially at Central Office. It was also interesting that our group discussed how difficult it was to speak up. Several at out table did discuss the level of fear that employees felt in the District. Ther was fear that speaking up as a district emplyee involves retaliation.We discussed this with Melissa Bacon, a Board member. She said , "I don't want you to be afraid." Nice gesture. I think all of us are still afraid.

Anonymous said...

With all do respect, I am glad my kids don't attend FCPS. Seems like all I read on this blog is how either teachers express being afraid of losing their jobs if they speak out or how the district office is unfair. Makes me wonder if questionable safety or instructional conditions would meet with equally meek and nonresponsive actions among educators. If you are willing to hunker down out of fear of losing your job when addressing district issues then you shouldn't be complaining about a system you will not be proactive in changing. The man is giving you an opportunity to speak up, now is your chance - are you going to take advantage of it or continue to hide behind your perceived reservations and as a result endorse whatever is decided at the district level in the absence of your voice?

Anonymous said...

With all do respect, I am glad my kids don't attend FCPS. Seems like all I read on this blog is how either teachers express being afraid of losing their jobs if they speak out or how the district office is unfair. Makes me wonder if questionable safety or instructional conditions would meet with equally meek and nonresponsive actions among educators. If you are willing to hunker down out of fear of losing your job when addressing district issues then you shouldn't be complaining about a system you will not be proactive in changing. The man is giving you an opportunity to speak up, now is your chance - are you going to take advantage of it or continue to hide behind your perceived reservations and as a result endorse whatever is decided at the district level in the absence of your voice?

Anonymous said...

March 12.

Whatever!

Anonymous said...

What I have heard is that not only are states and feds continuing to cut funding but that the district was awarded a number of grants which ended and instead of curtailing those programs they continued to fund them at the districts own expense. Now I am sure most of these grant programs and initiatives serve important elements and must have been fairly successful in order to maintain them even after grant funding ended.

I also understand that to be part of the grant game - get folks to try something your want to temporarily fund so that they will later absorb the expense as a necessarily part of the organizational mission.

With that said however. No matter how valuable or successful these programs might be, if you don't have the money to fund them, then you can have them - simple budgetary principle. I love getting a gift certificate to Malone's or Fresh Market - tasty food, enhanced social engagement, etc. But once the gift certificate is spent, I don't expect any further free products, only those for which I can afford (not put onto my credit card or draw out of my KTRS).

I am sure these programs probably increased the district's personnel needs also. So because the district tried to keep initiatives going after the grant ran out, now we are at a natural point which probably should have been addressed earlier and maybe the 20 million might have been a little less. Now we have parents and teachers in frenzy trying to advocate for their school, program or position.

One year my family had to forgo our traditional summer vacation due to medical expenses. We didn't have the money, so we couldn't go. Seems like at FCPS the vacation is over and the district is going to have to do what all the rest of us have been doing the last three years - cutting back and trying to make due with what we have.