How to pay school administrators

Opinion: Editorials

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Even as it voted to approve modest raises for its administrators last week, some members of the school board at Oak Park and River Forest High School seemed to be moving toward "a new philosophy" for compensating the school's leaders.

We're all for that conversation for administrators and know that it is inevitable if the school is also serious about taking a fresh look at how it evaluates and rewards its teachers. You can't open serious talk of merit pay for faculty if top administrators get raises for simple longevity.

The vote to hand out average hikes of 2.5 percent was 6-1 with the usual objection coming from Sharon Patchak-Layman, a longtime and often isolated school board member. What was unusual this time was that other board members agreed with her. President John Phelan and newcomers Jeff Weissglass and Steve Gevinson suggested they thought "a new philosophy" might make sense going forward.

While most top staff got the 2.5 percent bump, the board also signed off on more notable hikes — 5.93 percent to 9.42 percent — for five administrators, based on the hoary educational tradition of the wages paid at "cohort schools." In this case, the cohort is the Northwest Personnel Administrators (NWPA), a group so notable we've never heard of it and could not find a web page. There is no end to over-inflated salary hikes in education until this practice is ended.

Reader Comments

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muntz  

Posted: July 5th, 2013 2:19 PM

One of the Board goals this year was to "Develop a system of performance based evaluations and compensation for administrators." I'm guessing this goal was not met this year. And shouldn't this have been a Board goal in 1972?

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 5th, 2013 10:32 AM

It has already been stated that salaries along with perks for people in education are over the top. I thought we were looking at really looking at salaries with an effort to not throw more money at the problem. Raises over 2.5% in this economy should be looked at carefully. Raises close to 9 and 10% are ridiculous. Shows they really aren't trying.

muntz  

Posted: July 5th, 2013 9:49 AM

Actually, when comparing these new salaries to the salaries on the OPFRHS website, it looks like two of the Asst Sups received over 10% increases. Two Asst Prin received 8% raises. The new head of Finance and Ops makes $30K less than the outgoing one, but it seems the district is intent on redistributing those savings amongst themselves (or hiding the Asst Sup raises in teh gross budget $). There is simply too much admin and overhead in the district.

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