Did new teachers union contract help push Bristol, CT district into deficit?

By Steve Gunn on Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 in Uncategorized

BRISTOL, Conn. – In December 2014, after months of failed negotiations that resulted in binding arbitration, the Bristol school board and teacher union settled on a new collective bargaining agreement that gave teachers a 3 percent raise for the next three years. A year and a half later, worried and upset teachers, parents and students […]

Superintendent costs in Sunnyside, WA: $126,503 more than the base salary

By Steve Gunn on Monday, April 24th, 2017 in Uncategorized

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. – If taxpayers in the Sunnyside, Washington school district were to inquire about the superintendent’s salary, they would probably find a simple figure – $186,380. And they would probably assume that’s roughly the amount that the superintendent position costs the district every year. The truth is that it’s much more expensive than that, […]

Washington: Franklin Pierce super’s base salary only tells part of the story

By Steve Gunn on Monday, April 24th, 2017 in Uncategorized

TACOMA, Wash. – School superintendent salaries are a constant source of media attention around the nation. At a time when American public schools are struggling academically to keep up with schools in other nations, and many school districts have very tight budgets, superintendent salaries keep going higher and higher. But few people realize just how […]

Former Florida principal’s excuse for misusing school funds: Lots do it

By Steve Gunn on Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 in Uncategorized

ALAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – Youngsters often struggle with the concept of personal accountability. When confronted about a wrongdoing, some will always respond with the time-tested rationale that “Everyone else is doing it.” They haven’t learned yet, but they can still fall back on their youth and immaturity. But how pathetic is it when a middle […]

Are Mexico, MO taxpayers getting full story about school employee compensation?

By Steve Gunn on Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 in Uncategorized

MEXICO, Mo. – On Feb. 1, the Mexico Ledger published a story announcing that the Mexico, Missouri school district had hired Dr. Zachary Templeton as the new superintendent. The story noted that he will replace Kevin Freeman, who resigned to take a job with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. But for citizens […]

Ralston, Nebraska: Evidence that successful superintendents are very expensive

By Steve Gunn on Friday, April 21st, 2017 in Uncategorized

RALSTON, Neb. – Good superintendents are expensive. Mark Adler, superintendent of the Ralston, Nebraska school district, is a prime example. Under Adler’s leadership since the 2012-13 school year, Ralston student scores on Nebraska state tests have steadily increased. In math, the percentage of students scoring in the proficient range increased from 57 percent to 64 […]

Blue Springs, MO schools pay well, despite what local media reports

By Steve Gunn on Friday, April 21st, 2017 in Uncategorized

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. – In November, word came through local media that the Blue Springs, Missouri school district was concerned about possible state budget cuts, and had already been in the process of financial belt-tightening. The news story, posted by Examiner.net, noted that one cost-saving measure involved labor costs. “This year the district did not […]

Well-compensated Jefferson Co, KY super froze salaries for employees making above $14 per hour

By Steve Gunn on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 in Uncategorized

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – In the spring of 2016, Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Donna Hargens caused quite an uproar by announcing that the school district would freeze salaries for employees making more than $14 per hour. That included the district’s approximately 6,000 teachers, according to a news report from WDRB.com. Hargens based the decision on […]

Paid administrative leave for superintendent seems costly for Roswell, NM taxpayers

By Steve Gunn on Tuesday, April 18th, 2017 in Uncategorized

ROSWELL, N.M. – What are taxpayers in Roswell, New Mexico supposed to think about this? On Feb. 16, the Roswell Daily Record reported that school district Superintendent Tom Burris had abruptly resigned. The newspaper also reported that that the school board voted to place him on “paid administrative leave effective Feb. 16 through June 30,” […]

Despite local media suggestions, the Peoria, Arizona school district spends a lot on employees

By Steve Gunn on Monday, April 17th, 2017 in Uncategorized

PEORIA, Ariz. – Incomplete media reports leave citizens with incomplete impressions. Several 2015 reports regarding teacher compensation in the Peoria, Arizona school district gave the definite impression that the educators in the district are grossly underpaid. One story, published by PeoriaTimes.com, noted that the school had approved “just over $2 million in teacher raises. The […]

Bear Lake, ID school salaries broken down

By Steve Gunn on Sunday, April 16th, 2017 in Uncategorized

PARIS, Idaho – Everyone knows that teaching in public schools is not the highest paid profession. And teaching in small schools with very tight budgets often pays comparatively little. But even small school districts invest more in their staff than most people might imagine. One example is the Bear Lake, Idaho, district, which has a […]

Despite woeful academic performance, Milwaukee schools pay staff handsomely

By Steve Gunn on Saturday, April 15th, 2017 in Uncategorized

MILWAUKEE – It’s no secret that Milwaukee Public Schools have severe academic problems. On a recent statewide exam, 51 percent of Wisconsin students demonstrated proficiency in reading. In Milwaukee, only 27 percent made the grade. In math, 41 percent of Wisconsin students were proficient in math. In Milwaukee, only 17 percent tested that well. Approximately […]

Soledad, CA super resigned under pressure after audit revealed widespread abuse of funds

By Steve Gunn on Friday, April 14th, 2017 in Uncategorized

SOLEDAD, Calif. – Rupi Boyd had been superintendent of the Soledad Unified School District since 2013. But when asked by the media in 2016 about a recent state audit of district finances showing “clear violations of school district policies governing spending and reporting by top administrators,” Boyd responded like she was new to the job. […]

AUDIT: Runaway spending on DC school buildings lacked ‘basic financial management’

By Steve Gunn on Thursday, April 13th, 2017 in Uncategorized

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Whenever public officials start talking about spending billions of dollars to renovate buildings, taxpayers should be wary. That’s particularly true when the work is going to occur in Washington, D.C., where gross overspending of public dollars is a time-honored tradition. In 2006 the D.C. City Council adopted the $1.3 billion School Modernization […]

Texarkana, AR: How schools don’t share enough details about employee compensation

By Steve Gunn on Thursday, April 13th, 2017 in Uncategorized

TEXARKANA, Ark. – Some parents and taxpayers in the Texarkana school district have probably wondered over the years just exactly what teachers and district administrators earn per year. If they search online, they will come across Internet posts from the school district, containing salary information that the state apparently requires it to share. But there […]