Administrators, bus drivers forego raises

With Coupeville School District going through its worst budget shortfall in recent memory, its superintendent principals and bus drivers are forgoing raises even with additional work piling up.

The school board Monday night approved contracts with Superintendent Patty Page, Coupeville Elementary School Principal Fran McCarthy, Coupeville Middle School Principal David Ebersole and Coupeville High School Principal Sheldon Rosenkrance.

Page said during the meeting that administrators, along with the bus drivers represented by the Teamsters, volunteered to give up any pay increase they might have received.

According to the contracts the school board approved, Page will earn $118,811 from 2009 to 2010 contract year; McCarthy will earn $86,842; Ebersole will earn $94,807; and Rosenkrance will earn $100,176.

Several critics have asked why school administrators haven’t taken a pay cut in light of the district’s budget shortfall.

Page said after the meeting that reducing administrators’ pay would mean going through the reduction in force process. She added that the administrators are also taking on more responsibilities without earning any extra pay.

“I’m giving them more work,” Page said.

One administrator, Special Services Director Pat Range, is seeing a reduction. She will be working a .7 FTE contract and will earn $64,387 starting July 1.

In addition to their regular duties, Rosenkrance will manage student assessment; McCarthy will oversee K-12 literacy programs; Ebersole will serve as athletic director for the middle school; and Page will be more involved in curriculum development.

The school district has a list accounting for $922,000 of reductions and savings to its budget. Officials are trying to resolve an immediate $679,000 shortfall to its budget. Despite hopes to use attrition to account for lost positions, one teacher, one para-educator and the Learning Partner coordinator lost their jobs.

The remaining portion of the reductions are needed to brace for a shortfall next year.

Page said the $243,452 set aside won’t account for further funding drops if I-728 money is reduced and enrollment continues to decline.

Enrollment in the Coupeville School District has declined in recent years. In the 2005-2006 school year, the equivalent of 1,114.51 full-time students attended. Next year enrollment is expected to come in a 987 students. The state bases its funding on the number of students enrolled.

Page said during the meeting that the school district isn’t carrying any extra staff as enrollment drops.

School board member Kathleen Anderson recalled an instance when the school district’s budget was in worse shape. Back in 1981, Anderson said that paraeducators and maintenance workers were laid off and the hot lunch program was eliminated.

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