May 15, 2012 in City

Spokane schools officials’ pay frozen

No layoff notices in district this year
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Spokane Public Schools central administrators’ pay will remain unchanged for the 2012-’13 school year, district officials announced Monday.

The decision comes as the district’s upcoming budget is being finalized.

Freezing longevity increases as well as maintaining last year’s 3 percent and 1.9 percent cuts for central-office administrators and supervisors, respectively, saves about $322,207, said Mark Anderson, associate superintendent.

Additionally, for the first time in four years, no layoff notices will be issued to permanent certified employees such as teachers, counselors and librarians, the district announced.

The decision comes a year after an unprecedented 238 pink slips were sent to district employees, although none of those people ultimately was laid off.

Anderson said the school board is focused on maintaining class sizes.

“It’s very unsettling to our teacher group, so this is good news,” he said.

As for administrative salaries, Anderson said that though state lawmakers avoided making cuts to the K-12 system during the recent legislative session, last year’s pay cuts were not reinstated.

“We wanted to do this (maintain the freeze) because the state has not restored that funding, and we would’ve had to backfill with levy dollars to do it,” Anderson said. “We want to save levy money for school-based or class-based programs.”

A letter sent to 70 central administration employees about the pay freeze noted that not restoring the pay cut “is in no way a reflection of the value the organization places on the important role you play as a member of the district’s leadership team.”

School district principals, who also took a 3 percent pay cut and freeze in longevity increases last year, were not included in Monday’s announcement.

“We will ask principals to consider it, but they don’t have to take it because they are not in the same classification,” Anderson said.

No decisions have been made on teacher or other certified employee pay because the district and the union are currently in negotiations, said Jenny Rose, Spokane Education Association union president.

She was pleased with Monday’s announcement. “I think it’s great because the money should stay in the classrooms and with the people doing the work with the kids.”


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