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Education/Schools

June 23, 2014

NA-FC School Corp. approves administrative raises

Board passes 1.95 percent increase

NEW ALBANY — Most administrators for the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. will get a 1.95 percent raise for the 2014-15 school year after a vote from the district’s board of trustees on Monday.

Before the board brought the matter to a vote, Joy Lohmeyer, president of the New Albany-Floyd County Education Association, said she hopes the board will soon consider actual raises for teachers, not just one-time stipends in place of them.

“I come tonight because in order to bring teachers’ salaries commensurate with our peers in similar districts, it will require proactive planning and judicious decision-making on the part of both administration and the board,” Lohmeyer said. “I look forward to working with you to create a plan which will produce salary equity to step our teachers’ salaries to equal those of our peer districts.”

Fred McWhorter, chief business officer, said the district’s finances are looking better after its hard-hitting year in 2008. He said he agrees that the board may need to consider teacher raises soon.

“I think we’re at that point ... where we need to start planning and talking about what we can do for the future and go from there,” McWhorter said.

Rebecca Gardenour, board member, said after the shift to the administrative pay scale in 2013 to bring the principals on the same level, she wasn’t supportive of giving them another raise of nearly 2 percent.

Mark Boone, board member, said he wants to see teachers treated fairly as well, but this measure isn’t a jab at any set of district workers.

“This is not pitting employee group versus employee group,” Boone said. “That is not my intention with however we vote tonight, we want to be fair to everyone, so they have to be looked at independently. The classified staff, the administrators, they can’t bargain for the teachers, the same they’re not going to bargain for them.”

D.J. Hines, board president, said he knows Gardenour also argued against comparing the salaries of New Albany-Floyd County’s employees to those of corporations in Indianapolis and other municipalities, but they’re not comparing dollar amounts, just making sure the positions are in line with how compensation is treated.

“As we do go forward, the comparisons you’ve given us to the state, I think are useful for us,” Hines said. “But we’ve established a peer group of very like corporations and I think it would be very important going forward to see where those are to make sure we treat all employee groups fairly.”

The board passed the raises 4-2, with Gardenour and board member Jessica Knable in dissent. Roger Whaley, board member, was not present.

The board also discussed extending the contract of Brad Snyder, deputy superintendent, for two years.

Gardenour said she noticed that Snyder’s deferred compensation to his 401k continues to raise by $1,000 every year, unlike his colleagues in similar positions whose deferred compensation is capped.

She said it might be worth an examination in the future to determine whether the contract needs modification.

Snyder’s new contract was passed unanimously.

In other news at the meeting:

• The board approved the acquisition of 1819 Shelby street 5-0-1, with Hines abstaining because of Schuler-Bauer Real Estate Services’ — his company — involvement with the purchase. The Home was purchased for about $27,000. The board also approved the investigation of purchasing 1747 Shelby Street 5-0-1, again with Hines abstaining for the same reason.

• The board also unanimously approved the transfer of about $250,000 from the capital project fund into the district’s rainy day fund. The rainy day fund now sits with a balance of about $5.4 million.

• The board discussed the naming of Greenville Elementary School’s gymnasium in honor of its outgoing principal, Harlan Uhl and the naming of New Albany High School’s orchestra room after Rubin Sher, a former director who died in October 2013. The board will consider them next month, but raised concerns about making an exemption to policy in the case of both situations. Board policy states facilities may only get names of former employees who have been retired for at least five years or dead for one year.

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