Letter Puts Blame On Free Press
Manhattan School Superintendent Dr. Sharol Little gave the School Board
members a letter Wednesday night that explains why her $54,000 pool for
administrators salary increases turned out to be more than $200,000. Thursday
Dr. Little sent the letter to all 383 employees.
(Please read the Editorial at left for the Free Press response.) The
Many staff members and administrators have expressed concern about
the recent article in the Free Press (September 12, 2002) that reported
administrative salary raises. Let me take a few minutes to talk about
some of the misleading items in the story as it was presented.
Mr. Brake first requested a list of the administrative salaries that
included raises that the Board of Education voted on at their August 21
meeting. Michele Jones, Communication Coordinator, provided him that information.
He then asked for the new administrative salaries again this time including
fringe benefits. Michele again provided him that information. According
to Kansas statute, we cannot ask a person why they are interested in this
information or how they will use the information.
The salaries that he listed in his article reflect the 2002 administrative
salary, plus any supplemental contracts that an administrator might have
(ex. Summer school, grant coordinator, athletic duties - approximately
$6,000 when added together) and the fringe benefit (health insurance -
2002 fringe is $3,502.08 per employee). The salaries he lists from previous
years do not include supplemental contracts and fringe benefits. So just
from that alone, there is a $146,000 difference. Most of the staff of USD
383 (minus instructional aides, bus drivers who work less than 12 months,
computer lab aides and employees who work less than 20 per week) have the
same opportunity to receive fringe benefits.
Mr. Brake does not qualify in his article what positions people currently
hold vs. what positions they held in previous years. He does not talk about
changes in responsibilities or education. He also does not address contract
days of employment - some administrators are 9 1/2 month employees,
some are 12 month employees and some have recently changed from a 9 1/2
month contract to a 12 month contract. Also, some administrators who were
being paid from a teachers contract have moved over to an administrator
I used a pool of money ($54,000) in establishing raises for administrators
this year. If you add up the reported salary increases from the Free Press
for 2002, it equals about $200,000. $146,000 comes from including fringe
benefits and supplemental. And you are left with $54,000.
When the Free Press published USD 383 (administration and teacher)
salaries in July, he again did not give any narrative as to what the salary
figure included, what positions people held in previous years, what educational/length
of service milestones people had reached, etc.
It is important for people to remember that we cannot control what is
in the paper or on the radio. Once the information has been passed on to
a reporter, it is out of our hands. USD 383 will continue to work with
the goal of open communications with all of our local media outlets.