I forgot to mention a little item that irritated me when I read it in Lamar Democrat reporter Chris Morrow's account of the June 21 Lamar R-1 Board of Education meeting.
Nothing wrong with Chris' article. It was the best reporting of a Lamar school board meeting I have seen in the Democrat in a long time.
Check out this paragraph:
"Overall, the budget allows for an eight percent increase, or $2,000, on the base salary for teachers raising it to $27,000. Non-certified staff will receive a five percent increase. The administrators were added into the pay scale at the 10th year master's degree level, which means that although they received a 6.7 percent increase, as a percentage, they received less of an increase than the teachers."
I am sure the Lamar teachers chuckled ruefully when they heard that one. Let me explain it in simple terms. If a teacher who is making $25,000 (a simple number for me to work with) receives an eight percent pay increase, then that teacher's salary goes up to $27,000 a year, or a $2,000 pay increase. On the other hand, if an administrator is making $60,000 a year, which is not uncommon for superintendents at smaller schools, and is given a 6.7 percent raise, that would bring the administrator's salary up to somewhere in the area of $64,000 a year. If you want to give the administrators that size of a pay increase, I don't have any problem with it, but please don't insult the intelligence of teachers and district patrons by making it sound as if the teachers are getting the better deal. They are getting a much appreciated $2,000 a year pay increase, but administrators who already make double what the teachers make in most instances, will also receive nearly double the pay increase.
Of course, some of the teachers are also coaches and will pick up a few more dollars, but that's taking us back to the last point of contention.