After reading, the Saturday Lamar Democrat, I felt compelled to write a little more about the extra duty pay situation in the Lamar R-1 School District.
The article was written by Chris Morrow, who worked for me for a brief time in the 1990s at The Carthage Press. He writes, "Another point of contention regarded the increase of the coaching stipends. The budget called for increases for coaches and the band director. However, other extracurricular stipends for the sponsors of programs like VICA and DECA were not increased."
Morrow writes that R-1 Athletic Director Iver Johnson looked into how much pay coaches were receiving at other Big Eight Conference schools and the increases were needed to bring Lamar into line with those.
That was apparently enough to satisfy the four board members who voted in favor of the budget. What I did not read (and I guarantee you that if it had been mentioned, Chris would have written about it) was all the research the district did to find out how much people are getting paid to work with extracurricular academic programs (and I am not just talking about DECA and VICA, but a wide variety of other activities). It wasn't mentioned, because no one looked into it.
It wasn't mentioned, I am sure, because it never occurred to anybody to look into it.
Most likely, if it had been looked into, it would have been discovered that these people are being paid next to nothing. And that's a shame. What a wonderful opportunity to set a school district apart by stressing academics first.
Later in his article, Chris writes, "Board member Michelle Crockett questioned the salary of librarians and counselors. Before the revenue problems of the last few years, counselors and librarians had been on a 10-month pay schedule. However, they were dropped back to a nine-month schedule. This budget calls for librarians to receive an additional one week of pay for 2005-2006 and counselors to receive two. 'My concern is that it used to be that both had a month,' said Crockett, who went on to point out the disparity of the increases.' "
I must not know much about running a school district. My inclination would have to been to have returned the counselors and librarians to 10-month schedules and held the line on the stipend increase for coaches.
That's my answer, here was the one that the Democrat reports R-1 Superintendent Mike Resa giving Mrs. Crockett: "We are gradually adding things back. We are bringing it along slowly. That is the best answer I can give you."
I would be willing to bet that answer did not satisfy Mrs. Crockett or most of the patrons of the Lamar R-1 School District.