Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bearden bill would require school districts to release administrators' salaries, benefits

Rep. Carl Bearden, R-St. Charles, feels Missourians should be able to view school administrators' salaries on the internet, and while there are parts of his bill with which I do not agree, he is right on the money on his main point.
I would even go further than Bearden. Why not put the salaries of all school employees on the internet? The taxpayers deserve to know what they are paying and to whom.
With this information posted on school district websites, as well as how much is paid for various extra duties, taxpayers would have a better idea of how well, or how poorly, their money is being spent.
I would not limit the idea to schools, however. Why not extend the same policy to any governmental agency, from city to county to state government.
Of course, there are those who oppose the bill:

(Executive Director of the Missouri Council of School Administrators) Gary Sharpe fears the law would be a deterrent when schools are trying to recruit administrators from out of state.
The pool of superintendents in Missouri is already shallow, he said.
"The fact that a certain numbers of people are looking at your salary could be a deterrent to people entering the profession," he said.

I have a hard time believing anyone would pass up a superintendent job in Missouri just because the public knows how much he or she receives in pay and/or benefits. The information is already public, but few have the time or the ability to access it.
Since I am sure one or more of the readers will demand to know: I make approximately $32,000 a year in regular salary and receive an additional $3,000 in Career Ladder money. For the $3,000, I sponsor Quiz Bowl, Journalism Club (including a website, newspaper, programming for JET 14 and an upcoming e-newsletter), serve on South Middle School's Discipline Committee, and head the South Writing Promotion Committee, which annually sponsors an essay contest, a short story contest, and a poetry contest,and participates in other activities designed to foster student interest in writing. Another R-8 requirement for those receiving Career Ladder money is that they attend five hours of departmental meetings or seminars outside of school hours.
It might be the best thing for public schools if the taxpayers knew just how much value they are getting for their money.
I should add that a wide majority of teachers in the Joplin R-8 School District are providing the same kind of services to students to give them every opportunity to succeed.


Anonymous said...

Doesn't look like South is getting much for their money out of you. Just a cranky, rambling man who is so slanted with his "reporting" that it is embarassing. By the way your old school that you always take shots at (Diamond) is sending their academic to state. How did u do?

Anonymous said...

Bearden is a Representative, not a Senator (thank goodness).

Randy said...

Thanks for pointing that out. I will change it.