Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Joplin R-8 Board rejects $50 an hour graphic designer

It's back to the old drawing board for Joplin R-8 Director of Communications Kelli Price, but she will have to submit her next proposal without the help of a graphic designer.

By a 4-3 margin, the Board of Education rejected a request to hire graphic designer Christina Williams at a cost of $50 an hour with a maximum cost of $18,000.

Chris Sloan, Jennifer Martucci, Lori Musser, and Debbie Fort voted not to hire Williams, with Lynda Banwart, Sharrock Dermott, and Jeff Koch casting "yes" votes.

This is the first time in years that the district has needed to go outside to hire a graphic designer. For the past three years, R-8 taxpayers have been paying approximately $38,000 annually to a person whose sole job was to provide graphic designing services.

That job, which was eliminated during budget cuts this year, was held by Christina Williams- the same person who submitted the low bid, according to Price.

Sloan said he had people tell him they would have submitted proposals for the services, but they never knew about it.

Price said she initially posted the job on the district website (apparently at some point the district website became must reading for graphic designers) and only one bid was received.

Wanting to make sure she had a choice, she said she posted the position with a couple of groups whose membership including local graphic designers. At that point, two more bids surfaced.

No bid documentation was included in the board packet, only Price's request to hire Williams.

During the first part of her presentation to the board, Price explained why it was so important for the district to have a professional graphic designer, reading off a list that included the following:

-Strategic plan
-Classroom leadership model
-District scorecard
-School supply list
-Lots of digital work
-Facebook graphics
-Instagram graphics
-E-mail graphics
-Open house

Price waxed enthusiastic over how much graphic design had helped with kindergarten registration.

The creative flyers helped the district have a "very successful registration," she said.

Graphic design will also be needed for parent resource guides, teacher resource guides, and new items for the district's remodeled website.

Graphics are vital, Price insisted because information needs to be "simple and easy for stakeholders to understand."

The district cannot gets its message across with just words, Price said. "Communications are becoming increasingly visual." And, of course, "stakeholders" (parents and other taxpayers) would prefer to look at the pretty pictures.

This is not something that Price herself can do, she told the board.

"I am not a professional designer," she said (nor did she get to play one on TV since the meeting was not televised)/ "I cannot do everything a skilled, professional designer can do."

She explained the way the process works. "I write the content and come up with the marketing plan and work with the designer." After the design is completed, Price implements it.

Board member Debbie Fort had a problem with someone making $50 an hour to do graphic design work while teachers, going by their contract hours, are making less than half of that amount.

Price was told to return with a different proposal.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Price needs to be canned.

Kelley Briggs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

WOW Kelley Briggs you are out of touch. Apparently you are from snobville. To even say in a public forum that you cannot compare the skills of a trained designer to a teacher. And then to go one step further and say that the designer "Pays for itself in return on investment" You are so out of touch. If it wasnt for a TEACHER or INSTRUCTOR you or your graphic designer friends would NOT be able to make the often outrageous fees you make.

So before you post again, I suggest you engage your brain because you are so out of touch.

Anonymous said...

That time Kelley Briggs came out and said that graphic designers are worth more than teachers to a school district!

Kelley Briggs said...

No. Kelley Briggs did not say Designers are worth more than teachers. Thank you for twisting my words. I have deleted my comment, I do not need to be harassed online.

Anonymous said...

There are art teachers and Franklin Tech staff who could use a stipend, not to mention talented students who would benefit from the experience. Good job, BoE! Keep prioritizing the spending and cutting through the smoke.

Anonymous said...

Do all the R-8 fiefdoms handle their own bidding and purchasing?


Whether or not this graphic design contract was needed or necessary is one issue. How the process was apparently conducted is another issue.

This description of events smells like it might be the old "friends and family plan".

Anonymous said...

Briggs must be a product of CJ SCHOOL OF HUTZPAH...what a joke,have just one talented person in pr whocan do rudimentary work

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with the 8:33 comment. I work in a district and utilize our graphic arts dept anytime I get a chance. This is the direction the BOE needs to go. Check with other districts to see how they utilize thier graphic arts dept. also, why does a brochure to register for Kindergarten need to be all schnazy to tell parents to go sign up for Kindergarten? It's not rocket science. Also, what is Kelly Price doing in Emerson filming, type Emerson Joplin on YOUTUBE. Was that authorized by the Joplin School District?

Anonymous said...

Price thinks patrons need pie charts and bar graphs for understanding.
What a tool.

Anonymous said...

The district would be better off with a graphics person than Price.

Anonymous said...

Graphic arts requires not only the talent and expertise to do the work but also the tools. Those tools cost money. That would be part of why they charge that amount of money. I read that the average cost is $20 to $350 an hour. Some of that depends on what kind of work you are wanting, ex: logo, website, etc.
$50 probably does seem high when teachers, the foundation of a school system, don't make that much for stipend work. It seems high to taxpayers who aren't in or familiar with that kind of work. It also seems high for a district in financial trouble.
Using the tech teacher, art teacher and students will save money. It will not be the same quality as a trained and practicing professional but it should work and also showcase what the district is teaching.

Anonymous said...

@12:51-Using a graphic arts teacher, art, and students is high quality, and you would figure with how the JHS was outfitted, with the best and biggest toys, our teachers and students should be able to put together an outstanding project. This is also a BETTER way to SHOWCASE what the DISTRICT is TEACHING, by using their OWN PEOPLE. Every project I have ever had one of the staff or students complete as be AWESOME and HIGHLY PROFESSIONAL.
Quit trying to get a job and cost teachers and tax payers MORE money by hiring someone the district does NOT need.

Anonymous said...

1:28--I never meant that it wouldn't be a good idea to use the school resources. I said they should, just like you (but without CAPITAL letters).

I know personally what a good job can be done by these folks and have children who have been part of that program.

I am not trying to get a job (not my field) or cost the district more money. I still want to know how the district is going to pay for all the "might as well" spending that FEMA will not cover.

I was trying to point out that the cost was actually in line with what it should be, not that that was what they needed to do. My point in that regard was that the district would be better off with a graphic designer than with Kelli Price.

You should also know that, in the past, Price (or others from the admin castle) has asked for student designs then decided to go another direction after the work was done. And they did, but they also wasted teacher and student time that could have been used on something else.

Anonymous said...

JHS doesn't teach the software. There is a "career path" for graphic design, but it doesn't actually exist. Yes, they have the "best and biggest toys", but they don't have a teacher with the skill set to teach the classes.

Anonymous said...

When you are basically have a monopoly on education, do you really need to spend thousands to convince people to sign their kids up for school?!?! (I know there are other choices, but private schools don't have room for every child in Joplin, and most parents couldn't afford to pay) Those of us without children have to pay taxes to support the school district and don't need clever graphics to convince us that we'd rather pay property taxes than lose our houses in a sheriff's sale. And all the graphic design in the world won't convince most of us to pass another bond issue of any amount as long as R-8 is still employing administrators dedicated to wasting money.

Unknown said...

What many, including myself, are offended by as employees of Joplin schools is when administrators/admin staff are handed disproportionate raises... Price alone was handed more of a raise than any teaching staff can ever hope to get! This is happening while teachers with more education/degrees and much more experience are struggling with the small salary steps (and that is a recent success!) while many at admin are handed huge increases for no apparent reason. Thanks to Mr. Turner for providing coverage on these issues. Many times I have read about Joplin R-8 news and changes on the Turner Report before I have read or heard about it through email/building communication. This also leads to internal distrust (although it is much, much better last school year with Dr. Ridder and the current Board than it ever was with Huff). Until these practices cease (huge administrator raises, money spent on administrative waste), and more financial appreciation is shown to the dedicated clerical/building/food service/bus drivers and teachers, Joplin schools employees will continue to feel hopeless and leave in high numbers. Some progress shown this past year with administrative moves and discontinued contracts (and recent board decisions), but still have a ways to go if they want to retain veteran staff.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has ever hired ANY professional business owner to do work, be it drive a bull dozier, mow your lawn, fix your toilet, look at your broken air conditioner, change your oil, or provide legal services, should be smart enough to know that $50/hr is cheap. Let's stop talking about the hourly rate. It's a hell of a deal for professional services of ANY kind. For all we know this Christina woman might be worth twice that based on her qualifications and quality.
In the article it mentions that some guy says that in all his years in public schools graphic design was always subcontracted to outside companies. What it didn't say is how much was spent. I see people are suggesting the district uses FTC students for graphic design as if it's a sure thing. But FTC has no graphic design program and in fact the contract StormStanley to provide marketing services...I believe they spend around $80,000/yr on that service so think about next time you mention $50/hr (capped at $18K/ yr) being some sort of a scam between the admin staff and a designer.
What does the designer woman charge other clients? For all we know is he gets $75/hr from other clients.
The school has custodians on staff to fix toilets for $35,000/yr but if they did not then they'd be paying a professional company $75/hr just to show up when needed.
The question is not whether $50/hr is a fair price. It's weather the school needs designer services.

Anonymous said...

Ha. Yeah, the capital letter thing was pretty annoying.

Anonymous said...

You're good Kelley. The issue was that you wrote a option that was intelligent and objective. That sort of thing confused the Turner trolls and they thought you were an intruder into their hateful hornets nest they gather here in.

Anonymous said...

So the school does not have a Graphic Arts class that can take care of this sort of thing for their homework??? During the school year, I use CJHS to do all of my graphic, including t-shirts and it's all done GREAT and CHEAP!!

Anonymous said...

Exactly. JHS does not teach graphics. Lots of great art classes, but fine art is not graphic design. If a piece of art is to be incorporated into any kind of useable end product, the next step is digital and JHS doesn't teach the software. It's really sad that the students aren't able to fulfill the district's needs.

But, if you want to go further, then why don't you just have the culinary students making lunch for the entire high school, or the students with driver's licenses driving the buses, or the computer science kids taking care of the district's IT services, and so on...

Students are students. There will be plenty of time for them to work once they finish learning.

Anonymous said...

Well said 7:06.

A Subscriber said...

According to prior posts:
1. "JHS doesn't teach the software. There is a "career path" for graphic design, but it doesn't actually exist." 2:29 pm
2. "Anyone who has ever hired ANY professional business owner to do work, be it drive a bull dozier, mow your lawn, fix your toilet, look at your broken air conditioner, change your oil, or provide legal services, should be smart enough to know that $50/hr is cheap." 11:39 pm
3. "JHS does not teach graphics...If a piece of art is to be incorporated into any kind of useable end product, the next step is digital and JHS doesn't teach the software."
Suggestion: Hire a PROFESSIONAL to teach the Career Path and provide graphics as a teaching/learning exercise.

goat said...

Exactly 7:06. While many JHS students will grow up to become plumbers, truck drivers, and cooks it does NOT mean that they are qualified to (or should) do those for free for the school during their childhoods. HS has culinary arts classes so are we wasting our tax dollars paying cooks? We teach auto mechanics, maybe a team of students should just maintain all the school vehicles and fire all the men who make a living doing it for a career. Why not let the kids plunge the toilets and wax the floors too! You know there are kids riding the bus anyway, why not just let them drive it to school, it's not rocket science right. Any moron can do it. Heck, they shouldn't even need to be 16 or have a drivers license since we don't care if our student/staff graphic designer has any degree or training why should we care about the qualifications! We can save millions with our little JHS child labor!
Yes. That argument is rediculous and everyone agrees because you know what is required for the jobs I mentioned. Saying that a designer/media professional's job can be done by students or regular staff is just as ignorant. Anyone who says otherwise does not know the job responsibilies.
So, while Yes, students could do all the jobs described above if given enough time and training it is not practice. They do not have the maturity, consistency, reliably, or timeliness to collaborate with all the other professional involved in getting artwork out and without errors within the deadlines that are required in real life.

Really? said...

Thank you 11:54 PM for pointing out that you are the only non-troll who gathers in this nest. You might check your syntax and grammar prior to portraying yourself as uniquely qualified to recognize "a option that was intelligent and objective."

I am a robot. said...

Bus drivers have to be 21. Food foul ups can sicken or kill. A computer foul up can grind the district to a hault (in real time) and cost big money.

A pre-approved graphic has tiny potential for real harm.

Although, all of this would easily be fixed with six miles of narrow ribbon.

Anonymous said...

Just searched for the definition of Graphic Designer. Why does R8 need one? Is there a specific PR project or a general need?

Anonymous said...

"Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." I believe most of today's teachers, with their low-ball socialist educations, have severe trouble wrapping their minds around someone with a finite, in demand, private-sector skill who makes more than they do. This is ALL about class envy. What is best for the schools be damned! Now have fun banging on your keyboard/phone, with all the anger of Triggly-Puff off her meds.

OK said...

Any collective funding of a public service is, by definition, socialism. Every firefighter, police officer, service-person, politician, professor at any university that teaches any subsidized student, doctor that takes any state paid patient, road worker, public teacher, and anyone who in any way receives compensation directly or indirectly from taxes is a beneficiary of socialism. We are a socialist nation. Unfortunately, we delude ouselves with pompous, and arrogant self images of total self reliance. Like everything else in the universe, we exist in a mix... not an extreme. Pure socialism and pure capitalism have both been proven unworkable. Arguing that a "private sector" person should be paid by a government entity due to that person's capitalistic purity is as hypocritical and ignorant as those signs reading "keep your government hands off my medicare."

Anonymous said...

It's been very interesting to follow this story and read all the comments, both accurate and emotional. One detail seems to have been ignored within this story, although there is an "hourly estimate" the bid submitted had a cap of $18,000 for the school year 2016 - 17. If the designer has agreed to the number of projects, I can almost guarantee you they will not ever obtain that $50/hour amount. I have been a designer for more than 25 years and an instructor for more than 20 years (concurrently, I do AND I teach), I hire other designer, freelance illustrators and have contracted photographers, and I can confidently say that $50/hour (if held to that) is a fair market amount. Now again, the work listed suggests that the designer will put more hours into these projects total and reach the $18,000 ceiling sooner than later, thus the $50/hour is truly a mutt point. As for using students or University students is always worth a look and a highly valuable way to offer experience, however, quality will not be the same within the same time constraints. It simply can't due to the lack of experience. So yes, some projects could be taken up by students, or even a class, however when deadlines matter and/or a professional outcome is needed, there is no substitute for a trained designer. Let's stop bashing "designers" for their perceived high wage and start doing the research needed to make an informed comment. Technology, unfortunately, has contributed to the devaluing of designers since many believe "anyone can do what they do"… after decades in this industry and currently interviewing for a design on my staff, I can tell you from experience, not just "anyone" can do what we do… not at the same quality or with the same attention to details. TB