D209 Administrators Get Slight Pay Raises

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

During a June 12 regular meeting, the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 school board voted 5-2 to approve salary raises for district administrators. The pay increases ranged from 0.5 percent to 4.5 percent, depending on an employee’s classification.

Board members Theresa Kelly and Della Patterson both voted against the proposed increases. Kelly said that teachers should be getting paid more for their work, and both Kelly and Patterson had concerns with the fact that some of the employees up for pay increases had not undergone the required evaluations.

“People in the classroom should not be leaving us [because] they can go 15 miles away and make tens of thousands more and we’re giving all these administrators raises,” Kelly said.

Todd Drafall, the district’s outgoing chief financial officer, said that teachers have actually gotten larger pay increases than administrators. He said that over the last six years, teachers have received an average pay bump of 4.8 percent, which doesn’t include other increases — such as those related to obtaining additional degrees and a roughly 4 percent pay bump teachers received in 2014.

Drafall also said that support staff has received a 22 percent increase in pay during the last seven years.

The increases the board approved for administrators, he said, mostly covers cost of living increases, such as the rising cost of gasoline.

Addressing Kelly’s point about teachers leaving for other districts, Drafall said that “pay isn’t the only reason why people leave … some of it is money and [some of it is] sanity, [among] other reasons.”

Board member Claudia Medina, who was on the team that negotiated the most recent teacher contract, said that “we were very generous and worked diligently to cross our t’s and dot our i’s to ensure there were equitable practices, that teachers were getting the best benefits and that they were happy.” She also said that some administrators were on pay freezes last year.

Board member Rodney Alexander added that administrative salaries in District 209 are similar to those within districts of comparable size, demographic makeup and economic status. He said that there is a limit to how much the district can increase teacher and administrator pay. That limit, he added, is established, in part, by the Financial Oversight Panel — a state-appointed advisory panel.

Kelly, along with some other board members, recommended that the district conduct an overall analysis of why employees are leaving for other places.

Prompted by Kelly’s concerns about the fact that not all of the employees listed for pay raises were evaluated beforehand, Supt. Jesse Rodriguez said that he will verify who had and had not been evaluated “with the entire administrative team.”

One district official, speaking from the audience, confirmed with Kelly that not all employees received an evaluation.

Board member Amanda Grant emphasized that teacher pay, which is governed by a contract that the board already approved, and administrator salary increases are two separate matters.

“What we’re voting on has nothing to do with teacher salaries whatsoever,” she said. “This does not take money away from anyone.” VFP 

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One thought on “D209 Administrators Get Slight Pay Raises”

  1. I think what Claudia Medina, Drafall, Rodriguez, and Alexander fail to mention or realize is that when you already pay workers on the low end, what you may view as “generous” is actually bringing them up to where they should have been in the first place. It is open and common knowledge that District 209 teachers and staff are NOT paid at rates comparable to surrounding districts, the administrators are.

    “Board member Rodney Alexander added that administrative salaries in District 209 are similar to those within districts of comparable size, demographic makeup and economic status.”

    What message are you sending? Administrators are more important to the future of our children than teachers? Why is the effective “TORCH” club, a club for mentoring the young males at west, still not funded? What about hiring a truancy officer/residency officer?

    “Drafall said that “pay isn’t the only reason why people leave … some of it is money and [some of it is] sanity, [among] other reasons.” This comment alone warrants an analysis of why employees, including those high paid like Drafall, leave the district.

    This is not just about money, it is about equity. Students at East and West sit in larger classes because the district would rather hire less teachers than hire more to allow for students to be in smaller classes. EVERY MONTH, every month we see a new administrator being paid at top salary. I think an analysis should be done to see if these new admin jobs/duties can be handled by the current administrators. Also, if all these administrators jobs cover all these areas of school business, what do we need this supt. for? I also do not understand why people are getting raises when they have not had evaluations and the supt has to “look into it?” Is that not part of his job?

    I think the taxpayers need to demand to see all the information and not just what the supt. chooses to present.

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