The SAU board agreed to begin a review of SAU staff contracts at their October 3rd meeting. This initiative appeared to be at the instigation of the chairman, Mr. Mascola. Mr. Bealo, who was involved in researching superintendent contracts, stepped forward to take on the project. It will be interesting to see the terms of these contracts and what the board now thinks is reasonable especially in light of the far more responsible contract they established for Dr. Metzler.
The public perception of SAU salaries was addressed by Mr. Stokinger, the SAU’s Business Administrator. He spoke about the state ranking of Mr. LaSalle’s salary as well as that of the Assistant Superintendent and his own salary – all of which are available on the DOE website, and which I referenced in a recent post. http://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/salaries11-12.pdf
According to the DOE’s information for 2011-2012, Mr LaSalle had the fifth highest salary for a superintendent in the state. Mr. Feneberg had the fourth highest salary for an assistant superintendent in the state, while Mr. Stokinger had the second highest salary for people functioning as business administrators in the public school system. (Mr. Stokinger put himself somewhere “4th, 5th, maybe 6th” by his own calculations which had some refinements to the job classification involved with the DOE’s list.) Attempting to put these salaries in context, Mr. Stokinger said that at the time SAU 55 was the third largest in New Hampshire based on enrollment. What we don’t know in this salary comparison is the TOTAL compensation of these salaried administrators. This is where the review of all the SAU staff contracts will get interesting, as it did with Mr. LaSalle’s.
Apart from the factual fogginess about total compensation, the argument that SAU size should determine compensation is something that should not be accepted unexamined. Compensation should always have a large element based on performance. In this case performance means student excellence. If SAU 55’s enrollment keeps declining due to student migration to better schools – and we know this to be a factor anecdotally – perhaps both compensation methods will arrive at the same conclusion. Except when that happens, the focus will shift from student numbers to the value of assets under administration… Taxpayers will always be chasing their tails unless clear performance goals are established for our highest paid academic administrators. I look forward to seeing these promised goals soon.