My experience covering school districts as a journalist in both Connecticut and New York is that premature contract extensions and renewals aren’t unusual at all when school board members want to retain talent who are employable elsewhere. It’s a vote of confidence in the aforementioned administrators. Now whether you think those specific administrators are worthy of such a vote of confidence is an entirely different matter, but you’d think the practice itself would elicit a collective yawn from the public.
Now along comes a story in today’s Republican American about the Cheshire Public Schools:
The Board of Education extended by one year contracts for Superintendent of Schools Greg Florio and Assistant Principal for Instructional Services Scott Detrick at a meeting on Thursday. Three-year contracts for both were extended to June 30, 2015.
So let’s do the math. The current three-year contracts were scheduled to expire in 2014, so they must have been ratified only last year. Last night, those same contracts were extended by one year. And according to the Republican, “The board is expected to vote on a new salary schedule for the two men at a later meeting.”
Sound familiar? That’s pretty much what happened in Region One earlier this year. And the Great Bloviator told us our regional school board was out of control. Of course, it’s possible there will be some people in Cheshire who will be unhappy in the wake of the board’s decision.
If so, I suspect it will have more to do with the salaries of the administrators in question than the process itself: the superintendent currently makes $152,250, while the AP is pulling down $130,500. The super also has a $6,000 car allowance; the AP has a car allowance of $4,000. Region One Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain is making $151,327 with an annuity of $9,080.
Again, neither the practice of extending contracts nor the salaries of the Region One administrators appears to be out of line. So the next time Marshall Miles tells you something is outrageous, think again. Perhaps it is he who is outrageous?