Letter: Pay bumps for our school leaders are well-deserved

Editor,

The purpose of this letter is to provide information to the community regarding administrative salaries. The South Whidbey School Board was unanimous in its decision to extend the contract of our superintendent and assistant superintendent for three more years. The stability of leadership is key in continuing progress and improvement. Leadership matters.

Each of our administrators does multiple jobs.

The superintendent holds the mission and vision for the district. The superintendent is the spokesperson for the district and the board’s sole employee. Her job includes oversight of instructional leadership, curriculum, technology, safety, etc.

The assistant superintendent is responsible for finance, custodial and maintenance services, capital projects, transportation, food services and human resources.

The director of special programs oversees all special education, assessment and federal and state grants. In many districts, each of these categories would have its own administrative leadership.

The board oversees and directs the work of the district. We heard from our community the need to prioritize salaries. We began with teachers, who received a 21 percent increase over two years. Principals received a similar increase and we anticipate the need to continue to prioritize salaries for the remaining employee groups whose contracts will be up for renewal in 2020 and 2021.

In reference to The Record March 1 article, the district will be adjusting staff due to our continued reduction in student enrollment. We will continue to have a balanced budget that reflects enrollment. The comparison salaries quoted in the story were not up to date. The 2018-19 salaries may be found at https://data.kitsapsun.com/projects/wa-school/

For comparison:

South Whidbey $171,553

Oak Harbor $191,747

Mukilteo $319,069

Granite Falls $197,102

Lake Stevens $281,554

Lakewood $210,762

Sedro Woolley $184, 229

Burlington $209,927

Anacortes $184,213

Sultan $173,251

The board meets in public every two weeks and updates budget and finances at each business meeting at the end of the month. We welcome your attendance.

Linda Racicot, board chair

Julie Hadden, vice chair

South Whidbey School Board

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