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school board budget

Senior school salary splits OK So says education ministry, but teachers association unsure By Chris Woodall There's nothing wrong having senior school board administrators get paid from different budgetary pies, it simply reflects different tasks they do. That was the response to a Pique Newsmagazine story last week that drew attention to several senior Howe Sound school board district administrator salaries in the 1998-99 proposed budget that came from areas other than "district administration." "If you look at other school districts, they do the same thing," says Mike Fitzpatrick, school board superintendent. Breaking a senior administrator's salary down to amounts from "district administration," "operations, maintenance and transportation" and "district instructional support" reflects the amount of the senior administrator's responsibilities that fall into those categories, Fitzpatrick says. In the Howe Sound school board case, director of finance and administration John Hetherington's pay package of $66,979 will come from district administration ($46,885); operations, maintenance & transport ($6,698); and district instructional support ($13,396). School board secretary-treasurer Nancy Edwards will get $61,065 from district administration, and another $32,878 from operations, maintenance & transport for a total of $93,943. Superintendent Fitzpatrick is the only senior administrator who gets all his pay from one pot: $93,830 from district administration. While the Ministry of Education has nothing against this kind of budgeting, it approves it with faint praise. "On a common sense level, it sounds like it shouldn't be that way, but the ministry doesn't have a problem with this," says a ministry spokesperson. "In smaller districts, administrators will spend a portion of their time on other fields, so we leave it up to the district as the best authority to determine how it allocates its money," the spokesperson says. One person who isn't buying any of that is Howe Sound Teachers Association President Alex Miller. "These administrators do not offer direct services to students," Miller says of administrative responsibilities no matter how varied, and therefore shouldn't be paid from different areas of the school board budget. Paying administrators out of other areas takes teachers out of the classroom, Miller says. In the case of the district instructional support budgetary pie, senior administrators will get paid a total $119,768 — $68,680 to the assistant superintendent, $13,396 to the director of finance and administration, $30,914 to the district principal, and $6,778 to the personnel manager. Meanwhile, nine teaching support positions will not be filled, including positions for a hearing impaired teacher, computer co-ordinator, career program co-ordinator, computer research teacher, or school psychologist.