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A look at school administrator perks

Letter to the editor

May 05, 2010 - Dear editor,

In this letter I need to question the LOCS benefits or "perks" of our Administration. Why are we still giving out "perks" when we are in a financial crunch? As it stands now, the Administration gets paid a mileage stipend, longevity pay, contributions to TSA's, cell phones and other unknown benefits.

Let's look at the mileage stipend provided for 23 administrators at approximately $82,350.00 a year. The IRS allowable amount is 50˘ a mile. Why aren't we paying for ACTUAL MILES driven? For 23 people that receive the $82,350.00 for mileage at the IRS rate they would have to drive 164,700 miles a year for school business.

Another "perk" is longevity. In economically good times this is a benefit all would like to have but when it comes to educating our children here is another cost saver. Between administration longevity and district longevity the amount is approximately $74,275 for 18 administrators.

What about the retirement "perk". Ms. Keppler stated that the district could be looking at having to pay a little over 19% per employee to the state retirement fund, an approximate increase of 5%. LOCS also gives TSA contributions to 24 administrators at a cost of $132,646.

We need to rein in some of these "perks" and as Ms. Hazlett said we are on the high end for wages and benefits for Administrators and Central Office. Through my research I have found theses wages are on the high end not only in Michigan but also nationally. With Michigan being so devastated financially wouldn't it make sense to do some re-calculating of wages and benefits to save the middle class? Rep. Tim Melton sponsored a bill to cap superintendents wages but the legislation would only affect future superintendents contracts, not those already in place. According to MASSP Michigan superintendents are paid about $114,000 annually, compared to $137,000 for superintendents in the Great Lakes region and $155,000 nationally. This information kind of gives us an idea of where LOCS wages are ranking.

I know that some administrators receive cell phones and possibly other benefits not known to me. So let us examine all benefits and perks to see where cuts can be made. A long hard look needs to be taken and some of these "perks" readjusted and the the money put back in for education and books!!

- Kathy Sandstrom

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