August 20, 2014

USD 231 salaries

Under a Kansas Open Records request, The Gardner News obtained the salaries of USD 231 employees.
The newspaper made the request after a district patron complained about being unable to afford fees recently enacted by the Board of Education to provide taxpayer-funded records.
Total cost for the 24 copies was $217.24; and Leeann Northway, director of community relations, said it took district staff 7.5 hours to produce the payroll report.
The records provided are not total annual earnings for employees as the newspaper originally requested.
In a written response Northway said, “Total compensation includes supplemental contracts, salaries, stipends, etc. (Such as coaching, teacher-sponsor activities, drama, etc.)” Salaries on the report are base pay.
In a Sept. 7 article in The Kansas City Star, Johnson County district attorney says public business is too often private, Steve Howe, district attorney, says good government should be transparent and suggests some Johnson County officials may need to undergo open records training.
The Star’s complete article is available online at LINK. USD 231 is not specifically referenced.
USD 231 SALARIES Pt 1

USD 231 SALARIES Pt 2

USD 231 SALARIES Pt 3

Comments

  1. Judith Rogers says:

    Lots of Dieners on the payroll. Hope all citizens will compute hourly wage on these salaries and I would say some of these individuals are only working 1,080 hours per year whereas the average citizen works 2,080 hours per year. Also keep in mind this is JUST basic pay and doesn’t include all of the supplemental contracts/remuneration/etc. that is paid. Then please, please, please take into consideration what citizens are paying for benefits, especially the millionaire KPERs retirement program. Lots to think about, especially for citizens such as those involved in the following article http://www.kansascity.com/2012/09/09/3803280/mortgage-debt-job-woes-darken.html, however, I will say the youth are in deep do-do too and I don’t think the corporation thieves or Mr. Romey with his $100 MILLION IRA is going to be thinking very much about the foundation of this country, the middle class, who have done the RIGHT THING for their whole lives but continue to get pooped on by the thieves and the rotten to the core politcians and bureaucrats.

    I would think this school district administration would be such fat cats that they couldn’t walk in the door. Remember, however, that fat cats can be skinny as a rail and still be fat cats.

    How have our governments reached the point that they have? Citizens not doing their jobs and their priorities are totally out of whack – that is my opinion.

  2. Judith Rogers says:

    Recently citizens were told the following about John Duncanson:

    “John Duncanson, a former physical education and health teacher at GEHS, was originally hired to replace outgoing GEHS Associate Principal Mark Meyer. However, Duncanson must pass a test to meet state licensing guidelines before assuming the role.

    Meanwhile, David Diener has replaced Duncanson in the PE classroom, and Thompson will serve as an interim-temporary associate principal until Duncanson meets state requirements. Duncanson is serving and being paid as a long-term substitute teacher.”

    The salaries listed show Mr. Duncanson making $69,992 per year under support staff and yet showing his position as Asst. Principal. So exactly what are the citizens paying Mr. Duncanson right here and now and what is he doing? Also are the citizens paying for education, testing, etc. for Mr. Duncanson?

    Think the school district will be forthcoming with complete and truthful answers on these questions and other relavent information??? What was that word Howe used – transparency I think it was……..yeah, right……

  3. STRAIGHT FROM KSDE WEBSITE:
    USD # County District Name 2010 – 2011 ACTUAL 2011 – 2012 CONTRACTED % INC
    SALARY SALARY /DEC
    225 Meade Fowler 118,434 95,925 -19.0
    226 Meade Meade 83,000 84,000 1.2
    227 Hodgeman Jetmore 78,377 78,767 0.5
    229 Johnson Blue Valley 275,336 275,835 0.2
    230 Johnson Spring Hill 197,338 201,148 1.9
    231 Johnson Gardner-Edgerton 241,667 228,565 -5.4
    232 Johnson DeSoto 172,000 175,000 1.7
    233 Johnson Olathe 227,656 227,656 0.0
    234 Bourbon Ft. Scott 107,209 108,249 1.0
    235 Bourbon Uniontown 109,000 110,100 1.0
    237 Smith Smith Center 103,261 117,366 13.7

    Why can’t USD 231 be transparent….what are his fringe benefits? Go back and look over the last 7 years and the % increase he received while teachers received 0.0% for years. Why is he paid equal to districts 2-3 times our size with numerous high schools???

  4. Sollicitus Civis says:

    Salary % Increase Mileage Vacation Leave Sick Leave Annuity
    2004 $120,000.00 0.365 20 Days 12 Days Paid none
    2005 $130,680.00 8.90 0.405 20 Days 60 + 12 Annually none
    2006 $139,376.00 6.65 $8,600.00 20 Days 60 + 12 Annually $12,000.00
    2007 $144,327.00 3.55 $8,600.00 20 Days 60 + 12 Annually $12,000.00
    2008 $168,000.00 16.40 $8,600.00 20 Days 60 + 12 Annually $25,000.00
    2009 $171,528.00 2.10 $8,600.00 20 Days 60 + 12 Annually $25,000.00
    2010 $173,929.00 1.40 $8,600.00 20 Days 60 + 12 Annually $34,000.00
    2011 $173,929.00 0.00 $9,600.00 20 Days 60 + 12 Annually $34,000.00
    2011 $173,929.00 0.00 $9,600.00 20 Days 60 + 12 Annually $34,000.00

    The board shall provided family health and dental insurance for the Superintendent. The Superintendent is required to enroll in the single health and dental insurance plan. He has the option to receive the moneytary difference in salary between the single and family health and dental plans as accorded to other district directors and principals of USD 231

    This is Dr. G’s contract year by year. This information was obtained for ONLY $48.00.

  5. I’d love to know exactly HOW Judith Rogers came up with her figures on which teachers work only roughly half the yearly hours of a ‘typical’ worker. I’d also love to know how Judith Rogers has ANY idea of what a teacher’s job is like or how many hours they put in in a typical week. In fact, I wonder what Judith Rodgers’ contribution to society even is, I mean, aside from informing the Gardner of her priceless political wisdom by leaving comments on a minor local website?

    Additionally, I’d like to know HOW Judith Rogers would compensate teachers? On what monetary scale would Judith Rogers rank the award-winning teachers of USD231? I wonder if Judith Rogers realizes that the TEACHERS of the school district are what makes it one the highest performing districts in the state? I wonder if she realizes that the schools are what brings families to Gardner, sells houses, and brings in property tax revenues? I wonder if she realizes that the way for any society to prosper is to invest in EDUCATION? Does she think people should work for free? Does she think that teachers are overpaid professionals? Does she realize that teaching is one of the LOWEST paid professional fields in America? Does she think that Gardner’s children deserve LESS than qualified professionals? Does she think that the district can recruit the best teachers without offering competitive salaries?

    Whatever Judith Rogers’ problem with the school district, city, or country is, attacking the integrity of the hard-working, high-performing, highly criticized, highly scrutinized teachers of this or any public school district reeks of the ranting of a classless, baseless, sefl-indulgent malcontent who feels over-empowered.

    I’d suggest Judith Rogers actually visit the schools in her district. Talk to and get to know the teachers. Talk to the students. See the work the kids are doing, see them smile and appreciate a clean, safe, and challenging academic environment. Go to a football game, a volleyball game, a play, or a concert and relax. Shadow a teacher for a month. Get up when they do, come to school, plan lessons, provide meaningful feedback to students, build relationships, BE A ROLE MODEL, provide a meal to the kid who didn’t get dinner last night, buy a student a backpack because his family can’t afford one, eat lunch with the students. Then, go home when they do, taking their work with you. Get to know their families. The, Judith, after you’ve done ALL of that, then tell the teachers of this district that they make too much money. Then, go to their families homes and tell them that their mothers and fathers are ‘fat cats’ who’re robbing you. This is what you must do before you attack the teachers of this district.

    You can’t change the world from behind your keyboard, Judith. You have to go out and do it yourself.

  6. Well obviously only the lowly teachers/paras will suffer the hard economic times. Why does he need that much mileage? To pay for lease on his fancy car? That’s the rumor I hear…he’s really walking the talk of the hard times the district is facing

  7. @RedLion – Judith is an institution here in Gardner: for doing just what you cite. She doesn’t let reason or compassion get in the way of pre-judging people.

  8. Judith Rogers says:

    The world does not revolve around Judith Rogers. Citizens can take the numbers, salaries and the actual number of hours teachers or anyone else is actually working, and can come up with the results. Then they can make a decision as to whether these individuals along with the ADMINISTRATION staff are being remunerated in a decent manner. And I am sure any intelligent citizen will take into consideration the benefits paid to these employees. And lastly the citizens can determine whether services provided vs. the remuneration and benefits they receive are something they can afford. And surely they can make a decision whether more emphasis and dollars should be placed on EDUCATION and take into consideration all of the dollars going for sports and not to education. The citizens, all of them, not just Judith Rogers, need to think about what their priorities are and how the dollars are spent. The choices all citizens make do have consequences so it is important to really be thinking about what the Sam Hill you, the citizen, are supporting and enabling.

    I do believe it is important for citizens to have full information as to what they are paying for, such as these salaries, but it certainly doesn’t stop with just that information. That is just the tip of the iceberg. In order to make intelligent choices or decisions you need to be fully informed and educated and I don’t believe you are getting that from your School Dist. nor your city of Gardner. If citizens continue to allow themselves to be manipulated by the connivers and you don’t have transparency of your government entities, then you are sunk from the get go. Each and every citizen can make their own choices with respect to important issues and it is a responsibility not to be taken lightly because you will living with those choices.

  9. Judith, with all seriousness, I fully agree with you. Right up until you start in on connivers and manipulators. Sure that happens a lot, but an organization is being stupid or incompetent does not automatically mean that there are secret conpiracies going on. When you focus on conspiracies or nitpicking people to blame, it makes people less likely to read or listen to the rest of what you have to say.

  10. gardnerindependent says:

    Judith,
    I challenge you to post how much you make each month with retirement, social security, and any other revenue you have. Please, if you think there is nothing wrong with posting what an individual teacher makes to the dollar then you would have no problem with all of us knowing how much you are worth. What you fail to see is that it is denigrating to those who have just had their yearly income posted for all to see. Do I really need to know that my son’s elementary school teacher makes $40,000/yr? What was proven by this?
    It used to be rude to ask someone how much they made. Do you now have any shame? You act as if the teachers are making money for doing nothing. What do you think a fair wage is for a teacher? So far everything I have read from all your posts have been negative. No constructive criticism, no solutions, nothing. You must be a miserable person to have as much hate as you have displayed on these forums.
    Lastly, Gardner News. You have just alienated an entire segment of your target demographic. I know that from my conversations with teachers in the district, your newspaper will be the last place they go for any kind of news. How dare you indulge the whims of a crazy person. On to Gardneredge.com where this “story” was where it should have been, nonexistent.

  11. @gardnerindependent – It’s ironic. I just had a lengthy discussion on another thread, defending myself for pestering Judith, all so I can highlight just how damaging her petty conspiracies, vendettas, and general nosiness can be. Gave several examples of OTHER instances where she posted damaging personal information, or even out-and-out lies, about people. It’s all such a pointless way of expressing herself. And tried to explain why I choose to post anonymously out here. Someone asked a legitimate question, so I tried to answer as honestly as possible.

    But it’s ironic that someone would ask about why I would post as a “nonamer” when Judith makes my case for doing so right here and now.

    Years past, Judith would just be the cranky lady yelling at kids to stay off her lawn. Online, with all the information of the Internet at her fingertips, she does real damage. Unapologetic damage.

  12. Sollicitus Civis says:

    The primary point of the commentary was the fact that the newspaper had to pay over $200.00 to acquire a document that would be free in other surrounding districts. You can attempt to make it an issue about how much your son’s elementary teacher makes but that is not the issue. I believe the newspaper asked for something like this to shine a light, once again, on the cost of transparency within the district.
    You chastise Judith for not offering solutions. Let me offer a solution. Look out your window at some of our sister districts and how they do business. Do an experiment, pick up your phone and call another district and ask for a document and see for yourself how they act in comparison to how USD 231 handles things. I can tell you, there is a difference and that difference is of great magnitude.
    Perhaps years ago it was rude to ask a person’s salary but in today’s society, the electronic generation has opened the flow of information. Couple this change with budget challenges and not only is it not rude to know what people make that are being paid by the public but it’s necessary. Perhaps the public may be concerned that we are not paying our teachers enough to keep them here or perhaps we are overpaying our administration. The public needs to have that knowledge to make informed decisions, especially during times when fiscal accountability if important.
    For you to say that Gardner News has alienated an entire segment of a target demographic is audacious. Despite how you may feel about it, many of your employees are not in fact upset with this and see the larger picture of transparency.
    If you are truly open to constructive criticism and solutions we can provide that. In order to offer solutions it is important to know how the USD does business, and to understand that one has to have a large checkbook to pay for the fee’s.

  13. gardnerindependent says:

    @Sollicitus Civis

    First of all, this is not Bill Gillhaus.
    Second, if the issue was just administration salaries just request those, not every teacher, para, custodian, and secretary in the district.
    Third, despite what you may think it IS still rude to ask someone’s salary. Having computers does not change that, IF you are a decent person. Or did you mean to imply that it is only not rude if you are talking about teachers. I have not seen a request from this paper to see the salaries of police or firefighters. Why not?
    Fourth, I know that most (if not all) of the employees see this as an affront. Nothing positive can come of disclosing what a teacher makes. There is a reason corporations dont post what their employees make because it just breeds envy and distrust between employees.
    So, Sollicitus Civis. I will offer the same challenge to you as I did to Judith. Please post on here your full name and how much you make a year to the dollar. I am sure we would like to know how much you are worth given that you feel the need to know how much a custodian at the high school makes.
    The one thing I will grant in your argument is that the district should not charge for this service.

  14. George A Rifford IV says:

    The last time I checked, Kansas State Law requires that all State of Kansas employee salaries are made public to the State of Kansas taxpayer (http://www.kansas.gov/KanView/). USD 231 should not be considered exempt from this.

    I don’t think this request by the Gardner News is out of line at all as this information is intended to be made available to the public (by the State). The breakdown is in the fact that the State of Kansas makes this data VERY accessible, whereas USD231 obviously does not. I agree that it should not take nearly an entire work day (7.5 hours) for a school district employee to pull this information together; this seems egriogous and misleading (similar to a house builder over-charging for upgrades because they don’t want to do the work in the first place).

  15. George A Rifford IV says:

    Another glaring example of USD 231′s lack of transparency and inefficiencies. The link below includes school districts that openly share their payrolls online. I did not see Gardner-Edgerton in this list.

    http://www.kansasopengov.org/SchoolDistricts/PayrollListing/tabid/1592/Default.aspx

  16. gardnerindependent says:

    @ George

    The fact that Gardner News can request the information does not mean that it should then publish the information. Maybe USD 231 needs to make it easier to obtain this information (which I agree with) but publishing this in the newpaper just pits people against people. Another example of the state of the media in our country. What was hoped to be accomplished by publishing how much a custodian makes? I have yet to hear any of you that agree with Gardner News answer that question.
    Again, it goes back to the reason behind the request. If people want to know how much a teacher makes, they can find out. However, to plaster it over the internet for who knows what reason is not morally right. It may be legally right, but not morally right. If you propose that anyone who is employed by the government should have their salary shown, then why not publish what community members who are in the military make? Or police and firefighters? Why is it just teachers? For a reason that I cannot grasp, teachers are under fire in this country. When did they become the enemy? Maybe the answer is more about society than teachers.

  17. gardnerindependent says:

    So again, George. We know who you are (which if you are advocating the publishing of personal info at least you are walking the walk in a way), why not post your income so we can all know how much you make a year?
    I understand teachers are government employees, but they are also people first and foremost. They have families, bills, and personal lives. Gardner News just added to the stress in all of these areas.

  18. George A Rifford IV says:

    gardnerindependent: any local, State or Government employee should know that when they accept a job with said entity, their income from that point forward is made public because their employer is now the taxpayer (you and I). On the other hand, I work for a private entity which pays my salary without taxpayer support.

    This information being made public is not an egrigous act made by this publication. In fact, if this article was about the Olathe School District we wouldn’t even be having this conversation because their payroll data is made readily available via the links I provided (free of charge to the taxpayer). I believe what Brandon was simply trying to prove is that USD231 makes it extremely difficult to obtain this public information.

  19. @George – Knowing that their salaries are public does not automatically make that information fodder for every hack or snoop to smear across the Internet. You are correct in saying that the public needs to know how their taxes are being spent. But gardnerindependent is even more correct in saying that that information should not be exploited. You get that, right?

  20. gardnerindependent says:

    You do not see it that way because you dont have to worry about your income being disclosed. I know that if a teacher accepts a job they should expect their salary to be available to the public, however, to single out just teachers is not right. Why not request the salaries of police, firefighters, and the military by individual names? I dont think that is right, but if you want transparency it is only logical. Again, I would like to know what purpose it served publishing how much a para at Madison Elementary makes a year. If you wanted to know what the administration and board members make, request those. But Brandon did not, he covered all district employees.

  21. Duane Waldman says:

    What fodder, what exploitation? Is there an example somewhere on here, where someone correctly said the USD 231 teachers are making too much, or too little or used one of their salaries to make a point? Heck, I thought everyone was being respectful of the information published.

  22. George A Rifford IV says:

    I partially see your point regarding the potential exploitation by the newspaper. However, given the outrageous cost that USD 231 was charging for this information, USD 231 was exploiting the taxpayer as well. I’m sure many taxpayers were either financially unwilling or unable to request this information on their own. In my opinion, USD 231 created this issue by charging so much for this information and not making it easily accessible to the public. If any USD 231 employees have issue with this, I believe that they should take it up directly with the BOE or the district office as this would have never occurred if they were more transparent.

    This newspaper was able to do what many other taxpayers were either financially unable or unwilling to do; gain access to what should be easily accessible, free public information. One could argue that this newspaper could have simply published an article stating that the information is available for review or pickup (vs. publishing it). However, I’m positive that others would have joined in saying that this is public information and that the paper should post it online. Again, it all goes back to the school district and their lack of transparency.

  23. gardnerindependent says:

    @ Duane
    Please see the second post regarding John Duncanson. Or if you like, the first post regarding the Deiners. We can agree that the school district needed to be more open to provide this information, however, the choice to publish this information is solely at the feet of Gardner News. There is no legitimate reason that the salaries of all the teachers, paras, custodians, and support staff should be posted on this site. I would ask that Gardner News provide the rationale for taking this route. Also, Duane if you thought that Judith was being respectful then you must be reading a different thread than I am.

  24. Duane Waldman says:

    @gardnerindependent, I disagree completely. You made it sound like you were worried about teachers salaries. John Duncanson is not a teacher anymore, is he? She stated “Lots of Dieners on the payroll.” Nothing about the Dieners salary’s, and she didn’t even call them names. And she just legitimately questioned what we were paying John Duncanson for. That is administration, not teachers. I think even most people would have to agree that Judith was respectful on her comments towards them and teachers.

  25. gardnerindependent says:

    Duane,
    I am solely worried about the teachers and other support staff. I was providing two examples where Judith singled people out by name. She also stated that teachers “do not work more than 1080 hours a year which is 1000 hours less than everyone else”. She made some claim to “millionaire KPERS”. She encouraged people to compute an hourly wage on these salaries, implying that they were too generous. That you think she has to call names to be disrespectful is puzzling (which she most certainly has done on these forums in the past).

  26. Exploitation, Duane. Like publishing the salary list for the entire district, only because people are interested in the political (and financial) aspects of what the district adminstration is doing.

    The whole point of this thread is about the district and its administration, not about teachers. But the teachers get splattered anyway because all their salaries get posted in the drive to hold the administration accountable. The way I see it, gardnerindependent has been trying to make two points:

    First, that it’s very uncomfortable to have your personal information published on the internet…especially your salary. She has asked several people if they would like to have their own salaries up for everyone to see and the only rebuttal she’s gotten is that “they’re public employees, so it shouldn’t matter to them because they knew that, because of public records, they knew it could happen”. That’s like saying a rape victim was “asking for it” because of how she dresses. Yes, the salaries are public record. Does that make it appropriate to trot them out every time someone has a beef with the school district? gardnerindependent is saying “no, it’s not”.

    Second, that the teachers’ salaries should not have been posted in this particular case. That seems fair, given that the teachers’ salaries aren’t what’s being questioned. If we were discussing THAT part of it…if, for instance, the teachers were going on strike like in Chicago, that would make their part of the public record fair game for open discussion. But in this instance, it’s not part of the discussion, so why post names and salaries of people who are simply trying to do their jobs?

    If you disagree with the first point, and try to claim that teachers shouldn’t worry about their salaries being posted, then back up your assertion by posting your own salary. If you’re not willing to do that, you don’t have much room to criticize gardnerindependent for being upset that teachers’ salaries were posted, all to score points against the district. Even IF you’re willing to post your salary, it doesn’t change the fact that there are a LOT of people who would be exceedingly uncomfortable with doing so. It’s condescending as hell to tell these people they shouldn’t be upset about it

    The second point ought to be self-explanatory. It’s obvious a lot of people aren’t concerned about publishing the entire list, but is it really necessary to accomplish what the article and discussion were trying to accomplish? If so, explain why. Preferably without trying to justify it by saying that people shouldn’t care. It’s obvious that some DO care, so explain why the teachers salaries are so important to this article and discussion.

  27. Dave Trabert says:

    An earlier post suggested that USD 231 was not listed on http://www.KansasOpenGov.org because they don’t share their payroll online. That’s not the case. Their payroll is not listed because we have not requested it. We have payroll and checkbooks posted for 21 districts and hope to add more in the future but it is expensive to buy those records from local governments. Each year we have to spend several thousand dollars buying public information from school districts. Someday we hope to have all school districts’ payrolls and checkbooks posted online and will continue add more districts as we raise additional funds. We’re also working with the Legislature to make public records much more accessible and affordable.

    We do, however, have a great deal of information posted for every school district, including USD 231…including revenue per-pupil, spending per-pupil on Instruction, Administration and other cost centers, employment, enrollment, student achievement and carryover cash balances at http://www.kansasopengov.org/SchoolDistricts/tabid/1265/Default.aspx

  28. George A Rifford IV says:

    nonamer: My wife is on that list and her and I could care less. She is a public employee; enough said.

  29. gardnerindependent says:

    George,
    That is great you guys are not bothered by this. The simple fact is if an individual wanted to know that your wife makes $X/year as a para they could request that. They do not have to post it online for all to see (which if you notice I did not put a number to her salary which I found because it IS rude). If the beef is with Administration, that is fine. I, nor any one else, needs to post how much your wife is paid (which is a way less than she should by the way).

  30. George – If you really don’t mind, you could post your own salary as well. But even then, the point isn’t whether or not you or your wife minds. The point is that there are people who do. The people who work for the district don’t have a choice whether or not their salaries are available to the public. Doesn’t mean they have to like it or shrug it off when someone smears that info all over the internet. Doesn’t make it right for someone to smear it all over the internet, just because it’s included as part of information that’s being used, basically, as a political attack on the district. Well-justified or not, that attack has nothing to do with the teachers. So why should their personal information be dragged into the matter?

    Like I said before. Don’t justify whether or not it bothers you. Or whether or not YOU think it shouldn’t bother anyone. Clearly, it bothers someone. A lot of someone’s I’d guess.

    So instead, justify why the teachers’ information is being shown here.

  31. So let me get this straight, some people are mad because they say Gardner New published the salaries of the employees of the Gardner district when to be technical what they actually published was links to see the salaries. And as stated in other post, links to salaries by other districts is deem ok and fine. I may be nick picking but the truth is exactly this. Don’t want to see what your neighbor that works at the school district no matter which district then don’t click on the link. If you are don’t want taxpayers to know your salary then do not accept a job with a public entity like a government or school district. I don’t think it makes the teacher look bad nor have I changed my opinion of any teachers but what is did show me was the big difference between being a teacher and being in the school’s administrative dept. But this was no big surprise and I kinda laugh when I think of the last bond issue’s slogan of “It’s for the children!”. Before you ask why don’t I state my salary… I won’t cause I do not work for a taxpayer supported business, but rest assured that the people that do pay my salary know how or how little they pay me.

  32. gardnerindependent says:

    Todd,
    It is convenient for you that you dont work for the govt so dont have to post your salary. So really this issue does not affect you and you can either judge or not how much another individual is worth without any skin off your back. I assume you work in ministry (from your facebook page) and dont get paid alot. However, to say that the government has no hand in your companies finances is not technically correct is it? You get government tax exempt status, just like a school. So your company benefits from government taxes (or lack thereof in the case of your employer).
    I believe in the district being accountable. I think the information should be online. I think no one should have to pay for the information requested. What I fail to see is what was accomlished by posting this information on a news website. It is true you can not click on the link, but now that Gardner News has made the issue front and center no one will follow that advice.
    The only thing this has been accomplished is to lower morale of district employees and pit one person against another. It is as simple as that.

  33. George A Rifford IV says:

    nonamers and gardnerindependent: I believe that you may have a point if this information were made available to the public free-of-charge (like many other districts in the state), or at the very least, for a nominal fee. However, that is not the case. USD 231 charges an egrigious fee for this public information, and that is the basis of my argument and I believe this publication.

    I very seldom agree with anything that this publication prints, however, I do agree with this one. This publication took on this financial obligation as a community service because USD 231 only wants “financially priviliged” citizens to review it.

    Assuming that USD 231 or the BOE will not get the message, the only question I have is who is going to pony up the big bucks next year to pay for report?

  34. gardnerindependent says:

    I agree George. There should not be a charge. Hopefully this is a policy that will be changed.

  35. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    With 84% of the school district’s operating budget expended on employee salaries and benefits, I am sure those costs are a great concern for the district and should be a concern of the taxpayers providing those dollars as well. Having said that, maybe publishing all these names was not necessary. Personally, I would have been happy just seeing a listing by building, individual job title, salary, benefits, supplemental pay and date of hire. If I had a concern about the performance, classification, tenure or salary of a particular employee, or category of employees, I am sure district officials could identify that person or group from the spreadsheet data I would provide them and we could take it from there. Just my 2-cents worth on this $35,000,000 story.

  36. Gardnerwhos says:

    “The only thing this has been accomplished is to lower morale of district employees and pit one person against another. It is as simple as that.”

    Only if the above is the case (which I suspect teachers are smarter than that statement suggests), the teachers of the district are a bunch of whiners and morons. Period.

    People, it is the right of every citizen to know how their tax dollars are being spent. Part of their tax dollars, received by the school district, go towards paying the teachers employed by the district. This means that all of the district’s expenditures should be readily available to all citizens – as uncomfortable as it may be, this includes salaries.

    If the teachers were at all smart (and the ones on this thread would stop whining for five minutes) they might think about how this information could benefit them. If they were analytical they might look at the information and point out the disparity in wages between the teachers and the administrators.

    The district has been spending money like they have a magical money tree. Someone needs to get them in check – this means opening up their check books and taking a look at where the money is going, even if it makes some people uncomfortable. Kudos to the Gardner News for doing that.

  37. common sense says:

    I don’t recall any similar outrage or defense of City employees when all of their salaries were published at this web site? Are they not as deserving of respect as teachers? Or are not all public employees to be treated with the same respect the general public would expect to be treated?

  38. supportstaff says:

    I work in food service & I don’t like that my name & yearly salary has been posted online for every tom, dick & harry to see what I make! fine post the salaries but is posting our names really necessary! I don’t see anyone else that’s commenting posting their name & salary!

  39. gardnerindependent says:

    @ Gardnerwhos
    Please post your name and yearly salary if you agree that it should have been posted. Most of the people on here that have disagreed with me have done so in an intelligent way, but to throw out that any teacher who thinks their personal income should not have been posted on this site are “whiners and morons” shows the bias with which you bring to this conversation. You and Judith must either be one and the same or are cut from the same cloth.
    @ common sense
    I cant speak for the city hall but I am sure none of them liked their salary being posted. Can you provide me a link to the story that shows how much the custodian at city hall makes, or all the secrertaries.
    All anyone has to ask themselves is this. “Do I know how much my co-workers make?” If the answer is no, then there is a reason. Corporations know that if employees know how much other employees make it breeds negative things in the workforce. In fact, employees are actively told not to discuss salaries with other co-workers.

  40. Gardnerwhos says:

    @gardnerindependent
    I sympathize with you because I feel your sincerity, however, you must know that it is the taxpayer’s right to know this information. It is the newspaper’s right to publish this information. If the district were open and transparent about their expenditures, your salaries included, this information would be readily available to taxpayers, thus cutting the Gardner News out as a middleman. But this district is not transparent.

    You think of the school district as your employer, but what I don’t think you understand is that the taxpayers of this district are your employers. The taxpayers toil away at their sh!tty 9-5 jobs each day so they can put food on the table, put clothes on their kids and pay your salary. In return, as your boss, the taxpayers have a right to know what they spend and what they’re getting for their money.

    I think you feel like the newspaper’s piece is a personal attack on you, however I think the taxpayers of this district have lifted their blinders and now see how much money is wasted. Is the money wasted on teachers? Not in my opinion. Is the money wasted on administration? I think the documents to which you refer are very telling in that regard (Dear God, please use them to your advantage). Is the money wasted on turf for a football field? Where else is the money going? Is it appropriate for the superintendent to drive a luxury car paid for by the district? These are real questions that the patrons of this district deserve to have answered.

    I’m sorry, I do feel for you and that wasn’t apparent in my above post at all, for that I apologize, but by choosing a job in the public sector your salary is my business and in the interest of all taxpayers, it should be a public and open record. If you don’t want your salary information to be of public concern perhaps you should teach at a private school.

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