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Have you downloaded WSSDA 2014? Search for the app in iTunes or Google Play Store and join the conversation. WELCOME. 1.Tap Agenda 2.Locate this session.

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Presentation on theme: "Have you downloaded WSSDA 2014? Search for the app in iTunes or Google Play Store and join the conversation. WELCOME. 1.Tap Agenda 2.Locate this session."— Presentation transcript:

1 Have you downloaded WSSDA 2014? Search for the app in iTunes or Google Play Store and join the conversation. WELCOME. 1.Tap Agenda 2.Locate this session in the agenda 3.Tap Check In

2 Superintendent Salaries and Contracts Setting the Superintendent’s Salary and Establishing/Reviewing the Superintendent’s Contract are Important Board Functions

3 This session is intended… To assist Board members in establishing an initial Superintendent contract, To help Board members develop a plan/pattern for reviewing the contract over time, To help Board members identify the resources for setting a salary and benefits Our Objectives

4 The initial contract for a Superintendent frequently sets the parameters for his/her contract during the entire tenure in the school district. Based upon experience with the search process, it is wise for a Board to “start from scratch” rather than simply repeat the contract for the preceding Superintendent. Superintendent contracts frequently have provisions beyond basic salary and those should be added to the initial contract carefully. The Initial Superintendent Salary and Contract Occur at Selection of a New Superintendent

5 It sets the parameters for compensation and some forms of benefits. Many contracts also set the timing and sometimes standards for evaluation. The contract also prescribes the duration for the Superintendent’s employment—i.e. one year, two years or three years. Contract wording will usually describe the timeline for annual activities related to the Superintendent’s work: 1. When the Superintendent will be evaluated; 2. When a decision will be made to either extend (roll forward) the contract or allow it to continue to its term; 3. When/how a decision will be made as to changes in compensation and changes to other contractual provisions. THE CONTRACT DOES THE FOLLOWING…

6 In most instances, the foundation contract for a Superintendent is established at the time of initial employment by the school district. One major task for the Board and the incoming Superintendent is to agree upon the various provisions that will be included in that document. The experience from many years of directing searches indicates that in most cases the Board will ask that a search consultant, the district’s attorney, or possibly a staff member (such as a Human Resources director) represent the Board in the initial negotiations process. Most Boards prefer not to have their first substantive work with the new Superintendent be “bargaining” a contract—in most cases, that is also preferred by the new Superintendent. There is no absolutely “right” or “wrong” way to do this, but it is a crucial step no matter how it is accomplished. THE SUPERINTENDENT’S FIRST CONTRACT

7 A Board may offer a one year, two year or three year contract under Washington law. In the case of a new Superintendent, it is unlikely that the person would accept a one year appointment. A one year duration means that a decision on continuing employment for the first year person would probably have to be made just part way into the initial year and this is generally seen as an inadequate trial period. In addition, for a person to leave their present job and accept a new one (possibly requiring sale of a home, and/or a partner needing to find a new position) most would wish to be assured of at least two years to demonstrate their skills and abilities. As indicated above, a Board would need to make a decision annually as to whether to extend or roll forward the duration of a contract. CONTRACT DURATION

8 If a Superintendent has a two year or three year contract, this provides a kind of “tenure” protection for the future. Most Superintendents can only be terminated early for “cause”—e.g. failure to fulfill a provision(s) of the contract, an act of unprofessional conduct, a violation of law, etc. If there is no legal cause for termination, then a Board would usually be required to allow the Superintendent to work until the end of the contracted period or “buy out” the remaining portion of the contract in order to make a change. Some Boards have sought to provide a method for early termination written into the contract—that represents a small minority of districts. Most Boards are working with the typical multiple year contract obligation. One factor which can be frustrating to Boards of Directors is that while the district usually must observe the full duration of a Superintendent’s contract, the Superintendent on the other hand can in most cases ask for and receive permission to end the contract to take another position or pursue some other interest. There has not been an instance in this consultant’s experience where a Board has refused to allow the Superintendent to leave early. CONTRACT DURATION VS. TERMINATION

9 It should be noted that in a majority of districts in which a Superintendent has a multiple year contract, the pattern is to roll that contract forward on an annual basis. This provides a relatively assured expectation of continued employment. In cases where a Board chooses not to extend the contract, it is usually imperative for the Superintendent and Board to seek agreement on how the renewal or extension could be reinstated at a future decision point. For cases in which the Board wishes to see the Superintendent change in some way, failing to extend the contract creates pressure to accomplish those changes. In other cases, the Superintendent upon learning that the contract will not be extended will assume that he/she should begin planning for a job change. These conditions do not occur in the majority of cases, but some happen periodically. One of the conditions which might stimulate these circumstances is a significant change in the makeup of the Board. As the membership of a Board changes over time, the members who were part of the Board that chose the Superintendent may be in the minority or even completely gone. Sometimes a re-constituted Board may simply wish the opportunity to make its own decision on who the Superintendent should be. EXTENDING THE CONTRACT

10 Historically, some contracts have contained automatic “roll over” provisions. In most cases, where this kind of wording is in the contract, if a Board does not make an affirmative decision on extension of the contract by a certain date (e.g. March 1), then the contract is automatically extended for one year. Many times where such wording is present, there is an obligation of the Superintendent to remind the Board of this provision prior to the automatic extension date. It seems that such wording is appearing in fewer contracts over time. The instances of automatic roll over actions have been rare anyway. AUTOMATIC EXTENSION OR “ROLLOVER”

11 A Board which is in the process of selecting a new Superintendent will in most cases carefully review the contract which is in place for the incumbent person and decide what provisions should be continued in the new document or should be dropped. During the tenure of a Superintendent there are frequently additions to or modifications to the original contract. Hence, the contract document at the time of a Superintendent’s departure may be structured for that individual in some unique ways; e.g. some form of insurance, annuity, etc. It is usually wise for a Board to consider offering a contract to a new Superintendent that is primarily aimed at the standard provisions found in such contracts. If the new Superintendent wishes something unique then it can emerge in the negotiation process and be considered by the Board. It will also be possible to consider changes for the future on an annual basis if the Board and Superintendent agree on modifications. CONTRACT FOR A NEW SUPERINTENDENT

12  There are numerous contract provisions which are generally standard in a Superintendent’s contract. As a Board reviews a current contract or is setting a new contract, it is helpful to determine which of these conventional provisions are present or missing. There are sample contract versions available which could serve as a kind of template to assess the nature of a contract. (There is a sample which was developed several years ago through a cooperative WSSDA/WASA effort. There is a newer version of this sample contract modified by WASA and which is available. It is also possible, of course, to obtain sample contracts from other school districts for ideas and comparisons. The negotiation of a contract between a Superintendent and Board is usually considered confidential—the contract, once acted upon by the parties, is a public document which can be requested and must be disclosed. Search consultants would normally have samples available to share with a Board.) STANDARD CONTRACT PROVISIONS

13 Date of initial Board action upon the contract. Duration of the contract (one, two three years). Days in the work year (usually 260, minus paid holidays and paid vacation days). Annual salary (this would be the “base salary” not including discretionary extra time, annuities, travel/vehicle allowance, etc.) It is this “base salary” which is frequently given out as the Superintendent’s salary—the more accurate picture is “total compensation” which includes the extra forms of compensation plus the base salary amount. Usually the contract will assure that salaries for subsequent years will not be less than salary established in the initial year of the contract. There is often wording which describes the conditions which would be considered for discharge of a Superintendent. Most often, the wording indicates that the Superintendent could be discharged for cause. The concept of cause has substance in the law and would protect against discharge for some arbitrary reason(s). MOST CONTRACTS WILL HAVE…

14 Most contracts will describe the prerogatives of the Superintendent to organize, reorganize and arrange the administrative/supervisory staff, select, place and transfer staff members as he/she believes best. This wording is almost always modified by the statement that these actions are subject to approval of the Board. The wording pictures what is normally the domain of the Superintendent, but offers the caveat of final Board oversight. (This wording is frequently also included in district policy.) In most cases, there is wording which obligates the Board members to refer all criticism, complaints and suggestions called to their attention to the Superintendent for study and recommendation. (This commitment on the part of Board members will also often be found in district policy and in a Board/Superintendent Protocol.) Usually there is a statement which grants permission to the Superintendent to engage in outside work which does not conflict with contractual duties. This would be done with prior notification/permission of the Board. The Superintendent will normally be encouraged to attend relevant meetings, conferences, and training sessions at district expense according to district policy. ADDITIONAL CONTRACT PROVISIONS…

15 Most contracts will provide the Superintendent with paid membership in one or more civic organizations and usually two professional associations (WASA, AASA). The specific civic organizations will frequently be selected by the Board. Sick leave is usually provided as is offered to other full time staff members. (If sick leave buy back is available to the Superintendent, it should be specifically mentioned in the contract.) The number of vacation days provided the Superintendent is at the Board’s discretion; i.e. there is no prescribed minimum or maximum. Experience in developing Superintendent contracts indicates that the average is likely between 23 and 25 days. The number of vacation days may be increased by Board action during the life of the contract. A widespread benefit provided many Superintendents is the ability to “cash in” a number of unused vacation days on an annual basis. The most frequently seen wording would be “up to 10”, although there are numerous variations at a lower and higher range. This would be considered a valuable benefit in that it contributes to retirement earnings and, it does not show up in the statement of “base salary”, since it is discretionary and may vary from none up to the maximum allowable in any given year. This provision will almost always state that the Superintendent may carry and cash in at termination up to 30 days of unused vacation—if the person is retiring, this would be additional income counted for retirement purposes. ADDITIONAL CONTRACT PROVISIONS

16 It appears that under present legal interpretations that a Superintendent may be provided only the medical/dental/vision insurance benefits offered to all other administrative employees. So, if other administrators receive only the state allocation, then the Superintendent would be limited to that as well. The offering of other insurance to a Superintendent (e.g. life insurance, disability insurance, etc.) should be checked with legal counsel. It is typical for a Superintendent to be offered a vehicle allowance. Some of the amounts for this benefit have been seen from $200 a month to $1,000 per month. Many Boards will require a district paid comprehensive medical examination every year or on a regular basis. The results are confidential between the Board and the Superintendent. In some cases, there will be a required statement by a physician as to the medical fitness of the Superintendent for the duties of the position. There is also a pattern of describing further the conditions under which a Superintendent may be declared disabled or unable to fulfill the duties of the job. There is usually wording which gives a process for such a decision to be considered and what will occur if, ultimately, the Superintendent is found unable to perform. ADDITIONAL CONTRACT PROVISIONS

17  It is common in the majority of districts to require the Superintendent to reside in the school district. This may be stated only in the requirements for the position or, most often, will be included in the contract. The details of this requirement will frequently be subject to interpretation by the Board in response to the specific circumstances of the Superintendent.  The dates or pattern for evaluating the performance of the Superintendent are almost always stated in the contract. The most frequent provision is to require at least two points for Superintendent evaluation during a school year; i.e. sometime midyear and toward the end of the contract year. This requirement, accompanied by the details of the evaluation process, is most often stated in a separate document such as a Board policy or procedure. (A Board is required by law to evaluate the Superintendent annually. The wording in the contract creates an additional legal requirement. There are no prescriptions for particular evaluation processes, but it is best if they are developed mutually by the Board and Superintendent and are responsive to the particular needs of the district. There are model evaluation processes under development and they could be considered by local Boards for the future.) The degree to which the actual evaluation process and any resulting documentation of the process is confidential is somewhat uncertain. Most Boards and Superintendents carry out the actual evaluation discussion in Executive Session. If the Board and legal counsel believe that there should also be a publicly disclosed result, some will issue a written report of the process and conclusions of the Board. ADDITIONAL CONTRACT PROVISIONS

18  It is imperative to include wording as to when and how the Board will determine whether to offer the Superintendent an extended contract or whether to allow the contract to continue towards its expiration date. It is usually in the best interests of the district and the Superintendent to have this occur half way or perhaps two thirds of the way through each contract year. This permits both parties time to adjust to the prospective employment future for the Superintendent.  Contracts will usually contain “hold harmless” wording which assures the Superintendent that he/she will be defended by the district from legal action provided that the Superintendent was acting within the scope of the position and in good faith. The vehicle for this protection is errors and omissions insurance coverage carried by the school district. It is now common for this protection to be extended to the Superintendent’s family.  Most contracts will also contain a “savings clause” which states that if any provision of the contract is found contrary to law, the rest of the contract will continue in effect. ADDITIONAL CONTRACT PROVISIONS

19 The task of considering the total compensation for a Superintendent will face a Board at the time of employing a new Superintendent and usually on an annual basis when the duration of the contract is addressed. The law does not prescribe legal parameters for Superintendent salaries. As indicated in earlier points, there may be a variety of methods of providing compensation for a Superintendent. When the initial contract and compensation are set for an incoming Superintendent, the Board will refer to the salary for the prior Superintendent and the salaries for Superintendents in other districts (usually taking into account geographical location, size of district, economics for the region, etc.) In some instances where a Superintendent has been in place for several years, the salary “market” may have increased more rapidly than the incumbent’s salary. Since the school district is to some degree competing for strong applicants, there may be a kind of sticker shock when surveying salary levels and what will be needed to attract the applicant of choice. Setting the salary of a Superintendent or increasing compensation for the Superintendent during the life of the contract is to some degree a balancing act. A Board will usually want to set the starting salary high enough to attract the candidate, but will also be conscious of the condition of the district’s budget, whether other staff members have received increases recently, the way that the new Superintendent’s salary will appear in comparison to other Superintendents, the climate in the community regarding education salaries and perhaps other factors. A Board must decide whether salary increases which come through from the Legislature will be passed on to the Superintendent (although those have been rare in recent years.) Some Boards follow a prescribed pattern for considering salary increases for a Superintendent. In numerous districts, the Board identifies a set number of other districts, gathers information about the salary levels and benefits in those school systems and determines that the local Superintendent should be paid a percentage of the average of those districts (often the mean compensation level.) From a strategic standpoint, Boards usually do not wish to be at the highest comparative levels nor at the lowest. SUPERINTENDENT COMPENSATION

20 A. So, assuming that a Board will wish to review the Superintendent’s salary annually and compare it to other representative salaries, where does the Board find accurate information for the state and region? There are two fundamental tools in beginning this investigation: 1. The annual report of Superintendent salaries issued by OSPI (Table 15 of the School District Personnel Summary reports for the current school year on the OSPI website under School Apportionment and Financial Services); 2. The annual ranking of school districts by enrollment size, also issued by OSPI (Table 47 of the above mentioned Personnel Summary Reports.) The OSPI salary reports are derived directly from the budgets submitted by each school district. The Superintendent salary figures are labeled as “Total Salary” and are supposed to include everything that is paid by contract to the Superintendent that is considered salary. This would include actual base salary plus compensation such as a district’s contribution to a Superintendent’s annuity. Theoretically, compensation such as a fixed salary stipend (say for extra time) would also be included. One of the significant forms of additional compensation that does not show up in the OSPI figures would be income which is uncertain; i.e. extra income which could vary and therefore would not be known for certain when the budget is set. The income from cashing in unused vacation days would be in this category. Another form of compensation may be pay for additional time which the Superintendent turns in during the school year. This kind of per diem income can be substantial—e.g. 15 days at $832 per diem rate would calculate to be $12,480. There are other benefits of monetary value which may not be evident in the OSPI figure of Total Salary—a cell phone stipend, a technology allowance (perhaps for a computer), paid memberships in professional organizations, funds to help pay for additional training, travel/vehicle allowance, etc. [There are two other columns in the OSPI Superintendent salary report which should be mentioned—Insurance Benefits and Mandatory Benefits. Theoretically, the Insurance Benefits column would include all insurance compensation paid to the Superintendent—in actuality, this column is not at all consistent in reporting the total of various kinds of insurance. The same is true of the Mandatory Benefits column—this information is not consistently accurate and even OSPI staff when contacted was not sure what is included in the amounts reported for various districts.] GATHERING COMPARATIVE SALARY INFORMATION

21 An additional resource for checking data on Superintendent salaries and limited contract information is the study prepared annually by staff of the Kitsap Sun (newspaper). The website for this study is school#axzz3G3A4evKahttp://data.kitsapsun.com/wa- school#axzz3G3A4evKa This study contains a wealth of general information on school districts in Washington, including the names of virtually all staff members, lists of schools and other sites in the district and, for our purposes, the salary for the Superintendent. Also included for the Superintendent are figures for Insurance Benefits and Mandatory Benefits—these figures appear to be taken directly from the OSPI Superintendent Salary report and would therefore be variable in terms of accuracy. ADDITIONAL SALARY RESOURCES

22 A third source of salary and contract information is the annual report issued by the School Information Research Service (SIRS). This study has been issued annually for many years. It is prepared by office staff of the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA). Each school district in the state is invited to submit salary, benefit and contract information for the various categories of employees including administrators. One of the attractions of this report is that it attempts to report for all categories of employees—the OSPI available information is not broken down for all categories of employees in the same way. One limitation of the SIRS report is that the submission of information from school districts is voluntary; i.e. only those districts which submit information are included so there are voids in the data. Another limitation is that the information supplied by districts is not necessarily taken directly from the school district budget—it may be gathered from other district documents and could be different from the actual budget data. A potential advantage of the SIRS report is that it contains columns for additional benefits, extra days, supplemental pay. This information is not categorized in this fashion in OSPI reports. However, the accuracy of what is reported is quite variable. Finally, the SIRS report is intended to be available by “subscription only” so districts would be expected to pay a fee for the full, annual report. If a school district is going to be thorough in gathering Superintendent salary information, it would be prudent to examine the OSPI reports, the information from the Kitsap Sun website and the SIRS study. It would also be very helpful to obtain copies of the Superintendent contracts from districts used in the comparison group. (These contracts are public documents, but there may be some hesitation by districts in sharing the information.) S.I.R.S.

23 DISTRICTFTE ENROLLMENTSALARY Anacortes2,520 $ 157,018 Deer Park2,376118,000 Pullman2,341135,000 Orting2,218127,370 Meridian2,179132,635 Ephrata2,174134,369 Lakewood2,171152,358 Wahluke2,090130,867 Rochester2,048118,371 Woodland2,042131,619 Ridgefield2,004131,016 North Franklin2,004124,631 Blaine1,993141,089 North Mason1,974136,893 Granite Falls1,961144,129 Sultan1,913144,922 Eatonville1,799132,989 Colville1,752119,424 Medical Lake1,748160,926 Mount Baker1,745142,600 Hockinson1,743125,798 AVERAGE (MEAN)$135,335 The results of gathering salary information for a given group of districts is displayed below

24 We’d love to have your feedback. Take a moment to participate in a quick survey about this session in WSSDA THANK YOU FOR ATTENDING. 1.Tap Agenda 2.Locate this session in the agenda 3.Tap Check In (if you haven’t already) 4.Tap Take Survey


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