The Huntsville City Schools Board of Education will meet today for the first of two Budget Hearings followed by the regular board meeting. The Budget hearing begins at 4:00pm with the Board Meeting to begin at 5:30pm at the Merts Boardroom.
The budget hearing will be first of two public hearings to discuss the budget for the coming fiscal year. (The second meeting will be held, next Thursday, September 8, 2011.)
The agenda for the board meeting has been published on the board website.
In addition to the budget hearings, the board will be discussing a few interesting points:
Free 2 Teach software presentationThe Free 2 Teach Program is a non-profit organization sponsored by The School Foundation. This program will provide free school supplies to teachers working in any of the three Madison County school systems. This is a great idea. It will be opening in January and staffed by volunteers.
- Superintendent Goals for Evaluation
- Policy 104-20, Promotion – Revision
- Procedure 104-26, Salary Plan for Administrative, Supervisory and Support Personnel – Revision
- Master Compensation Plan DRAFT – Revision
There will be several other items up for discussion as well, but these are the ones that strike me as out of the ordinary.
First the Free 2 Teach software looks like a decent classroom management software. I’m glad to see that they are at least considering support to aid the classroom teacher and its management. As I wrote above, Free 2 Teach is a non-profit started by The School Foundation to provide schools supplies to teachers in all three Madison Co systems free school supplies. Incredible idea. Once they start accepting volunteers and open for business in January, I hope everyone will support this great program. I’ll write more about it later.
It’s really difficult to evaluate the other four work session items. Hopefully the Superintendent Goals for Evaluation will offer details on how the board is planning to evaluate the superintendent. This truly is crucial to maintaining checks and balances upon the superintendent. We should be able to gain a clear understanding of just how serious the board is in doing their job of supervising the Superintendent.
If history is any indication, these goals will be generic and not particular helpful. I hope that I am wrong.
The policy and procedure revisions are more troubling.
The current Policy 104-20, Promotion states:
It is the policy of the Huntsville City Schools to provide promotional opportunity for all employees and to encourage employees to develop and pursue career goals which facilitate consideration for promotional opportunities. The Board of Education shall consider and determine all promotions of employees based upon the recommendations of the Superintendent. All employees considered for promotion must possess the necessary qualifications and/or appropriate certification as required.
Employees who wish to be considered for promotion must submit for each position specific credentials which shall include, but not be limited to, “Request for Promotion Consideration” and vita/resume, as appropriate. If the individual is not selected for the requested position, appropriate notification shall be given and all documentation shall be returned. Openings for positions shall be posted on the bulletin boards in schools and centers and advertised on the Job Line.
The salary rate of an employee who is promoted to a position at a higher grade will be set at the step of the new grade which provides a full step increase in the former grade or at the minimum step of the new grade, whichever is higher. The exception would be where the employee has approved, documented experience in the new classification*, which may be used in placing the employee at a step higher than described above. If the employee, because of approved documented experience, is to be placed at a higher step, the following is to be used:
Experience In Classification (1-4 years) Step 1; (5-7 years) Step 2; (8-> years) Step 3.
* Classification means the general area of experience, i.e., “administration” will be counted as experience for all areas of administration.
If I had to guess, I would look for an increase of the number of years of service required before an employee can move to a higher step, but I don’t have any idea what is being planned here.
The current Procedure 104-26, Salary Plan for Administrative, Supervisory and Support Personnel states:
It is the policy of the Huntsville City Schools to assure organizational accountability and equitable compensation for the performance of the duties of each position within the system. Accordingly, the Board of Education authorizes the Superintendent to direct the preparation of salary schedules for all administrative, supervisory and support personnel. The salary schedules shall be presented to the Board for approval.
I have no idea at this point what will be (or can be) revised about this Policy, but again it will be telling to see the direction the Board takes with this. Will they give the Superintendent more control over salaries and promotions? Will they reduce his influence?
Finally, we have the “Master Compensation Plan DRAFT – Revision.”
So far as I have been able to tell, there is not currently a Master Compensation Plan on the site. (If it’s there, I haven’t been able to find it.)
What I did find was a lawsuit dealing with a Master Compensation Plan from 1992 when Dr. Mary Jane Caylor was superintendent. If you’re interested in reviewing it, you may find a court transcript here.
Either way, we should receive a clear indication of the Board’s intentions toward supervising Dr. Wardynski after today’s meeting.
The meeting will be broadcast on ETV (Comcast 17, Knology 99-it has recently moved from 71), and at the Huntsville City Schools website. I will also be live-tweeting the meeting @russwinn. You can follow on Twitter or on the Geek Palaver Facebook Page.