I had planned to write about the cost of the Pinnacle Schools contract again by pointing out that while we were paying The Pinnacle Schools $778,000 for four months of work to do the job of the Seldon Center, The Seldon Center was still open and operating at an estimated cost of $175,166. In other words, The Pinnacle Schools costs the district three and a half times as much to operate as the Seldon Center did.
But then I read the news today, oh boy. (By the way, this article shows why we need a paper in this town. If I had asked McCaulley or Blair about these decisions, all I would have received was silence.)
It seems that in addition to their salaries, the Superintendent is planning to give 19 principals a total of $92,650 in bonuses this year. 14 of them will be receiving this bonus for moving to a new school in the district.
Two of them will be receiving about $8,000 as a signing bonus as they’ve never worked in the district before.
Three of them, including Mr. Aaron King who does not currently hold administration certification, will receive $15,100 as an incentive on top of the incentive of being promoted to principal in the first place.
There are three principals on the list whose salary and incentive pay wasn’t provided by the district.
Dr. Wardynski, taking the same approach that he takes with parents when he’s asked about his decisions, ignored requests for comments about this. Our “strong leader” demonstrates his leadership by sticking his head in the sand until the questions stop.
McCaulley and Blair did offer comments, although you have to wonder how they manage to offer such inane responses without their heads exploding. McCaulley offers the defense that some of these schools are “challenging.” I suppose that’s why Mr. King needs an extra $4,900 to go to Huntsville Middle School? I suppose that’s why Mr. Landers needs an extra $5,600 to go to Hampton Cove Elementary?
Mr. Blair, at least, is politically savvy enough to recognize and acknowledge that teachers are getting, again, the shaft. His response: “It’s one of those things where you want to do it all at once, but you can’t.”
I suppose that’s justification for always starting at the top of the food chain rather than with the neediest.
I suppose that’s justification for putting the district’s resources as far away from the students as possible.
Our Instructional Assistants make slightly more than the average bonus listed here. Every one of them could make more, with benefits, by working at McDonalds.
Our new teachers make $36,144 (unless they’re working for Teach for America, then they’ll cost the system an extra $10,000 over the life of their two year contract.)
I wonder how often Dr. Wardynski and his cadre of “strong leaders” have been thrown up on in the past year by a student they’re comforting?
I wonder how often Dr. Wardynski and his cadre of “strong leaders” have taught a student to read in the past year?
I wonder how often Dr. Wardynski and his cadre of “strong leaders” have helped a student learn to accept other students who are different?
Instructional assistants did this every single day.
Our teachers did this work every single day. And they still found time to teach to an ever changing standard. And they still found time to love our students.
Our district is putting resources and value in the wrong areas. Again.
But the “feed stock” and their needs don’t matter.
And by connection, neither do our students. These bonuses alone could pay for three more teachers in the coming year. They could pay for ten more instructional assistants. No, our students don’t matter. So much for putting students first.