In a system that is $20 million in debt, that has just laid off approximately 413 people, and that is considering closing 21% of its schools in a year, the Huntsville City School Board has just offered Dr. Casey Wardynski a three-year contract at $175,000 per year. But in case that weren’t enough, they’ll certainly consider extending the contract to five years.
Dr. Wardynski has, as of this moment, eleven months experience in education. Eleven Months.
This would be unbelievable, except it seems about right for a system that threw away $175,000 in food a month and a half ago. I mean, I’m sure the conversation went something like this, “Well we just threw away $175k, so we couldn’t offer him less than that.”
He should be offered the minimum salary of $120,000.00, and not a penny more.
As Venton Blandin of WHNT reported, Topper Birney, Huntsville City Schools Board of Education President, claims that he believes the offer is fair. It was “no issue for the board.”
Birney continues, “We looked at several of the systems here in Alabama, and for a system our size, we think it’s a fair price. And Dr. Wardynski seems to think it a fair price also.”
It seems that the hold up on striking a deal is that Wardynski wants a five-year contract rather than the initially offered three-year contract. Birney states, “If [Wardynski] insisted on five years, I’ll go back to the board to see if we can’t settle on that.”
The offer also includes moving expenses, car allowances (Notice the plural use there? One car allowance must not be enough.) and organizational memberships.
So to sum up, Dr. Wardynski, the man hired solely for his ability to bring the system out of the financial mess that his predecessor and the School Board got us into, is getting $55,000 above the minimum salary with no justifiable educational experience.
(That’s about five instructional aides, for those keeping track of such things.)
This is a huge raise for Dr. Wardynski who made $120,000 for his thirty years experience in the Army, and $138,400 as the CFO of Aurora City Schools.
In addition, in a state that has just voted to end tenure for teachers (which offered only the assurance of due process before dismissal, not a guarantee of a job and salary), is willing to offer Wardynski a five year guarantee of a job. Birney just publicly stated this to Huntsville (and Wardynski’s lawyer if he’s smart enough to run a Google search) on WHNT.
If a teacher is hired with no experience teaching, that teacher will make the minimum salary. If he or she is hired with eleven months experience, that teacher will make the minimum salary.
On April 21, 2011, this same school board voted to cancel all step raises for existing teachers. At that same meeting, this board voted to adopt the state minimum salary schedule for its teachers. But unlike our teachers, Dr. Wardynski deserves $55,000 more than the minimum.
One problem here might be that $120k would be too close to the $114 paid to the Executive Director of Business who recently resigned as the system’s CFO.
Of course, the highest paid school board in the state can’t pay the superintendent a minimum salary. If they did, they might have to take a pay cut as well.
The Great Huntsville Spending Spree continues. Well, for everyone except teachers, aides, and other support personnel; you know, the people who actually work with our students.
It’s time for a new board of education.