Fluvanna teachers’ salaries are all over the internet. They’re on the school website and published in the minutes of county meetings. The same goes for our insurance benefits. It doesn’t take a Freedom of Information Act request to find out all about teachers’ compensation.
For some reason, this isn’t the case for administrators’ salaries and benefits. The same rules of transparency don’t seem to apply. Their compensation is public information, but not so readily available. Here’s the problem; when information is hard to get, trust becomes an issue as people wonder WHY?
It’s true that the superintendent’s salary is fairly easy to find online. But her full compensation is not. And it’s eye opening. I’m not saying she isn’t worth her compensation, I’m wondering why the salaries and benefits of administrators (including principals, directors, coordinators, and supervisors) are not as easily accessed as the open book of teacher compensation.
For example, anyone can see online that teachers’ benefits include $439 toward health ins. premiums, a tiny contribution toward VRS life ins, and a state mandated employer contribution toward retirement. Other than sick leave, 3 personal days, and taxes everyone pays, I think that’s it.
The superintendent receives additional benefits I’ve never seen online, never heard discussed at sch brd meetings, and never seen referenced in the minutes of county meetings. For example, in addition to her salary (a VEA representative requested this info last year through the Freedom of Info Act) Fluvanna’s superintendent receives her TOTAL premium for individual HEALTH AND DENTAL INS, she receives $500 PER MONTH TOWARD ANY ANNUITY OF HER CHOICE, $400 PER MONTH FOR USE OF HER PRIVATE VEHICLE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HER DUTIES (IN ADDITION to receiving reimbursement at the Board-approved rate per mile for business travel outside Fluvanna), up to $7000 FOR MEMBERSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS and REIMBURSEMENT OF CONTINUING EDUCATION EXPENSES, and ANNUAL REIMBURSEMENT of unused sick leave at 100% OF HER PER DIEM RATE OF PAY. (I couldn’t resist capitalizing those benefits not extended to teachers.)
Again, these benefits may be typical for superintendents and Ms. Keller may be worth every penny. My point is that their existence is probably news to almost everyone who’s paying for them. Teachers’ compensation is widely reported in Ms. Keller’s budget information, and benefits are detailed and open to public scrutiny. I’m suggesting the same standard of transparency should be applied to all levels of compensation to increase public trust in school budgeting.
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