The Escambia County School Board will be taking a salary cut beginning July 1, 2009. State lawmakers in the recently ended session passed legislation to tie individual board member salaries in each of Florida's 67 districts to the starting salaries of first year teachers in each respective district.
Board member salaries are set at the state level and are based on a formula that takes a district's size into account.
Escambia county board members currently receive a salary of $36,000.00 based upon this formula.
After July 1st, the salary will mirror a first year teacher's pay in Escambia County --$32,000.00.
Tying board salaries to the starting pay of teachers is reasonable and it is fair.
I have advocated shared pay concessions last year
--and again this year--
to help address the budget problems we have experienced and to avoid potential staff layoffs. My position is and has been that if substantial savings are needed, then wage concessions are the quickest way to get there without impacting student programs. Salaries and benefits total nearly four fifths of our budget.
(The legislature also cut the salaries of State Employees who make more than $45K,
and elected Superintendents around the state will receive a 5% pay cut)
(Alachua County, Florida, Board Members are not happy about their pay cut, see this story from today's Gainsville Sun)
Cutting only board salaries alone will not result in great savings.
For example the $20K that will be saved by slashing 5 Escambia School Board members' salaries is a start, but in reality cutting the board salaries does not result in a significant savings percent for the district, when the $600,000,000.00 yearly budget is considered.
example: take 25 and divide it by 100 and you get = .25 or 25%
example: take $20,000.00 (savings) and divide it by $600,000,000.00 (district budget) and you get= 3.3333333333333333333333333333333e-5 (a pretty small percentage)
But every dollar we save helps, and this is a start.
I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.