Board votes to increase administrator salaries
Motion to bring wage closer to state averages
In other action
At its June 5 special meeting, the Moffat County School Board:
• Approved, 5-0, administrator recommendations for the 2008-09 school year.
• Approved, 5-0, first reading of a chart outlining administrator duties. According to the document, a second full-time technology coordinator will be added to the administration next year to oversee technology. The document also allots employee benefits management to district finance director Mark Rydberg.
• Approved, 5-0, first reading of a policy authorizing the School District to forgo bidding out contracted services, supplies, materials and equipment purchases under $20,000.
• Approved, 5-0, first reading of a temporary regulation authorizing the superintendent to approve change orders for less than $50,000. Change orders exceeding $50,000 will be approved only by the School Board. The regulation will expire upon completion of projects in the district's bond program.
Craig Numbers spoke volumes when the Moffat County School District began seeking applicants for the Moffat County High School principal position this year, superintendent Pete Bergmann said.
The district sent out 1,000 application invitations to school districts in a five-state area, he said, after former principal Jane Harmon announced she had accepted the principal position at Middle Park High School in Granby.
Yet, only four out-of-district applicants expressed interest in the vacant position, Bergmann said.
"Obviously, it has to be a fit," he said, adding that potential candidates must want to live and work in Moffat County.
The other half of the equation, he said, is the district's administrator salaries which rank below state averages.
At a special meeting Thursday, the Moffat County School Board addressed the issue by voting unanimously to increase administrator salaries by 5 percent annually in the next three years.
Several reasons motivated the School District to consider the salary change, including a desire to create competitive wages attractive to administrators from the Front Range, Bergmann said.
However, "the overriding rationale is to attain and retain high-quality leadership," he said. "In order to do that, we just need to have a competitive salary."
The 5 percent increase will affect salaries of the district's principals and assistant principals, Bergmann said, and will apply to all 13 steps in the salary schedule.
All told, the salary increase will cost the School District about $20,000 annually, or $60,000 in a three-year period.
However, these numbers remain estimates, Bergmann said, adding that the percentage increase can fluctuate to accommodate rising inflation prices.
Should the salary boost exceed the district's budget, the School Board also can temporarily suspend the increase, he said.
Ultimately, the three-year plan is designed to gradually bring administrators' salaries closer to state averages, Bergmann said.
Figures provided by the School District indicate that although administrator salaries in Moffat County exceed those in some similar-sized districts, they fall short of state averages.
For instance, the assistant superintendent in Moffat County can currently earn a maximum of $94,800, according to a report from the School District.
That's almost $14,000 more than the maximum salary for assistant superintendents in Fort Morgan, Sterling and Alamosa, the School District reported.
Still, the state average for an assistant superintendent's maximum salary is $111,164 - a $16,364 difference from Moffat County's offered salary.
The district's annual salary for other administrative jobs also dips below the going wage for the same positions in other districts.
The minimum annual salary for an assistant elementary school principal in Colorado Springs is about $66,000, according to data collected by the School District.
If that assistant principal decided to take an elementary school principal position in Moffat County, he or she would take a $2,000 pay decrease.
So far, enough employees within the district have been willing to step into the district's administrative openings. The district filled five vacancies this year, including those for assistant superintendent and Moffat County High School principal, using solely internal applicants.
"I feel fortunate that we have high-quality candidates in (the) district," Bergmann said. "We don't want to lose those candidates, either."
Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1795 or email@example.com