For the past four years, teachers have not had a raise and, supposedly, no raises were given to other APS Divisions. That sounds fair, right? If the teaching staff can’t get a raise, then no one else should either. Well, it does not quite work out that way IF you can reorganize Departments and move existing staff into a new job classification with a higher pay grade!
As you can see in the Chart below, the School Administration Departments that function out of the Central Office have taken this concept to a new level (a far more detailed Chart is provided at the bottom of the post).
Let’s look at what has happened over the last year alone. When we compare the FY13 Approved Budget to the FY13 Amended Budget, salaries in the specific Departments increase by over $1.0 million or 15%! It appears that salary increases were given resulting from changes to pay grades, new positions were added during FY13 and transfers from other Departments were brought into this area. We can’t be sure of the exact amount of each component as the numbers of positions included in the Amended FY13 Budget are not disclosed.
So let’s keep looking – and there is another interesting piece of data. When we compare the Preliminary FY14 Budget to the Amended FY13 Budget, there is another increase in total salaries of over $2.1 million or 27%! We can see that some of this is due to additions of 27 positions as compared to the FY13 Approved Budget, but we still can’t tell how many new positions there are compared to the FY13 Amended Budget as we don’t have staffing positions for the FY13 Amended Budget. However, there is another very significant clue to what is going on. The average salary has increased from $96 thousand to $101 thousand or an increase of 5.8%. Not bad in tough economic times!
It is clear that the management in charge of these functions is simply “rearranging the deckchairs” in a way to get salary increases in a backdoor manner. In other words, as taxpayers, we are the chump in a game of Three Card Monte. More importantly, resources that should be allocated towards teaching students are held in School Administration functions.
Superintendent Davis consistently says – if we have to make cuts, the cuts will have to be in the “School House” because that is where the money is. I agree with him – and it is clear there are at least $3 million in cuts that should be immediately directed at the School Administration function that sits at the Central Office.
But that is not the end of it – there is more coming in future posts on the other Divisions.
Update – the analysis is based on a Preliminary FY14 Budget that will undergo significant modifications. However, other than the reduction for Vacancy Managment – which will impact School Administration – the analysis above remains valid as to the critical components – number of positions and average salary which are not likely to change.
Below is a Chart with the detail supporting the summary information above.