Stepping In It



The Great Falls Public School District Just Doesn’t Learn

We all understand that the GFPS District offices are located at a higher geographic elevation than the rest of Great Falls, but is the air so much more rarified that the administration’s judgement is clouded?

Monday night the school board will consider, and likely approve, the administration’s recommendation to raise administrator’s salaries by 2% for the upcoming school year. If you read the action item from the published agenda below, it may appear their math is a little fuzzy.

The action item lists that the pay raises will affect 48 administrative positions with a total before raise salary of approximately $4,100,000. 2% of the base amount equals $82,000. Subtract from that the $12,000 in savings realized from a position shift stated, and you are left with $70,000, which would seem to be enough to add an actual classroom teacher, with something left to spare. The agenda item reports a net increase of $21,340, but fails to explain how the figure is determined.

Keep in mind that several of these administrative salaries are currently more than $100,000 per year. Add to the raise the existing 1% annual annuity contribution, and you are talking some serious dinero. Most people in Great Falls would love to be beneficiaries of such great employment. You can reach all of the school board members at to let them know that learning from past failures is a necessary part of life, and should be a necessary part of government as well.

“MEETING DATE: August 6, 2018 CATEGORY: Report AGENDA ITEM NUMBER: IX. I. page 72

The 2018-2019 administrator and supervisor compensation budget unit is comprised of 48 employees.

DISCUSSION These employees are critical to the mission of the District. They set the climate, implement the Board’s goals, provide instructional leadership, and maintain the safety and discipline that allows Great Falls Public Schools to continually perform at high levels.

The base salaries for the employees listed below in this unit are adjusted by 2%. Positions include: 2 Assistant Superintendents, 1 Director of Business Operations, 1 Human Resources Director, 1 Director of Student Services, 1 Director of Technology, 2 Co-Coordinators of Curriculum and Instruction, 1 Coordinator of Athletics, 1 Coordinator of Music w/Art, 1 Coordinator of Indian Education, 2 Coordinators of Student Services, 1 Coordinator of Student Services Title I, 1 Coordinator of Early Childhood, 2 High School Principals, 6 High School Associate Principals, 1 Alternative High School Principal, 2 Middle School Principals, 2 Middle School Associate Principals, 15 Elementary Principals, 1 Director of Buildings & Grounds, 1 Assistant Director of Building & Grounds, 1 Supervisor of Data Processing, 1 Supervisor of Food Services, and 1 Field Supervisor of Food Services.

Comparing this list to last year’s list, the Supervisor of the Reception and the Print Center position was changed to a Business Office Lead, with an annual cost savings of $12,042. Also of note, the Superintendent is not included in the above listed group and fiscal implications as the parameters for that contract were previously settled. See attached salary schedule structures for the three (3) groups of administrators and supervisors: district level administrators, principals, and supervisors.

72 FISCAL IMPLICATIONS The 2% increase in base salaries will result in an approximate base salary budget for this group of $4,099,581. This is approximately an increase of $21,340. This will be within the 2018-2019 budget proposal allotted for salaries. RECOMMENDATION This report is for information only.

The District Board is requested to approve the District Budget for 2018-2019 which authorizes expenditures associated with this item. For more information about this item, please contact Superintendent Lacey at (406) 268-6001 or Human Resource Director Kerry Dattilo at (406) 268-6010.”

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Posted by Philip M. Faccenda

Philip M. Faccenda is an AIA award-winning architect and planner. He is the Editor-in-Chief of E-City Beat.

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