OP ED from Colorado State House Representative – Clarice Navarro – House District 47
HD 47 = Pueblo County and including Fremont & Otero Counties.
Topic: Proposed House Bill 1162 – Accountability and Administrative Salaries of poorly performing – Colorado Public School Districts.
Dateline Feb. 2016: Eagle County, Colorado – the last known Public School Superintendent’s Salary from October 2011 was – $192,384.74/yr) Unknown what Dr. Jason Glass’s Salary is today, however doubtful it has been reduced over ther last (5) years…
Rep. Navarro: Education is the primary foundation to the success of this country, and students from all walks of life should be able to flourish academically. Now more than ever our children are being disadvantaged by the lack of funding and the spending problems we are seeing in the education system. There is no easy fix, however increasing budget transparency and encouraging parental involvement for failing school districts is a step in the right direction.
House Bill 1162 would require advance public notice of proposed salary increases for administrators of low-performing public education entities. If passed, the bill will require a public notice of at least seven days before the governing board meeting at which the proposed salary increase would be discussed or voted on. The goal of this legislation is to encourage the voices of taxpayers and parents to take an active part in setting budgetary priorities in Colorado’s low performing schools/school districts. Essentially this bill will create an extra level of transparency, and it in no way impedes a school board’s ability to make decisions. I strongly believe in local control and transparency, and this bill promotes both.
Throwing money at a problem doesn’t solve problems, but taking care of the money that’s already there certainly helps. When I hear demands for increases in funding for education, I have a hard time supporting raises for administrators before we take a hard look at the performance of the school. Are we really doing our students justice if we are increasing salaries instead of utilizing that money in the classroom and directly benefiting the students? While I don’t have the magic fix for this problem, I do know that transparency never hurts.
I recently used the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) to request information regarding salary increases and bonuses for administrators of failing school districts (FY-13/14, FY14/15 and FY15/16). I was shocked that many received salary increases, and there were even bonuses revealed. I was most shocked to see so many receiving automatic raises as per their original contracts. I’m not running this bill to second guess an elected board of education, that’s not my place, but it is my place to remain mindful of the tax payers, the parents, and the students. Transparency in budgetary prioritization matters. (Approximately 180 schools statewide.)
Colorado Salary Averages: The average teacher’s salary in Colorado is $48,276.88 while the average superintendent’s salary in Colorado is $114,386.09 according to the Colorado Department of Education’s website.
ECT’s Question: Why are Eagle County’s Public Schools performing so poorly – when our Public School Superintended is paid – SO MUCH? (Click Here)
It’s time we take a look at how we are spending money in failing schools that are under the priority improvement plan or turnaround status. I have no problem with salary increases, however I do have a problem if the budgetary priorities don’t match that of the community these schools serve. There needs to be a higher level of budget transparency and a higher level of consideration of parent and community input in the decision making process.
School board members and Coloradans alike want to see students reach their full potential, and House Bill 1162 will lead to transparency that will ensure appropriate usage of education funding without interfering with the school board decision making authority.
The students of today are the leaders of the future, and that’s why it is critical that we encourage budgetary transparency for education. If passed this bill is a step in the right direction.
Representative Navarro began her service in 2013, and is serving in her 2nd term. The Representative is a native of Southeastern Colorado, proudly serving Fremont, Otero and Pueblo Counties.
For more information on Representative Clarice Navarro please visit: www.clarice47.com
Meanwhile from EC Superintendent – Dr. Jason Glass
(from Education Week – 30JULY2015)
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