Admin. pay scale bump outpaces teachers’

Published 7:21 pm Tuesday, November 19, 2019

By Frederic Lee

Staff writer

Over the last four years, the school division’s pay scale adjustments have significantly favored those in administrator positions compared to teachers. 

Recent pay scale increases for administrators ranged upwards of 36 percent, while those for teachers were generally in the single digits. 

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Administrator pay scales published by the school division show that in fiscal 2019, the minimum salary of the school division’s executive directors increased from $76,999 to $105,000. 

That increase is equivalent to a 36-percent hike in salary minimums from one school year to the next for the division’s executive directors. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Pay scales dictate the minimum and maximum pay that an employee can make in a specific position, according to School Board Chairperson Vicky Hulick. 

In comparison, the entry level teacher pay in Isle of Wight County Schools increased from $40,500 to $41,310 during fiscal 2018  — a 2-percent increase — and didn’t change at all going into fiscal 2019. 

The standard salary for teachers with 15 years of experience increased from $52,318 to $54,508 during fiscal 2018, but then went down to $53,439 in fiscal 2019, according to Isle of Wight County Schools documents. 

Maximum salaries for teachers went from $66,520 to $70,537 between fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019 — 6-percent increase, according to Isle of Wight County schools documents. 

That being said, standard entry-level teacher salaries, did increase from $41,310 to $44,000 from fiscal 2019 to fiscal 2020, while the mid-level salary remained the same and the maximum was increased from $70,537 to $71,948, according to school division documents. 

For the entry level and maximum teachers, these increases represent a 6.5-percent and 2-percent increase. 

Teachers also get supplemental salary increases based on having advanced degrees and certificates such as a Master’s degree ($2,750), a Certificate of Advanced Study ($2,500), a Doctorate degree ($3,500) and other credentials. 

For high school principals, minimum salaries increased from $73,290 in fiscal 2017 to $92,000 in fiscal 2020, from $69,758 to $86,000 for middle school principals and $66,397 to $86,000 for elementary level principals, according to school division documents. 

These increases represent 25.5-percent, 23-percent and 29.5-percent increases, respectively.  

Over those years, entry level, midlevel and maximum teachers’ salaries have increased by roughly 8.5 percent, 2 percent and 8 percent, respectively. 

From fiscal 2019 to fiscal 2020, the minimum athletic director’s salary was raised from $57,254 to $65,000, the minimum farm manager’s salary was raised from $62,025 to $70,417, the minimum network administrator salary was raised from $49,369 to $57,000 and the minimum garage supervisor salary was raised from $44,727 to $52,000. 

From fiscal 2019 to fiscal 2020, the minimum salary for executive directors, directors and principals wasn’t changed at all. 

Hulick defended the administrative pay scale adjustments and said that they were increased in order to create equity within Isle of Wight County staff and the school division compared to others at large, namely Gloucester County, but also Southampton and Surry counties. 

“We were really behind with our executive director’s and director’s pay compared to comparable localities,” said Hulick on the significant minimum salary increase between fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019. 

By comparison

Gloucester County Schools has a mimumum pay for their coordinators, athletic director and specialists at $60,000; $74,000 for its principals/directors; $93,100 for the position of executive director; $96,200 for its chief financial officer and $100,000 for its assistant superintendent, according to budget documents. 

For teachers, entry-level pay starts at $42,695, mid-level pay starts at $50,807 and maximum pay is $63,520, based on years of experience, and can increase with additional credentials.

For Surry County, the assistant superintendent pay scale minimum is $71,168; $59,320 for coordinators; $72,715 for directors;  $66,336 for an elementary school principal; $69,526 for a middle school principal; $70,801 for a high school principal; and $49,752 for the network administrator. 

For teachers, the entry-level minimum salary is $47,915, the midlevel minimum is $55,016 and the maximum pay is $67,700, with extra funds given for Master’s ($2,500) and Doctorate ($3,000) degrees, according to Surry County Public Schools documents. 

Hulick said that there were significant raises for teachers as well in the past several years, and that some had received the equivalent of a 16-percent raise over the past four years she’s been on the board. 

“We have a good administrative team,” said Hulick, adding that the things that have been accomplished in the past four years in the school division wouldn’t have been possible if the school division did not have a strong administration.

Hulick said that the Isle of Wight County school system is one that relies on all of its tiers, and that in order for teachers to do their best, a supportive administrative staff is necessary. 

“If you don’t adjust everyone properly, you have inequity in the system,” said Hulick, adding that administrator pay scales had stagnated for roughly a decade prior to the recent pay scale increases, more specifically central office staff such as executive directors, directors and coordinators, said Hulick. 

Going back to fiscal 2010, the minimum executive director salary was $73,333, the minimum director salary was $66,436 and the minimum coordinator salary was $60,188, according to historic Isle of Wight County Schools data. 

By fiscal 2018, the executive director minimum salary was $76,999, the director minimum salary was  $69,758 and the minimum coordinator salary was $63,197. 

Now, the minimums are at $105,000, $95,000 and $75,000, respectively. 

On the optics of comparing larger administrative pay scale increases to smaller teacher pay scale increases, Hulick said that adjusting the pay scales was done to create more equity and fairness among staff at various tiers of employment. 

She also said that Isle of Wight County Schools wasn’t as “top heavy” as it used to be, and that as a board member she would rather do the right thing by increasing pay scales even if didn’t “look great,” than do the wrong thing to maintain a certain perception.   {/mprestriction}