MONROE — With funding cuts looming from the Legislature and a budget deficit to solve, employees at the Monroe School District have made the first step to help reduce expenses.
The superintendent, principals and school administrators have agreed to concessions in their contracts totalling $1
20,000 for the next school year. These concessions include taking furlough days, limiting pay for professional development, and shrinking the budget for attending educational conferences.
They also will not see their wages increase.
Every year, the district does a salary survey to adjust wages. This will not be done this year, which represents at least $34,000 in savings.
The Monroe School Board accepted these concessions at its Monday night meeting with a 4-1 vote.
“This is a good example … of people who believe it would be better to take less,” Superintendent Ken Hoover said at the meeting.
Hoover and 30 other district employees are affected by these concessions.
Board member Debra Kolrud voted against the concessions. She said she is concerned that the superintendent’s salary is too high.
The superintendent is paid $211,692. The salary has remained the same since 2008. Hoover agreed not have a salary increase for the next year.
Kolrud also worried that by accepting these concessions the board will not be able to make more cuts.
Board member Jim Scott said the board can come back to the contracts if necessary.
Also, Hoover said, some decisions need to be made now to avoid making all of them in a short amount of time later.
“We don’t have the luxury to wait,” he said.
Besides not having a salary increase, the superintendent will take seven furlough days, which are worth $6,645.
His contract has been extended to 2014 as well, with an opportunity to negotiate every year.
The district’s 14 administrators accepted four furlough days for the next year. The 16 principals at the different schools in the district will have less funds for professional development for the next year, which was a benefit under the district’s contract.
The district is in the process of developing an operating budget for the 2011-2012 school year. The district estimates it will lose between $2.3 million and $3.3 million in revenue, spokeswoman Rosemary O’Neil said.
The public is invited to assist in two budget reviews. One meeting is scheduled at 7 p.m., Tuesday at the Park Place Middle School library, 1408 W. Main St. The second meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., March 31, at the Hidden River Middle School library, 9224 Paradise Lake Road in Snohomish.
Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez @heraldnet.com.