Board OKs principal pay plan




School principals will remain on their current salary schedule for the next school year, according to a unanimous vote taken at the USD 457 Board of Education meeting Monday night.

The board also voted to freeze the salaries of the district's top six administrators at its meeting Monday night. Those six include Darren Dennis, director of learning services; Karen Johnson, director of special education; Steve Karlin, deputy superintendent; Shelly Kiblinger, assistant superintendent of personnel; Kathleen Whitley, financial officer, and Superintendent Rick Atha.

Atha receives $149,095 in salary and benefits this year. Dennis is paid $103,188 in salary and benefits; Johnson, $104,688; Karlin, $120,813; Kiblinger, $105,188; and Whitley, $113,421.

The school district still isn't sure how much money in state aid will be cut from next year's budget because of the ongoing state revenue shortfalls.

The board has yet to vote on a recently negotiated proposed 2009-2010 contract for teachers. Under the proposal, the current salary schedule for teachers would remain the same for the 2009-2010 school year.

The plan has to be approved by teachers and by the board. A date has not been set yet for the teachers to vote on the contract.

Keeping the current salary schedule means the base salary of $34,239 would remain the same. Only teachers who are eligible to move a step on the salary schedule will receive more money than the previous year. Teachers who are frozen on the salary schedule will not receive raises under the proposed contract.

In other business, the board approved Monday a contract for engineering services for MKEC Engineering Consultants Inc., Wichita, for a traffic study.

The study will take place at the site where a $92.5 million high school will be built.

The new high school is a portion of the district's $97.5 million bond issue voters passed in November 2008.

Other plans included in the bond issue include converting the existing high school into a middle school, expanding Garfield Elementary School into an Early Childhood Center and converting Abe Hubert Middle School into an elementary school.

Atha said the traffic study is routine when constructing a new building. He said the purpose of the study is to find out how to best accommodate the needs of 2,500 students and the 250 staff who will use the building.

The study will analyze existing roads and intersections and identify improvements to those areas. The contract spells out which intersections will be analyzed:

  • Along Campus Drive from north of Mary Street to just north of the proposed new high school site entrance near Pioneer Road.

  • Mary Street from east of Campus Drive intersection to west of the U.S. Highway 50/400/83 Bypass.

  • Mary Street and Campus Drive intersection.

  • Cherokee and Labrador intersection, to determine if a roundabout or other configuration is warranted.

The district will pay for the traffic study and the city will reimburse the district for the study, Atha said.

The contract reads that the engineering firm will be paid $11,500 or less. The study will be completed in July.

The next Board of Education meeting is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. June 30 at the Educational Support Center, 1205 Fleming St.

Note: A previous version of this story included incorrect information about which 2009-2010 contracts the board approved. A corrected version appears here.

Do you agree with the pay schedule being put before teachers? What about the administrators' pay freeze? Talk about it at

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