Kettering School Board Approves New Contracts For 15 Administrators — For Average Annual Salary Of $103,000

At their March 2 meeting, the Kettering School Board approved new contracts for 15 administrators whose contracts had expired. Most of the administrators on this list received a three year contract, some received a two year contract. The average of the initial yearly salaries of these fifteen contracts is $103,000 (ranging from $71,000 to $125,000). In addition, in each subsequent year of each contract, the salary amount of each contract will increase by $1500 or more.

According to this report, shown on Ohio Department of Education’s web-site, administrators in Kettering earn, on average, $96, 627 each year and teachers in Kettering earn, on average, $63,839 each year. (Added to these salaries is something on the order of 30% for retirement and health insurance benefits.)

Administrators work 220 days each year, or more, while teachers work 183 days. Salaries for both teachers and administrators are set by salary schedules, determined by years of service and by academic degrees. Here is the PDF showing how Kettering administrators’ salaries are calculated.

Also approved at the March 2 meeting were new contracts for school employees, whose contracts had expired, classified as “Administrative Support.” Here is the list of “Administrative Support” employees whose new contracts were approved at the March 2 meeting, and here is the pay schedule that shows how their yearly salary is determined.

I appreciate the fact that the Kettering School District is honoring my request to be provided copies of all reports given to each of the Kettering Board members, and copies of all other reports considered “public information” by Ohio’s sunshine laws. Now, before each board meeting, I receive the same packet of material given to the elected board members. I am paying 5 cents per page of material, and $1.00 for a DVD of each board meeting. (I now owe $6.45.)

In this week’s packet was a memo from the School Treasurer, Steve Clark, calling attention to a report by the Brookings Institution. The Brooking’s Report states, “Ohio ranks 47th in the nation in the share of elementary and secondary education spending that goes to instruction and 9th in the share that goes to administration.”

Clark in his memo emphasized that the Brookings Report recommends increasing administrative efficiency via the consolidation of school districts. The Report recommends the elimination of school districts in Ohio with less than 2500 students — reducing Ohio’s 611 school districts to 411 districts. Clark predicts this consolidation is unlikely to happen. And, he predicts the public will misinterpret the Report. “What we’ll hear,” Clark says, “is that school administrators’ salaries are too high.”

Superintendent of Kettering Schools, Jim Schoenlein, in his report to the board, tells how Kettering is preparing for state tests, and, he tells about plans for promoting the 6.9 mill tax levy ballot issue. Concerning the May 4 property tax issue, for 6.9 mills of additional property tax funding for Kettering Schools, Schoenlien urges, “Please continue to emphasize to your people: 1) We must be upbeat and positive 2) We need money and 3) Every day is levy day.”

Schoenlein also addresses Kettering’s hope to receive additional funding by participating in Ohio’s “Race To the Top” grant application. He writes, “We … will have to come to an agreement with our teacher associations on tying student growth data to teacher evaluations. Does anyone see a way to do this that might satisfy KCS, DEA, ODE, OEA, USDE ????”

His four question marks emphasize that Ohio’s grant proposal, if funded, is certain to be a challenge to implement. I looked up the grant proposal. It says:

Ohio’s plan for improving teacher and principal effectiveness will ensure rigorous, fair, and transparent evaluation systems that incorporate measures of student growth. As a collective bargaining state, these evaluation systems will be memorialized in negotiated agreements between the participating LEA and the teachers’ union. These comprehensive evaluation systems will provide constructive and timely feedback to teachers and principals and will serve as a guide to professional development and advanced opportunities for educators. Decisions regarding advanced licensure and removal of ineffective teachers and principals will also be based on the evaluation system.

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Critics Say The Claim That Coal Can Ever Be “CLean” And Environmentally Friendly Is A Fraud

The 30 seconds ads for “Clean Coal” aired on the Winter Olympics program inspired me to do some Google research.

An article posted on Truthout, reports that Waxman-Markey climate bill is proposing “a whopping $60 billion in subsidies for clean-coal technologies.” The article says coal stock, as measured on Wall Street, added up only amounts to about $50 billion.

At the heart of clean coal proposals is the notion that CO2 produced by coal can be captured and safely stored. Truthout writes, “Despite the fact that this technology, dubbed Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), doesn’t actually exist in any real capacity in the United States, it has not stopped the coal lobby.”

The article reports, “In theory, in order for CCS to work, large underground geological formations would have to house this carbon dioxide. But according to a recent peer-reviewed article in the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ publication, the CCS jig is up and the technology just doesn’t seem feasible.”

The problem is that it now appears that CO2 sequestration will require huge storage spaces — much larger than originally thought — so large as to be impossible. Turthout quotes, Michael Economides, “There is no need to research this subject any longer. Let’s try something else.”

Truthout concludes, “Let’s take that a step further and add that we ought to bag the idea that coal can be clean altogether. The public investment in clean-coal technology is a fraud and will only serve as a life-support system for an industry that must be phased out completely over the course of the next two decades. Putting billions of dollars behind a dead-end theory will not bring about the energy changes our country and climate so drastically need.”

An article in McClatchy Newspapers, points out that CO2 is only a small part of the environmental concerns about coal. It says, “The (CCS) process wouldn’t reduce coal’s other pollution problems: smog, mercury, and the toxic metals such as lead and selenium in coal ash. Continuing to rely on coal also would do nothing to end the environmental damage of mining the coal itself.”

The article includes these facts:

  • About 600 U.S. coal-burning power plants provide about 48 percent of the nation’s electricity.
  • The average U.S. coal plant is about 33 percent efficient, meaning that about a third of the coal it burns generates electricity and the rest is lost as heat.
  • A third of the America’s carbon pollution now comes from about 600 coal-fired power plants. And of the more than 70 proposed new coal power plants, barely a handful have plans to capture and store their CO2 emissions. If these dirty plants are allowed to be built, this will mean an additional 200 million tons of global warming pollution will be emitted in America each year.
  • Coal-fired power plants are expensive to build, but last for decades. Some current plants date to the 1940s, and three-quarters of them were built before 1980.

Here are a couple of You-tube reports I found interesting.

From a CBS News Report, June, 2008

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Congressman Mike Turner Spent $1,309,220 Last Year Of Tax Money To Pay Personnel And Maintain Offices

The “Statement of Disbursements of The House” every quarter shows what each member of the U.S. House of Representatives spends.  I looked up the record for the congressman for my district, Mike Turner, who represents Ohio’s 3rd Congressional District.  It shows in detail how Congressman Turner, the the last quarter of 2009, spent $410,318.24 of taxpayers’ money.  And shows that for the year he spent $1.31 million.  This summary, for Mr. Turner, is found on page 2430 of the “Statement of Disbursements of The House.” The report does not show what salary and other compensation Mr. Turner, himself, received.

Most of the allotted money, each quarter, is spent on personnel — $325,000 out of the $410,000.  The report shows that both Chief of Staff, Stacy Barton, and Legislative Director, Michael Heaton, both earn about $160,000 per year.

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