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School board approves cuts, raisesTell North Platte what you think
Photo by George Lauby
Board member Skip Altig, seated near the flag, speaks in favor of the staff reductions.
Photo by North Platte Public Schools
Superintendent's salary comparison by Stuart Simpson and Tami Eshleman.
Photo by North Platte Public Schools
A breakdown of the superintendent's compensation.

All top 21 North Platte school administrators received an average 2.2% raise Monday, while the school board cut the number of work days for school counselors, psychologists and high school technology teachers in the face of budget pressure.

The staff reductions are primarily due to reductions in state aid, according to the district business manager Stuart Simpson. The cuts only shave a few days off their work year, however, the employees will be able to work some of those days if needed, under the supervision of building principals, instead of under their contract.

The cuts could save the district about $30,000 next year, Simpson told the Bulletin after the meeting.

The 2.18% raises for administrators are in line with the cost of living index, Simpson said. They will cost the district a total of $50,000 more in the coming year, he said. The annual salary of Superintendent Ron Hanson increased from $207,675 to $218,059, according to a study of administrative salaries at comparable schools.

The study was complied by Simpson and Associate Superintendent Tami Eshelman. Hanson's total salary is toward the lower end of spectrum of those schools.

He is paid more than superintendents of the smaller schools of Lexington, Hastings and Scottsbluff, but less than Columbus, which is about the same size as North Platte, and the larger schools of Norfolk, Fremont, Kearney and Grand Island. (The comparison is posted with this report.)

The board cut these days from these extended contracts:

• 15 working days for the four school psychologists.

• 13 days for the four high school counselors.

• 11 days for three middle school counselors.

• 5 days for the four high school technology teachers.

The board voted unanimously to approve the reductions and the salary increases, and also made supportive comments of both proposals. The votes came at the end of a two-hour, 10-minute meeting, much of which was devoted to reports from administrators.

Board member Skip Altig said the district should keep salaries high to attract and retain good administrators. He also said reductions in force are painful, but "reductions in days is not like reductions in positions. It hurts, but it's not a main artery."

Breakdown of superintendent's salary -- updated April 13

According to information on the district's website, Hanson will recieve a salary of $214,944 next year, plus membership fees to organizations, including $700 to belong to the North Platte Rotary. And, he is reimbursed for his cell phone. That adds up to $217,865.

He also receives a matching retirement payment of about $21,000 from the district, as well as the district's share of payroll taxes, bringing the total cost to the district to $250,000 a year.     

To see the contract information on the school website, click here https://www.nppsd.org/pages/uploaded_files/Superintendent%20Transparency%202017-2018.pdf

By state law, salaries of school superintendents are posted on Nebraska Department of Education's website so the public can see them.    

During the afternoon, the board met for a prolonged work session just to study school board rules and regulations, presented by representatives of the Nebraska Association of School Boards.

For a closer look at school board agendas and the minutes of past meetings, click https://meeting.nasbonline.org/Public/Agency.aspx?PublicAgencyID=4401&AgencyTypeID=1

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 4/10/2017
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