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Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Parkway administration gets raise

By Amy Kronenberger
ROCKFORD - Parkway school board members voted 4-1 to give school administrators a 3 percent raise, effective Aug. 1.
Superintendent Greg Puthoff said Parkway was one of the only schools in the area to not have a budget deficit going into the new school year. It also is the only district to give its teachers a 2 percent raise for next school year. Many area schools gave teachers and administrators no raises.
Board member Kim Brandt, who voted no, said she didn't feel comfortable approving a 3 percent raise when so many community members and other schools are struggling and going without pay increases.
"If it were 1 percent, I would have been more comfortable, but not 3 percent," she said. "I think they are doing a good job and deserve the raise, but it doesn't seem right when other community members haven't had a raise in three, four or five years."
With the raise, Puthoff's salary will be $91,773, plus $275 longevity pay. Other administrators, their new salaries and longevity pay are treasurer Debbie Pierce, $71,842; principal Brian Fortkamp, $75,499, $500; principal Mark Esselstein, $70,676, $1,175; principal Steve Baumgartner, $77,847, $500; technology coordinator Talan Bates, $63,239, $500; and maintenance supervisor Mike Jones, $52,020, $275.
Brandt said she also was uncomfortable with the raise because of the uncertain financial times.
"We may be doing alright financially right now, but we don't know what the future holds," she said.
Pierce reported that fiscal year 2010 ended with expenses $107,127 over revenue, which was covered by the school's $3.37 million cash balance.
For fiscal year 2011, which began this month, the school is expecting $9.8 million in revenue, $9.7 million in expenses and a $3.42 million carryover.
School officials have made $380,000 in cuts for this school year and recently learned state funding cuts would be lower than expected. The school will see a 6.4 percent cut (about $350,000) in funding for fiscal year 2012.
"We planned for a $500,000 funding cut from the state, so it's better than we expected," Puthoff said. "We knew the cuts were coming, so we made the adjustments."
For fiscal year 2013, the school will receive a 1.4 percent cut from the state, about $75,000.
Puthoff said the school is always looking at ways to trim their budget and will continue to do so into the future. For fiscal year 2012, the school already has eliminated a bus route, will not purchase a new school bus and will eliminate a teacher and bus driver position through attrition.
In other news, board members:
• Learned the Ohio Board of Education rated the school's special education program with a perfect score. The school met all the requirements of 20 indicators.
• Learned the school will receive an excellent rating on the state report card, meeting 25 of the 26 indicators. The only indicator not met was eighth-grade science. The state standard is 75 percent of students passing the test; Parkway's pass rate was 72.2 percent. The school will learn whether or not it qualifies for an excellent with distinction rating anytime now, Puthoff said.
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