St. Clair R-XIII School District Board of Education members continue to look at and discuss a matrix of sorts that would help determine how much extracurricular positions will be compensated in the future.
The topic has been discussed during previous board meetings and was again in February. No decisions have been made.
Superintendent Mike Murphy and Athletic Director Greg Dunigan put together a formula to develop a matrix that showed how compensation could be determined. They said the figures are nowhere near finalized but are a starting point to help determine some kind of consistency in how teachers and others are paid for the time they put in to help with extracurricular activities.
Options were presented for board members to view.
The charge to look into the matter came from school board members, especially Mike Drewel, who said whatever formula the district uses to determine the compensation should be fair to everyone involved.
Currently, teachers earn anywhere between an additional 2 and 12 percent of their annual pay to coach or supervise a sport, program or activity within the district. In addition, class sponsors at the high school level receive a fixed stipend.
“It looks like there is limited consistency in how we pay coaches and sponsors,” Drewel has said during previous discussions. “I think we should systematically figure out how to pay them.
“This way, we’ll know how to pay someone if we add something.”
One of the catalysts for the extracurricular discussion has been adding archery as a high school activity and how to compensate an instructor for his or her time.
During the February board meeting, Dunigan shared a three-option matrix with board members that showed how much coaches and sponsors currently make in leading extracurricular activities and how much they potentially would make under the two options of the matrix.
“There is still a lot of work to be done on this,” Dunigan said. “But if you end up doing something like this, you’ll probably have to put a little more money into the extracurricular programs.”
Dunigan also noted that pay for assistant coaches is “inconsistent from sport to sport” when comparing head coach pay to those assistants. He also said currently football and basketball coaches are compensated the highest amount.
The matrix did project pay increases in many of the positions to develop the consistency. Pay decreases also could be possible. Percentages still would vary depending on situations surrounding the extracurricular activity.
“We will have to look at the budgetary impact,” Murphy said, adding that it also will be a board decision whether a new extracurricular pay schedule will be more competitive within the Four Rivers Conference.
“We have to decide whether we want pay balance in relation to the conference, be at the median, or stay more toward the bottom,” he said.
Drewel said the financial ramifications are at the top of the list of things to consider in potentially adopting an extracurricular matrix.
“I think it’s important to come up with a plan that doesn’t affect the budget tremendously,” he said.
When the issue was discussed in December, Drewel said his mission was to produce some kind of consistency with the pay schedule.
“This is just trying to figure out if there is a consistent way to pay someone so if someone new comes in, we’ll know how to pay them,” he said about the matrix. “Do we want to pay people in a consistent manner?”
The matrix used the number of years an educator has been involved in an extracurricular activity as one guideline and also used a formula consisting of the number of contests or events, the number of students involved and whether the leader is in charge of the activity or is an assistant. The years of experience led to a correlated percentage of pay across the matrix.
Murphy reminded board members that any proposed extracurricular pay schedule will have to be reviewed by a committee that includes some teachers and building administrators.
“This basic idea is good, but it may be difficult to put into play,” board President Dave Berkel said.
One factor that some board members and administrators said should be considered is how much nonclassroom time is spent with the students.
Some of the extracurricular activities offered by R-XIII school district involve little or no extra time while others require significant time outside of the normal school day.
During its meeting last May, board members approved $140,245.88 for educators in the district to be involved in the extracurricular activities. Murphy said a decision on what to do for the upcoming 2013-14 academic year will need to be made by May this year