St. Clair R-XIII School District Board of Education members are continuing to evaluate extracurricular positions and their compensation in an effort to find some rhyme and reason to the financial schedule currently in place.
The board and the R-XIII administration talked about the issue earlier this year and resumed discussion recently during the regularly scheduled October meeting.
No decisions were made, and the subject was not brought up during the November meeting. More discussion is scheduled during a future board gathering.
This academic year, teachers earn anywhere between 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,” board member Mike Drewel said last month. “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 was adding archery as a high school activity. Currently, it is offered for junior high students, and dozens of them participate annually. The program has gained success as it matures, but when students reach high school, they can’t continue to develop the talent through the R-XIII district.
According to information shared during the October as well as earlier meetings, the St. Clair High School head boys and girls basketball coaches and head football coach as well as the band director get the highest rate of pay for their extracurricular duties at 12 percent of their salary. The wrestling coach receives 10 percent, and baseball, boys and girls soccer, softball, volleyball and track head coaches as well as the band assistant are next at 8 percent.
Other coaches, including some assistants, check in at 6 or 7 percent. In non-sports areas, the choir director receives 6 percent and drama director and Student Council sponsors get 5 percent.
At the low end of the scale are the pep club sponsor and drama assistant at 2 percent and the cross country assistant coach and FBLA sponsor at 3 percent. All others are in the 4 and 5 percent range.
Athletic Director Greg Dunigan gave a presentation to the board in October and outlined coaching responsibilities, including offseason camps and workouts as well as weekend activities. He said the commitment adds up to a lot of time spent out of the classroom.
Drewel asked if there was any way the district could come up with a “weighted matrix” that would divide extracurricular pay into categories that would take specific things into consideration, such as length of season, number of students involved and experience.
“I would like it to be structured so we’re not guessing,” he said.
Superintendent Mike Murphy said in order to do that, it would have to be determined what the different “weights” would be worth, adding that he believes the time and number of students involved are key factors.
He also cautioned the board that if a schedule is modified and weighted on factors, it would be possible that some salaries may have to be reduced.
“With the existing structure and existing contracts, you have to consider that modifying pay may increase or decrease pay,” he said. “If you consider raising pay, you have to be willing to address both ends of the spectrum.”
Drewel said that if the board opts to come up with some kind of extracurricular pay schedule, it should be fair to all staff involved.
“The next step for the board is to consider the element of time involved in the school year and outside of the season as well as the number of students involved and whether the coach or sponsor is a head coach or an assistant,” Murphy said. “We can try to get something together to bring back to you.”
Murphy said he would try to put something together for the board to review during a meeting in the near future.
During its May meeting, board members approved $140,245.88 for educators in the district to be involved in the extracurricular activities.