Chesterton Tribune

 

 

School Board takes questions on superintendent contract

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By LILY REX

The Duneland School Board held a special meeting yesterday to hear public input on a proposed new superintendent’s contract. Two members of the public spoke.

First up was Jim Jeselnick, who asked how the proposed contract compares with superintendent’s contracts at nearby school systems. Board President Brandon Kroft said the terms of the new contract are on “the lower end” when compared to nearby districts. The contract on the table now is not as lucrative as the Valparaiso Community Schools superintendent contract, Kroft said, for example.

Kroft also noted that superintendent’s contracts are usually public on a given school district’s website, so interested members of the public can compare the contract proposed for Duneland’s new yet-to-be named superintendent with contracts at other districts.

Next up was Pete Hokanson, who asked if the severance portion of the contract is customary. Section (b) of the “contract cancellation” portion of the contract states that if the School Board decides to cancel the superintendent’s contract “without cause,” meaning outside of statutory reasons for cancellation of a teacher’s contract dictated by Indiana Code, the Board shall pay the superintendent $12,291.66 per month (up to a maximum of the annual base salary of $147,500) until the superintendent finds new employment.

Kroft said the severance is standard. “It’s language taken from multiple other contracts in multiple other districts,” Kroft said. “There are statutory things that affect that as well,” he added.

To recap, the term of the contract is July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022 with a base annual salary of $147,500 for a 260-day work year. The proposed contract provides for a $6,000 annual car allowance, and a $100 monthly technology stipend for a cell phone, and provides that the superintendent shall be eligible for a bonus of either $4,500 or $6,500 per year if he or she is rated either “effective” or “highly effective” in annual evaluations.

The proposed contract also provides that Duneland Schools will contribute $10,000 per year to the superintendent’s 401(a) retirement account and $5,000 per year to his or her VEBA account. Per the contract, Duneland Schools would also “pay all reasonable expenses” for the superintendent to attend conferences and to join professional organizations, provided the Board is given notice of the superintendent’s desire to do these things and approves the expenses in advance.

The full contract is available on the Duneland Schools website. To find it, visit the “School Board” page, found under the “Administration” tab.

The School Board will meet again at 8 a.m. on June 24, at which time they’ll be prepared to approve the contract and name the candidate they’ve chosen as Duneland’s new superintendent, according to Kroft.

Kroft told the Chesterton Tribune the proposed contract received a lot of scrutiny. “I spent quite a bit of time with the attorney on it,” Kroft said. “We negotiated a contract that’s consistent with the other districts around us.”

 

Posted 6/18/2019

 
 
 
 

 

 

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