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Education

School Board Approves Bonus For USD 259 Superintendent

wichita_public_schools_boe_april_25.jpg
Abigail Beckman
/
KMUW/File photo
Board members speak during a BOE meeting earlier this year.

Update: The superintendent of Wichita Public Schools will get a bonus this year. Members of the local board of education voted in favor of giving Superintendent John Allison a more than $3,400 bonus, which is 1.5 percent of his $229,408 salary.

Sheril Logan, present of the board of education, said the district gave all of its employees extra funds this year including a nearly 4 percent raise for teachers.

The board also extended Allison’s contract through June 30, 2019.

Original story: Members of the local school board will decide today whether the superintendent of Wichita Public Schools will get a bonus. The proposed payment for Superintendent John Allison is $3441, one-and-a-half percent of his nearly $230,000 base salary.

If the board members approve the addendum, Allison's contract would also be extended to June 30, 2019.

The vote comes on the heels of difficult contract negotiations with the Wichita Teachers Union. The final contract gave teachers a 3.98 percent raise that included a one-time $500 bonus. Many teachers say much of that ended up going to taxes, something the district says was communicated to staff in October.

Steve Wentz with the local teacher's union says the remaining money was eaten up by increasing health care costs.

"Our goal was to be 'revenue-neutral,'" Wentz says. "And it didn't play out like that."

Wentz says some of the bonus money teachers lost to taxes will "come back" through tax returns. When asked about Allison's proposed raise, Wentz described the situation as "deflating."

"I'm not saying he's paid too much, but it's all about perception. Even 1.5 percent of $230,000 is a lot more than $500," he says. "Whether it's intended or not, there's a continuing perception that the Board of Education shows more concern for administration than teachers."

Board of Education president Sheril Logan says the district gave all of it's employees raises this year, including administrators.

"Obviously, John Allison is one of our administrators, so we gave him the same percentage as all of our other administrators," she says.

Logan says board members were happy to be able to find any money at all for raises, "even though it may not be enough."  

Board members were able to move some money around, according to Logan, because of low expenditures during last year's mild winter. 

"It gave us a little extra in carry-over funds," she says. "We were able to give all of the teachers an almost 4 percent raise."

Allison has been Superintendent of USD 259, the state's largest district, for the past 8 years. According to a report from the Kansas Department of Education, he is the second-highest paid superintendent in the state behind the superintendent of Shawnee Mission Public Schools in Johnson County. 

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Follow Abigail Beckman on Twitter @AbigailKMUW.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.