School budget tops $28 million
Senior salary, benefits payments come from many budgetary pies
By Chris Woodall
The preliminary budget for the Howe Sound school district is $28,055,190 for the 1998/99 school year.
But where who gets what can be a mystery.
Of the school board's total, district based expenses are projected to cost $7,279,254, with school based costs pegged at just under $20.7 million.
The Howe Sound district school board revealed the numbers at its May 6 board meeting.
Of the schools, Myrtle Philip Elementary and Whistler Secondary will get the second- and third-highest amounts ($1.97 million and $1.88 million) in school budgeted monies... far behind Howe Sound Secondary's $3.8 million.
But Howe Sound Secondary is a bigger school.
District based expenses are broken down to district administration ($1.23 million), operations, maintenance and transportation ($3.2 million) and district instructional support ($2.15 million).
But these amounts are misleading because of the way senior administrators are paid out of two, or three, of the above-mentioned expenditure pools.
Indeed, figuring out what the major players in the school board's administration make in salaries takes a bit of sleuthing.
Superintendent Mike Fitzpatrick will be paid $93,830 in salaries and benefits for the 1998-99 school year. It's easy to notch that one because his position is listed as "1.0 FTE", or one full-time equivalent position under the district administration budget.
But here on in it gets tricky.
Nancy Edwards is the school board's secretary-treasurer. She is listed as just 0.65 of a full-time position in the district administration budget's pie, earning $61,065.
But looking under "operations, maintenance & transportation" the other 0.35 of her position comes to light for $32,878. Total salary and benefits: $93,943, or $113 more than the superintendent, the top school board official.
Similarly, the assistant superintendent is paid $17,170 as a 0.2 FTE out of the district administration pot, plus $68,680 (0.8 FTE) out of the "district instructional support" pot. Total salary and benefits: $85,850.
The director of finance and administration has his fingers, so to speak, in the most pie pans.
He takes $46,885 (0.7 FTE) from the district administration pie; another $6,698 (0.1 FTE) from the operations, maintenance & transportation pie; and $13,396 (0.2 FTE) from the district instructional support pie. Total salary: $66,979.
While these amounts come out of budget pies other than administration for these senior administrative positions, lesser positions in these two categories are unfilled, or add up to portions of a full-time job.
For example, the salaries and benefits paid to senior administrators comes to $39,574 out of operations, maintenance & transportation.
Meanwhile, all the school district's crossing guards take up just 0.38 of an FTE for $11,341 in that same budgetary pie.
Senior administrators will be paid $82,076 out of the district instructional support pay pool, while there are several unfilled positions listed in that category that have zero FTE and therefore zero pay, including career program co-ordinator, psychologists, hearing impaired teacher, speech/language teacher, computer resource teachers, and others.
It was not known at press time if positions are going unfilled in order to top-up the pay packets of senior administrators.
Because Pique Newsmagazine's publishing deadline parallels the school board's Wednesday meeting, explanations for these anomalies were not available at this time.
Finally, the entire public relations budget for the Howe Sound district school board is $2,000.