No changes made to supplemental pay

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

No changes to the supplements paid to coaches and club sponsors were decided at the budget committee's meeting Tuesday.

Chairwoman Kristen Gold announced that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss supplements and see if the group wanted to come up with a different proposal on supplements for the committee that negotiates the contract between the board of education and the teachers.

If every school played every sport and had every club that has been authorized, the supplement bill would be about 15 percent higher than it is now ($350,000), committee member Craig Michael pointed out.

Budget committee members got a look at figures on coaching supplements paid by some other school districts. Tullahoma, for instance, pays its head football coach $12,437, while in Hancock County the same position merits only $1,500. Marshall County pays head football coaches $4,200, slightly below the state average of $5,481.

"We're not increasing anything from last year?" asked committee member Mark Wilkerson.

"Right," said budget director Janet Wiles.

"It could increase with more participation (more assistant coaches would be needed), or if we added a sport or club," Dee Dee Owens said.

"We have to approve the supplements," said Gold. "I suppose it doesn't change that much."

"As long as we're not three or four percent more or less than last year, I think we're okay. If it increases more than five percent per year, we've got a problem," Wilkerson said.

Director of schools Stan Curtis agreed to put an administrative procedure in place requiring all schools to declare by the end of the present school year what sports and clubs they planned to have for the next year. This would allow supplement numbers to be known in time for the budget, which is due July 1.

"The principals are working on a club list," reported Wiles. "Some club sponsors don't get a supplement and deserve one; some get paid and don't deserve it. That's a piece of information you don't have yet. I know that Maury County doesn't pay anything for club sponsors."

"What about giving each school a lump sum and letting them decide how to split it?" asked Owens.

"That's what they did in Maury County," Curtis said.

"This is a 'hot button' issue," Wilkerson said. "I move we have Janet get us three year's data on supplements."

"I can't pull out supplement figures for previous years because they're not a separate line item," said Wiles. "You can get a pretty good idea from the minutes of past meetings."

"Is everyone happy with the supplement schedule?" asked Gold. "Is there anything about the way that it's done that anyone wants to change?"

"Let's study it and talk at the next meeting," proposed Wilkerson,

"I assure you there's nothing clear cut about this," concluded Michael.

"How are we doing on our time line?" asked committee member Todd Tietgens.

"We're at the point where I suggested making a presentation to the education committee (of the county commission)," Gold answered.

"Think how the commission will look at it," counseled Wilkerson. "Asking for five pennies of the property tax is not out of the question - we might get two. It's all negotiation."

"Do we have a decision on maintenance?" asked Tietgens.

"I think their (the county commission's) maintenance committee is meeting," answered Michael. "Let's hear back from them before we make a move."

Another meeting of the budget committee is planned for 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 27.