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June 7, 2011

Administrator Raises Irk Taxpayers As Teachers Laid Off

Superintendent Got $30K Raise Months Before Failed Referendum

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As Avon schools was preparing to ask taxpayers for more money in a May referendum, board members gave Superintendent Timothy Ogle a $30,000 raise, records show.
The board signed off on the 20 percent raise in December, less than five months before voters said no to a referendum, 6News’ Kara Kenney reported.Records show Ogle’s $155,626 base salary for the 2010-2011 school year ranked in the top 8 percent of superintendents in the state.

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Records obtained by 6News show other administrators have also received raises:

  •  Associate Superintendent Margaret Hoernemann’s salary grew from $112,422 in 2008 to $118,692 in 2009 and $124,086 in 2010.
  • Assistant Superintendent Ken DeKoninck’s salary went from $114,084 in 2009 to $119,269 in 2010.
  • Director of Finance and Operations Brock Bowsher’s salary was $90,000 in 2008, $95,000 in 2009 and $109,134 in 2010.
  • Director of Intermediate and Secondary Education Peggy Clark’s salary was $105,996 in 2008, $108,558 in 2009 and $113,492 in 2010.
  • Director of Elementary Education Maryanne McMahon’s salary was $103,838 in 2008, $106,954 in 2009 and $111,814 in 2010. 

    Last week, the school district laid off 36 teachers, leaving many taxpayers, parents and students angry.”
    They have no responsibility, and they put it all on the taxpayers,” said parent Libby Farr. “I’m willing and happy to pay more in taxes, but there has to be cuts on the other side.”
    Ogle declined to meet with 6News until after a June 6 school board meeting, during which he said he plans to offer a $10,000 cut to his own pay.
    Ogle pointed out that he personally met with each laid off teacher and explained to 6News that incentive pay rewards administrators for achieving or exceeding their goals for things like student achievement, fiscal responsibility and efficiency, relationships with employees and other measures.
    “Soon what the Avon board piloted with their superintendent will be effectively mandated for all Indiana educators, (including) salary changes based on no less than two-third performance and one-third degrees and years of service,” Jon Bailey, the district’s attorney, said in an email to 6News.
    Per Ogle’s contract, the school board can elect to pay him an additional basic salary up to $20,000. Bailey said, per statute, the board can pay him above that amount as well.
    “I’m not very impressed,” said Steve Harlan with No More Avon Taxes, a group that led the fight against the referendum. “How can (Ogle) justify that kind of pay raise knowing full well he doesn’t have any operating budget money? It just doesn’t make sense to me.”
    Harlan and Farr said as teachers are losing their jobs, administrators should look at cutting their own pay.”
    The administrators have to make sacrifices. Why is it always teachers?” Farr said.”
    We asked them to sharpen their pencil,” said Harlan, who said he believes a $10,000 pay cut is not enough. “I think they can do a little better than that.”
    School board president and spokesman Gary Brinkman did not respond to an email and phone call seeking comment Tuesday.
    The school board will hear the cost-cutting plan June 6 at an 11 a.m. meeting. Ogle said the early time was chosen because it was a convenient time for school board members to meet and coincided with another event.
    The school board will also consider cutting one of its own perks, $1 health insurance, which was exposed by 6News in April.


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