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It’s A Morning Filled With Higher Education Scandal

August 25th, 2010 by jake · 45 Comments

Metro Councilcritters Kevin Kramer, Stuart Benson and Robin Engel – along with the Metro Health Department, the Partnership for Cancer Control and the Kentucky Cancer Program – will host a mobile mammography clinic for underserved women aged 40+. It’ll take place at the Glenridge Health Campus (6415 Calm River Way) between 8:30 – 3:30 on Wednesday, September 1. Need more info or wish to schedule an appointment? Call Angela in Councilcritter Benson’s office at 574-3465. [Press Release]

No matter how you cut the cake, our area police officers aren’t backing Greg Fischer as he hopes to make the public believe. [LMPD dot com]

How many people at Jefferson County Public Schools make more than $100,000 per year? 308. An additional 128 make between $90,000 and $100,000. Meanwhile, teachers make, what, $40,000? $45,000? No wonder JCPS is jacked up. [Public Records]

Remember Jack Richardson and his sour grapes? Sure you do – he’s Frank Simon’s pal. He’s foaming at the mouth about Barack Obama being a Muslim and who is/isn’t a Christian. [Puke Alert]

A judge as ruled against Cumberland River Coal for disciplining a miner who shot video of leaking seals. [H-L]

Jewish Hospital will “live tweet” the region’s first double hand transplant today. [Twitter]

Will the November election change the make up of the Board of Education? [WAVE3]

It’s a shame people are so stupid that they’d leave a baby by a dumpster. Why not at least take it to a police station or fire station? Jesus H. [FOX 41]

The only member of the Board of Education to vote against the tax hike is speaking out. [WHAS11]

The University of Louisville isn’t the only state school with problems. The KCTCS and Owensboro Community & Technical College just lost a lawsuit over something that’s beginning to look like a nightmare. [Page One]

Tags: Bad Behavior · Education · Greg Fischer · Health Care · JCPS · Legal · LMPD · Mayor's Race 2010 · Metro Council · Possibility City · Republican Party

45 responses so far ↓

  • 1 blowin' in the wind // Aug 25, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Glad you looked at the numbers of administrators and other being paid at $100k plus and minus. For several years some people have been trying to get the superintendent and board to hire an outside company to do a review of central office staffing, etc. It is so bloated it will explode if you prick it with a pin. A modest estimate of savings if they were to do this is more than the $70m being spent on busing.
    And a careful check would indicate that there are people besides the superintendent who are not qualified for their high-paying positions (proteges, failed principals, etc…. there is even a Felner connection no one seems to have followed up)

  • 2 jake // Aug 25, 2010 at 8:25 am

    I was alarmed to discover assistant principals making more than $100,000. Extremely alarmed.

    What the fuck kind of fucked up is THAT?

    While teachers make half that.

    The teabagger outrage at teacher salaries is ridiculous and is obviously misguided. They ought to focus their half-hearted efforts on the bloated salaries of people the folks mentioned above.

  • 3 blowin' in the wind // Aug 25, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Thanks for bringing this up, Jake. We can always hope that finally the board will begin to get the message. However, the only board member truly behind SB, Linda Duncan, is running unopposed. I doubt that her district can get its act together for a serious write-in candidate. Unthinking people always pick on the teachers, who are the ones doing the real work.

  • 4 Steve Magruder // Aug 25, 2010 at 9:12 am

    I’m all for a review of JCPS expenses, but the idea of cutting teacher salaries, where they are already meager and they receive minimal increases each year would turn out to be a tragedy for area students. That said, a $30 tax increase on a $100,000 value of a home isn’t that awful.

    At any rate, while I would like to have a school board that scrutinizes JCPS officials and expenses more, at the same time, I think we need to careful about electing anyone who is seeming to want to eliminate teachers or otherwise screw teachers in some way. They’re screwed enough.

  • 5 blowin' in the wind // Aug 25, 2010 at 9:50 am

    You’re right Steve. However, if there was more scrutiny of Van Hoose, there would be more money for teachers, especially for early childhood and elementary school teachers.

  • 6 thomas paine // Aug 25, 2010 at 10:39 am

    The average annual salary in Louisville MSA is $35,800 – which may mean someone has worked twenty years to reach this level. The average STARTING salary for a JCPS teacher is $32,000. If they have an MA (which most do or eventually get) the starting salary is close to $38,000. Throw in the benefits and it’s closer to $45-50,000 in total compensation.

    Hardly “meager” when compared to the other working people in the area.

  • 7 jake // Aug 25, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Not meager by any means, but certainly not a mountain of cash. I know customer service reps who bank $30K with barely a GED and no experience.

    The point is these folks – the most important in the educational system – are extremely underpaid while literally hundreds of people are yanking down hundreds of thousands of dollars per yer.

  • 8 thomas paine // Aug 25, 2010 at 10:50 am

    A reasonable argument and I’m not defending VahHoose. It could use a thorough cleaning. But complaints of “only 1%” raises and seeing another $10 billion get sent to the states to avoid teacher layoffs – all while unemployment is close to 10 percent and private sector wages are stagnant diminishes sympathy for the plight of the public school teachers.

  • 9 blowin' in the wind // Aug 25, 2010 at 10:56 am

    If you got the house in order at Van Hoose and increased salaries only for those under $45,000, you would need no new taxes and there would be money that is critically needed for early childhood and elementary school teachers as well as for repairs to several schools in the west end.

  • 10 jake // Aug 25, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Why on earth isn’t JCPS freeing up about $10 million immediately by cleaning up the inflated salaries of these people?

    I’m not saying that some of them aren’t worth the high pay. But Jesus H. There are assistant principals making more than $100,000. Even the main spokeswoman of JCPS is making more than $100K.

    I believe it’s time for a super-major-huge audit.

  • 11 blowin' in the wind // Aug 25, 2010 at 11:22 am

    AMEN!!!

  • 12 Talkfan // Aug 25, 2010 at 11:26 am

    436 people at JCPS making nearly three times the average annual salary of the people who are taxed to pay their salaries.

    And I wonder if their pensions are comparably generous, also footed by taxpayers, most of whom have no pension whatsoever. Any public info on that?

    Don’t hold your breath on that audit, Jake.

  • 13 jake // Aug 25, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Talkfan: Where’s the outrage for underpaid teachers? These people are responsible for one of the most important parts of our lives. And they’re paid – usually – a third to a fourth of what administrators are paid.

    Hit up the KTRS for more on your question.

    You folks told me not to hold my breath on a Metro Government audit and it happened.

  • 14 Steve Magruder // Aug 25, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Talkfan, if your complaint is about paying taxes, then you might want to make that more clear. All kinds of things are “footed by taxpayers”, but you make it seem like paying our school teachers is like a crime. That is an immature outlook, in my judgment.

    The point is that we have a school system here, and whether you approve of public schools or not, these teachers are teaching many of our local schoolchildren, and they ought to be properly compensated for the difficult work they do, and also, to retain teachers who may choose not work in this system if they are underpaid.

  • 15 Steve Magruder // Aug 25, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I agree Jake that we’re in a time of a greater expectation of transparency and accountability, and an audit of JCPS isn’t uncalled for. And if enough people call for it, it can happen.

  • 16 Novena // Aug 25, 2010 at 11:49 am

    “Honchos at the Trough”

    When many teachers in the trenches (who do the real work of education) are being laid off, it is high time to apply belt-tightening measures galore to administrators. It would be both fiscally unwise and morally corrupt to do otherwise. An example from higher education: It is not unusual for the honchos to give themselves raises when faculty and staff are forced to take cuts (and students must pay higher tution to support often unneeded ancillary “services”). What a cruel paradox! It is impossible to justify what JCPS is doing–and its Board should be ashamed (and some of its members hopefully replaced at election time).

  • 17 Steve Magruder // Aug 25, 2010 at 11:58 am

    While we’re at it, let’s have an audit of UofL too. Talk about loads of wasteful spending — I think I can make a safe bet that UofL would make JCPS look like a piker.

  • 18 Talkfan // Aug 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    The concept of “underpaid” is so subjective as to be meaningless. In the private sector, you’re paid based on the revenue you generate. If you don’t directly generate revenue, you’re paid what somebody will give you. If you don’t like it leave…or ask for more, maybe you’ll get it, probably you won’t. If you can’t quantify the money you’re bringing in, it’s hard to quantify how much money you “should” be taking out. I know Jake understands this: his compensation for running these sites is directly based on visits, etc.–quantifiable things. He’s not paid based on somebody somewhere deciding that what he’s doing is “worth.” It’s worth what he brings in, today. Tomorrow it’ll be worth what he brings in, tomorrow. My argument applies even to great teachers, btw. Even they are not involved in establishing or growing a revenue stream, so they pay is always simply based on what somebody subjectively decides they should get.

    In the public sector, you’re paid based on…well, I’ve never been able to figure that out.

    My comment above started with “436.” I was referring to the people at JCPS who make more than $90k. I assumed from the post that none of these people are teachers, but are administrators. So I’m not attacking teachers.

    But you guys think teachers are underpaid. Steve implies that not only are teachers underpaid, but that the proposition is as obvious as “the sky is blue.” If you start at 38k with a Masters, where are you 10 years in, in your mid- or even early 30s? 45K , maybe even 50K? That’s underpaid? Perhaps Steve believes they would be underpaid, no matter what they were paid, that what they’re doing is so important, no vital, that they literally can’t be paid enough for it to be “fair.” If Steve doesn’t think that, then it’s just a matter of drawing lines. I wonder how much a teacher should make so as not to be “underpaid” in Steve’s view.

    I grant that it’s a hard job (although like with any job, especially when your day to day performance doesn’t determine your day to day compensation, it’s possible to get by without working too hard). But so are a lot of other jobs that don’t pay as much or offer as much time off the job. Overall, it’s easy to argue that some teachers are better than others, but hard to argue that they’re underpaid.

    I respect the job that teachers do. I have a hard time respecting teachers or anybody else who whines or complains about what they earn.

  • 19 blowin' in the wind // Aug 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    AMEN!!! AMEN!!! I feel like I’m in church today!

  • 20 Talkfan // Aug 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Also, the demographics are unavoidable. The tax base won’t support the kind of pay and benefits packages that have become customary for public sector employees, including teachers. Wages and benefits are falling for those private sector employees who are still employed. Auto workers, for example: going forward, there will be much fewer of them and they’ll earn much less. It’s the same throughout the workforce. Given those realities, it’s impossible to sustain the kind of things that have been sustainable for decades now. Demographics and new (which are really old) economic realities will end this argument between people like Steve and people like me. All belts are going to be tightened.

    No hard feelings, always enjoy the discourse.

  • 21 jake // Aug 25, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Who said teachers need to be paid what private sector employees are paid? Not me.

    And it’s not discourse when you purposefully ignore and spin.

    My point, again, is that the faux outrage over teachers being paid too much is ridiculous. Especially when there are assistant principals and spokescritters making $110,000 PLUS benefits.

  • 22 Talkfan // Aug 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    You eat what you kill, or settle for what some killer gives you.

    You’re saying teachers need to be paid *more*.

    I’m asking, based on what?

    But I’m not saying teachers are overpaid, just that they’re not *underpaid*.

    I too in my original comment was referring to the administrators making 90k plus, not teachers. I guess we agree that they’re overpaid. But maybe they could come up with a persuasive argument that they deserve what they’re getting, I don’t know.

  • 23 jake // Aug 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    You should read before commenting. I’ve already told you why.

  • 24 blowin' in the wind // Aug 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Clarification: my second Amen was in agreement with Steve Magruder not talkfan. In the heat of the discussion it got out of order.

  • 25 Talkfan // Aug 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    I have read the post and comments, of course, but I’m not sure I’ve correctly taken your point. I thought your point was “the asst. principals, etc., are scandalously overpaid.” If that’s your point, we agree. But maybe your point is “Since asst. principals are making 90k plus, teachers should be getting a lot more than they’re getting.” I can’t agree with that, either on logic or substance.

  • 26 jake // Aug 25, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Let me splain it to you. Will even use all caps so it’s dumbed down to mouth breather level.

    TEACHERS IMPORTANT

    TEACHERS TEACH KIDS FOR 12-13 YEARS

    KIDS LEARN NEARLY EVERYTHING THEY KNOW IN SCHOOL

    PAPER PUSHERS PAID 3-4 TIMES AS MUCH, NEVER INTERACTING WITH KIDS

    I think it takes an extreme case of mouth breathing not to understand there’s a massive pay disparity here.

  • 27 AC360 // Aug 25, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Educational attainment = competitiveness = a community’s economic vitality

    That’s why GLI and others do care about education… stupid people don’t exactly attract employers or grow the next google in Louisville.

    Stop living in this oversimplified world, Talkfan.

  • 28 jake // Aug 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Funny. I’ve never seen anything out of GLI remotely focused on education.

  • 29 Crutnacker // Aug 25, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Are teachers underpaid? Aren’t we all? I know that teachers in JC make much more than other parts of the state and that 50,000 to 70,000 isn’t a bad wage for summers and numerous breaks off and a reduced néed for before and afterschool care. That said it should be noted that the four people the board said Monday did a great job with transportation get paid over half a million combined. Add Berman to the mix and it is over 823,000. How does a school board commend four people getting a six figure salary for the mess of last week? JCPS is paying a fortune for top administrative salaries. In many cases more than the private sector. It’s one thing if this gets results. It’s another when last weeks mess happens.

  • 30 Novena // Aug 25, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    “Amen to Magruder on UofL Pay for Honchos”

    If one just looks at the CEHD (as I have mentioned ad nauseum), how can any university (not even Stanford or Columbia can compare with the number) justify so many associate/assistant deans (I lost count, but it is something like 7 or 8). This is a holdover from the Herr Felner days (when he tried to create a moat around his office so the legions of disgruntled and disenfranchised faculty and staff would not invade his office). Some of these folks tend to be useless, most all are over-paid, and no one does a thing about it. So, don’t blame students for yelling about higher tuition for worthless non-activities.
    P.S. JR & SW, Felner is long gone. No need to let him do whatever he pleases. No need to protect him any longer. Save money, fire some associate/assistant deans.

  • 31 Talkfan // Aug 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Gimme a break, Jake, my nose is stopped up today and a guy’s gotta breathe somehow.

    I agree there’s a massive pay disparity, that’s obvious. Our difference of opinion seems to be how to rectify the disparity. I would rectify it by slashing paper-pusher pay. You, I presume, would rectify it by raising teacher pay. That’s where we disagree.

    And my overarching point is: the people who set the salaries for paper-pusher and teacher alike, don’t give a damn what I think or even what you think, Jake.

    So, again: don’t hold your breath for that audit.

  • 32 thomas paine // Aug 25, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    CHARTER SCHOOLS WORK.

    JCTA & KEA KILLED CHARTER SCHOOLS.

    KENTUCKY GETS NO MONEY TO HELP KIDS IN FAILING SCHOOLS.

    JCTA AND KEA MEMBERS GET PAID NICE SALARIES WHETHER OR NOT KIDS FAIL.

    AND YES – MANY JCPS ADMINISTRATORS GET PAID TOO MUCH TOO.

  • 33 jake // Aug 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    JCTA & KEA killed nothing. Legislators cowering to pressure instead of listening to the populace are 100% responsible.

    They lobbied, sure. But don’t sit there and tell me these legislators aren’t responsible.

  • 34 Steve Magruder // Aug 25, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Talkfan, that you believe that “day to day performance” and “producing revenue” is how teachers should be measured, then I’m afraid we are in two different universes of thought.

    Your continued insinuations that teachers don’t do the hard work to earn beyond their pay, which most of them do, as well as insinuations that taxpayers shouldn’t even have to foot the bill, as it were, show you to be in full contempt of teachers, even if you plead the opposite. Your contempt is clear.

  • 35 Talkfan // Aug 25, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I’m no more “in full contempt” of teachers than you are of taxpayers, Steve. I respect the job that teachers do.

    There are all kinds of ways to “measure” teachers, and I agree that looking at revenue streams is obviously not one of them (day to day performance, on the other hand…). But, really, we’re not talking about how to “measure” teachers, are we? We’re talking about how to determine their pay, which are two different, if related, things. And that’s the problem. The only *objective* way to determine how much pay a person should get is to assess how much revenue he/she produces. But of course, with teachers, you can’t do that. So you have to rely on this or that subjective way. One subjective way is just saying over and over that whatever it is, it ain’t enough. That seems to be a common one. Frankly, I wonder how they actually do determine teacher pay.

    Lastly, I’m starting to tire of hearing my own ruminations on the matter, as I’m sure you and everybody else reading this is. I’ve made my points as best as I can and I’m just repeating myself. Thanks for the discussion.

  • 36 thomas paine // Aug 25, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    So by that rationale – the coal lobby isn’t responsible for stopping MTR regulation? Family Foundation hasn’t “killed” slots?

    I can agree with your statement so long as it applies across the board.

  • 37 jake // Aug 25, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Indeed.

    And I’ve been saying as much for years on Page One.

  • 38 Daking // Aug 25, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Jake, you’re missing an important economic fact…if no surplus of teachers existed, the salary for teachers would rise. It’s supply and demand. Even a commie like you should understand the most basic economic fact.

    You’ve sipped heavily from the JCTA koolaid. They keep telling us how important their job is and how they need more money. Anyone heard of a teacher shortage? Let the job market become competitive and see what the salaries become.

    Ah what the hell. Talking to you is a large waste of bandwith.

  • 39 stadtguy // Aug 25, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    I checked the salaries paid in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg district (through the Charlotte Observer’s website) and found 108 making $100K or more. This is a district of similar size to JCPS, I think.

  • 40 jake // Aug 25, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    So why leave a comment? Last I checked, I’ve hardly been a darling of any labor union or even Jack Conway.

    You folks love to jerk off in the basement as you read this site but, woah, someone says something you can’t fathom and you foam at the mouth in the form of a comment. Hilarity, Daking.

  • 41 402kid // Aug 25, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    14,793 employees. Too many for me to do a quick scientific research, so I will throw something out like a lot of others around here do. I looked under the name Johnson in the JCPS pay. There are 39 Johnson’s listed as teachers that make more than $45,000 and many are in the $60,000 range with a few in the $70,000+ range. There are only 10 that make less than $45,000. My study says that teachers are fairly compensated.

  • 42 AC360 // Aug 26, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Jake, seriously? MANY local organizations are working on initiatives like Youthprint, early childhood literacy (Every1 Reads, Success by 6). I know you had links in comments, but there are people with the City, JCPS, GLI and Metro United Way doing a LOT with early child hood education and working on strategies around drop out rate.
    http://www.forumforyouthinvestment.org/files/Leadership%20Team%20One%20Pager%20Final.pdf

  • 43 jake // Aug 26, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Pushing after school activities isn’t exactly supporting education on a grand scale. It’s nice, yes.

    But I’ve yet to see anything major out of GLI that supports education. Beyond rubber stamping big business initiatives in Louisville that pull the Berman line.

  • 44 AC360 // Aug 26, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Let me put it to you this way, then …. even if you’re not JCPS or a teacher, there are lots of ways this community is trying to support education outside the classroom. Work, for example, around school readiness, standards for early childhood centers, early literacy efforts (like Southern Indiana Book Harvest, Borders Book Drive, Early Literacy Project, Imagination LIbrary, First Book, Reach out and Read, etc.), parenting workshops, support for Kindergarten Camps, YOUTHPRINT (again), Gheens Bridges to Tomorrow, Every1 Reads, functional literacy development, Youth Summit, Ready by 21, youth mentoring, and much more.

    I agree that much of what the big 3 say is not results focused or focused on what is actually best for CHILDREN (or their families).

    So, again, beyond the human element of why this matters:

    Educational attainment = competitiveness = a community’s economic vitality

    When the JCPS graduation rate is at 73%, it is going to take much more than just JCPS to solve that problem. But don’t think I’m letting Berman or VanHoose off the hook.

  • 45 t // Aug 26, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Anyone that thinks teachers make too much, obviously doesnt know any teachers. Teachers put in way more than eight hours a day. Yes they have summers off, but that doesnt make up for the rest of the year when their whole life revolves around teaching. Also nobody has mentioned the fact that Kentucky has some of the worst pay and benefits for teachers in the country.

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