School Board Restricts MPS Raises
Committee adopts rule requiring board approval for all raises.
Milwaukee Superintendent Darienne Driver got her hands slapped by the Milwaukee School Board last night. The board’s Committee on Administration, Finance and Personnel approved a proposal requiring that any raise in salary given by the superintendent would need board approval.
The proposal — passed unanimously by the four board members who attended the meeting — will next go to the full board for a vote.
The controversy arose last week after School Board member Terry Falk published a press release for Urban Milwaukee claiming that the MPS administration awarded selected staff a total of $100,000 in raises without notifying the board.
“Raises were being given at a time when the administration was saying we had to make cuts to the classroom,” Falk complained to Urban Milwaukee.
Falk noted that 23 individuals had been given raises and the largest raise to an employee was $17,600. Driver, however, contended the raises were appropriate because the school board need not approve such raises if the raises are 10 percent or less and are a result of reclassification of individuals.
However, Falk noted that one raise required a classification and “board policy specifically requires such reclassifications must be reported to the board.”
In response to the Urban Milwaukee press release, the issue got coverage from the Journal Sentinel and all three local TV stations, with protests by some teachers of what they called “back-door raises” covered by TMJ4.
“We are all deeply disappointed,” Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association President Kim Schroeder told Fox 6, which also covered the controversy. “We have asked about raises for our members and we are continually told, ‘no money, no money, no money.'”
The proposal that passed last night, introduced by school board member Larry Miller and supported by Falk, is quite sweeping. “From now on every single raise would have to be approved the the board,” Falk notes.
The committee also passed a resolution that would require the administration to provide reports of all job re-classifications and compensation changes — on a monthly basis. Both proposals will need to be approved later by the full board.
Beyond the issue of pay raises, the reaction of both the teachers union and school board members suggests there may be some discontent growing over the leadership of Driver, who has served as superintendent since October 2014, and has generally gotten good marks from observers. The next full board meeting could provide more insight into her standing with the elected officials who oversee her administration.
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More about the School Board Vs Superintendent Driver
- Murphy’s Law: The MPS Agency Superintendents Hate - Bruce Murphy - Jan 16th, 2018
- Statement of Mark A. Sain, President of the Milwaukee Board of School Directors - President of the Milwaukee Board of School Directors Mark Sain - Jan 11th, 2018
- Back in the News: School Board Restricts MPS Raises - Bruce Murphy - Jan 10th, 2018
- Teachers Union Slams Backdoor Raises to MPS Administrators: Union demands transparency and accountability - Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association - Jan 3rd, 2018
- MPS Gives $100,000 in Pay Raises Without Board Approval - Terry Falk - Jan 3rd, 2018