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Opposes a freeze for administrators' salaries

May 25, 2005 - To the editor:

Although Jim Smoot's cost-saving measures for Lindbergh School District offered some interesting ideas, I took exception to the recommendation that Lindbergh freeze administrators' salaries or ask them to give up benefits and pay.

Like any other business, low pay would only stigmatize the district's efforts to attract and retain qualified individuals.

Right now, Lindbergh has several award-winning schools and has received numerous commendations for its curriculum and performance on the state-mandated MAP program test, all of which directly contribute to homeowners' property values.

I would encourage members of CARE to spend a week shadowing our superintendent, Dr. Sandfort, district principals and assistant principals, or for that matter, any classroom teacher. If this were done, I guarantee members of CARE would sing our educators' praises, not advocate salary cuts.

The calendars of Lindbergh's superintendent and principals are packed with responsibilities, including meetings at the state, community, district and school levels. On any given day of the week, most of these administrators are at their posts at approximately 6 to 7 a.m. and all are actively involved with school affairs anywhere from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Besides their curricular/academic respon-sibilities, they must deal with angry/frustrated parents, overloaded/stressed-out teachers and violent/out-of-control students. As if this isn't enough, they additionally are required to attend nighttime and weekend school-sponsored events, including all sporting events, banquets, concerts, plays/musicals, academic awards programs, parent/teacher conferences, dances, picnics, graduation ceremonies, on-site fund-raisers, and information sessions for bond issues/tax increases.

And if one thinks administrative responsibilities stop once summer begins — think again.

Lastly, imagine having to deal with life's unexpected, traumatic experiences, such as the sudden death or murder of a student or teacher, discovering a suicide victim's body on a school parking lot, bomb threats, arson, theft, assault and vandalism.

Rather than cut salaries and benefits, give our educators the gratitude and re-spect they deserve.

While salaries may seem exorbitant, when the actual hours worked get factored into the equation, the pay is simply commensurate.

Lezlie DeGrand

south county

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