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Letter: Administrators not cause of D-424 budget woes

Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

After devoting 23 years to the Genoa-Kingston School District 424, I find myself writing my first letter to the editor in reference to recent articles and comments.

I work with a great bunch of administrators at G-K. Recently, we are under attack by haters within the community. I believe I speak for all of us when stating our doors are always open and we would be glad to sit down and talk to anybody who might have a specific question for one of us.

We all have worked extremely hard to lower all of our budgets for the past five years. We all have either taken a very small raise or in most cases our salaries have been frozen.

I would like to address the recent comments regarding the 6 percent raise in the Superintendent’s salary. I write this response as Joe’s friend and not Superintendent Burgess as my boss.

The superintendent, along with many full-time union members, have entered the retirement track process, which has been in place since the signing of the recent union contract. All full-time participants, including cooks, custodians, support staff, transportation, secretaries and teachers, will receive 6 percent annual increases not to exceed four years providing they meet certain service requirements.

This was not a custom-made plan for the superintendent. This 6 percent number is governed by state law and is used by school districts throughout Illinois. In addition, the union members will also receive a longevity payment depending on how many years they are on the retirement track.

Administrators are required to negotiate their retirement track individually with the school board.

Personal vendettas against school district administrators are not going to solve the financial situation. We, like all area school districts, are in the same position due to our deadbeat state government.

The entire G-K community must work together, stop the blame game and give students the best education we possibly can.

I, along with the entire buildings and grounds/maintenance team, will work to make sure our buildings are in the best condition possible to maintain a positive learning environment.

We often receive compliments from visitors who are in our buildings for a number of reasons who are impressed with the cleanliness and the condition in which we keep our buildings.

Jim Slater

Maintenance director, Genoa-Kingston School District 424

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