FWCS Superintendent Gets $20,500 Raise/Bonus

By John W. Davis

September 26, 2011 Updated Sep 26, 2011 at 11:22 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson will receive a pay raise for the 2011-2012 school year.

The Fort Wayne Community Schools Board approved a $20,500 pay increase for FWCS Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson.

Dr. Robinson's total salary including retirement benefits was $194,500 for the 2010-2011 school year.

Her base salary which was 174,500 was raised to $180,000.

Her retirement benefits will remain $20,000 a year.

Dr. Robinson was also awarded a $15,000 performance bonus for recent district-wide academic improvement.

The board approved the raise/bonus by a vote of 6 to 1.

At-Large Board Member Lisa Olinger was the only "no" vote.

FWCS hired an outside lawyer to head up Dr. Robinson's evaluation process.

That lawyer found that even though FWCS is the second largest school district in Indiana, Dr. Robinson's pay was the eighth highest in the state.

He concluded that in comparison Robinson's salary should have been between $212,000 to $226,000.

Meanwhile, Indiana's NewsCenter asked FWCS Board President Mark GiaQuinta to justify Dr. Robinson's pay raise to our viewers.

"You get what you pay for. If you're going to pay at the bottom of the pay scale, then you're gonna get people who are willing to take the job at the bottom of the pay scale," explained Fort Wayne Community Schools Board President Mark GiaQuinta.

"We have somebody who is performing at the top of the pay scale but being paid at the bottom. And so while we're not gonna move her up to the top, we need to move the payment for this position up sufficiently so that when we go out and look for a superintendent, we get the kinda leader she (Dr. Wendy Robinson) has been," justified GiaQuinta.

"I think the most important part for me is that there is data to backup, that there are targets to be meet," Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson.

"That there's an expectation upfront of what the board expects from a Superintendent," continued Robinson.

"So I applaud them for starting that process and I think it is one that will last, hopefully for the next couple of decades," Robinson added.

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Meanwhile, Fort Wayne Community Schools presented their 2012 budget.

The budget calls for $9 million in savings/cuts.

$4 million is expected to come from the districts' move to a new health care coverage plan for all employees.

On January 1, 2012, teachers and other staff members will have the option to choose a higher premium option, a lower premium/higher deductible option or a high deductible plan with a health savings account.

The health savings account option would save the district the most money.

Other cuts will come from the Capital Projects, Transportation and Racial Balance Fund.

FWCS said cuts in those areas were necessary because of a $6 million loss in property taxes due to the circuit breaker tax caps.

District leaders said they plan to eliminate high school conflict mediators and reduce the amount of money they have to spend on facility repairs and improvements.

FWCS leaders pointed out that the district is among the high in the state when it comes to money spent in the classroom.

According to FWCS, during the 2009-2010 school year, the district spent 71% of its budget in the classroom, compared to the state average of less than 59%.

District leaders said their declining budget from $274 million to $265 million means that homeowners will pay lower property taxes.

The owner of a $100,000 home will pay an estimated $286 dollars in property taxes to Fort Wayne Community Schools before tax credits.

Last year, the owner of an $100,000 home paid about $295 dollars.

A public hearing on the FWCS 2012 budget will be held Monday, October 10 at the Grile Administrative Center on 1200 South Clinton Street in Fort Wayne.

The FWCS Board is expected to vote on the plan on Monday, October 24.




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