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updated: 10/13/2011 4:30 PM

Survey: District 26 administrators underpaid

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An administrative review of the Cary Elementary District 26 central office revealed what district leaders expected: Employees are working longer hours with less help and for less money than their peers in other districts.

Superintendent Brian Coleman presented the results of the administrative analysis during this week's board of education meeting.

The analysis used statistics from nine school districts within McHenry County, including Huntley Area District 158, Crystal Lake Area Elementary District 47 and Fox River Grove Elementary District 3, and five from outside the county as benchmark districts. District 26 also used state averages for comparison.

According to the survey, District 26 has among the lowest average administrator salaries. The average administrator salary of just less than $100,000 is the fourth lowest of the 15 districts surveyed.

The salaries all fall below the state average and the McHenry County elementary district average.

Furthermore, District 26 has among the highest number of students per administrator and one of the lowest administrative costs per student. Administrative expenses have been reduced by 25 percent in the last three years.

In addition, a survey of central office staff found that morale is low with staff working anywhere from one to 30 hours extra each week to complete work.

"Staff members are working extremely hard and putting in hours beyond the normal work day to complete their duties" Coleman said. "Like many employees during this difficult financial time, everyone is working longer with less help."

Recommendations and cost savings include hiring dedicated administrative assistants for the finance director, board of education and superintendent. Cost savings could also be found in reducing paper usage, closing the administrative center during winter and spring breaks and implementing summer hours through working four, 10-hour days and closing the office Fridays to save on the cost of utilities.

"The district will determine the feasibility of the recommendations and potential savings and use the report data and measurements moving forward in our continued evaluation to live within our financial means," Coleman said.

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