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posted: 5/15/2012 6:01 PM

District 73 administrators won't get salary increases

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It's not exactly a salary freeze but administrators in Hawthorn Elementary District 73 won't see their net take-home pay increase next year.

Thirteen administrators, who are covered under individual one-year contracts, will receive an additional $1,750 but no increase in their base salaries for next year.

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The unanimous action Monday by the school board ended a discussion of potential raises for administrators in the Vernon Hills-based district that began a few weeks ago. Possibilities included a range from zero to 3.9 percent, the latter in line with what teachers will receive next year.

A middle ground figure of 2 percent was selected as a starting point but that was not dropped. Instead, the board decided $1,750 would cover rising insurance costs and taxes on the payment to individual administrators.

"What the big key is is insurance costs are going up," said board President Tim Shanahan. "If you freeze them, they lose money."

The payments to the administrators will cost the district $22,750. Teachers are under contract for three more years.

"Freezing administrative salaries is not an unreasonable or uncommon action to take," board member Julie Weller said during a discussion Monday before the vote. She said the lack of administration raises shows everyone is sharing in the burden to reduce costs.

In March, the board released 31 instructional assistants to save $675,000, part of moves to trim expenses or find additional revenues totaling about $1 million to balance the budget for 2012-13.

Weller said incoming superintendent Nicholas G. Brown, who takes over the top spot at Hawthorn on July 1, had his salary frozen for the 2011-12 school year at the Porter Township School Corporation in Indiana.

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