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updated: 5/13/2014 9:09 AM

Kaneland board approves support, administrative staff raises

Kaneland support staff, administrators get 2.7 percent hike

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Some Kaneland school administrators and educational support staff workers will get 2.7 percent raises in the 2014-15 budget.

The school board approved the raises Monday evening.

The raises for support staff workers will cost the district an additional $147,114. The support staff includes food, clerical, health services, maintenance, therapy, hall monitoring, classroom assistance, technology and transportation workers. More than 200 employees are affected.

The raises also apply to contracts for 20 administrative positions: principals, assistant superintendents, the educational services director, assistant principals, the athletic director and the director and assistant director of the Fox Valley Career Center.

It does not apply to Superintendent Jeff Schuler.

The administrative raises add $28,387 to the district's costs.

Board member Veronica Bruhl asked why Schuler was recommending 2.7 percent raises, above the rate of inflation as determined by the Consumer Price Index. The last four years, she said, the district set a precedent of raising pay by less than the CPI, including two years where pay was not increased at all.

"Candidly, it was a little bit of catching up," Schuler said.

Schuler based his recommendation on projected revenue available to the district, the district's performance in meeting goals set in its strategic plan and the annual Plan of Work, and an analysis of data about pay and employee retention locally.

The board also raised the student-worker pay rates for summertime and technology positions by 25 cents an hour.

In other business

• The board elected officers for the next year. Cheryl Krauspe was re-elected as president, with six "yes" votes. Tony Valente abstained. Valente was the only "no" vote against making Teresa Witt the vice president.

• The board changed the way it handles some of the transportation for special-education students, choosing to sign a contract with one company rather than purchasing services from three vendors. Illinois Central School Bus was the winning vendor, at a total estimated annual cost of $911,111. The district expects to save about $200,000, according to a report by Julie-Ann Fuchs, assistant superintendent for business.

• Valente and Witt voted against proposed changes in the student handbooks, because both think the district should stop automatically including class lists and families' names, email addresses and telephone numbers in school directories that are distributed to families. Instead, people should be asked if they want to be included, both said. Bruhl disagreed, noting many parents use the directories to contact other parents to arrange play dates and for sending party invitations.

"The privacy issue has to trump birthday parties," Witt said.

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