$198K contract for Batavia school superintendent
Batavia school Superintendent Lisa Hichens got a raise Tuesday as part of a new, four-year contract.
The board voted 5-2 to approve the pact that will pay her $198,918 a year, starting July 1. Her current salary is $194,827, according to the district.
She will receive raises of 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent in each year of the contract. The raises are tied to the rate of inflation, as defined in the Consumer Price Index.
The contract was part of a packaged vote approving salaries for other administrators and non-unionized employees. It also included contracts for tuition reimbursement for two administrators seeking graduate degrees.
Board members Jon Gaspar and John Dryden opposed the deal.
Only one member of the public spoke about the raises.
"I fail to see the justification for raising administrator salaries," said Nikki Rousseau. She said the district is top-heavy and it isn't right for the board to raise administrators' salaries while saying it doesn't have money for various programs and building improvements -- especially as the number of students is decreasing.
She said the pay increases also mean increases in pension payments the district makes on behalf of administrators and ultimately will result in higher pension payouts.
Hichens will receive 25 vacation days, an increase of five. The district will pay her contribution to the Teacher Retirement System pension and 100 percent of her health-insurance premium.
Hichens has been superintendent since 2013.
Hichens said the district has cut its number of administrators from 39 in 2015 to 33.
Dryden wanted the tuition-reimbursement deals to require the administrators to stay with the district for a longer time. And he said the community has long-perceived the district has too many administrators.
With 371 teachers in 2017, he said, it works out to about one administrator per 9.5 teachers.
"Maybe going forward we ought to ask ourselves, 'What is the proper ratio?'" Dryden said.