School Board Member Robin Brekken responds to Dan Wolpert's recent blog post.
The information on the document below this letter represents 31 school districts in the Northwest District of Minnesota. It covers the contract years of 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.
An explanation of the columns follows. Explanations will be from left to right. .
• FTE’s......This stands for Full Time Equivalent. 1 FTE would represent teacher.
• Total Package......Total cost to the School District of the Salary and Benefit settlement for the Contract period, which in this case is 2 years.
• Salary......Total cost to the School District for the salary portion of the settlement. These are new monies and would include steps and lanes.
• Benefits......Total cost to the School District for the benefit portion of the settlement. These costs would include Healthcare,TRA and FICA.
The information to this point addresses the increase in the 2-year settlement. The information following from here represents the total cost per FTE the second year of the contract.
• Total package......Total average cost to the School District per FTE for the salary and benefit package in the second year of the contract.
• Salary......Total average cost of salary per FTE in the second year of the agreement. This would include steps and lanes.
• Benefits......Total average cost to the School District per FTE in the second year of the Contract. This would include healthcare,TRA and FICA.
• Average Step......This is a measure of experience. All the teachers and the step they are on added up and divided by the number of teachers to get an average.
• Average Lane......This is a measure of College preparation. The average level of Educational Degree of every Teacher divided by the number of teachers to get an average. Salary scale increases with every advancement in lanes.
This information is being brought to you as a response to an article written recently by Mr. Dan Wolpert (in his blog at crookstontimes.com and in print edition of the Crookston Daily Times on Thursday, Dec. 5) in which he made the following statements:
"As an outside member of the public, I cannot draw any significant conclusions from Superintendent Bates’ survey. Anyone who’s ever dealt with employment knows that one particular benefit is only part of a total employment package. Perhaps those other districts have higher base salaries. Perhaps those teachers have other benefits that ours don’t. I don’t know, and, as far as I can tell, this information hasn’t been collected."
Those are just some of the comments from Mr. Wolpert’s article. I’m happy to inform you, Mr. Wolpert, that this type of data has been collected. I am also happy to bring it forward for your review, as well as the review of the taxpayers and residents of the Crookston School District.