Monday, June 30, 2014

New Post Dispatch Article Asking Why Fox C-6 Superintendent's Salary Nearly Doubled?

Today's St. Louis Post Dispatch has an article asking, "Why did Fox superintendent's salary nearly double?"

Below is a link to the article:

This is a question that I've been asking for quite some time but never received a response to. Perhaps if more people in the Fox C-6 community were asking this question the public would get a response.

Former Fox C-6 Superintendent Jim Chellew was quoted in the article as well as former Fox C-6 school board member Ruth Ann Newman.

Perhaps Superintendent Critchlow can write a check to the school district returning some of her pay increases like former superintendent Jim Chellew states that he did in the Post Dispatch article when he was superintendent.

There is a Fox C-6 school board meeting this evening at 5:30PM. If you plan to ask questions, you will need to turn in your Public Comments form prior to 5:15PM according to district rules. Also, you cannot mention any names or positions during your Public Comment or you will not be allowed to speak.

Perhaps the Public Comments rules need to be modified in order to keep our school board more informed about the public's concerns on administrative decisions.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Ideas For Recouping Taxpayer Dollars Due to the Latest Scandal

So, how can the Fox C-6 taxpayers recover some of the money paid out to the individuals involved in the latest scandal to hit our school district?

The Fox C-6 community seems to be a little more aware now as to how much Superintendent Dianne Critchlow and other Fox C-6 administrators have been getting paid with taxpayer dollars compared to other administrators across the state. Last year Fox had the 2nd highest average administrator salaries in the state of Missouri and Superintendent Critchlow was the 3rd highest paid superintendent in the state. Their salaries are set by the school board. Over the last several elections, the community has replaced 5 out of 7 of the long term board members. Current board president John Laughlin was just elected in 2011. He was the first to replace one of the long standing board members that was allowing administrative salaries to rise out of control.

Superintendent Critchlow's salary was certainly much more than it should have been. In fact, the first article I wrote on this blog was related to superintendent salaries back in November 2010. Superintendent Critchlow's salary wasn't well known to people in the community back then and probably wasn't well known until the news broke a couple of weeks ago about the latest scandal in our school district. She has been trying to keep her salary information low key for years. It was one of the reasons I received a Cease and Desist letter in August 2012. So, there wasn't much outcry over her salary until recently. But, now that people know what her salary has been, many seem to be pretty appalled by how high it is. That's why being transparent is important to keeping things in check by the community.

I wrote the article about superintendent salaries linked below in November 2010. It pointed out how the lack of transparency in school districts allows salaries to grow out of control. The article has links to copies of contracts from superintendents across the state of Missouri that you can compare.

One of the things that you'll notice in most superintendent contracts is that they have a Morality Clause. I noted in other articles that Superintendent Critchlow's contract did not have a morality clause in her contract. However, Fox's school board policy states that her contract must contain one. So, getting fired for conduct unbecoming is not a problem.

It appears that one of the big concerns being voiced by people in the Fox C-6 community is, how can our school district keep from continuing to pay out these big salaries and cut it's losses? I've expressed some of my ideas below to school board president John Laughlin. I hope that some of the ideas listed below can be accomplished.

Since retirement benefits for educators are paid out for life with Cost of Living Adjustments each year, it would be good to reduce the amount of retirement dollars being drawn by any Fox C-6 employees involved in the latest scandal from the Missouri Public School Retirement System (PSRS).

  • Make the firings of district employees involved retroactive to when their involvement in their bad behavior began.
  • Attempt to recover the matching 14.5% that taxpayers paid into their PSRS retirement benefits for them going back to the start of their involvement. (I doubt the district could recover what the employees contributed to their own retirement.)
  • Request that their retirement benefits calculation EXCLUDE the salary amounts for those years they were involved that are used to calculate their retirement benefits. (Missouri PSRS retirement benefits are calculated based on the 3 highest consecutive years of salary plus health insurance earned by the employee.) NOT including the last several years of high dollar salary into their retirement benefit calculations would help reduce the payouts from the PSRS system.
For more information on the Missouri Public School Retirement System:

There are more articles on the FoxC6Watchdogs blog related to retirement benefit calculations and payouts as well as transparency issues in our district that have led to their over the top salaries.

Please contact your school board members and provide feedback for helping our district weather this storm. It is your school district and your board members were elected to represent you.