Superintendent Explains Controversial Pay Raise, Proposes Additional Cuts
Another $166,000 in cuts was proposed at last night's school board meeting.
Nazareth schools superintendent Victor Lesky wanted to make at least one thing clear at last night’s school board meeting: All employees -- about 500 individuals -- were asked to take a zero percent increase for the coming school year.
Lesky had stated at the April 11 meeting that about 22 administrators offered to lower their pay raises to 1.7 percent from 3.75 percent. It was noted last night that there are 27 administrators in the district.
After a resident, who refused to re-state his name for Patch, pointed out an opinion piece from the Express-Times website, Lesky corrected his statement from the previous meeting.
“Maybe I wasn’t clear enough in what I said at the last meeting,” Lesky said. “The administrators were the only ones who offered to come in at zero. Yes, they’re willing to accept [a] 1.7 percent [raise], but they’re also willing to accept zero percent, but only if others are willing to go along with them.”
The Nazareth Area Education Association and the Nazareth Area Educational Support Personnel Association has either offered Lesky no response, or responses the board did not deem credible, Lesky said at the April 11 meeting.
“I receive a salary that I do think is significant enough for what I do,” Lesky continued. “I got a zero percent increase last year and I’m intending to take a zero percent increase next year. And I’m OK with that.”
Lesky added that although the district must make hard cuts, it must be done in a “fiscally responsible” manner.
“If we don’t keep the education up, then there will be nobody moving here and there will be nobody here to purchase the services of the individuals,” he said. “… Three districts are recommended when businesses move into the valley … you’ve got to be very careful, because you can cut, cut, cut, but the revenue will dry up and so will the people moving here and the people supporting our businesses.”
In other business, Lesky and Bernadine Rishcoff, the board secretary, outlined more cuts at last night’s meeting.
Those cuts include:
- School Security Measures -- Four high school monitor positions will be cut and one middle school monitor’s hours will be cut to three hours, saving the district $100,000.
- Reducing two additional custodial staff members by attrition, which would save the district $120,000.
- Eliminating the Central Duplicating Center, which would save the district $54,000. All teachers would have to do their own duplicating, or copying.
On April 1, the district also received a revenue increase of $281,456 due to a combination of a real estate increase and a decrease in appeal loss, and from a collection increase and Edujobs dollars from 2010-2011.
The final budget will be presented at the May 16 meeting and will be voted on at the May 23 meeting.