The Northport-East Northport Board of Education is taking a hard look at extra pay for teachers who supervise clubs and extracurricular activities. Interim Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Dr. Thomas Caramore was recently charged with the task of parsing out the system.
"The District has a large investment in the clubs," he said, "and in the past these recommendations came in over the beginning of the school year through most of the school year. What the Board asked me to do was to condense everything so they get it earlier in the year."
He gave a detailed report, called a Schedule D, to the Board members at Monday's BOE meeting listing the different clubs by building, by individual, and by amount with the intent to analyze which clubs are most effective. "We're going to do a mid-year evaluation of numbers of students and whether we would recommend clubs to continue or not," he said, adding that the numbers will also be used for budgeting purposes in the spring.
Trustee Jennifer Thompson asked about the evaluation process for teachers who were paid extra for supervising clubs, saying that additional salary could add up to $23,000 a year. Caramore replied that there is no formal evaluation process, though teachers are required to keep time logs and submit student participation numbers once a year.
"Generally teachers who have these assignments keep them year to year," said Caramore. "Clubs are reevaluated annually depending on participation and student interest as well as how the club fares in comparison to other clubs."
Trustee Joe Sabia pointed out his concerns over the Schedule D report and questioned why a student activity treasurer is being paid $7,600.
"That rate was in existence in the past," replied Caramore. "There is a formula that they work in the range of 50-70 hours. I can't tell you that's actually happening, but that is the expectation."
"That would be more than a $100 an hour," replied Sabia, "that's quite a lot of money."
Sabia also pointed out that measures should be put in place to prevent redundancies. "Coaches being paid extra for serving as athletic coordinators? It almost seems like we're double-dipping the taxpayer for the same job."
Caramore said that extra pay for most clubs is determined by negotiations with the teachers union and that he hopes to work with the United Teachers of Northport to standardize some of the rates by next year.
"It's split almost evenly," he said, "clubs that are in the contract and outside of it. It's also inconsistent from building to building in terms of the hours. It's possible that there are a certain number of hours, and therefore payment, from the club, that may be different from another building. Those are things that I want to look at this year to try to standardize to some extent."
Trustee Tammie Topel voted against the Schedule D, saying that she needed more information. "More clarity gives us more questions for sure," said Topel. Sabia also voted against the Schedule D, saying that his main objection was that a coach was being paid extra to serve as an athletic coordinator.
"The Board is charging Mr. Caramore with continuing to review these," said Board President Stephen Waldenberg. "Let's apply the funds, the hard earned monies that the public has agreed to, in the most appropriate way so we're not squandering money in the wrong area and then not being able to provide clubs that more children could take advantage of."