Who is paid the most at Alachua County Public Schools?
Published: Saturday, August 10, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 10, 2013 at 7:53 p.m.
Alachua County Public Schools employees are getting a raise for the first time in five years.
The Alachua County Educators Association and the School Board of Alachua County are negotiating for the addition of about $6.4 million into the pay schedule for instructional and support staff. The two parties will come to an agreement by Sept. 15, ACEA President Karen McCann said Friday.
The money comes from both state funding and local money disbursed by the School Board, McCann said. It will equate to a raise, not a one-time bonus.
“It will be a very good thing, and it’s been a long-waited-for raise,” she said.
The highest-paid employee in the district remains Alachua County Schools Superintendent Dan Boyd, who earned $159,063 this year.
The next-highest paid was Chet Sanders, principal of the Professional Academies Magnet at Loften High School. He earned $96,630 during the 2012-13 school year.
After that were Jeff Charbonnet, principal of Eastside High School; Beth LeClear, principal of Santa Fe High School; and Vicente Perez, principal of Buchholz High School; with each earning $92,860.
Alachua County Public Schools employs about 3,000 people. The average salary in the district is $33,340.41.
The largest group of employees, 871, lies in the salary range between $30,000 and $39,999.
An additional 664 employees earn between $10,000 and $19,999 a year and are mainly custodians, bus drivers, school nurses, clerical assistants and food services staff.
The starting salary for a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree but no experience in Alachua County is $32,450. There were 31 teachers in that category last year.
Teachers receive automatic step increases each year, meaning that their salary increases each year they continue to teach in the district. After 25 years, however, pay does not increase.
McCann said it’s natural to see the largest numbers of teachers (not all employees) in the first three pay steps and at the 25-year-and-above step.
About half of all teachers leave the profession within five years, she said. “I really do think that the pay has a lot to do with it,” she said.
In her 30 years in education in Alachua County, McCann said this is the longest she has seen teachers go without a raise.
She said she has seen teachers go back to school to become nurses or take their teaching subject to the private sector in order to earn more money.
Whereas changing jobs could earn someone in the science, technology, engineering or math field a $15,000 raise, it would take a teacher more than 24 years to achieve the same salary increase.
“(Teaching is) a passion that you have,” McCann said. “And that’s what keeps people in it. But it’s certainly not the salary.”
Contact Erin Jester at 338-3166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.