TORRINGTON – District Superintendent Ray Schulte does not have the full support of the Goshen County School Board.
Lance Berry and Jeff McClun each voted against Schulte’s pay hike of $650 on Tuesday night that brings his annual salary to $133,906 for the 2012-2013 school year.
Board members met in executive session for about 50 minutes to discuss Schulte’s upcoming salary and other issues.
Vice Chairman Charlie Harshberger reconvened the board meeting and the motion to approve Schulte’s salary as presented passed 5-2. Chairman Rob Branham and board member Linda Kessler were not present.
“With two schools in Annual Yearly Progress trouble, I don’t feel I can support this,” Berry said. Lincoln and Trail Elementary schools in Torrington have not met AYP the last two years.
No other comments were made on the issue at the meeting.
McClun discussed his vote on Wednesday. Berry could not be reached for additional comment.
“I have two concerns,” McClun said. “I don’t think the superintendent is doing as good as a job as he needs to. That and I thought (the salary) was too high.”
McClun also questioned Schulte’s working relationship with teachers.
“There is a lot of bad morale with teachers,” he said, adding that this attitude extends from teachers to administrators and on up to the superintendent.
“That’s the feeling I get from teachers,” McClun said. “Teachers are very reluctant to say anything because their jobs would be on the line.”
McClun also said Schulte is not very open to parents’ concerns.
“I think we could put somebody else in there who could do a better job,” McClun said.
Schulte will begin his seventh year here as superintendent.
The board previously voted to approve Schulte’s contract for next year last December. McClun and Berry each voted no.
“They’re going to say it has to do with school performance,” Schulte said on Wednesday.
Despite casting two votes against Schulte, McClun said it won’t impede their working relationship.
“You always need to be able to work with (the superintendent) no matter who it is,” he said.
In other board action:
Class-size limits and student transfers continue to be an issue. The board briefly discussed both subjects at Tuesday night’s special board meeting.
Current district policy dictates that students are expected to attend school in their own designated attendance center. But Schulte said parents have been able to choose another school if they provide the transportation and there’s room in the receiving school.
“We give them an option if they want to go elsewhere,” Schulte said.
In the last two years, parents of students at Lincoln and Trail have been able to choose other schools with the district providing transportation since those schools have not met AYP.
“We haven’t really regulated class sizes,” Schulte said. “We use 20. The state uses 16. Twenty seems a pretty full class. Now we’re going to try and put a number to it. Doesn’t matter what other circumstances are involved.”
“It seems like it’s easy to resolve until you start looking at it.”
Schulte said Lingle-Fort Laramie kindergarten had 24 students last year.
“We worked through it,” he said.
Other grade levels in the district have also exceeded 20 students at times. Among the possible guidelines under consideration is one that would allow classes to exceed the target class size by 20 percent it that option is deemed more desirable than adding a section.
Schulte said another concern are class sizes of 10 or students or fewer.
“Do you put that class with another grade?” he asked the board.
“We can’t operate in a vacuum with finances,” Schulte said. “Again it’s a complicated matter.”
“At some point we have to discuss what we’ll do as a board,” said board member Linda Meyer.
A public work session will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 10 to discuss proposed class-size limits and student transfers as well as student attendance.
The public is welcome to attend the board’s work session at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 10 in the GCSD Administration Building at 2602 West E St.
The board approved contracts for the 2012-2013 school year for Kelly Glass as district assistant superintendent and Bobby Dishman as assistant principal and athletic director at Torrington High School. Glass is the director of curriculum and assessment at Laurel Public Schools in Great Falls, Mont. She will begin work here on July 9. Dishman moves here from Omaha, Neb., and will begin work on Aug. 1.
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