Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Guess Who Might Get a Raise AND an Extension of Contract?

Yup, Superintendent Nyland.

Here's the BAR about this from the Board agenda.  This is an Intro item with a vote at the next Board meeting in two weeks.

They propose a 5% raise (based on COLA and other management raises) which would raise his BASE pay to over $289K.  And they propose extending his contract to June 2018 (it is currently 2017.)

This action creates no additional contractual obligations for the District beyond one year because the Employment Agreement continues to contain a one-year termination clause. 

Unfortunately, there is NO data - no Board review, no State of the District report and no District Scorecard - for us to see just why this should be.  Just the idea that doing this will keep a "quality" superintendent.  

This is baffling because it was Nyland himself who said he did not (actually he said his wife did not) want anything beyond three years. He was in semi-retirement when he came on-board.

What we DO know is that it was Nyland's leadership that lead to a teachers strike that many, many parents supported (in a very visible way that the public could see.)

What we DO know is that Deputy Superintendent Charles Wright came to the Board in the spring, asking about $1M for a consultant because "we can't get our arms around operations."

What we DO know is that Sped is still in disarray (despite on the many checkmarks off the OSPI list),   that staff just bungled the Student Assignment Plan, that there were more staff adjustments at more schools than in almost any other year and that the status of Advanced Learning is hazy.

What we DO know is that, despite a successful pilot program at Rainier Beach High School that found that giving students within the 2-mile walk zone ORCA produced more students in school and doing better, the district has no dollars to continue that program.

And, we all know that the district can't get the clocks to run on-time at either JSCEE or in some of the school buildings.

I am gobsmacked.  Schools have to make do.  Schools have to do more with less.  Can't have two tiers for Transportation because there is not enough money.  Can't do basic maintenance because there is not enough money.

But there is money in the district coffers for a raise for someone who already makes more than the Governor of this state.


SF said...

No no no and hell no. This just sealed my no vote on the levy. This is insanity. Truly.

GarfieldMom said...

This is not justifiable. Not in any way, shape, or form. The superintendent has done nothing to merit a raise in the short time he has been here. Rearranging org charts and hiring more staff in central admin are not accomplishments. I'm not even going to talk about all the negative things that have happened under his watch, I think everyone here knows.

In background information from the motion:

Additionally, the Superintendent’s Employment Agreement provides for an annual salary of $276,075.00, which the Board must review annually to determine whether or not to increase this base salary amount. The Board benchmarked his salary with salaries for other superintendents in Washington State and with peer school districts, such as Boston, San Francisco, and Portland. The District is the largest school district in the State of Washington and the Board has targeted this position to be the highest paid K-12 superintendent position in the State.

First, the Superintendent is already the highest compensated K-12 superintendent in the state. The only superintendent who received higher PAY last year was Bellingham's super, who received a $75K bonus for staying with his district for five years. His BASE salary is still below Nyland's current salary. Nyland's current compensation package is $276,075 salary, $8400 car allowance, $24K to his retirement annuity, about $9-10K in benefits (going by Banda's benefits -- Nyland is not yet showing up in the salary databases at either the Kitsap Sun or the Spokesman-Review, so I don't have an exact number), for a total of around $318K in compensation. So unless some other district has given their superintendent a massive raise this year, no other super in WA is making more.

(cont. next comment)

GarfieldMom said...

Second, comparing Nyland to the other districts mentioned:

Boston Super: $257K/year, five year contract; district enrollment 57,592; cost of living 8% higher than Seattle
Portland Super: $247K/year, has been there 7 years (twice the average tenure), given large raise last year in part due to length of tenure, plus more than 10% increase in graduation rate, increasing enrollment, and passage of a levy/bond; previous raises during that 7 years = $3800 total; district enrollment 48,098; cost of living 1.36% lower than Seattle
San Francisco Super: $310K/year (received a 27% raise this year with signing of new 3-yr contract); district enrollment 57,000; cost of living 25% higher than Seattle

Past practice of the Board has been to target a salary increase for the Superintendent that reflects a weighted average of District employees represented by bargaining units and non-represented employees. This year the weighted average increase for all employee groups was 5.8%. After looking at the amount budgeted for non-represented salary increases for 2015-16 (5%), a salary increase of 5% is being recommended because it avoids impacting other funding objectives, including impacts to classrooms. The Board also considered the Cost of Living Adjustment (“COLA”) allocated to the District by the State, which was 3%. This would provide a base salary of $289,878.75.

What does the statement "a salary increase of 5% is being recommended because it avoids impacting other funding objectives, including impacts to classrooms" mean? $13,803.75 is the amount his salary would go up. Chump change in the district budget for sure, possibly even chump change to Nyland. Is there anyone here who doesn't know what their school could do with $13,803.75? That's more than many PTAs are able to raise for their schools at all. Hey, that's almost one full month of ORCA cards for every student at Rainier Beach High School. To give a person currently making almost 1/3 of a million dollars a year including a $700/month car allowance a raise when we have students trying to get an education who have to walk miles to and from school through dangerous neighborhoods to attend their already underfunded school is not acceptable. Not acceptable! NOT. ACCEPTABLE.

Anonymous said...

Marty McLaren's loss in the polls is a referendum on the superintendent's job performance. Her complete and utter failure to recognize the public's deep dissatisfaction with the superintendent cost her the election which was hers for the taking.

Seriously. He made teachers strike, (and disrupted thousands of students' lives)... over recess! That pretty much says it all.


Anonymous said...

I second what SF said, this solidifies my resolve to vote no on the 2016 levy. It'll be the first time I have ever voted no on a school levy but I am tired of supporting a toxic central administration.

-SPS Parent

SPS Mom said...

Does anyone else see that all references to having the evaluation done before the contract is renegotiated have been removed from the BAR? This looks like he gets the extension and the raise before the negotiation!

Anonymous said...

Ugh. What is the email for the whole board again? Gotta send a message asking them not to approve this as lame ducks. Maybe I can recruit a couple of friends to join in...

Scrawny Kayaker

Anonymous said...

Governor Inslee donated his raise to the schools in May. Whose idea was it to propose a raise for Nyland, and, he still has a choice to give it back, if he has any morals.


Anonymous said...

Oops, now I see it in the frame! I'ma plead "too early."

Scrawny Kayaker

SPS Mom said...

Oops, I meant he gets the contract negotiation (extension and raise) before the evaluation.

GHS staff member said...

OMG. I would like to say I'm shocked but with how this Board has operated I guess I am left feeling disappointed - again - but not surprised. After our contract negotiations and some of the shenanigans that went on at the table (with Nyland behind it) I am even MORE sad at the state of our district. Been in education for 25 years and have never wanted so badly to be part of a vote of no confidence. Nyland is so out of touch (as are his minions) that I wonder where SPS can go from here - certainly not up. There are a lot of great people who work at the district office but at the top level there is just dumb and dumber. No....actually they are very smart, they just don't seems to know what is going on at the building levels - nor do they care.

Anonymous said...

@SPS Mom - he had the evaluation on Monday.

As to a raise - no no no no no. They can extend the contract for "stability" if they want, though I disagree with their reasoning, but NO RAISE.

The BAR says this on why they should vote against extending:
This is not recommended because the Board is granting this extension based on
the Superintendent’s performance and historically an extension has been granted when the Superintendent’s performance matches the Board’s expectation.

They have a pretty low level of expectation frankly.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Garfield Mom, one correction. You are right about the amount that Nyland earns in a year but he is not working a full year. I believe he has about 6 weeks vacation/sick days.

Write to: SPSdirectors@seattleschools.org

Scrawy, maybe the Superintendent will have the good grace at tomorrow's State of the district speech and donate any raise back to the district.

If they give him the raise, I would say a vote of no confidence is in order.

Anonymous said...

Is there a pressing need to extend Mr. Nyland's contract prior to the newly elected board members taking office?

The Board grants extensions based on the Superintendent’s performance and historically an extension has been granted when the Superintendent’s performance matches the Board’s expectation.

And historically lame duck politicians have done lots of screwy things right before leaving office, so extending Mr. Nyland's contract would fit right in.

-- Dan Dempsey

Jet City mom said...

I know my memory can be spotty, but it seems like this is an ongoing issue, for the outgoing board to make changes that should wait for the newly elected board.
It's as if board members are in a hole facing downward & swearing that they are facing forward as they dig.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Melissa Westbrook said...

Anonymous, first of all, do read our comment policy before you comment. We do not accept the name, "anonymous." But I'll reprint your comment because it needs some comments of its own.

"I am extremely disappointed at the level of finger pointing and hostility directed at the Superintendent, who stepped into a dysfunctional District and has done a decent job under trying circumstances since arriving. The Superintendent is not solely responsible for the Teacher's strike. Any objective observer would recognize there is plenty of blame to go around, including but not limited to ongoing state funding shortfalls, several years of little or no Teacher pay raises (prior to the Superintendent's tenure) and SEA's unrealistic expectation that all of the past year’s pay raises would be made up all at once. The fact is the SEA was hell bent on going out last spring, long before they met with the District for 20 negotiating sessions last summer. It should come as no surprise that a large number of families left the District as the economy improves and the Teacher’s demanded significantly more than was available. Laying the entire blame on the Superintendent for the families that left during all the vitriol and acrimony is unsubstantiated conjecture. The only intervening variable since last year (when there were no large reassignments) was the strike. The Superintendent had the Board’s authority to declare the strike illegal and take legal action but exercised restraint and good judgment by conducting good faith negotiations to resolve the strike. The Board is recommending a modest raise clearly to stabilize the District, nothing more, nothing less. Shouldn't we be focused on the positive developments (Rainier Beach's improvements were not due to ORCA cards, they were due to better instruction, rigorous curriculum, higher expectations and a tremendous effort from the students and staff) The Superintendent is not responsible for Common Core or the standardized testing either. Everyone knows that Common Core is Arne Duncan and President Obama's plan. Very unfortunate that so many have short memories about the District's recent Superintendents, who left the District in disarray for others to clean up, not to mention all the qualified Superintendent candidates over the past decade who withdrew from consideration after they witnessed all the micro-managing and unrealistic expectations. Let’s focus on the big picture issues and resist the urge to question, doubt and micro-manage every issue within the District. Let's remain supportive towards the Districts recent improvements and maintain a positive approach towards the work that remains. We have fresh blood on the Board that needs our encouragement and support, not time consuming negative suggestions that are divisive to the Board and the District."

Melissa Westbrook said...

1) the district is NOT dysfunctional. The management is. That has always been the case.

2) the Superintendent has, by your own account, done a "decent" job. That doesn't merit a raise.

3) The Superintendent is not solely responsible for the strike and no one said he was but yes, he's the top guy so these issues do fall into his accountability review.

4) "The fact is the SEA was hell bent on going out last spring,..." and you know this fact how?

5) I know no one who blames the Superintendent for students who left the district. I never said that. Who did?

6) How does a raise stabilize the district? The extension, maybe, but the raise? He is incredibly well-paid.

7) The pilot for ORCA cards at RBHS is documented to have had more kids at school and doing better. It is not the sole reason (and again, no one said that) but it seems a worthy investment.

8) No the Super is not responsible for CC but yes, he is responsible for the number of assessments in SPS. Actually Common Core is Bill Gates' bought and paid for plan, not Obama's or Duncan's.

9) No, I remember very well all the superintendents who have come and gone but Nyland has cleaned up nothing. He just picked up where Banda left off. He's like a shadow that moves around but leaves no trace.

Wait for it and there you go with the "micromanage." That certainly didn't take long.

It is not divisive to suggest that it is ill-timed and wrong to give a raise to the highest paid person in SPS during austere times.

Anonymous said...

The rest of middle management got the first raise in 6 years. We were promised 3.5% and ended up getting 2.9% after the board pulled the 0.5% promised last year. We had furloughs and then was told by not continuing the furloughs it could be considered a raise. We actually are the boots on the ground trying to execute things and seeing the raise for the superintendent on top of the salaries of the associates, assistant and chief superintendents, wow
Old timer

ConcernedSPSParent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ConcernedSPSParent said...

"The Superintendent had the Board’s authority to declare the strike illegal". He can declare it a unicorn if he wants; only a judge can declare it illegal based on actual harm being done to students.

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely unconscionable that the Superintendent would get a raise or a contract extension.

What has he achieved?

-Truly dumbfounded

TechyMom said...

What recent improvements? In the 7 years I've been involved with the district, it has gotten steadily worse.

Anonymous said...

How surprising that someone should chime in that Supt. Nyland shouldn't be "micromanaged"
I hope everyone commenting against this proposal has written the Board and let them know their thoughts. (though that anonymous comment sounds suspiciously like one of the Board members...hmmm...)

I can see wanting the continuity. I can not see the raise. Its not warranted or earned and there are sooooo many other places where funds would be better spent. It's not like Dr. Nyland will go hungry over that missing 5%


Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous (reposted by Melissa):

"Micro-manage"? When the Superintendent can't even adhere to basic policies like submitting reviews of education programs annually?

Give me strength.


Jet City mom said...

In the 32 years since we moved to Seattle, Ive seen highly in demand alternative programs that should have been replicated: moved around, decimated & even closed. Ive seen it go from a district that had principals who were familar with the community and what they wanted and needed, to a district where principals seem to be viewed as interchangable and when they have been moved from school to school and still can't find a fit, they are moved into administration.

I'm not saying it was perfect, I can't think of any superintendent that I would have hired myself. Popular schools had long waitlists which did not move till October, and I couldn't rationalize disrupting my kids a month or two into the school year. In the long run. it may have been better if I had, and even better if we had stayed in the suburbs, as hard as that is for me to admit.

Kids with special needs, including " twice gifted", are especially sensitive to disruption, and I am consistently appalled at the way that the district moves kids around, who happen to have IEPs, whenever they need space for more desirable( less costly) students, or need butts in seats.

We need more buy in from( and consideration for) families and the extended community for schools to take their rightful place as the center of neighborhoods.
But the more layers between the superientendent and the schools/families, the farther away they get from accountabilty and what students need to be prepared for making a meaningful life.

If I was designing this city, I would insure there was low income/affordable housing in all neighborhoods, because the amount of money that special grants and benefactors throw at an impoverished school, rarely make up for a school which has the luxury of involved parents and members of the extended community.

Anonymous said...

The usual blackmail from the KoolAid drinkers on the board. "We can't - not - give a raise or we won't retain talent." If the governor donated his raise then it's time to shame the shameless. My kid's teacher gave up ------ so Larry Nyland could have a raise. My kid's class of 35 goes without ------ so Larry can have his raise.


berlee said...

wait- he's not annually submitting reviews of programs and is probably getting a raise yet just forced resignation of a long time beloved principal for being late with teacher evals (i believe due to a stolen laptop snafu)??

Anonymous said...

Of course no one else wants to be the Superintendent for Seattle Schools. There must be more problems than just this position.


Anonymous said...

@Jet City mom: Winner-winner chicken dinner! Spoken like a true veteran of SPS.

I look at the SI's review this way: We'll let you keep this 300k per year job, without any raises, if you can meet these targets.

Do not tell me we can't find a competent SI for 225k per year, plus performance bonuses (so long as we aren't looking in the Broad Institute).

The cynical apathy and resignation that we must continue to pay more and more for less and less, is ridiculous. We are literally at a point where an SI gets paid a king's ransom just to not do anything horrible or destructive, and raises are essentially automatic versus performance-based. The entitlement is almost as bad as the blackmail. So, so wrong.


cmj said...

Here's my interpretation: the salary and the raise have nothing to do with money. Nyland doesn't want a raise (he's promised to give only half of it back to the schools) because he has a use for the money. What's he going to do with it? Eat caviar every night? He wants the high salary and the raise because it's a status symbol. It doesn't matter how much he makes -- a good deal of it will sit untouched in a bank account for the rest of his life -- just as long as he's making more than other supes. It's just a matter of keeping up with the Jones's.

We don't need to spend $300K/yr to fuel the superintendent's ego -- especially when he's not particularly good at the job and classrooms could really use the money.

GarfieldMom said...

He's already making more than all the other supes in Washington, and he exceeds the salaries of the peer districts they benchmarked against too -- two in real dollars, and one after taking into account cost of living difference. With this raise, his total compensation will be about $332K. If he were to continue getting 5% raises each year (and if Marty McLaren hadn't crashed and burned in her reelection campaign, I think she would be first in line to give those kind of raises to him), by the end of his contract he would be making $319K in base salary, for total compensation of $361K/year. I hope they are giving thought to the precedent they are setting if they give a significant raise like this for seemingly just doing his job. What happens if he blows expectations out of the water in the next year? Are they going to feel like they have to give him an even higher % raise due to merit? (Hypothetical, I hope, because I don't think our new board members are going to be quite so cavalier about spending district money without a really solid and defensible reason.)

Anonymous said...

So at the board meeting tonight, did he get the raise?


GarfieldMom said...

Appalled, tonight was the intro of the item, it gets voted on at the next regular meeting on November 18.

Elephant's Memory said...

Nyland's record:

1. First teachers strike in 28 years.
2. Nyland threatened Nathan Hale teachers- not with loss of job- but with loss
of teaching certificates.
3. Forced the firing of an experienced, visionary and well liked principal.
4. Allowed the closing of Middle College; a school that served homeless. Students
were to be transported to the other end of Seattle-or into a large comprehensive
high school.
5. But for community out-cry, we would have seen enormous changes to program
placement and uncertain pathways under the proposed student assignment plan.
6**** We saw the district attempt to dismantle Creative Approach Schools during
collective bargaining agreement. There was no public notification.

Nyland's history has been one that lacks transparency, and not been supportive of teachers.

Anonymous said...

The most regressive relationship with social education advocates in recent history. In fact, there is no relationship. Not that he'd notice.

Add this to the nyland profile.


Anonymous said...

Oops, special, not social, ed advocates!


Ed said...

Hey Old Timer

You non-rep management types get unfunded "market adjustments" on a rotating basis with @1/3 of you benefitting every year. Don't give us that "6 years" stuff.

Melissa has the lists. Give her your name and she can call out your adjustments.

who are you trying to kid?

Catherine said...

"7) The pilot for ORCA cards at RBHS is documented to have had more kids at school and doing better. It is not the sole reason (and again, no one said that) but it seems a worthy investment."

Actually Mike O'Brien did claim this - twice. Once at the SEA endorsement meeting, and once at the Greenwood Candidate Forum.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Interesting, Catherine. Wonder why he said that.