Sup Says He Will Donate Half of Raise Back (Just for this Year)

New attachment to the BAR, Nyland's letter at end of attachments.

I am ceding my speaker time to Sarah Sense Wilson, a leader in the Native American parent community tonight but in my prepared remarks I stated I was puzzled.  Because weeks ago, one director had said that they wouldn't be considering any kind of raise/extension until AFTER the State of the District and the release of the District Scorecard.  Neither thing has happened.

SPS parents have to pay for basic supplies.

The district can't afford ORCA cards for RBHS students who truly want to be at school on time.

Maintenance can't even set the clocks in all the school to be on time.

Is anyone really impressed with his offer?  I'm not.


Anonymous said…
Wait. the "from" part on the BAR changed from Carr/Peters to Carr/Peaslee? but it says Director Peters everywhere else in the doc. So many things that get changed at last minute.

Stu said…
Wow, he's giving back half of the increase! That's $6902 right back into general fund. How are we ever going to find a way to spend that kind of money on schools? Hmm ... maybe an administrator needs a new desk.

Regardless of whether I think he's done a good job, I don't, or whether anything that's happened in the district says that he deserves a raise, it hasn't, or if there's more than enough to go around, there isn't, or even if comparing the Seattle schools to NYC and San Francisco is reasonable, I don't think it is, $289,878.75 is an insane BASE SALARY to be paying for someone who self-identified as a temporary (3-years-only) employee and refuses to hold anyone accountable.

I'm sure this is just ONE of the wonderful things the outgoing board is going to push through before the new folks take over. Just a final F-U on the way out the door.

Flossie Forde said…
One idea for the Superintendent to consider is using half his raise to fund the projects of the schools whose coffers are depleted due to partial deflections of FTE staffing cuts. It's not so much giving back as recirculating where the need is greater.
Anonymous said…
What an excellent idea Flossie!

Anonymous said…
Half of it? How generous (not).
How about just foregoing it all together - now that would send the right message to SPS families and school staff - that we are all in this together, that we are all operating under financial constraints, and that no one person at SPS currently has performed their job so superbly that they need to be rewarded in this manner.
Is Nyland so out of touch with the common folk, with the families his district serves, with taxpayers who've seen the teachers strike, the staffing reassigment/cuts, and other recent district missteps that he believes that we will not begrudge him his raise. Well, we will begrudge him the raise, whether it's half or the full amount. We do not think he deserves it and nothing will convince us otherwise.
It will just be another black mark against the district and the outgoing board who will not hold the administration accountable fiscally or policy-wise.
How about does not accept it or gives back the FULL raise so that perhaps I don't have to buy pencils for the school half way through the year when they run out or send in paper towels! I bet they never run out of stationary at the JSCEE! That money could cover a lot of stationary and supplies for our school.

my 2 cents
NW mom said…
How about the board just not give him a raise, period. He is already grossly over compensated. Seriously. They should be cutting his salary, not giving him a raise. I find this whole thing disgusting.
GarfieldMom said…
Color me unimpressed. Make that disgusted and unimpressed. I'm beginning to believe something I suspected from the wording in the BAR -- that the superintendent/staff/other we-know-how-to-run-a-district busybodies in town are making the argument that in order to remain competitive, Seattle needs to give him this raise. In fact, the BAR reads as though staff wrote it. Unless Sue Peters tells me otherwise, I'm going to assume staff had a huge hand in writing this and also in providing the background info that the directors based their decision to recommend a raise on.

This business of "I appreciate the recognition and the need to keep Seattle's salary competitive for future superintendents" is flim-flam. How does raising the super's salary now affect how much they pay the next super? Nothing stops them from paying the next super more than they are paying Nyland, or even less than they are paying him. And if raising his salary did lock them into higher salaries the next time around? Even more reason to not do so hastily, geez!

But let's give them the benefit of the doubt, that only the act of raising Nyland's salary now will allow them to offer a competitive salary to the next super some day. Why donate back half then? Why not all of it? If they give him the raise, but he donates it back, they have still raised the salary, thus, by their logic, keeping Seattle's salary competitive for future superintendents. The only reason I can see to keep half is because he is a person who can't stand to lose, and he thinks donating it all back would be like losing, whether he "needs" the money or not. (A little bird who flies close to the JCSEE nest may have described this exact personality trait for Nyland...) Really, this is such a small, petty, begrudging offer. A real leader would go all in for his colleagues, families, and students.
Anonymous said…
Seriously? Giving it back would be losing? wowza. Yet another reason why he doesn't deserve it.

Anonymous said…
Consider the following:
All in the district had previously been operating under the assumption that Mr. Nyland would be working as Superintendent through June 2017. There was little controversy about his June 2017 departure.

Now from the language in the SBAR:
Not provide a contract extension. 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. To not grant an extension would signal his likely departure in 18 months and this could create organizational and senior leadership instability.

So Directors Carr and Peaslee, who had previously believed that Nyland would be leaving in June 2017, find that the organization they will not be directing could suffer organizational and senior leadership instability, if his contract is not extended.

Interesting thought but is it believable?

Would it not be best to leave a decision of this magnitude to the incoming directors after an evaluation of the superintendent? Why the destabilizing rush? Is there some needed stability this rushed extension will create?

The two directors responsible for this SBAR, by their action, may well be responsible for "organizational and leadership instability". To Deny the incoming board the opportunity to evaluate the superintendent and decide on a contract extension of its only employee seems disrespectful of both the voters and the new board.


historically .... When it comes to history and looking at past SPS leadership, it would be a good idea to learn from history and strike out on a new path.

-- Dan Dempsey
dan dempsey said…
Competitive???? Now that is true baloney.

(1) Nyland is not going or staying based on salary.

(2) The board can determine advertised salary for recruiting a new superintendent. The board is not bound by the salary of an outgoing superintendent in recruiting a new superintendent. It can be hired or lower.

(3) There is no need to raise Nyland salary or extend his contract this month.

This SBAR is pathetic. I wonder if Directors Carr and/or Peaslee would care to respond? Or better yet how about a response from the staff that actually wrote this SBAR?

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
It's probably a similar amount to what I donate back to the district in all I do for my class, and I make 1/6 his salary.


seattle citizen said…
Thank you, unimpressed, yes: all the supplies, all the time, all the additional workload as class sizes grow....You, and others, probably donate as much as the superintendent. And you do it yearly and on a small fraction of his salary...
GarfieldMom said…
My newest thought -- they need to up his salary to make room for higher salaries for the deputy supers, directors, etc., both the ones already on staff who are going to need those sweet, sweet raises, and the ones they haven't hired yet but we know are coming. I don't know what they are at with the latest round of raises, but at the rate they're going it won't be long before they start to bump up against the superintendent's salary if it doesn't get jacked up.

By the way, did you know that the number of higher-ups who get car allowances has been growing? I know some need to travel around the district quite a bit, so they do need a car, but it would be interesting to see what percentage of their time is spent at JSCEE vs. on the road in their taxpayer-funded wheels. Hey, it's Seattle, can't we just give them a bike allowance instead?
Anonymous said…
Did he get the raise?

appalled and wondering
n said…
There's no blowback for him. He doesn't even live here. Just like at the muni court where I spent a summer. Union employees negotiate raises and the justices get the same percentage but their's look a lot better.

We live in a management society. The working class isn't going to get anything they don't demand. Our last strike was pitiful. And now we teachers have lost those few days that we all spend catching up, correcting papers, and planning ahead. Our union is out of touch or perhaps high school and middle school teachers are out of touch. Elementary teachers are too busy being doormats to have time to become active.

Three of us were discussing that today. One is a teacher with a few years of experience and is already thinking about leaving the profession. The other is an experienced teacher but new to Seattle who wonders what she got herself into in Seattle.

And parents, you keep asking for more. Honestly, most of us are doing the best we can under tyrannical overpaid principals. From my perspective, Dave was one of the good ones. But then I don't teach at QAE. So who knows.
Lynn said…
I'm curious about the kind of requests yiu get from parents. Can you give examples?
Watching said…
I'm not convinced that the district isn't going to get sued for forcing David Elliott's resignation. This question needs exploring before any thoughts of extending Nyland's contract.
Anonymous said…
About the Nyland raise and extension.

It was an introduction item. The action item vote will be in two weeks is my guess.

Maybe since Ms. McLaren campaigned that district needed Nyland and she then got 25% of the vote, Marty will vote against the extension and raise at this time. This vote would, in a sane world, be the next board's business.

-- Dan Dempsey
GarfieldMom said…
The BAR about the superintendent's raise/contract extension is on the agenda for intro tonight, to be voted on Nov. 18. Plenty of time left to weigh in. I'd love to see lots of teachers point out how much of their own money they donate back to the district (as unimpressed brings up), to contrast with Nyland's noblesse oblige.
Tresanos said…
I am a teacher with a different perspective than expressed above. I don't find that parents "keep asking for more." Parents, THANK YOU for all your support. Parents, my colleagues and I empathize with how many demands there are on you and your family time. We know that the average hours worked goes up each year, and we thank you for what you do to support your kids. Thank you for reading every night with elementary kids, and keeping on those middle schoolers about homework. Thanks for watching Khan Academy with your high schooler to figure out some trig. The job of Parent is the hardest in the world. Relationship, Relationship, Relationship is what our success is about. Teachers have to communicate early and often to build trust with parents. Parents may be stressed when they come to us (because we can be viewed as intimidating) and it's our job not to become upset when a parent is, but to listen as openly as possible. Because maybe I made a mistake. If I love their child, and I do, my job is to take a deep breath and go above and beyond. Teachers, firefighters, nurses, etc. need to feel comfortable that the basic job duties include managing conflict and crisis well. That means taking a deep breath and letting a parent "ask for more" and having a real and deep conversation about needs. That might mean asking a parent to give a child more independence (a tough conversation) but we need to talk and offer support, even if we as teachers can't offer an instant fix.
Tresanos said…
And one more thought....
Tresanos said…

Whoops, didn't add link above to this great article from BAT (bad ass teachers)
n said…
Lynn, I started a list and then thought better of it. Perhaps I'll revise and still post. It has more to do with too much on plates than with relationships with parents and some disrespectful kinds of interactions such as thinking we have time to talk whenever demanded or the constant too much/too little homework, math, whatever. I think teachers today just think society is asking too much of them esp. regarding time. We are revisiting the old days when teachers weren't allowed to teach because they would no longer have the time to attend to their students. It is beginning to feel like teachers are having to choose between student time and time with their own families. That's the sort of issues we are having today. And I'm going to personally . . . the next student who tells me he can't find his homework and would I give him another one... For some reason, that really irks me because it is my time to go copy it again and it is a paper issue which our principal is getting down on teachers about.

Tresanos, good for you. I'm sure you're the best teacher and I envy your ability to do it all. But, your link reminds me of teachers lounges of long ago. Nobody in my school has time to go to the teacher lounge. In fact, it was taken over by an IA in sped a couple of years ago.
Tresanos said…
n, I hope your day is good and that you find some solutions to the things that have been bugging you.
Anonymous said…
Half is quite a bit more insulting than none at all. I guess that is why he is so highly compensated - because of his skilled diplomacy.

-SPS Parent
Anonymous said…
I am extremely concerned that n's frustration is a perfect example of how the district mismanagement is eroding teacher morale. The fantastic teachers we have seen in the SPS have held the district together and enable the district to perform at a comparatively high level while under extreme duress and lack of funding. We need a complete turnover at the central office, more stability in principal assignments and support for teachers so that they can operate as the professionals that they are and not frightened, interchangeable lackeys (as the administration seems to see them).

-SPS Parent
Anonymous said…
Big problem downtown: management success in maybe the majority of departments equals "we found a student seat for a student butt."

Nyland's "success" metric is sadly the same. The bottom line is the Board has gotten a superintendent butt to sit in a superintendent seat for more than 18 months.

For that he is getting an extension and raise.

Nyland's leadership beyond sitting in that seat lacks across the spectrum. Pick one leadership trait or district priority accomplishment and he rarely rises, to put it in SBAC terms, to 'proficient' status.

The extension and raise is offensive. The new board won't be able to undo the contract but they can, and I believe will, make things much more uncomfortable for central staff. Nyland will have to get his butt out of his seat and answer to Board priorities. Either he and his mediocre at best upper management can get with the program of serving our student and teacher needs in the classroom as the highest priority, or our community can help the Board move forward with getting rid of many of those seats - downsizing - as well as moving the majority of those upper management butts right on out of Central. Including Nyland's.

Seen It
Anonymous said…
If we view Marty McLaren's re-election campaign as a referendum on Larry Nyland, the contract extension without evaluation at this time is a complete rejection of democratic principles.

McLaren ran on her ability to continue SPS stability and praised Mr. Nyland as an extremely capable superintendent. She received 25% of the vote.

What thinking is behind any directors voting for an extension or pay raise at this time. What is the rush?

-- Dan Dempsey
mirmac1 said…
If the $300K is carved in stone, then the contract should have provisions to take back pay if the superintendent fails to meet goals. I highly doubt he's motivated to listen to the new improved board when he knows he's exiting in 2018....
GarfieldMom said…
Nope, no take backs. His contract specifically says his pay cannot be decreased under any circumstances.

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