By BRIANNA KWASNIK
The Charlotte County School Board Tuesday unanimously approved a more than $13,000 raise for the superintendent.
After The Sun published details of the superintendent’s amended and restated employment contract Friday, there were some mixed reviews from the community. Board members came to the defense of Superintendent Steve Dionisio during Tuesday night’s board meeting.
Board member Cara Reynolds first read a prepared statement stating that the superintendent’s contract is changing only in two ways: being extended for one year, and he will be working an additional six days, which will account for $4,000 of pay. She stressed that monies from the referendum passed last November will not be contributing to his raise.
“He pushed to get the referendum passed, not for personal gain, but because he knew our teachers and staff deserved a raise,” Reynolds said.
“He is a big factor why we can give our teacher’s 6% [raise],” she said.
She added that the board and the community hold the superintendent accountable for over 15,000 students in the district.
“He could leave and make $18,000 more as an assistant superintendent in Sarasota County,” she said.
According to the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), superintendents with a district enrollment from 10,000 to 24,999 reported earning $140,000 minimum in 2017-18 with the median salary reported at $182,227.
The raise will go into affect beginning July 1, bringing Dionisio’s base salary to $164,500. His contract with the district extends through June 30, 2023.
According to the restated contract, in lieu of receiving a vehicle, in-county mileage, and to offset his personal expenses related to his board duties, the superintendent will receive an additional $725 per month, as a supplemental salary. This equates to $8,700 per year.
Chairman of the board Bob Segur said the raise was brought forth by the board, “not something that was requested or demanded.”
Board member Ian Vincent, who attended the meeting via FaceTime said: “There’s a reason we suggested giving this raise, because he is deserving.”
He supported a request made by board member Kim Amontree to send out an email or robocall to all district employees to let them know that they, too are also getting a raise of at least 6%.
“I was shocked to be hearing from some of our staff, teachers who were unaware that they, too, were getting a raise,” Amontree said.
Beginning salaries for teachers starting in 2019-20 who have their bachelor’s degree stands at $45,000 annually. Teachers starting with their master’s degree will receive $48,764.91 annually.
According to AASA, in the 2017-18 school year, teachers beginning in a district with like-sized enrollment made at minimum $32,000 per year, and $41,000 per year on average.
The interim salary schedule for 2019-20 school year was approved unanimously by the board Tuesday night.
“Tonight we voted, those raises are now real, no longer just talk,” chairman Segur said.