Dillingham school board approves superintendent contract, tentative budget

Mar 29, 2016

The school board voted 4-1 Monday to renew Superintendent Frazier's contract with a pay increase; the district's proposed budget eliminates four teaching positions as well as housing allowances for the superintendent and principals. 

Credit Dillingham City School District

The Dillingham school board has renewed Superintendent Danny Frazier's contract with a 12 percent raise for the next two years.

In a regular school board meeting Monday night, the board also approved a tentative FY '17 budget, which cuts four full-time teaching positions for next year. 

The proposed budget eliminates a $12,000 housing allowance for the superintendent, as well as $3,000 housing allowances for both principals. Still, a $14,000 salary increase in Frazier’s new contract was a point of concern for several community members.

Board President Chris Napoli said that after the Superintendent’s first full year on the job, the increase from  to $129,300 is par for the course.

“I don’t think it’s anything out of the ordinary," said Napoli. "We took a look at wages within the region, and this definitely falls within that category. I’m not gonna mention names, but we did an assessment just in our region, and [Frazier] is definitely not on the high side by any means.”

The Southwest Region School District superintendent has a salary this year just shy of $129,000, according to a revised FY '16 budget. A 2015 study by the UAA Center for Alaska Education Policy Research found the range of superintendent salaries in Alaska during the 2013-14 school year was between $88,000 and $180,000 dollars.

Because the proposed budget was drawn up before the new contract was approved, the budget still lists a change in the superintendent's salary from $115,000 in FY '16 to $117,300 in FY '17. Napoli said this will be revised to reflect the terms of the new contract.

The school board passed Frazier’s contract by a vote of 4-1, with Sarah Andrew voting against it.

The board then unanimously approved a FY '17 budget that cuts two full-time teaching positions from the elementary school and two from the middle-high school. Though two of those positions will likely be left empty due to teachers retiring, which positions are cut is to be determined by the school principals. 

All other certified teachers are slated to receive a “step-up” raise, according to the agreement being negotiated between the union and the school board.

The principals will not receive pay increases. 

The $9.3 million budget is based on a projected enrollment of 445 students, five fewer students than in FY '16.

The budget could change in coming weeks if legislature increases the base student allocation, or passes bills requiring schools districts to increase their PERS and TRS contributions.

The proposed budget goes now to a special City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 29 at 7 p.m.