School districts vote to share principal, superintendent - WNEM TV 5

School districts vote to share principal, superintendent

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VASSAR, MI (WNEM) -

It's an unconventional concept, but both the Vassar and Millington school districts are struggling financially. They are willing to share staff and services next year to ease the burden.

Dozens of parents like Jim Baker attended the Vassar School Board meeting Monday night to voice their concerns about the plan.

"I support the plan. But the dollar figures just don't add up," said Baker.

While money is saved by having one person do a job for both districts, some administrators would get stipends for doing the extra work. The plan calls for the two districts to share a high school principal. That principal would get paid his salary plus an $18,000 stipend. The superintendent, who would be over both districts, would get a $20,000 stipend in addition to his six-figure salary.

"If we're going to pay half and they are going to pay half, why is there a need for a bonus?" Baker added.

Teachers like Tracy Brightman say their workload has increased significantly to make up for cuts in the district. And while they do a lot more, they say their pay hasn't changed.

"We've made cuts in counseling and nursing and social work ... so we're filling in that role as well," said Brightman.

While everyone agrees, something has to be done to save the district money. Not everyone believes this option would be the most effective.

"I'm not going to agree that we cut a teacher and give an administrator a raise. I don't agree with that a bit," added Baker.

The stipend issue was such a major sticking point that the board voted to approve sharing services with Millington, contingent on an agreement with administrators to possibly make changes to the stipends.

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