ANDERSON — Anderson school administrators got raises approved Tuesday by the Anderson Community Schools board while a contingent of teachers showed up to protest.
The board voted unanimously to approve a total of $52,875 in raises for the central office and school building administrators, as well as administrative assistants.
Meanwhile, the Anderson Federation of Teachers argued that teachers haven’t gotten raises since 2008.
”To vote in favor of these raises is wrong!” Tom Forkner, AFT president, told the board. “It is a slap in the face of every hardworking employee in the corporation. It is the same as saying ‘Ha ha, I got mine and you get nothing.’”
Recently passed Indiana laws have changed the method of pay for administrators and teachers so that it’s based on performance. Education level and experience may account for up to a third of a performance evaluation now, Dr. Tim Edsell, ACS interim superintendent, said.
Edsell said he sensed an “us versus them mentality” at Tuesday’s meeting. “The excellent teachers, we need to reward them,” Edsell said. “Let’s work toward pursuing excellence. ... I propose let’s embrace evaluation.”
ACS Board President Jean Chaille told teachers the board values them. “We wish we could designate a large percentage of our staff as effective and highly effective teachers,” she said. “But the only way to do that is to evaluate you. And I know that day will come, and we will welcome that date when it does come.”
Former AFT President Rick Muir, who still is the state teachers federation president, compared the administrative raises to “throwing salt in wounds” or “gas on a fire” in a phone interview earlier Tuesday. He said teachers haven’t had a raise since 2008. Teachers who have less than 20 years experience get an incremental raise. But those at the top of the scale don’t.