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Consultant: Germantown School District administration benefits, pay are low

Jan. 29, 2013

Germantown - A presentation on Monday from a third party consultant showed that Germantown School District administrators make well below the mean salary in comparison to 12 surrounding school districts.

The board hired consultant Jim Shaw, who looked at 12 districts in the state using nine characteristics to determine how comparably Germantown administrative salaries and benefits measure to their counterparts.

"For several months we have been communicating that Germantown administration is below market in terms of compensation and administration," School Board President Bob Soderberg said. "It just reinforced what we knew."

More than a dozen administrators were placed into three categories: falling 10 percent or more below the mean; 5 percent or more below the mean; and positions near the mean.

Districts that were compared included: New Berlin, Mukwonago, Hamilton, Oconomowoc, Cedarburg, Menomonee Falls, Franklin, Muskego-Norway, Kettle Moraine, Hortonville, Kimberly and Germantown.

The categories were determined based on district type (small, medium, large), percent free/reduced meals, enrollment, median home value, median household income, median worker income, average teacher salary, student performance and cost per member.

The superintendent, director of business and high school principal fall in the 10 percent or more below the mean salary, according to documents put together by Shaw. The superintendent's salary fell 12.8 percent below the mean salary, a difference of nearly $17,000.

Benefits were 66.1 percent below the mean.

The director of business's salary is 11.93 percent below the mean, while benefits are 82.31 percent below, according to the report.

The high school principal salary is 10.3 percent below the mean, while benefits for this position are 54.77 percent below.

"I consider Germantown to be a best-in-class school district and a school of choice for families to send their kids to and in order to sustain that we have to retain and attract the best talent and that would include administrators and teachers and I think the board would be abdicating the responsibility by not going down this path to hire a consultant to get this information," Soderberg said.

Since the School Board only just received the information on Monday, it is unclear the direction they will take as a result; however, it will be discussed at a future board meeting. Soderberg said they also have more research to do regarding benefit compensation, before there can be further discussion.

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