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Hiring issue raises concern

February 26, 2012
The Leader Herald

In Gloversville, where many taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet, we have a school district that hired the wife of the local BOCES?superintendent last year at a nearly $47,000 salary, but now finds out it may have to increase her salary by almost $29,000.

Are any Gloversville Enlarged School District taxpayers concerned about this?

The Gloversville Teachers Association filed a grievance after

hearing the wife of Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services Superintendent Patrick Michel was hired by the district as a high school special-education teacher at a step 6 salary of $46,911. The union says Salvina Michel, under the union contract, should have been hired at a step 24 level, which requires a salary of $75,643. Former Gloversville Superintendent Rob DeLilli recommended Michel for the post just before he left to become the new superintendent at the Johnstown school district.

The Gloversville district, like most other area school districts, is facing potential budget problems in 2012-13. Some districts are planning deep program and staff cuts, and we wouldn't be surprised to hear similar plans from the Gloversville district as it works on its budget.

We have to wonder how the school district went about its selection of this teacher - whose husband is the person who works with school boards regularly on issues such as hiring new school district superintendents. And in the spirit of keeping costs down, shouldn't our local schools, whenever possible, be looking for teachers who would earn something close to entry-level pay?

Local school boards, superintendents and other administrators should carefully scrutinize every hire and every dime spent. They should be able to justify spending on all school programs and employees.

We don't know how the GTA's grievance against the district will be resolved, but we hope this incident at least offers a lesson to school boards and administrators.



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