Over the past several weeks misleading information has been circulated in the Old Fort Local School District and in several letters to the editor in the local newspapers. We, the Old Fort Local Board of Education, wish to share with the residents the facts.
None of our administrators received a salary increase in excess of 25 percent over the past five years. In fact, the superintendent's salary increased 8 percent, the treasurer's salary increased 16.69 percent, and the average teacher's salary increased 16.70 percent over the past five years. Over the past 10 years, the average annual salary increases were: superintendent, 1.98 percent; treasurer, 4.88 percent; and the average teacher, 5.09 percent.
As you can see, the teacher averages outpaced the superintendent and treasurer in the past five- and 10-year periods.
It also should be noted our superintendent and treasurer are the second-lowest paid in Seneca County in their respective positions. The teachers' base salary is higher than that of two of the five Seneca County local schools.
Our teachers currently are paid an average of $249 per day, with the highest at $291 per day and the lowest at $157 per day. Of the teachers, 25 of 35 are paid more per day than our treasurer, whose daily rate is $244. The average full-time salary of our teachers currently is $46,036, with the highest at $53,895 and the lowest at $29,042.
It has been suggested the Old Fort Local Education Association has not had the opportunity to present its wage requests to the board. In fact, the board's team has met with OFLEA's team without representation twice in recent weeks, even though we have been at impasse, and on Sept. 28 participated in the mediation meeting. The board recognizes these are difficult economic times in our community, and we need to continue to be fiscally responsible for our taxpayers.
Old Fort School has earned the "Excellent with Distinction Rating" on the state report card, making this the fifth year in a row the district has earned the highest rating. We are very proud of our students, teachers, parents, community, staff and administration for achieving this honor. It takes the entire community to achieve this kind of success five years in a row. It definitely is a team effort.
We are one of the smallest and proudest districts in the area, and the citizens who continually have supported our school over the years deserve to have accurate information. We feel this is the best way to set the record straight.
As your elected board of education, we welcome your comments. At our regular monthly board meetings, held at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of each month in the high school library, we include a place for citizens' comments. We encourage all concerned citizens to attend our meetings.
The Old Fort Local Board of Education
Gary Cole, president
Kathy Miller, vice president
Holly Stacy, member
Don Ellis, member
Greg Haubert, member