Raises proposed for Duquesne school administrators

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Duquesne City School District administrators are proposing pay increases for several district administrators as part of the proposed $17.2 million budget for the 2014-15 school year.

The administrative pay increases come during a 2-year-old contract dispute between state-appointed receiver Paul Long and Duquesne teachers over Mr. Long's stance that future teacher pay raises should be tied to an increase in student achievement.

One of the proposed raises includes a 1 percent increase in the salaries of acting principal Jennifer Jennings and acting assistant principal Stanley Whiteman, whose salaries for the 2013-14 school year were $74,547 and about $55,000, respectively. Ms. Jennings also was approved for a one-time stipend of $2,925, and Mr. Whiteman for $2,550, for "assuming additional duties for 102 work days" during the 2013-14 school year.

Another increase is proposed for confidential business office assistant Sandra Rozgonyi from a base salary of $40,020 to $47,220 for next school year. Business manager and board secretary Nedene Gullen is also receiving a 3 percent raise to set her new salary at $61,069.

Teachers threatened to strike earlier this month over the dispute, only to cancel the night before the scheduled strike citing "lack of proper and responsible supervision" for students.

"Education don't wait for nobody," board president DeWayne Tucker said during tonight's meeting. "How are we gonna change when we don't even have a contract for our teachers?"

Mr. Long also approved the contract for educational consultant Linda Nelson at a daily rate of $400, not to exceed an annual amount of $64,000. She will be working several days a week on professional development in instruction and curriculum for teachers and running a model classroom.

The district maintained its current millage rate of 17.5, but eliminated two long-term substitute positions and a new secretary position to help balance the budget. The physical education teacher's position was also reduced from full time to 60 percent, and the district security staff was reduced by two members.

The district is also in the process of appointing a new acting superintendent to replace Barb McDonnell. Mr. Long said he anticipates having the new superintendent appointed by July 1.


Clarece Polke: cpolke@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1889 or on Twitter @clarepolke. Mary Niederberger contributed.

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