St. Paul school administrators eyeing pay hikes

Anthony Lonetree:

The St. Paul school board is being asked Tuesday night to sign off on nearly $1.3 million in wage-and-benefit increases for many of the district’s highest-paid employees.

The agreement spans the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years and covers 25 members of Superintendent Joe Gothard’s administrative team.

The group is not represented by a union, leaving many of the terms of its agreements to mirror those in contracts previously negotiated by the district’s bargaining units — most notably the St. Paul Federation of Educators.

Joe Nathan and Peter Hendricks, two former members of a district community budget committee, said they have concerns about the pay proposal. With the pandemic creating enrollment and budget challenges, Nathan said “this is exactly the wrong time now” for such a package.

In recent days, Nathan, who’s known as a school choice advocate and champion of effective schools, posted individual wages and benefits for 24 administrators on Facebook pages representing various city and school communities. Each administrator had a salary of $107,000 or more; 16 collected an additional $2,200 to $6,000 per year in longevity pay; and 17 had $6,000 car allowances, according to the data.