16 percent pay raise for Faircloth

Photos by Kelsey Leyva | Wellington Enterprise Board of education president Rex Engle and superintendent Glenn Faircloth listen during last Thursday’s JVS board meeting.

Treasurer Cory Thompson poses for a picture after the board meeting.

A pay increase of more than 16 percent will give Lorain County JVS superintendent Glenn Faircloth a new salary of $130,000 for the next three years.

The JVS board of education voted to approve the new contract at it’s meeting Thursday evening but gave no explanation for the hefty raise.

This is the first increase Faircloth has received since he joined the district back in 2012 with a salary of $115,900.

“When he was hired we knew that we brought him in at a lesser salary then other people have been making in that position, but we also knew that this was the first time he had been a superintendent,” board president Rex Engle said in a follow-up interview.

Of the nine board members in attendance, all but one voted in favor of the motion to approve Faircloth’s new contract.

Ayers Ratliff, Wellington’s representative on the board, disagreed with the majority and believes Faircloth’s raise is unfair to other teachers in the district.

“I guess I don’t understand when an institution starts treating all the employees differently. I cannot see how one person at the top gets a 16 percent pay raise and we have teachers that have been frozen for a long time and they’re going to get two percent pay raises coming up after next year,” Ratliff said.

Treasurer Cory Thompson said the last salary schedule increase for teachers was July 1, 2012, and was an increase of 2.25 percent to the base amount. The three-year salary schedule freeze began July 1, 2013, and just expired June 30.

Although the salary schedule base amount was frozen, the steps weren’t frozen.

“Even though the base has been frozen and the salary schedule has been frozen, you can move down your salary schedule with years of experience and get increases,” Thompson said.

Teacher pay is determined by years of experience and teachers go up the ladder in terms of salary amount the more years they teach.

JVS’ salary schedule has 28 steps and teachers can continue to increase their salaries until they exceed the 28th step. At that point, a teacher’s salary would remain the same unless the base amount is increased.

Teachers who stepped out of the salary schedule are the only ones who were not receiving pay increases during the three-year freeze.

Thompson estimates that was roughly 10 to 15 teachers. He said the district has averaged nine retirements a year in the last three years so there are fewer teachers with enough experience to exceed the salary schedule.

The board of education recently voted to increase the base amounts of the salary schedule by two percent as of July 1, 2016, and an additional two percent on July 1, 2017.

Each step increases five to five and a half percent each year according to the base number. On average, a teacher’s salary will increase 15 to 17 percent over the course of three years.

Thompson said depending on how you look at it, Faircloth got a 16 percent pay increase over a six-year period because this is the first pay increase he’s receiving.

Ratliff also voiced concerns about the taxpayers’ dollars and how the district is spending them.

“I think if you’re talking about a private company and you’re talking about private money then you can do anything you want, but when you’re talking about taxpayer money… you have to be cognizant that you do not do something that gives the JVS a black eye,” Ratliff said. “And this is something that will give the JVS a black eye.”

Engle said the board based Faircloth’s new salary on the salaries of other administrators in Lorain County.

Thompson said the district factored the superintendent’s new salary and the teacher’s salary schedule increases into the most recent five-year forecast and the district can safely afford all of the increases.

Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.