District Salary Study Gets Second Look

WINNSBORO – Although the Fairfield County School Board conducted a comprehensive salary study just four years ago, and adopted a new salary schedule in 2011, Dr. J.R. Green, Superintendent, told the Board during their May 19 meeting that he intended to clean up what he called “inconsistencies” within that schedule.

The Board on March 26, 2011 was presented with a recommendation from MGT Consultants on two different schedules, Green said – one with a 1.5 percent variance between steps, and another with a 3 percent variance between steps. But what the Board ultimately adopted, Green said, was not exactly what MGT had recommended.

“It was parts of what was recommended,” Green said, “and parts of it I’m not quite clear how it was determined.”

The schedule for middle school principals, Green said, was adopted with the recommended 1.5 percent step increases, although the recommended salary range was not adopted.

“The salary range based on what was adopted was $54,785,” Green said, “while the recommended beginning salary based on MGT’s market analysis was $66,021.”

MGT’s recommendation, Green said, would have put Fairfield in a more competitive position when compared to neighboring districts. Currently, a middle school assistant principal with a Master’s degree + 30 and six years’ experience earns $59,905 in Fairfield. In Richland/Lexington 5, that figure is $76,313; in Richland 1, $71,945 and in Richland 2, $71,588.

“In terms of what MGT recommended, it put us not necessarily at the high end of the range, but it put us somewhere in the ball park,” Green said. “Currently we are not very competitive.”

Green said there were also inconsistencies in the steps, as adopted by the Board in 2011.

“What (MGT) recommended was a 1.5 percent variance between steps, or a 3 percent variance between steps,” Green said, “and we adopted parts of the 1.5 between steps, and other grades, kind of unexplainably, we have a variance of .7 percent, .9 percent, 1.2 percent, .8 percent, .6 percent, and it’s not even consistent across the board. So employees have a difficult time understanding how they move along the salary schedule.”

Green said he also found that MGT had recommended an additional $1,000 for non-instructional personnel with a Master’s degree + 30, and $2,000 for non-instructional personnel with a doctorate degree. Those would also be included in his recommendation, he said.

Teacher Salaries

Green said that while teachers’ salaries lagged behind neighboring districts in year zero, Fairfield raises those salaries higher and faster than its neighbors. By year three, he said, Fairfield pays higher than Richland 1, Richland 2 and Richland/Lexington 5.

“I think we’re going to make some recommendation to improve our competitive advantage when it comes to year one,” Green said. “One thing I’m bouncing around . . . is maybe a signing bonus and a retention bonus for year one and year two.”

Green also told the Board that his forthcoming recommendation will only bring the District current with 2011 numbers originally recommended by MGT. A new study may be necessary in the near future, he said.


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