LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Is the Jefferson County Public School system paying too much for teachers, administrators and other employees? A new study states the district spent millions in over payment compared to what other districts pay.
The study is also recommending a pay freeze for some employees, specifically those who make more than $100,000 a year.
The study, which was conducted by a firm called MAG, notes that teachers make an average of $8,000 more per year, compared to other districts. The study was a recommendation of former auditor Adam Edelen.
It found JCPS is spending an extra $53 million a year on over-market paying jobs.
Some of the study's observations included that the average salary for a certified JCPS teacher is $61,972 a year. Add to that benefits, like insurance and state paid retirement, and the total cost to the district is $83,254.
The average salary for principals, assistant principals and counselors is $102,209. The total compensation cost to the district becomes $137,307 when such benefits are added.
The report also states librarians and certified social workers' salaries average $75,067. Again, add benefits, such as insurance and state paid retirement, and the total cost to the district is $100,845.
The report also breaks down the total compensation cost for resource teachers and goal clarity coaches. Their average salary is $71,155, with benefits, the total compensation cost to the district is $95,589.
The report states 7,353 employees are above or at the maximum of the market pay range.
According to the report released Tuesday, senior, classified administrators observed that teacher salaries were growing faster than theirs. That when, the study says, they linked their salary table to the teacher salary table.
The study goes on to call the current system "corrosive," without an incentive for performance. It notes that an outstanding employee get a 4 percent raise, while a mediocre employee also gets a 4 percent raise.
Not everyone is getting more, according to Bo Johnson.
Johnson is an organizer for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME 962, who represent classified workers, like custodians and cafeteria workers. He said he knows of many people who have worked in JCPS for a long time who are making peanuts.
"It's typical big business. The rich get richer, the poor stay poorer. I'm just glad the study came out in enough time for our contract negotiations to bring it light," he said.
This was the first study of this kind in 40 years.
It's now recommending a pay freeze for employees who make more than $100,000. It also wants a pay system based on certified administrators' and classified staff's performance and not seniority.
The Community Advisory Team's observations state teachers should be exempt from any salary structure changes in order to attract the best talent.
The district is expected to hold a meeting about what to do next on May 10.
The Jefferson County Teacher's Association released a statement Tuesday in which they state JCPS teachers' salaries are competitive, but not the highest.
The JCTA President, Brent McKim stated in part, "Competitive salaries are essential if JCPS is to attract and keep great teachers. We are encouraged that the JCPS salary review confirms that our salaries are competitive, but a thorough review must look at more than just maximum salaries."