Saturday, January 1, 2011

32 Miles per Day

(Part 2 of a series on contractual "perks")

...and the Jeopardy question is:
For how many miles per contract day do we pay administrators --above and beyond their salary-- for "travel within Dane County" in lieu of having to file for reimbursement of actual expenses incurred.  Note...this is not reimbursement for travelling to/from work...just for travel within the Dane County for district-related business.

32 miles PER DAY?  That's like 4 or 5 cycles between every school in the district...daily.
Why are we paying these people for nearly 7000 miles of travel JUST WITHIN DANE County each year?  Remember...for travel outside of Dane County, we reimburse them at the IRS rates in addition to this "mileage stipend"!   If the average person puts 12,000 miles on their vehicle each year, we are automatically PAYING these folks for just under 60% of the mileage that the average person puts on their vehicle!

And shouldn't their job be here in Sun Prairie?  Not out galavanting across Dane County.

What could $30,225 per year buy?
$30,225 per year - the cost of providing these mileage stipends. receipts are required. They don't even have to do any work-related travel within Dane Co. They just get the cash.  You don't hear administrator complaining, do you?  So clearly they are not traveling MORE than that per day for work.  This is yet another "perk". 

$30,225 per year could buy a lot of school supplies from those infamous school supply lists. 

Do the math
We pay administrators either $75/month or, for the really bigwigs, $125/month worked.  Culver gets $3,900 per month.
  • $75 per month
  • $3 per gallon
  • ...translates to 25 gallons of gas
  • If the average vehicle gets 25 miles/gallon
  • ...that translates to 625 miles per month
  • The minimum we pay administrators this "stipend" is 11 months
  • 625 miles per month  X 11 months = 6875 miles per year
  • 6875 miles per year divided by 215 contract days (and that includes 5 paid holidays!)
  • comes to about 32 miles per day
What does "month worked" mean?
Wisconsin schools are basically planned round 180 days.  Actually things get fuzzy because "officially" the number of school days required is 175 but the more critical number is hours of schooling.  So let's just work off of 180 school days.

Between the start and end of the school year there are at least 20 days where kids are not in school, but administrators are still required to work (or take a paid leave day).  So that brings us to 200 days.  The first and last days of school are typically 1/2 days, but administrative staff work a full day.  In addition, administrators are required to start their work year at least 2 days before the official start of school and end their school year a couple of days after the last day of school.  

So...basically, it appears that administrators work only a couple of days in August and not even half-way through the month of June.  Yet, no administrator is paid less than 11 months of the mileage stipend.   The key here is the contract language "per month worked".   It seems that the interpretation is that if one works ANY day within a month, the administrator earns the full month of mileage stipend ($75 or $125).  

Wow.  And let's keep in mind that these calculations are based on th LOWEST level of compensation ($75/month).

In the real world, when one is being paid over $70,000 per year (and the average salary of all administrators is just shy of $100K), a little bit of travel is considered "part of the job".
And, perhaps more to the point, where exactly are these folks traveling anyway?  Shouldn't building principals and assistant principals be in their schools?

We're just sayin'.