Lately, Melanie Charlson has spent her workdays fielding complaints and talking through outrage.

The tension has been rising ever since the Missoula County Public Schools Board of Trustees approved a 13 percent raise for the district’s superintendent, Alex Apostle, on Jan. 14, said Charlson, president of the Missoula Education Association, the district’s teachers union.

“There’s a lot of outcry,” Charlson said. “When we negotiated last year and when the board adopted the budget in August, we were told there was no money, and in that budget there was nothing there about Dr. Apostle’s increase.

“I’ve received hundreds of letters and phone calls, and teachers are questioning what will be cut, because something will have to give and be moved around to accommodate the superintendent’s salary increase and have the budget balance.”

*****

That Apostle will earn a substantial increase at a time when teachers are spread thin and struggling with the repercussions of years of budget cuts is both insensitive and unfair, Charlson said.

At Lowell School, for instance, some teachers are using five-gallon paint buckets because there is no money for wastebaskets.

“I have asked teachers, ‘What are you doing without?’ and I have heard everything from the basic things, such as there’s not enough Kleenex boxes and teachers are buying their own, to being asked to ration paper towels for hand-washing only and not cleaning up in the elementary schools,” Charlson said.

At Paxson, fourth-grade teacher Gloria Howell said the school has discontinued colored ink in all the printers and there are copy limits. In math class, there aren’t enough math books and materials for each class and often two to three children must share a book.

“All of this is very disheartening,” Howell said. “The thing that really impacts students, though, is that we have many students who need intervention support, who used to have a reading or math specialist in many of the schools and we have lost that funding.

“We have been imploring the board for over a year to find money to fund intervention specialists, as this is an at-risk population that is overlooked, not receiving services and would meet our goals of Graduation Matters Missoula.”

*****

According to the district’s budget and finance manager, Apostle’s retroactive $20,000 pay raise for 2012-13 will be funded with one-time-only money that comes from a workers compensation credit.

“Additional obligations to the budget happen during the year, and that’s not unusual,” said Pat McHugh. “In this instance, there won’t be a reduction anywhere (in the district) because we will cover it with soft money.”

“But for next year, we have to build the pay increase into the budget and make it permanent,” he said.

Even if Apostle didn’t receive a raise, the question of future budget cuts districtwide remains unanswered for several reasons, McHugh said.

For one thing, it is unclear what the Montana Legislature will do about funding public education, and enrollment numbers, particularly if they fluctuate, have a huge impact on school funding. Each student means roughly $6,000 for the school district.

This year, MCPS’ general fund budget for all elementary and middle schools was $32 million, and $27 million for high schools.

Approximately 90 percent of the general fund budget goes to paying the salaries and benefits of employees, including about 600 teachers, who get a 2 percent raise this year, after a half-percent raise in 2010 and zero percent in 2011.

The budget also provides salaries and benefits to approximately 260 full-time classified staff; 33 full-time administrators; seven full-time managers/ supervisors; 12 full-time trades and craft personnel; 14 noon duty aides; and 2.25 full-time trainers.

Toni Rehbein, the MCPS board chairwoman, defends Apostle’s pay raise for many reasons.

She called Apostle a courageous visionary who has pushed many significant districtwide initiatives forward, and said he has secured $2.2 million in private money to support MCPS teachers and programs.

“That is extraordinary,” Rehbein said. “The programs we have built all benefit our families and our students – and our teachers – and have been paid for with private dollars that Dr. Apostle has brought in and not detracted from the general fund.”

The $20,000 Apostle receives this year, and ultimately the $200,000 he will earn in 2014-15 is well deserved, particularly given the fact that Apostle continues to find more funding for the district and its emphasis on 21st century learning, Rehbein said.

“We want to keep Dr. Apostle as long as we can, to put remarkable programs in place,” she said. “And he’s done remarkable work. Eighty percent of the $1.6 million Washington Foundation grant goes to teacher development and helping teachers move up the pay scale without having to dip into their own pockets.”

Keeping a successful superintendent is always the best option for the district, Rehbein said, and when the time comes to replace Apostle, the district will be well-positioned to attract another high-caliber chief administrator.

“The salary and the remarkable growth the district has undergone, we believe, will attract another talented individual,” Rehbein said. “We are a district on the move and we would love to have someone who wants to piggyback on that.”

“And I can’t imagine what our community would do if we left the salary as is and then we kick it up in three years,” she said. “We want to do it incrementally.”

Despite the district’s touted progressive programming, increased student graduation rates and decreased dropout rates, Apostle’s salary increase rubs the wrong way, Charlson said.

“We all have been getting leaner and lighter, pinching pennies and making do, and were told there’s no more money in the budget for teacher salaries. And then we get the board’s decision on Alex,” Charlson said. “It doesn’t seem like they are playing fair.”

*****

Charlson is also concerned about the kind of message the salary increase sends to the Legislature, which holds the fate of public education funding in its hands.

“I think in general, a lot of people think we are comparing Apostle’s raise to the lack of teacher raises,” said Jill Derryberry, a Hellgate High School teacher.

“That isn’t actually what concerns most teachers,” she said. “It’s more about the support for our students and how our students are doing in the classroom. The status of our space, of what’s been cut.

“At Hellgate, we can no longer keep our computer labs open because we lost our attendants that were monitors, and we cut a janitor position.”

Compelled to express their concerns, Derryberry and a dozen of her colleagues were moved to post a list on their classroom doors, titled “I Have a Dream.”

The “dreams” include “department budgets that don’t make us choose between tissues and books.”

“Of English sections restored.”

“Our school’s Internet connection would meet 21st century standards.”

“That all students and staff are equally supported, educationally and financially, to their best and valued potential.”

“The 8 sections we have lost in our department in the last four years.”

“To get our heater fixed.”

“My students have books I don’t have to tape together or rubber band.”

“One textbook for every student.”

*****

Rehbein said she knows the complaints, and takes them to heart.

“I take those seriously, and I have been meeting with teachers all week,” she said. “I’m getting different kinds of messages.”

In the end, she’s learned that each school needs to improve its communication within its community, and communication needs to be improved between the schools and the board of trustees.

“I care about this laundry list of complaints and I wish we knew before about the needs,” she said. “I think it is interesting that it comes out at this time, but we are addressing them.

“I hear the hurt in our staff and I am doing everything in my power to get Senate Bill 175 passed. If that gets passed, it could mean a 4 to 5 percent pay raise for teachers.

“It would mean every teacher is not forgotten or dismissed and not a second-class citizen.”

Reach reporter Betsy Cohen at (406) 523-5253 or by email at bcohen@missoulian.com.

(50) comments

Cato
Cato

I've never voted against a school levy before.

I will vote against the next one.

I have a feeling that they will be able to easily make up the difference by simply reversing and ending Apostle's Empire.

Voterincounty
Voterincounty

The retroactive $20,000 was paid by credit from Workers Comp. Should'nt that money be used to lower the cost of Workers Comp. Insurance? I'll bet the price of that insurance will go up again next year and Teachers, and Non Certified staff will burden that cost. You know things are getting out of hand when staff come out in public and raise cane about anyone's contract. If you desire change or believe the Board acted irresponsable then get out in May and excerise your right to be heard. You can also show up at the School Board meetings and kindly ask for resignations in Public Comment.

Amen
Amen

Wanderer has hit the nail right on the head. Apostle will leave our the district in a financially poorer position--he only cares about himself. He comes out to the public and asks for money, which most of us are willing to give when possible, but none of us were prepared for him to take our money and run.

I am appalled at the school board that at a time when many employers have been laying people off, not being able to give raises to their current employees, and fighting to keep their doors open, taxpayers' money would be used for this meaningless purpose. Apostle is not the direct link to our children's educational success--it takes all individuals working within the system to make this happen, and yet, only one person is being rewarded for the work of all. Shame on the board! Missoula Community please take note of those board members who voted for this raise and oust them out--please at least dethrone Ms. Reihbein; her integrity needs to be seriously questioned here!

Missoula Community (parents, grandparents, students, all taxpayers, all school employees) lets pull together, have our voice heard, and get rid of those board members whose main interest is being buddies with Apostle. STUDENTS SHOULD COME FIRST!

scissorspaperink
scissorspaperink

A mishmash of thoughts:

**Hrm, this is a man who is nearing retirement age. With this raise, I'm assuming he can boost his pension quite nicely before coming back as a "consultant" for the latest Washington money? (The Washingtons have always supported education--it's not Apostle's charming personality that has made this happen.)

**If he is such a premium professional, why wasn't he selected for one of the out-of-state jobs he applied for? Why pay more for someone who doesn't want to be here?

** Toni Rehbein on the “SHAPE P-20" funding (Missoulian 1/10/13)
“Now, I think the sky is the limit,” she said. “In order to improve public education, we have to focus on staff development – and that’s what this is all about.”

Try focusing on developing the TEACHING staff not administrative staff to make it happen.

MT WAY
MT WAY

...perhaps all of this is the reaction which Ms. Rehbein, fellow Board Members, and Dr. Apostle contemplated would occur...it is the means to the end which will influence a higher level of overall teacher compensation and balance of fairness within MCPS.

hellgatenights
hellgatenights

Forget that boss, part time workers are paid plenty. No one ever promised you could make a living teaching school.......especially in Montana


What is interesting is to see all this input........and yet they all seem impotent. Looks like all that education hasn't taught anyone here to actually get off the couch and impeach the board. Same for that pathetic Engstrom........all these people can be gone in a new york minute if people would take back the authority they abdicated my years of neglect.

Wanderer
Wanderer

I am getting the impression from community input that this guy lucked out just at the time that the Washington Foundation decided to make a grant, took full credit for it himself, hired three division fuhrer-meisters to do his job for him, an expense which will blow any possible benefits from any grant in two short years, burdening the District with yet higher administrative costs that are permanent, while he tries to parlay the Washington Grant and a "Graduation Matters" program of significant brand value but of dubious merit into a higher job offer somewhere else, or a very high pay raise here, or else.

Well, he moves fast; and that is troubling in a system where educational policy endeavors take some time to produce tangible results. The reward here has come ahead of the results.

The cart is far, far ahead of the horse.

MCPS seems to be on a "fast and furious" track here, propelled into a sort of cattle stampede by its own chief employee who is leaving -- and he will be leaving, mark my words -- behind him a much higher permanent administrative cost structure, a bloated overhead, an additional layer of educational bureaucracy, and some kind of a "Graduation" program that appears to rely on lower standards and redefining of the term more than it does on ... actual "graduation" with a meaningful education.

Appearances are important. Apostle offers no appearance here of someone genuinely committed to MCPS; but entirely committed to himself.

I would suggest to the MCPS Board that not only does that send the wrong signal entirely in a public school system to students and teachers alike, but sends the wrong signal to the public that is asked to vote on levies to support this farce, always with a gun to its head, "oh, you won't hurt us by turning down this levy, you will hurt THE CHILDREN."

No, you guys are hurting the children. You cut programs, pour vast sums into administrators and bureaucracy, vote unconscionable sums of money for the highest wage levels at the sacrifice of the people who ... actually teach, and then ruthlessly hold the children hostage the next time the bill comes due.

hellgatenights
hellgatenights

Yes......I call this the "Progressive Program".......a generous amount of narcissism is required, and the little hobbit seems to be full of himself.

bjn1
bjn1

Rehbein in is out of touch, she is so infatuated with her elitist attitude she can't see the forest for the trees. As far as Dr. Apostle being a super star and single-handily fixing all that ails MCPS, that is blatantly so NOT true. If anyone has affected drop out rates, it is the dedicated staff at the area high schools working to keep kids connected, they are the super stars. As for Apostle bringing in millions to the district, I think not. He has not personally written a single grant, nor is he the reason the Washington's have generously donated to the district and the university. The Washington's have deep roots to the Missoula community and to education. One really has to question the character of someone who rides the coat tails of others. Apostle has no character, if he did, he would do as our previous superintendent, and graciously thank the board, but refuse to take any more of a raise than the other staff of the district. That folks is someone who cared more about education than their own personal gain. Ask yourselves do we really need to pay that much to get an educational leader in this city? The applicants from the last three openings would beg to differ. Also, by the way, Apostle doesn't have 40 years experience, and even if he did, that doesn't warrant a 13 percent pay increase. I strongly recommend voting all who supported this raise and benefit package off the board.

Click Here
Click Here

If you think this guy is overpaid, you should come out to Mineral County where each of the three schools has its own superintendent. Talk about a waste if money.

Roscoe
Roscoe

Why do we need to give Apostle a raise to get him to stay? He's already been turned down twice because nobody else wanted him! As for the $1.6 million from Washington Foundation, go back and look at how long the Washington's have been supporting MCPS. Long before King Al came around! If Reihbein is so confident in what Apostle does then she needs to ask for letters from MCPS staff and guarantee them there will be no retribution against them for giving an honest opinion. The sad thing is that Apostle has prohibited all MCPS staff from talking directly to any board member. They must go through him. Tyrant and a bully. I wish the Missoulian had a reporter who was willing to do some serious investigative journalism and ask for financials where Apostle is concerned. Like his distinct credit card for example!!

Mark
Mark

the biggest problem with teacher pay is supply. there is an abundance of new teachers graduating each year do there is no shortage of teachers who are willing to work for the current wage. I hate to sound cold but if teachers don't like the current wage they can find another profession. As more teachers leave the profession there will be a shortage and pay will increase. simple supply and demand.

Kinnikinnick
Kinnikinnick

Sounds like you're advocating for the classic race to the bottom. How's that been working out for the world, as unions are busted and we get to fight to work for table scraps?

Tracker
Tracker

You are mistaken. Districts are beginning to experience teacher shortages and virtually every projection is for shortages to become more severe as boomers retire. Yet, you don't see signing bonuses and the like for new graduates in education. Somewhere, you have to draw the conclusion that those entering the profession aren't doing it with the expectation that they will make a lot of money.

MontanaJim72
MontanaJim72

I always find it interesting that when cuts need to be made that they usually involve cutting a custodian position or two. Somehow, the school board figures that a tight budget means that the buildings suddenly got smaller and can be cleaned with less people. The raise they just gave Apostle would have paid most of the salary of a custodian at Hellgate. Instead, they load up the superintendent with a huge raise, despite the fact that he has made it clear he will leave Missoula at the drop of a hat as soon as some other school district is foolish enough to believe that he is a superstar.

sonofbrutalbob
sonofbrutalbob

Rehbein is a typical “boot licking lackey” justify your actions however you can. So if the house bill passes the teachers will about one third the raise that Apostle gets and that will make things right? Someone from the Missoulian needs to look into how the school district pretends that drop outs have enrolled elsewhere so they do not count as drop outs, when in fact they have dropped out of school. I heard a rumor that when a kid stops showing up for school they send a letter to the parent of the 16 or 17 year old drop out, asking if they have enrolled elsewhere. The “default” is that if they do not get a response they assume the kid has enrolled at another school.
Do you really think a parent that does not care if their child goes to school is going to send the letter back? When this happens the school district lands at the default, the kid is not a drop out they have enrolled elsewhere. This smacks of fraud and is one of the incentives that got Apostle his raise. Come on Missoulian look into it, do some investigative journalism, it might sell some pape

JaneDough
JaneDough

You are correct in how the numbers are being skewed. What you indicate happens, really does happen. I know this from personal experience. They just "withdraw" the student fully and once he's off the books, he's not part of the number crunching of the graduating percentages.

On a side note, please don't assume that "parents that don't care" are the only ones who's children drop out of school. I cared till I was blue in the face. My child turned 18 at the start of his senior year. He went into his senior year with good grades and attendance. Unfortunately, he became afflicted with the " you can't make me" disease. I tried everything. I turned to the school, and begged them to help me do something. The answer I got in a nutshell..."sorry, he's 18, there's not really much we can do, and in fact, neither can you, because he's a legal adult"

Luckily, he is beyond that stage and si now beginning his college education. He regrets his poor decisions, but water under the bridge.

live and let live
live and let live

Missoulian investigate? What a novel idea.

gatosp
gatosp

hcamper- you're an idiot. My husband is an MCPS teacher, has his master's degree, works over 12 hours most days, and usually works during the summers since his 30K salary doesn't quite cut it. Besides the fact that I don't know of ANY teacher home at 3:30 and to your statement of " In short, compensation is a factor of education, effort, time invested, a probably a little luck. Want more money? Work harder and educate yourself " - LIKE I SAID, my husband has his master's and works over 12 hours most days plus he also coaches after school. He needs better pay. NOT apostle.

Kate5561
Kate5561

(“I care about this laundry list of complaints and I wish we knew before about the needs,” she said. “I think it is interesting that it comes out at this time, but we are addressing them.

“I hear the hurt in our staff and I am doing everything in my power to get Senate Bill 175 passed. If that gets passed, it could mean a 4 to 5 percent pay raise for teachers.

“It would mean every teacher is not forgotten or dismissed and not a second-class citizen.”)
This statement is a slap in every teachers face! Why! because Montana teachers have brought thier issues to the board way before each election and asked and almost begging for a raise and Rehbein says there is no money each time the teacher have asked!!! But....they have the money for a 13% percent raise for a Superintendent and yet she will work on getting the teachers a 4-5% raise??!! What needs to done is those who sit on the board need to be replaced and replaced with intelligent people and the teachers need a 13% rase while the superintendent beggs for a raise of 4 or 5% raise.

JustSayin'
JustSayin'

That Apostle will earn a substantial increase at a time when teachers are spread thin and struggling with the repercussions of years of budget cuts is both insensitive and unfair, Charlson said.

The operative word in this statement is EARNED! 'Perhaps be given' would be a better choice here... earned nothing, he was too busy looking for another job to earn SH-t
again, JustSayin'

Beats Workin
Beats Workin

Is it your opinion that no school superintendents in the U.S., and especially here in Missoula, should make that high of a salary, or is your complaint specific to Alex Apostle?
I was curious about how Apostle's pay compares to other school districts in the U.S. It's not easy to find numbers you think are fair and comparable, but here are a couple clips from a news article in the Spokesman-Review from last summer:
In the State of Washington, thirty-four K-12 superintendents drew total compensation of $200,000 or more in the 2011-’12 school year.
... state officials and superintendent search firms say increasingly complex state and federal demands of school district leaders, coupled with a desire by school boards to attract the best possible candidates, are driving the upward trend in superintendent pay.
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/aug/12/school-superintendent-salaries-are-among-state/

Yes, I understand it's another state, but at least it gives some context in a Regional sense.

Re-Made in Montana
Re-Made in Montana

Compare Montana. Those figures are available.

MobyMike
MobyMike

Do you want the best school district in Montana? or the best school district in the country? Do you want to be the biggest fish in a little pond, or do you want to develop the next generation of citizens that can compete any where in the world, not just Montana?

Triwest
Triwest

Thanks for looking into this. More information to compare the two states. Washington min wage is $9.19/hr and Montana is $7.80/hr. About a 16 % difference. Should then the salary of the Missoula Montana Superintendent be 16 % less than that in Washington? Still would give him a raise from $155000 to $168000 based on your numbers. I am all for paying what a position deserves based on it's location. Keep the overall purpose and function of the school district in mind. What is best overall for the students is all that counts. The Superintendent, the teachers, the school board are all secondary but still a real part of what is best for the students.

dedicatedteacher
dedicatedteacher

I have been a teacher in Missoula for 10 years, and plan on staying here for the rest of my career. For those of you who commented above and think that I go home at 4:00 every day and sunbathe all summer, let me set the record straight. I get to work at 7:30, which is 1/2 hour before my contract day begins. I work through my lunch break, which adds another 1/2 hour of unpaid work to my day. At the very earliest, I leave at 5:30, adding another 1.5 hours to my workday. That's a total of 2.5 hours of work outside of my contract day, every day. Every weekend usually includes at least a few hours of school work. In the summer, I typically attend at least a week of workshops or classes, spend at least a full week at school preparing for the next year, and also work a summer job to help pay student loan debt. I have a Master's Degree, National certification, and the maximum number of credits I can earn beyond my Master's. I work at least as hard as Dr. Apostle, if not harder. And I don't hear any school board members telling me how valuable I am and how they must keep me in the district above all else. Yet I'm the one who will be here, committed to our community and our students long after Dr. Apostle has moved on. And I'm certainly not getting any gigantic raises just for showing up to work every day and doing the great job that I do.

Now, Dr. Apostle will tell me that I'm valuable, that I'm the backbone of the district, that I'm the reason all of our success has come to be. But then when it comes time to back that up with actions in salary negotiations, replacing badly needed cut staff, or funding the basics that many of us feel we need, it feels like he can talk the talk, but not walk the walk. No doubt he has done many wonderful things for our district, but compensating him at such a high level simply separates him and distances him from all of us who also work every bit as hard for our students. More importantly, it breaks our trust in him. We hear that there is no money, we are shown that there is no money in the budget for the things we're asking for, and then there IS suddenly money to fund a large raise for him a few years ago, and then again now, AND for the future two years. It's just hard to get behind someone who you feel is not being honest.

live and let live
live and let live

I appreciate your comments and your dedication.

MobyMike
MobyMike

Thank you for your service! Is there a way to give you a raise and not the freeloading teacher who DOES go home at 4:00 every day? No. There are some (a minority in my opinion). Because I believe YOU deserve a raise on top of the raise you get every year. You can't tell me ALL teachers are as hard working and dedicated as you, but do not give up I and many many Missoulians thank you.

Buzz Feedback
Buzz Feedback

Rehbein: “I care about this laundry list of complaints and I wish we knew before about the needs. I think it is interesting that it comes out at this time, but we are addressing them."

This statement tells me three things.

1. Toni Rehbein is out of touch and has no idea what goes on in the classroom.

2. Alex Apostle has no idea what is going on in the classroom, and/or he's doing a poor job of communicating classroom needs to the School Board.

3. The three highly-compensated Executive Regional Directors have no idea what is going on in the classroom, and/or they are doing a poor job of communicating classroom needs to the Superintendent.

"Superstars," one and all.

RPT
RPT

Be interesting to hear Dennis and Phyllis' Washington’s opinion on how they feel about Apostle sticking his hand in the cookie jar and taking the cream off the top of that $1.6 Million donation they just made?
Re:.. “
Specifically, the money will finance professional development for the district’s preschool to 12th-grade teachers through UM’s School of Education.

“I’m just so thrilled with the potential of Dennis and Phyllis Washington’s generosity,” said Alex Apostle, Missoula County Public Schools superintendent. “This is going to bring the university and the school district together in a way that has really never happened before...... Old Alex sure nailed it with that statement..... “Greed is GOOD” comes to mind.

J555-5
J555-5

Much of Missoula and all of the Board are simply infatuated with Alex Apostle and I keep telling Ms. J555-5 a lot of that has to do with his name. If he was "Fred Butts," he wouldn't be as adored. No offense to all the Freds and, especially, all the Butts out there.

Hcamper, does he really have a Ph.D. or a Doctorate of Education? There's an enormous difference between the two.

Triwest
Triwest

I have been following this a bit. It appears to me as a case of let's take care of the "roof" while the "foundation" is what really needs the attention. No matter how great the roof looks if what is under it does not support it's weight, the structure (the district) falls apart.

loveymama
loveymama

ANYONE with half a brain or who has ever known a teacher knows what bs the statements, "teachers are home mowing their lawns at 3:30" and "sunning themselves all summer" are!! Teachers are our hardest working community members. They stay in the classrooms till 7 pm at night, often work two jobs to make ends meet, ESPECIALLY through the summer. They do this because they CARE, not for the money. This is an outrage. My son attends Lowell school and is receiving a QUALITY education by a lifetime teacher. She goes without on a daily basis to provide safety, security, and an amazing education so the SUPERINTENDENT can get a 13% raise??

Everyday person
Everyday person

Anyone who spends any significant time with a teacher knows that a teacher's day does not end at 3:30 and work does n't stop during the summer. And, though teachers are responsible for our children's welfare in the present and in the future, they generally receive sub-professional wages and have to work second jobs in the summer only to pay their basic bills. To portray teachers as light-duty workers with afternoons and summers off is an obviously deceptive political maneuver that enjoys no more merit than any other cheap slogan aimed at maintaining the status quo of power abuse and distribution of largesse. Specifically, the MCPS junta, which includes the obviously ethically-compromised Toni Rehbein, is working to maintain their scam on all of us at our children's and our teachers' expense. I'll be actively advocating against ALL mill levies until administrator largesse is significantly reduced, teachers are paid wages that reflect their importance, and classrooms have garbage cans. And, it's time to vote out the current board and fire that over-rated grifter who just got an obscene raise on our backs.

Roger
Roger

I sympathize with the complaints about Apostle and the lack of school supplies - but whining about not having enough Kleenex? Give me a break.

detonate
detonate

If the man brings in these monies above and beyond the avg. performer like it was stated the supt, should be obliged. Money in Missoula is rough because of the arid economic conditions. The teachers, like the sidewalk gestapo are not looking at the big picture. Huge city-county tax rates, and a smothering business climate are influencing all areas. Crying about using black and white printing ?? Wow! Be happy you have a job. Z...

maikeru1979
maikeru1979

think that it is 100% WRONG for a Superintendent to get a raise of ANY SIZE if the teachers are told that there is no money in the budget for them to even get a 2 percent raise. or if there is no money to upgrade books, libraries or even get more calculators(Willard School)

if Graduation matters in Missoula County then why are they forcing the Students and teachers to go without while the Super get's a super Raise

independent
independent

Graduation Matters - education not so much!

tank man
tank man

in response to hcamper...there is only one person that would make statements about how great this fellow is and how hard he works blah blah blah would be alex wife...i have been married to a teacher for 40 years..summers off? how about working all summer to pay the bills or going back to school to EARN that pitiful raise.....i feel the comments you made about teachers was uncalled for..unless you have walked in a teaches shoes you dont have a clue.

MT_Mama
MT_Mama

Tank Man is right. Hcamper -- do you really think a teacher's workday magically ends at 3:30? What a joke. Teachers spend many, many hours working aside from the 8:00-3:30 times. There are lessons to plan, papers to review, homework to grade, and the list goes on and on.

Apostle's raise is ridiculous and an insult to Missoula's teachers.

It's Just My Opinion
It's Just My Opinion

The solution is simple. We (taxpayers) are paying $10,360 per student. Meanwhile, across town, Valley Christian, a private school, charges $5600 per student and provides a much better education, including a wonderful athletic program. They don't have 5 gallon buckets for their waste baskets, no ink for their printers, or an overpaid superintendent just looking for a good retirement. With nearly 8500 students in the Missoula School System, we could save 40 million dollars a year by just paying Valley Christian to school the kids. Give them half the savings and they would be able to provide an even better education and still save the taxpayer. I know this will never happen because of the monopoly our public schools have on our taxpayer money.

hcamper
hcamper

Agree 100%. Have always sent my kids to private schools. The difference is amazing. I still stand by my statemen that the sup is fairly compensated based on his value to the District.

Buzz Feedback
Buzz Feedback

The Superintendent is doing a great job so you send your kids to private schools. 10-4.

hcamper
hcamper

Want more money? Get 40 years of experience, a phd, the respect of your peers and be willing to work seven days a week, often early in the morning until late in the evening. And work all year round. So, when most of the teachers are at home mowing their yards at 3:30, the sup's day is half over. When the teachers spend 3 months sunning themselves, the sup is at work. In short, compensation is a factor of education, effort, time invested, a probably a little luck. Want more money? Work harder and educate yourself.

hellgatenights
hellgatenights

Oh my.....did you all hear that. Alex works hard!!Even though he is a gym teacher......he is a really smart one. Never mind that his real "Peers" turned him down when carpet begging Alex applied for jobs out of state, he is just highly respected (cough).

Fact is, we could hire five new teachers who actually teach were we to eliminate the little hobbit. But Alex the Greek is not really the problem here........Judge Judy and her merry band of miscreants are the problem. Please let them know your displeasure when the may elections come.

If you feel "Disconnected" and "Powerless" from any control over your child's education.....then you should learn how to empower yourself. Teacher's unions and school boards have usurped the authority from the real "Owners".......the poor fools paying property taxes.

This might be especially sensitive for those of you that have no kids in school and yet are forced to "Pay into the system."

What Judge Judy did is right out of the old "Progressive" playbook. She knows Alex A. will leave this summer and by jacking up his salary he will know get a higher pension. Alex A. has bounced around a dozen schools and tried his hand in real estate in Arizona. Apparently he lost his shirt, and thanks to missoula taxpayers, he got a whole new wardrobe.

Yeah sure......Alex the Greek is super smart.....he has secret formulas and complicated techniques that the mortal man (teachers included) cannot possibly understand.

Yes......it is laughable, but judge Judy bought, and you are paying for it.

You want some skin in the game? Then stop funding these morons and demand the city/county reverse their escalating tax table. Stop the money......and Alex the Greek, Grunke the failure and all the other gadfly's would never stop here.

Triwest
Triwest

Your veiws posted here could have been mine until I actually investigated what teachers actually do. There are a small minority that fit your discription (but only a small number). The schedule of the students is not the schedule that most teachers follow including summer. I get frustrated like you do with the few that are not dedicated. But the human tendancy that "I" work harder that others, or my neighbors have it easier than I do, or others do not care and only take the easy way is in a word naive.

I do not personally know Alex. He very well may be a super star. He still is not the district, he is a part of the team. When there is discord in the ranks communication is lacking and egos are taking over both very bad things in the long run and for the important whole.

Payin'Taxes-Gettin'Hosed
Payin'Taxes-Gettin'Hosed

I think I spit up a little in my mouth.

kkm0322
kkm0322

If Apostle is deserving of his raise, why on earth is the GOVERNOR (a man who, I can guarantee you, puts in far more work and hours than Mr. Apostle) only paid $100,121, nearly HALF of Apostle's pay check?! Teachers put in hours, effort and passion to educate our students and to accuse them of not working as hard as the superintendent is not only wrong but disrespectful to the very institution of education. When stating that administrators "work harder" than teachers and therefore deserve more pay, you are ignoring the obvious facts that no one in our state or local government is paid as much as Mr. Apostle and he does absolutely ZERO hands-on work to educate students, as teachers do every day. As a student myself, I can tell you firsthand that I could list MANY teachers who pour themselves into their jobs, working hours upon hours outside of school grading homework or formulating curriculums, and care about their students far more than Alex Apostle ever will. If he accepts this raise it will only solidify my utter disrespect for him as an educator, administrator and human being. Teachers, the people who put in hard and MEANINGFUL work to educate students, deserve priority when it comes to compensation.

GaryTinkSanders
GaryTinkSanders

So in your mind you feel this will warrant Alex making in excess of 200,000 by 2014. A good leader expects the same of his self as he does others, a good leader does not seek money for his self and expect others to do with out, I have failed to see where Alex is the great leader a few believe he is.

hellgatenights
hellgatenights

Did you hear that folks...Judy takes your complaints seriously. But seriously.......stop whining already.......heaven knows we need a superstar like Alex the Greek.....these kids will not learn anything without the smart gym teacher.

Were Plato here, he might suggest you "Teach the Teacher" by impeaching judge Judy, reversing the raise (retroactively) and fire the little hobbit.

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