Grand Rapids Schools Superintendent Won't Seek Raise In $165,000 Salary

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

School Board President Wendy Verhage Falb said Weatherall Neal made it clear during recent discussions about her job performance, contract negotiations with the district’s teachers union and uncertainty about state funding that she wouldn’t be seeking a salary bump this year regardless of her evaluation.

The district has seen student enrollment, on which state funding is based, drop from 24,000 students in 2002 to about 17,500 this school year prompting more than $79 million in budget cuts during the past decade.

To balance this year’s $211 million budget, the district is using about $5.9 million of its reserves, leaving a projected $16.1 million in savings at the end of the school year. Add to that two studies showing Grand Rapids teachers are the lowest-paid in Kent County, and Weatherall Neal said doing what she can to improve compensation for staff took a higher priority, at least this year.

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