You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:45 p.m.

Top 5: Numbers that Ann Arbor school leaders needed to consider before giving raises to administrators

By Paula Gardner

Taxpayers in the Ann Arbor Public Schools awoke Thursday morning to learn that the Board of Education - while on the verge of ending a meeting - instead decided to vote at about 2 a.m. to give two administrators raises.

It was a close vote of 4-3, but it passed - and with that, two administrators in a district that faces cutting about $30 million in expenses from its next two budgets now have an annual base pay of $140,000 each.


An Ann Arbor Public Schools planning committee members watch a slide show about proposed budget cuts to athletics in the Ann Arbor Public Schools last July.

Angela J. Cesere |

There seem to be two reasons: The first is that the board and Superintendent Patricia Green value the work of Robert Allen and Dave Comsa.

And the second is that Green made a hire during the summer of a new deputy superintendent of instruction at a base pay of $140,000. Fair, it seems, is fair.

That hire wasn’t approved by the board, but it did come before trustees Wednesday night months later as Green said she now realizes that’s part of what the board expects.

It appears that the new hire - the replacement for a retirement - makes more than her predecessor and now two longtime employees need to catch up to this “resetting” of the base pay for these cabinet-level positions.

Resetting pay rates in the district isn’t new - but we’re most used to hearing about it at the lower ends of the pay scale, like when custodians took a pay cut.

But raises at the Balas Administration Building come at a time when the state is pressuring districts to trim costs, be fiscally accountable and set sustainable budgets. At a time when district employees are absorbing cuts in wages, benefits and working conditions. And when parents are hoping that the $30 million in cuts won’t affect the classrooms.

Shared pain, shared gain?

The AAPS leadership just added $24,902 to the administration budget while the rest of us are grappling with what cuts would be most fair across the district, even if they hurt some of us.

They may be thinking the amount of the raises is not that much. But I’d like to offer other numbers for comparison. Here are my Top 5 numbers that the school board should have thought about when considering how two administrative raises will affect the district:

1. $14 million: That’s the projected budget cut the district needs to make this year, according to what parents were told at community forums. That number is about 8 percent of its $185 million budget. Questions that parents were asked to focus on at those meetings: “What could we do differently to save money?” I’m doubtful that “pay administrators more” was among the answers.

2. $247,700: Patricia Green was hired in April to run the district at a base salary of $245,000 (plus $2,700 for the medical benefits that she’s waived). She replaced Todd Roberts, who earned $175,000. Another resetting of the pay scale.

3. 80: That’s the “glass is half-full” number, or the gain in students this year over last year. The “half empty” number is 50, or the shortfall of how many the district had budgeted to gain, meaning it won’t receive $465,000 from the state that it had anticipated.

4. $1.59: That’s how much the top of the per-hour pay scale dropped for school bus drivers when Ann Arbor signed onto the consolidated bus system run by the Washtenaw Intermediate School District. Now the most a bus driver can make is $16.50 an hour, and starting pay is $13 per hour. The drivers lost their jobs at the same time, and had to reapply for them.

5. 1/2: That’s the number of principals that four of the district’s elementary schools would have had if a plan to “principal share” had passed in the spring. The district said it could have saved $100,000 by turning to half-time leadership in the buildings that make or break a parent’s commitment to the district.

There are other numbers that catch my attention, too: 46 (as in cents, reflecting how much the district’s top custodians lost in hourly pay) or $400 (how much more custodians now pay for health insurance).

Or 88: The number of district employees who were paid more than $100,000 in 2010. It’s a number that represented 4 percent of the district’s employees at the time. I’ve requested the updated number from the district (it’s not yet on the AAPS website under the “transparency reporting” requirement, but I'm told it will be on Friday). The percentage of six-figure employees will likely now be higher, given the numbers of employees they’ve shed over the past two years (like bus drivers).

Then there’s 30: the average secondary class size this year at our high schools. District officials said in October that class averages across the district are two to three students higher than last year.

And a few more: 5.4 - as in $5.4 million, representing the teacher concessions made in June 2010. And four: the number of unpaid furlough days taken by teachers.

There are more numbers that we could consider when weighing what these raises tell us about the district’s direction. Even the time on the clock of the vote raises concerns: Is it really right to take this kind of vote after midnight?

The numbers we need to focus on right now are 16,589 - the number of kids in Ann Arbor Public Schools classrooms, each of whom deserves to have the adults running the district to make the best possible decisions for it.

And the number 1, representing the superintendent who’s making these choices and setting the tone for the district. She’s given us some indication of her expectations.

“It’s important to bring the community together to discuss what it is it values and what it is we need to continue to focus on,” Green told parents at a recent forum on what the district should be cutting from its budget.

That’s true. I also think she’d appreciate hearing what Ann Arbor parents think of today’s raises and the messages they send.

Paula Gardner is News Director of She has a child who attends Pittsfield Elementary and a child at Scarlett Middle School, and her husband works part-time at Pittsfield. She can be reached by email or followed on Twitter.



Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 12:07 a.m.

I'm shocked and incredulous. How can raises be given to two administrators when teachers are being laid off and their salaries cut? It's obvious who's important in the grand scheme of education and we know it's not the teachers. This is pathetic.

Paula Gardner

Mon, Dec 19, 2011 : 7:54 p.m.

Here is a story on the AAPS's updated list on the district employees earning more than $100,000 per year: <a href=""></a>


Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 5:09 p.m.

As I posted a few months ago, why did the school board vote to pay the new Ann Arbor superintendent approximately the same salary as the much larger Chicago Board of Education pays its superintendent of schools. If $250,000 a year is defensible for a school district the size of Chicago, shouldn't half that salary be ample for an Ann Arbor superintendent with an additional deputy than the former superintendent had. If Dr. Green needs such a highly paid, additional deputy, maybe the deputy should run the school district instead of Dr. Green.

Dr. I. Emsayin

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

Our neighbor group has been talking about Greenhills since hearing the Pioneer is cutting course selections for next year for both upper and lower level courses as well as the many popular courses that students have enjoyed for so many years. Seems Skyline got all the selection and Pioneer has been dropped to 5th rate among the 5 Ann Arbor high schools. Pioneer always had the lowest per student spending, and since Skyline has lost every new teacher hired for the past 4 years. Some folks are talking about opening a charter school with the new law just passing. One number should look at is how many students AAPS loses to private schools each year and why. Since most neighbors think that the BOE has wasted money in the superintendent's offices, there will be little hope of a millage passing or even donating to that organization that feeds AAPS as a &quot;charity.&quot; Why should we give to pay for &quot;extras&quot; when the extras could be paid for from those salary hikes. And certainly cutting teacher pay to pay coaches wasn't a good move either.

J. A. Pieper

Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 2:45 p.m.

Hope you keep your thoughts when it comes time for the technology millage in February and other future millages. Forget the &quot;charity&quot; we never really know what AAPS is doing with our tax dollars, and why I will be telling every one I know to vote &quot;NO&quot; on every millage for AAPS! Police, fire, library a different story.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.

Here's the link to salaries over 100k. Taxpayers are very generous. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 11:05 p.m.

This seems to violate the spirit of the Open Meetings Act. However, I suspect that it would probably squeak through the letter of the law. Or, they now pay Mr. Comsa enough to make sure it does.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 11:06 p.m.

On the other hand, the airport board is in Open Meetings Act trouble for hiring its $750,000/year administrator, with the possibility that her contract will be invalidated.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 6:12 p.m.

Are the BoE drinking from the same water that causes Ann Arbor City Council to be tone deaf? Let's face it. Until BoE members are not re-elected and millages fail, these folks don't care how much we vent here.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

You can email the entire Board of Education at: I got some interesting responses.

Dr. I. Emsayin

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

Please let us know what the BOE had to say!


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 9:03 p.m.

I got only one response, from Christine Stead.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 4:35 p.m.

Is it possible to learn more about the person Ms. Green hired without board approval? Was she narrowed down from a pool of applicants? Did she bring this person with her? Was this the position that hadn't been filled in order to save money the past three years? If so, was the need there to fill it?


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 4:15 p.m.

Outraged? Send our superintendent an email why: I did, and strongly encourage everyone to do the same


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 4:14 p.m.

I have a great way for the occupiers to get more support! Show up at the next School board meeting! Maybe we can unite!


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

As far as I am concerned Paula Green and the horse she rode in on can leave. We don't need this kind of &quot;leadership&quot;!


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

What a ridiculous notion that these pay raises would fly with the public, or the already pay-reduced working stiffs in the Ann Arbor Public Schools. It needs to be rescinded, and it will be......soon. Good luck when the District tries to pass it's &quot;Technology Bond&quot; that it will be pushing later this winter. It will not be voted in. Maybe some of this money that's being thrown around should go to a PR firm. They would never have recommended this.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 3:44 p.m.

I choose option 6: I wish I was incredulous, but sadly am not.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 3:44 p.m.

Fire them all and rehire them at a lower pay rate. Problem solved.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 11 p.m.

They should have to reapply for their jobs, just like the bus drivers did.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 9:22 p.m.

Heh. Maybe you should be superintendent.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 3:13 p.m.

Thank you for a very well written article. It says it all; concisely and professionally. I hope everyone reads it and let's the administration know that EVERYONE must share the pain!!!


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

Apparently the first hire was done not only without board approval but without public bidding procedures. Ignorance of such basics does not bode well for the competence of the new superintendent, nor does her 'admiration' for the work of Mr. Allen, the author of previous snafus in the workings of the school system.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 6:07 a.m.

Tiny Artist - Not true. All the new admin positions were publicly posted, after the positions were authorized by the Board of Ed. Any qualified applicant could have applied, and many did.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

Voting on something as controversial as this at 2AM? I think that shows bad faith from the BOE. If the four aye voting members thought this was the right thing to do then they should have voted on this openly after advanced notice to the public. A very sleazy and confidence busting move BOE.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 4:23 p.m.

I agree. In fact I think there should be a law that requires these meetings to end at a reasonable time to prevent activity like this. It could be named after the A2 BOE. Someone pointed out above that the board announced this would not be taken up at this meeting, which adds to the unethical taste of this.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:18 p.m.

Robert Allen probably deserves a raise. I don't know much about the other person. I wish Robert Allen were the superintendent. The school board's 'openness', inviting parent input, is pandering. It is merely an act of going through the motions to invite community input. Really, the AAPS school administration and board are doing this so when they make certain decisions, they can say they had community input. As a parent of kids in both middle school and elementary school here, I KNOW the administration has told some lies. A lie is not a twisting of truth, it's a flat out lie. I have lost faith in the board and the administration. If they could only be transparent and up front about the decisions they have made, the bitter medicine would be more palatable but to be talked down to, lied to and treated like brainless idiots is a real turnoff. Save the community forums. You're not fooling this parent.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:18 p.m.

Hmmm. I don't usually comment on these things because there is so much to comment on when it comes to education in this district . But in the last few years I have been frustrated , exasperated , and downright mortified by many of the careless , ignorant , and downright obnoxious things that have taken place because of foolish decisions made by the a2 BOE and the various administrators and even principals that have their ears. It seems to me that these decisions that we criticize here in these comment forums are made with complete knowledge that they will upset the community ( why would they vote at 2am otherwise?) but they don't care .... There's a common acceptance that the community is 'difficult' and that we'll ' complain' no matter what . I think that's malarky and it's time for the community to come together to stop these obscene decisions and help the BOE make some smart moves for a change . Our critisicm is obviously not getting through .

J. A. Pieper

Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 2:48 p.m.

I did not vote for the incumbents. But I can vote NO for all future millages!


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

Sadly, I think the community spoke when it reelected the incumbents. What a disappointment. We got what we deserve, I guess. They just don't listen. I hear teachers say they don't want fancy overheads to help them teach, they want fewer kids in the classrooms. But no one listens.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 1:23 p.m.

It's 2 a.m. in the morning. Do you know what your Board of Education is doing? Do you know where Patricia Green is? Is there no oversight going on in this community? Really! Let's have some straight talk about wages and budgets and what is possible and reasonable. Raises are not reasonable for administrators when we are cutting teaching positions!

Basic Bob

Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 12:54 p.m.

Awesome, why would you replace a retiring administrator (at the top of the pay scale) with a less experienced and unproven candidate, and pay even more money? The salary will continue to increase with experience and perceived increase in value of the person in the position. Clearly an ignorant, uninformed, and callous decision by our new super. For $140k we should let Mr. Allen run the show, as he has already shown he can (and still is). Far better than the quarter million dollar one we have now. And who can we hold accountable? Only the school board, for whom money is no object.

J. A. Pieper

Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

Robert Allen is the district Financial Officer, he did not want the job. Maybe he has worked at Balas long enough to realize he wouldn't want that position. He did a great job and is much more visible, widely accepted than most other Balas people.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:22 p.m.

Yes, I agree. Why wasn't Robert Allen made supervisor?


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 11:47 a.m.

Amazing. No administrator (and I've been one for 35 years) should get a raise if ANY employees are taking cuts. This is leadership at it's worst; who can respect central office when they do this? This should not be happening.

Alan Goldsmith

Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 11:10 a.m.

Paula, Thank you for your reporting/column. I am opposed to charter schools but if the Ann Arbor School Board expects to treat the public this way-secret votes at midnight, tossing dollars away without counting every penny and spitting in the face of the taxpayers who've supported millage votes in the past by the letting the bullet point issues you've addressed occur--then their 'leadership' is eventually going to damage public education in Ann Arbor and the backlash will mean less money for education, more for third rate 'for profit' charters and the losesr will be the students left behind. All of this is going to be remembered the next time a tax increase vote turns up on the ballot.

J. A. Pieper

Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

The losers will not only be the students left behind, but everyone else who has to teach, and be classmates with the students the charter schools are allowed to reject.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 7:29 a.m.

Not a good move at this time for raises...... but he real issue is the Nerd in Lansing taking money from the school aid fund and giving to his corporate buddies. So no matter what any district anywhere does there will be more cuts to be made. At this rate education will be back to a piece of chalk on a blackboard. And pay will be an apple for the teacher.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 4:19 p.m.

Can you give us one example of the Governor &quot;giving to his corporate buddies?&quot; Cutting taxes does NOT equal giving money. If your solution to funding issues is to maintain a tax system that pushed business and population from Michigan along with raising taxes to cover those losses, why are you so afraid to post that instead of a misguided attempt at blaming the Governor?

John Spelling

Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 6:39 a.m.

I Will: - No longer donate to the AAPS Educational Foundation - Campaign against and Vote no on any future millage request Until: This superintendent AND school board members (that voted in favor of these raises) are gone.

J. A. Pieper

Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

I am with you John, will never vote for another millage asked for by AAPS.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 3:40 p.m.

Goes without saying, lets occupy balais.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 4:43 a.m.

still on about cutting varsity sports (sorry for the topic-drift, Paula et al)...... 5) Nation of Fatties and you want to cut sports? erm? 6) Sports are a huge national interest. Schools need parental interest, participation and fundraising. This is far more likely to happen if the school has teams parents can get involved with and interested in. I have attended a high school football game. I don't have a player and never will have. I don't even fully understand the game. But other families were going and it was a fundraiser ...and I met many other people in the same situation. Including the Robotics club and their families. I feel a part of my kid's school and I think that's important. 7) College sports are a big thing. How many good school districts do not fund varsity sports? Wouldn't stopping varsity sports funding reduce the value of the district in the eyes of the colleges? it would certainly decrease it's visibility -surely that benefits everyone -nerds, jocks and jocknerds alike? 8) More of a question than a point...... If the district doesn't fund varsity sports, can they officially be varsity, because only the rich are going to be able to play?


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 4:14 p.m.

While I enjoyed sports from 7th grade up to my senior year, sports do not provide educational value, and are non essential. Funding for education must come first, then funding for extra curricular activities.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 11:03 a.m.

Swimmer - Do we really need 3 athletic directors and 3 support staff to schedule games? Do we really need a pool in every building that is now drained much of the year to save costs? It seems that if you are not on a team, you get a few lessons in the pool over your career at AAPS? Do we really need grandstands that hold thousands for games that mostly attract hundreds? Do we really need lights around the fields, when games could be scheduled during daylight? Do we really need both practice fields and game fields for football at every school? Do we really need university level weight rooms for high school sports that are only available to varsity athletes? Do we really need to think about hiring a coach first and then figuring out what they can teach? I played sports - high school, college, post college - I had 1 team mate who made the NFL. Of the thousands of children I knew only that 1 made the NFL, no other child that I knew actually made money from sports. The amount that AAPS spends out the general fund - more than $3 million would support an additional 30 teachers. Studies show that physical activity, not sports helps with learning in schools. Varsity teams tend to create Cliques in schools that tend to pick on non-clique members. This is contrary to good order and disipline. I doubt many parents would leave the district if the school stopped spending $12 million on sports and facilities. I suspect they would raise the funds to keep the teams going. It is one of the few areas where parents will. As to the culture deciding that a drug dealling Wide Reciever is worth millions and the police officer that caught him is only worth $50,000 a year in salary, well - maybe our cultural priorities are messed up.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 4:23 a.m.

@DonBee Why do you want to cut varsity sports? Do you not believe that there are many families who have other options who choose to stay in AA public schools because of their varsity sports? Do you not believe that varsity sports have any educational benefit? Are you resentful about the money spent on them because you and/or your student never made varsity? Varsity sports are a new thing to me. My oldest child is a freshman, I'm an alien, there are no high school sports where I come from. So this is all new to me. But I think it's a fantastic thing. 1) Students are held to high behavioural and academic standards. They strive to achieve in subjects they would otherwise have maybe scraped by in at best. They develop leadership and team-membership skills, and are expected to perform community service, and in doing so they become great role models. I only see benefits here. 2) Varsity provides a goal/an aim for all athletes. Natural talent is only a tiny part of what it takes to become a great athlete. It takes dedication and practice. So varsity is not as exclusive as it might seem. Almost every student could be a varsity althete if they put in the work. no varsity -nothing to work for, so why bother? 3) High School Sports in general provide all students with access to top-level sports coaching, not just the rich ones. Take away varsity and you will also take away the top-level coaches. Shouldn't everyone have the chance of an olympic dream, not just the rich ones? So many kids are able to participate who have never played a sport outside of the bean-bag tag they were forced to play in elementary school. Some of them turn out to be good and find a way to get a college scholarship which was never in their future before.... 4) Varsity sports provide a focus for school spirit and pride. Whilst this is very strange to an alien like myself, it generally seems to be a good thing. ....and I'm running out of space, but I think I've made a good start :)


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

We could not do varsity this year due to the $500 entrance fee they posted. Next September we will have it. Yes, I agree, varsity is a great way to keep children out of trouble.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 4:17 a.m.

Three wrongs make everything right.

J. A. Pieper

Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 2:58 p.m.

Is this Patricia L. Green responding? Too funny!


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 4:12 a.m.

You can write what ever you want but until the community takes real action or charges nonfeasance to board members or takes it to the state board of education, this abuse will continue. If you look at the history of the district, both these individuals have not been there that long to warrant this pay. When is Ann Arbor going to wake up?


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 4 a.m.

I agree that a 2am vote after the issue had allegedly been taken off the agenda seems underhand at best. But -to play devil's advocate- what would have happened if the board had voted against the raises? Would the two employees have sued for equality in pay? Would the &quot;unapproved hire&quot; have been able to sue for the rate she was promised by Green? And if so, how much would defending these suits -or hiring replacements- have cost the district? This may be a slap in the face to all those who have taken pay cuts/lost their jobs/benefits, but just maybe it was the cheaper option? Of course if the debate/vote/whatever had happened with more notice and at a more reasonable time, someone might have been there to ask these questions and we would know.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

Green should be reprimanded and punished for making the 'unapproved hire' in the first place. This is the same board in which a member, a few years ago, used her board stationery, to help reduce a student's punishment. I believe the board member was Karen Cross. She claimed she had no intention of abusing her position. BS. That was the eye-opening moment for me with this board. They are in an ivory tower and power hungry. So far, so good. AAPS are great - but they day will come when they won't be great and the board will no longer get away with some of this nonsense. Right now, they have license to do whatever they want, or so it seems. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Basic Bob

Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 1 p.m.

They did not have contracts that guarantee no one makes more money. They have different positions, there is no pay equality issue.

Robert Bray

Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 3:30 a.m.

HMMM.......So the wage disparity between the lowest earners in the system and the highest earners grows even greater. Sounds like America to me. Come on Ann Arbor wake up! When will this cycle of the rich thinking that they deserve more even when the poorest are taking more pay cuts. I have not been involved in the occupy______ movement but if this keeps up someone will need to speak truth to power.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 3:05 a.m.

This is completely unethical and a glaring example of how local govt units often make serious mistakes that lead to budget problems, morale issues and misappropriation of funds. This is a slap in the face to the teachers and other employees, particularly those at the lower end of the pay scale who have to suffer cuts. I have thought all along it was foolish to bring in a superintendent at such an abnormally high rate of pay, and this is what happens when that occurs. There is a ripple effect with other administrators, a closing of the gap so to speak. AAPS, and other govt units should not hire a new employee at a higher rate than the previous employee who earned their pay after several years of good performance. A new hire should never benefit from the performance of their predecessor, particularly one that served several years. They should start at a lower pay and earn increases.

Lola Killey

Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:42 a.m.

Let's start an &quot;Occupy Balas&quot; group. The same reasoning would apply.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 3:37 p.m.

They have a nice parking lot that would hold a rather large group. Great idea.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:40 a.m.

I hate to say it, this is exactly what happened to the AAPS bus drivers before they were laid off and WISD came in took over. Everyone was laid off but only half were rehired. This occurred after school let out and when no one was around to help. This is no surprise in the least as to what happens when you let people out after dark. For shame. #4 is the reason I will not work or ever go back to work for them ever. Even though they are WISD in Ypsilanti and WR. I really wish WISD would be dropped and someone else comes in. So sad what happened to some really great drivers who cared.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 1:53 a.m.

The school board and administration have mastered compartmentalized thinking. As such, they are unable to see the whole financial picture and understand that taking from &quot;Peter&quot; will affect &quot;Paul&quot;........Must be they are the result of our cookie stamped, production-oriented, standardized test system. If not, then they truly don't give a damn about the people in the trenches. Absolutely, disgusted. Bet that technology millage has less of a chance of passing now. Great job.

J. A. Pieper

Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 3 p.m.

I hope we all remember this when the millage (and further millages) come before us!


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:41 a.m.

I don't plan on voting for it. They gave themselves a raise? Heck they have the money for the tech. Good luck.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 1:40 a.m.

this generation is making such a grand impression for my grandkids to laugh at and hate at the same time.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 1:01 a.m.

Did Green get the message at her recent Forums that people wanted to pay administrators more? I certainly don't recall such a message.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:33 p.m.

I didn't attend any recent forums when it dawned on me they'd be for show and nothing else. They were probably a big waste of time. It's a circus.

Bob Martel

Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 12:48 a.m.

And to think that some people complain about Emergency Financial Managers because they are &quot;UN-democratic!&quot; Once again the direct provision of public services takes a back seat to coddling the bureaucracy. Citizens are not stupid, they will figure this out eventually and then heads will roll.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 12:32 a.m.

Paula The 46 cents lost is not right. The custodians lost $1.20 an hour plus ect. .


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:43 a.m.

Here is the scary part. That is up in June. 2 years is the contract good for. It would not pass them to privatize them. The board still wants to do this. Why do you think they came after the food workers then 2 years later? The bus drivers. Now? Custodians. AAPS cares more for themselves then anyone else. Take a look at how much certain people in Balais are making then start voting no on new mileages.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 12:32 a.m.

Pretty amazing. Maybe the school board will give a similar raise to the district's bus drivers? No! Wait! To save money the district fired 'em all. Thank God, else it wouldn't have the money to give these very valuable administrators. Good Night and Good Luck


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:44 a.m.

Why do you think they only got 30 apps last summer? Because one one wants to work for a dirty crook.

Susie Q

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 11:47 p.m.

One of the new hires was to replace the administrator for all of instruction who left the district about 3 years ago. In the meantime, AAPS has had an administrator for elementary instruction and one for secondary. So....they have actually filled a vacancy that was unstaffed for about 3 years. These raises, while a tiny part of the entire budget, are a slap in the face to the employees who have had &quot;increased responsibilities &quot;, decreased wages, increased benefits contributions and will likely be asked for more concessions to balance the budget for next year. The real issue is how Lansing now funds public education in Michigan; please remember that Mark Ouimet voted to raid the K-12 School Aid Fund in order to give businesses the 1.6 billion dollar tax cut. The schools would not be in nearly so bad a situation if this action had not been taken. The raises for central administrators, though, sends a terrible message to the community and the district employees.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 1:54 a.m.

Susie, Sure the amount of money is symbolic. But symbolism is important. What is NOT just symbolic is the process that the (majority of the) school board used to pass this. They TABLED the vote at the beginning of the meeting, ostensibly to the next meeting, and brought it back when nearly everyone had already left. That is the really egregious part.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 11:26 p.m.

It appears that Ms. Green is more interested in expending dollars on administrators instead of expending funds of learning. Number one, I resent that she was hired at a $65,000 increase from Dr. Roberts' salary, number two, us on the low end of the totem pole have had our hours cut, salary frozen and or reduced--something just doesn't seem right here.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 11:25 p.m.

This is very well written and clearly numbers don't lie. But this started when they hired Green for about 70,000 more a year then Dr. Roberts. This BOE is out of touch and simply doesn't realize the impact of these decisions. Then to make this decision past midnight is an absolute embarrassment to those in the community that want a voice.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 11:03 p.m.

I guess what hurts me the most is that I am expected to listen to these people complain that we need to give more (and it seems to be the middle class and poor who are doing the giving these days) because times are bad and we need &quot;shared sacrifice&quot;. &quot;We don't have the money&quot; they say. &quot;I don't share your priorities for spending what we do have&quot;, I say. We seem to overvalue administrators and CEOs. Yet, we do not hold their performance accountable to anything. Where are they when we need the police, the firefighters, that clerk in city hall, or that teacher? Counting their beans and figuring out what to say to justify taking an ever increasing share of the pie from what I can tell. Let' be honest. Being rich isn't a crime. It is how you get your money that makes it right or wrong. And, being an administrator isn't a crime. It is also about what you do to get your paycheck. Can any of these administrators demonstrate that they work twice as hard as a teacher paid at half their salary? No, they just want to whine like a little kid that their brother or sister or friend got more candy than they did. At least that is how I see it. What hurts is that I am supposed to listen and accept this without feeling insulted as to my intelligence. I find it truly degrading and lacking in respect.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:35 p.m.

Well put.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 10:58 p.m.

Wow, is this a gender equity problem? The previous superintendent made 175k now this one make 240K, and we are supposed to rejoice. I can guarantee you we could get one of the brilliant teachers in A2 to run the district with a lot less than that and do a better job. Maybe we need someone to fluff the egos of the board. Isn't hiring someone without board approval a fire-able offence. I hope residents in A2 realize how far out of touch these folks are. we are getting robbed blind. Where is the outcry when half of America is below poverty level, directly as a result of poor learning and no discipline. read the other news article. Very good reporting by the way!


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 11:11 p.m.

We have elected these people. Yes, I believe the voters in Ann Arbor are idiots. This is exactly the kind of behavior that causes people to forget their Constitutional rights and want to bring in an EFM to &quot;get the job done&quot; but from what I can see they get only more of the same. I confess I don't know the answer. But, we need an answer quickly. We need people who understand that &quot;shared sacrifice&quot; does not mean paying CEOs more and more and giving businesses more and more subsidies. CEOs should serve the corporations they manage and business should serve the people by balancing shareholder, customer, supplier, and employee interests in a partnership that creates value. We seem to have lost that balance.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 10:30 p.m.

I have no idea if they deserved the raise.... But passing it without notice and trying to hide it at 2 AM is deceitful.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:45 a.m.

They did this to the bus drivers at 7PM. Go figure.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:46 p.m.

Good teaching and admin jobs are supposed to be scarce. Therefore it is possible to find good competitive candidates positions at the previously set salary/benefits. I value teachers, counselors, bus drivers, principals and janitors who are having salaries and benefits cut. Give them a break and stop being so selfish. An extra $24k between two positions with a 6 digit salary isn't going to make that big of difference. Keeping other positions at the current level is much more important.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 3:22 a.m.

You are right. Almost without exception, when a municipal unit of govt needs to make cuts for fiscal reasons, they always look to the lower end of the pay scale, not the top where, IMHO is where the most fat collects. And those people who get cut, they are the people that the children and parents have the most contact with and who do work for them. Not many people have contact with the top administrators.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:38 p.m.

Raises? Seriously?


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:38 p.m.

And coming this spring - more millage requests. More money to feed the administration's hunger for raises and perks. Chalk me up as a NO vote on the millage. Expect if the Technology millage passes this spring that an Enhancement millage will follow quickly behind. $12 million for varsity sports and supporting facilities this year and another $10 million or so for salaries in Balas for administrators. Seems to me we know where the $14 million in cuts should come from. I wonder how much we owe Dr. Green if we fire her?


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 12:08 a.m.

I'm sure DonBee was not being sarcastic when he asked what we would owe Dr. Green to fire her. Paula, can you find out?


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:30 p.m.

You live in Ann Arbor and are surprised...shame on you...Just another &quot; porkfest &quot; in your wallet by the people who could give a damn about anything other than themselves and their crony's....If you think for a minute your kids are getting an education just ask what is being taught in the public sector schools wonder the charters are doing so well....


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:23 p.m.

Paula, This is very well put. I posted about this yesterday afternoon (<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> when I found it would be on the agenda, and I would like to publicly thank trustees Baskett, Lightfoot, and Thomas for voting against this resolution. What is even more egregious is that they pulled this resolution off the agenda, and when my friend was there at 10 p.m., she was told by a trustee that it would be voted on in two weeks. And then, at the last minute, and AFTER MIDNIGHT, it was put back on the agenda and voted on. To me, that's outrageous. By the way, you can email the Board of Education at Let them know what you think!


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:38 p.m.

My apologies to Thomas and Lightfoot. I figured it was more of the same, being incumbents who won earlier this fall. I guess I was wrong. They were thinking straight.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:21 p.m.

The reason this &quot;out of touch with reality - give each other raises&quot; happens: it's not &quot;real&quot; money; it's just &quot;taxpayer&quot; money.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:29 p.m.

hahah hilarious good thing i am not a A2 taxpayer! Give them all the boot.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:18 p.m.

Synder apparently needs to make more cuts to public schools funding since they have money to give away.

Momma G

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:09 p.m.

Are you kidding me? This is so ridiculous and the BOE approved it? Yes, financial discipline is definitely a problem. And how does this increase help the CHILDREN?


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 8:59 p.m.

Wow. Superintendent Green seemed to be MIA for a long time; now that she seems to be more engaged with the community, I realize that she's tone-deaf at best, and incompetent at worst, for making a hire that's so out of line with the existing payscale and board approval process. And the Board simply ratified that financial irresponsibility, after the fact? Is this the same Board that wants taxpayers to support the next millage request? What planet do they live on? I'll drive a snowmobile to my polling place next February, if I have to, just to have the pleasure of voting NO.

J. A. Pieper

Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

The bus drivers are no longer AAPS employees, they work for a privatized company, and no additional millage will help them.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 3:16 a.m.

I admire your stand, JA and JNS, but is it not more of a benefit for bus drivers to vote yes on a millage increase? I think it better to vote this board out of office. I wonder if it is possible to recall board members. If there ever was a good reason to recall board members, fiscal irresponsibility is about as good a reason as any.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:48 a.m.

I know a lot of bus drivers I can get a vote no on next year. AAPS? You messed up again.

J. A. Pieper

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 11:34 p.m.

I am an employee and I will be voting no and encouraging everyone I know to do the same.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 8:54 p.m.

Who should be the priority in the schools, the superintendent and deputy superintendents or the students? The BOE was totally out of touch when they posted the super job and they are even more out of touch now that they have corrected their mistake by by compounding it. Why didn't they deduct the difference that had to be covered in the new hire's salary from the supers inflated salary, it was her mistake? We are cramming kids in classrooms, we have cut bus driver salaries and we are facing more future cuts. We have our own 99% fiasco going on in the Balas office. I know Dave and Robert, they are remarkable employees. Robert was a fantastic interim super and would have been a far better choice then the current choice. I think he experienced the Balas insanity first hand and knew he was smart not to go any higher. Come on BOE, get a grip on it and start throwing money in the direction of the students not overpaid administrators. ( just as a reality check do us a favor and tell us all what the real salary is for Pat Greene, the car, the moving expenses, the milage allowance....what is the tool with all the perks? What perks did the new hire get?)

Dr. I. Emsayin

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 12:58 p.m.

Those two guys are Dr. Greene's security blanket. Other places she is getting luke warm reviews at best.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 8:46 p.m.

What a piece of work!


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 3:42 p.m.

I had no intention otherwise.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:14 p.m.

Thanks for keeping it clean.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 8:26 p.m.

I agree that this isn't exactly the best time for administrator raises. But does two people getting a raise warrant so much coverage? And why doesn't this site's News Director know that a poll shouldn't be paired with an opinion column?


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 3:11 a.m.

I say yes. It is a huge story. Four administrators being paid a total of $670,000 in the face of a need to cut $30 million is a big issue. Those salaries should never reach this level and should have been frozen as soon as budget issues arose.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 8:31 p.m.

This is just another example of inept government spending for their own benefit at the expense of the taxpayers. I love how people always justify this type of spending with &quot;it's only a small percentage of the budget&quot;. This gets siad a thousand times per year in congress and look at what a mess we're in. Fiscal responsibility and control need to be job one especially when you are tearing apart the school district to pay for all of this and wrecking the schools. Can you say emergency financial manager?&quot;

ralph mcgraw

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 8:25 p.m.

Yeah, so much for being the smartest city in America.

J. A. Pieper

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 11:32 p.m.

Hey, come on, she didn't come from here, but maybe she has quickly learned that because AAPS hired her, they are not going to admit they made a mistake!


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 8:24 p.m.

I think it is obscene to provide raises to administrators in the face of huge budget cuts. What happeend to sharing the pain?


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 8:21 p.m.

I guess for $245,000 a year your job doesn't come with a job description that tells you what you can, and cannot, do. Nor are there policies in the Ann Arbor School System that govern what the board has to approve, or doesn't have to approve. Sort of a free-wheeling, do whatever pleases me, process?


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 8:10 p.m.

Patricia Green previously spoke of a &quot;discipline gap&quot;. Well, she has a discipline problem herself: financial discipline! There is no excuse for giving someone a 12.4 percent raise for PROJECTED revenue. That's like someone telling their boss, &quot;Hey buddy, I bet I can make some substantial sales in the next year or two, even though I haven't done much this year. So, how about that 12.4% raise?&quot;


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 11:25 p.m.

Please....this isn't &quot;revenue&quot;. Those are my tax dollars.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 8:09 p.m.

......and the number one reason..........: Looking out for number one. You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours (with other peoples money) Hey! $245k looks better if you get everyone up around $200k I need a good gobment job.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 8:08 p.m.

So to be sure I have this straight. Patricia Green hired someone as a replacement for someone retiring and gave them a raise to boot (and did it without board approval because &quot;she didn't know she needed it&quot;). Now two other administrators need raises to catch up to the raise that Green gave out without board approval. I just want to make sure I am interpreting this correct. If so, then my vote is unnecessary AND incredulous. Also, the other article mentioned two new hires done by Green. Did only one of them hire in at a higher salary than their predecessor?


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 1:38 a.m.

Yes--the person hired as Deputy Superintendent for Instruction, Alecia Flye (not sure of the spelling), was hired in at $140,000. That's about $8,000 more than the person who had the job before her (Lee Ann Dickinson-Kelly), who had been with the district for 38 years. The Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education, Dawn Linden, was hired for about $5,000 less than the person who last held that job--also Lee Ann Dickinson-Kelly. (She had become the interim deputy superintendent for instruction.) And I think that position had been left vacant as a cost savings last year. Now it's been filled.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 8 p.m.

Nice article!

Stephen Landes

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 7:58 p.m.

Paula, Thanks you for your column. Too bad the Board and out completely out of touch Superintendent will never read your column nor internalize its message.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 10:40 p.m.

I'm not sure that none of the Board has read the article...according to the poll, 3% agree with the raises given. Hard to believe that those votes could have comes from anyone else. Thank you, Paula, for the article.