Among tonight's meaty agenda items, the Madison Central School Board will consider approval of the teaching contract agreement for AY 2009–2010. The agreement includes the pay grades for the many extracurricular activities (see pp. 8–9).
Now loyal readers know I'm a great defender of extracurricular activities. They add lots of value to education for relatively low expense. But one line of frivolous spending leaps out at me this morning: Prom Advisor. Apparently, we pay someone as much as $1303 (depending on experience, I assume) to help the kids stage prom.
$1303. For a dance.
Holy cow! Last year, I paid myself just $650 to run the Dakota Invitational interp contest at DSU. I had to coordinate a comparable number of people and manage more separate activities in more buildings. And the interp contest actually achieves some educational objectives.
I really need to raise my rates.
For perspective, we should note that $1303 is only 0.36% of the proposed $358,000 cocurricular budget and 0.01% (one ten-thousandth) of the proposed $11.7 million total school appropriations (see 2009-2010 proposed budget, also on tonight's agenda). Those numbers remind us that cocurriculars are just 3% of the budget. As I said, that's a lot of bang for the buck.
But over a thousand bucks, for a prom coach. Thousands more spent by parents to bribe kids with a night-long party and prizes to keep them from drinking and having sex afterward. Throw in the hundreds of dollars spent by each couple, and you've got an awful lot of money going for frivolous purposes.
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