Sunday, April 01, 2007

Howell Schools Super Chuck Breiner to Saginaw?

This could be significant with contract disputes and school board elections on the horizon.

From the Argus
An intermediate school district that covers 13 school systems in the Saginaw area is courting Howell Public Schools Superintendent Chuck Breiner for its top job.
Breiner, who has headed up Livingston County's largest district since 1999, is one of four finalists for the superintendent position with the Saginaw Intermediate School District.

"I think it's an opportunity for growth and, working in an ISD, I think (it) gives you a larger view of education," Breiner said. "In this case, it's over a dozen school districts that would be connected to the ISD there.

"There's diversity there, across lots of different lines — economically, socially and in many other ways and I think that would be a wonderful challenge."


The regional district, which encompasses 38,000 students, 13 school districts and several community education programs and buildings, is looking to pay a base salary between $130,000 and $150,000.

According to the district's 2005-2006 annual report, the superintendent also receives an expense account, leased vehicle and supplemental compensation of $15,000.

Breiner currently makes a base salary of $140,000 as the top administrator in the Howell district, which has more than 8,500 students.

$140,000 base salary? That's damn good money. Leased car as well? I'm sure it wasn't a used car or a Ford Pinto, not there is anything wrong with a Pinto. For $140,000+ a year, the super can drive his own wheels. Even our congressman, state reps and state senators drive their own cars.

I would not be saddened to see him take the Saginaw job. I remember when he was job hunting and used Rochester to get himself a big raise here in 04. I don't have a problem with him doing that, but I do not support the board doing that, and then at the same time asking for a Headlee Override tax increase. The tax failed to pass. Breiner called the voters uneducated and then a second election was scheduled, this time on a Monday in September which passed thanks to a 10% turnout.

There's also all the social issues disputes. I won't mention those any further as that horse has been beaten to death. All I will say is that a good leader would have ended these issues when they started two years ago. Besides the tax cheerleading and the social issue blunders (due to bad leadership), how can the board have a major moral ground in contract negotiations with the teachers' union when the topheavy admins get major raises?

Personally, I'd let Breiner go to Saginaw, promote one of the more responsible assistant admins there from within, (Rick Terres or Lynn Parrish), and eliminate at least one of the assistant super positions.

We have Parker High opening, Howell High renovations, and a contract dispute going in full force, and the lack of funds for operation. These are pressing issues for the largest school district here in Livingston County. There's a school board election this May, and we need to elect two fiscaly responsible individuals who will bring new leadership to Howell Schools. Bill Harvey and Doug Moore have earned the endorsement of the Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC, and will bring fiscal responsibilty to the board.

It's time for Howell to move forward in a new direction.


Bachbone said...

If he gets the job, he will earn every penny of the salary and perks. Saginaw schools are a hell hole; a DEEtroit and Flint on a slightly smaller scale. Weapons brought to schools are still happening despite hall guards and metal detectors. Gangs are working their magic on rival gangs. Experienced teachers and administrators are getting out as fast as they can. Saginaw's police force has been cut over 50% from 10 or 15 years ago. My advice to Breiner would be to run! Run as fast as he can to withdraw his name from consideration unless he plans to live like a pauper for a year, bank the salary and leave while he has his health.

Curley Sue said...

A good Administrator would not worry so much about himself, but what he could bring to a program in need. Not that I think Mr. Breiner would put the kids before himself, but if he wants a new challenge where they might welcome someone with his experience, hey, they might be well served to take a serious look at Chuck Breiner. I don't wish him any more grey hair, but I hope the door won't hit him in the fanny on the way out.

Keith Richards said...

Intermediate school districts (ISD's) do not do the same job that normal school districts do. Livingston County has an ISD but how many people can say what it does?

ISD's provide specialized consulting services to regular school districts with the idea being that a regular district may not be able to afford a specialist in a particular field but all the school districts in one county may be able to. ISD employees generally work with teachers regarding special needs students or do evaluations of students requiring special services. They also provide specialized assistance and training. They don't teach in a classroom, that is the job of a regular teacher.

Because ISD's don't have classrooms and students their funding works differently from regular school districts and does not have the same political ups and downs. ISD's have an appointed school board rather than an elected one. This setup allows ISD's to work silently behind the scenes with very little public scrutiny. And yes, there is abuse as evidenced by the superintendent of the Oakland County ISD who went to prison after being involved in a very public scandal a few years ago.

The bottom line is that being Superintendent of an ISD is a cushy job compared to a regular school district. No more school board meetings with complaints from angry parents, no more worrying about state funding cutbacks. Considering that he will get royal pay and benefits he would be crazy NOT to take the job. Lastly, I don't know how many years that Breiner has built up toward his school retirement pension, but his annual pension after retirement will be based on an average of the previous 3 years of service, so if he gets a huge pay increase he only has to stick around for 3 years to get a lot more money in retirement. Even if the job is harder (HAH!) it would be worth it to receive a lot bigger pension for the rest of his life (which could be another 20 or 40 years after retirement!)

Keith Richards said...

About nothing being wrong with the Pinto . . .

It is true that the exploding gas tank stories were overblown (no pun intended) as extensive testing and statistical studies proved that the problem was no worse than other comparable cars of the day, although the design, common in the '70's regardless of manufacturer, WAS dangerous by modern standards.

However, I owned a mid-70's bare boned, no frills, no power anything stick-shift Pinto. It was very tiny and cramped and had a 2.3 liter engine which produced a little over 100 horsepower. It was capable of doing 0-60 in about 30 seconds and got 16-20mpg with the 4 speed stick shift (close to what massively powerful fully loaded 4-wheel drive SUV's get these days), which was average for an economy car of the day (even the old VW Beetle only got a little over 20mpg). The back seat was too small for anyone but a child and the trunk was just big enough to hold a spare tire and a briefcase (I did not have the hatchback version and I had to put groceries in the back seat). Worst of all, the bottoms of the doors, the trunk, and the floorboards were rusted out and full of holes before the car was 4 years old.

The Pinto got me back and forth to work, at least until it got totaled by a hit-and-run driver. In the accident the shoulder harness failed and I narrowly survived with major injuries requiring surgery, hospitalization, and rehab. Had the shoulder harness not failed I would have suffered fewer serious injuries (although I still would have needed hospitalization).

I replaced the Pinto with an early Ford Escort, built about 5 years after the Pinto. THAT was a good car. The Escort had the same lack of power with a 1.6 liter engine but was very roomy for an economy car and had lots of storage space. It did rust out but at least it took 9 years instead of 3 1/2. It sure was nice being able to put groceries into the trunk-like enclosure under the hatchback cover rather than in the back seat. Oh yes, and my no frills/no power anything Escort built 25 years ago averaged around 35-40mpg, which is respectable even for a new car built today.

Republican=Conservative said...

As a student of HPS, I am deeply disgusted in how Mr. Briener has run the has gotten to the point where teachers are offering extra credit to bring in pencils, kleenex, etc. While all this is happening Mr. Briener is getting a pay raise. I will be glad to see him go.