Lawrence school board to hear administrative comparison study

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Key points — the board will:

• Hear a comparative administration study from the Kansas Association of School Boards.

The board asked the district for comparisons of administrator positions and salaries across districts of similar size or neighboring, competitor districts. The district asked the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB) to update some administrative comparisons it did for the district a few years ago. District staff then reviewed the comparisons to ensure accuracy, and a KASB representative will present the study during Monday’s meeting.


Superintendent Anthony Lewis presented some salary comparisons for superintendents and principals at the board’s Feb. 14 meeting. The Kansas State Department of Education does not make other administrative salary comparisons because of “the difficulty of comparing ‘like’ positions,” according to the agenda memo. Districts all have different administrative structures, so comparing on a one-to-one basis is challenging, according to the memo.

The Times was unable to locate the older version of the comparison study on Sunday, and the updated version was not yet attached to Monday’s meeting agenda. 

The chart below shows superintendent salaries from 2016-2021 for those in Kansas districts with enrollments greater than 7,000. 

• Hear from State Board of Education representative Ann Mah.

Mah represents the fourth district, which includes Lawrence, on the Kansas State Board of Education. She will be “discussing several topics and providing KSDE updates,” according to the memo.

Mah and the other nine state board of education members on Friday unanimously voted to suspend Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson rather than accept his resignation following racist statements he made about Native Americans during an education conference earlier this month.

• Hear a report from Zachary Conrad, the district’s director of data and technology, about data-informed decisions.

“This report will cover the work being done with district teams and building administrators around supporting buildings with the access, understanding, and use of data,” according to the memo. The report was not attached as of Sunday evening. 

• Consider purchasing a new elementary-level English Language Arts program and a six-year contract for $882,900.

The district’s current Elementary Core English Language Arts resource is Pearson’s Reading Street, which was discontinued in July 2021. The district has supplemented Reading Street with additional resources, outlined in the memo, but now the district has selected a new program.

The district’s curriculum, instruction and assessment team evaluated potential ELA resources based on certain criteria, and recommended the district purchase Benchmark Advance 2.5. The cost would be paid from the Student Materials Revolving Fund elementary curriculum and instruction budget.


• Recess to executive session for half an hour.

The board will move to a closed-door executive session to discuss personnel matters for 30 minutes, with Superintendent Anthony Lewis invited to be present, following the reports and new business.

The consent agenda includes routine items that are considered altogether with one vote, unless a board member or the superintendent asks to pull an item for discussion. On Monday’s consent agenda, the board will: 

• Consider setting aside an additional $20,000 for student and staff device repairs.

The board approved setting aside up to $30,000 with Synetic Technologies for device repair on Oct. 11, 2021.  However, a recent invoice puts the district over the approved encumbrance, so the district is asking for an additional $20,000, for a total of $50,000.

The district does not charge families for damage to devices unless building administration finds the damage to be intentional. 

• Appoint a board treasurer.

The board must appoint a treasurer, per state law. With the retirement of the district’s executive director of finance, Kathy Johnson, the board must select a replacement — likely the administration’s pick, the current executive director of finance, Cynde Frick.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. Monday at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive. Meetings are open to the public, livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel and broadcast on Midco channel 26. Full meeting agendas are available at this link.

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