Letter to the Editor

RE: Discontent over salary schedules grows among Nevada teachers

Friday, May 31, 2013

Dear Editor:

In response to the Saturday May 18, Nevada Daily Mail interview with Dr. David Stephens, the following information needs to be shared with the patrons of the Nevada R-5 School District:

Case in point: The reported salary of the superintendent of the Nevada R-5 School District on Sep. 4, 2010 was $120,000 according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch based on data supplied from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

In actuality: The reported salary of the superintendent of the Nevada R-5 School District on Sept. 5, 2012. school year was $131,400 according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch based on data supplied to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This information is substantiated by The Missouri National Education Association, in addition to the Post-Dispatch and DESE.

As stated in Dr. Stephens 2012-13 signed R-5 employment contract .... AT THE BOTTOM PAGE ONE UNDER SECTION 3 A1:


The DISTRICT will pay all actual mileage at the district approved rate AND AN ADDITIONAL $6000 PER YEAR DIVIDED IN 12 EQUAL INSTALLMENTS AS SALARY. THE AMOUNT IS CONSIDERED AS SALARY ...."

That $6000 annually is to handle the daunting 4.3 mile round trip distance between all Nevada schools?

Page 2 of Dr. Stephens 2012-13 superintendents contract Section 3 A 3: The total estimated salary ... for the 2012-13 school year would include: Base salary $125,400: #1 $6000 and #2 the actual cost of family medical insurance.

What are the Facts In 2012-13, 78 other Missouri School districts have maintained Career Ladder programs without the state funding. This list includes nearby districts such as El Dorado Springs. The 57 percent of the Career Ladder Program funded by the district was discontinued under the direction of David Stephens and the R-5 Board. The loss of career ladder program resulted in a $5,000 pay decrease over a 2-year period for 92 veteran Nevada teachers. Although Nevada teachers received a $1,000 pay increase to offset a portion of this loss in July of 2011, it still amounted to a $4,000 pay cut over 2 years.

FACT: Even with the recently announced raise many Nevada Teachers are working for less money than they were three years ago. FACT: The same CANNOT be said for Dr. David Stephens.

Upon further review: Even after the recent pay increase for Nevada teachers, the pay scale for veteran teachers when compared to: Bolivar, Carl Junction, Clinton, Harrisonville, Joplin, McDonald County, Neosho, Pleasant Hill and Republic, moved from ninth to seventh (on average) ... still among the worst in the study comparison.

In other words the '13-14 salary scale for Nevada teachers ranks in the bottom third when compared to the 2012-13 school year salaries of the other nine schools in the comparison.

Bottom Line: Mr. McKinley asked to speak to Dr. Stephens regarding his findings in a salary committee meeting on April 24 in an effort to improve communication and improve the situation. That offer was denied.

Kevin and I both asked to address our concerns to the R-5 Board of Education in May. That request was denied.

Fact: Mr. McKinley was offered his extended (AD) contract on April 12. Then, Dr. Stephens, in a purely vindictive move, forced Kevin to resign three weeks later for obviously bringing to light these concerns on behalf of subordinate employees of the Nevada R-5 School District. Kevin McKinley's record: 26 years of service, three time teacher of the year, one time southwest district MIAAA (State AD Association) Athletic Director of the Year, securing new conference, better than a 99 percent scheduling rate during the five year period without a conference, dismissed because of the embarrassment brought to Dr. Stephens by the points revealed by my son.

In conclusion: You say in your article of May 18 the assertions made are not Apples to Apples Dr. Stephens? ... how about another food analogy: "No matter how thin you slice it, it is still bologna."

John W. McKinley

Nevada, Mo.