Corbett Charter School employs a staff that is as well educated and effective as that in any school in the State of Oregon, public or private. Our experience level is a very healthy combination of those of us who measure our careers in decades, some seasoned-but-not-yet-weathered veterans, and some bright new talent.
While our most veteran teachers earn about $80,000.00 per year, the average cost of a teacher contract at Corbett Charter School is about $71,000 for a 164-day contract (our contract days, by the way, are 9 hours long, so one wants to be wary of comparisons to schools in other districts). Nearly 30% of this amount is payroll expenses and health care benefits, not salary. This amount is very close to the state average for teachers and is based on a commitment that we made to our staff as part of our early planning process.
Corbett Charter School secured that majority of its teachers from the staff of Corbett School District. The majority were already employed and had great jobs working for a great district. There was little reason for them to want to change employers, except that when Corbett's neighbors exercised their right to deny inter-district transfers, it was inevitable that Corbett would have to lay off upwards of a dozen teachers. Nobody wanted to sit by and be witness to that.
So Corbett Charter School made a pact with its staff that they would not suffer financially as the result of leaving the District payroll to take a position with the Charter. It made simple sense to make this commitment, as the move the charter school removed them from the teacher's union, from the tenure system, and from the comfort of the familiar.
Thus the Charter School's pay structure is based entirely on that of the Corbett School District, but Corbett Charter School teachers work 'without a net', so to speak, earning each year's employment through the quality of their teaching. Based on the information available to us at the time, the staff did receive a 3% increase over last year's salary schedule.
We calculated the Director's compensation in exactly the same manner. The total value of the Corbett Superintendent's 2009-2010 contract (Mr. Dunton's previous engagement) was transferred to the Charter School and the Director position also received a 3% increase. The Director also took on two-thirds of a teaching position (teaching four hours per day) in addition to his other duties. The total compensation package for the Director is $202,704 for a 260-day (52 weeks) contract that includes 148 days of teaching. This amount includes payroll expenses and benefits. And just as the teachers left behind their tenure and the union, the Director took an entrepreneurial position that lacks certain comforts and assurances granted to public school superintendents.
Corbett Charter School students are well served by a remarkable team of educators. And as a staff, we are very well compensated. We believe that over the long term, the former depends utterly upon the latter.
T.P. Corner (because my dad worked for Crown Zellerbach for years)
The following links make the infrastructure of Corbett Charter School available to all. Not the Pentagon Papers, but just in case you wondered:
http://web.corbett.k12.or.us/pdf/publicfiles/Charter Board 2010 Assessment Compared.pdf
http://web.corbett.k12.or.us/pdf/publicfiles/2010-11 Corbett Charter Hndbk.pdf
http://web.corbett.k12.or.us/pdf/publicfiles/Adopted CCS Bylaws.pdf
http://web.corbett.k12.or.us/pdf/publicfiles/Corbett Charter Contract 08.pdf