Put money in education, not chancellor’s pocket

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$60K retention incentive and salary increases result in significant gain for Leslie, not students.

The “vision” statement in the strategic plan for students, employees and community of the Alamo Colleges reads, “The Alamo Colleges will be the best in the nation in student success and performance excellence.”

Yet, with funding shortages in the student learning assistance center, staff was reduced from about 37 to 16 and the English lab hours have been cut by two-thirds, as reported by The Ranger Sept. 13 and Oct. 10.

There is a lack of improvement for disability access and a lack of annual cost-of-living raises for employees.

But big money is being spent on a retention incentive for Chancellor Bruce Leslie as well as a significant increase in his base salary since 2009.

Big money to the tune of a $60,000 four-year (2009-2013) retention incentive and a base salary pay increase from $313,663 in 2009 to what trustees anticipate will be $369,229 in fiscal year 2014 as part of a districtwide pay increase.

“He has done a great job,” District 5 trustee Roberto Zarate said of Leslie, adding the bonus (retention incentive) reflects the board’s satisfaction with Leslie’s performance.

Perhaps, $313,663 base salary should be enough for the chancellor.

His $60,000 incentive and $55,556 salary increase could do a “great(er) job” if applied directly toward what really contributes to “student success and performance excellence.”

Then maybe funding could come faster for items that come closer to fostering academic success: extending tutoring lab hours and making improvements for disability access, hiring tutors and improving faculty and staff salaries — all budget items that directly connect with students.

Trustees, who hold the purse strings for the public money that funds this district, should make sure their expenditures actually contribute to the mission.


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