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    Schools' savings to come out of vice principals' pay

    Each assistant principal for student affairs will lose 21 days of pay over a year's time.

    By TAMARA LUSH, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published April 24, 2002

    TAMPA -- The Hillsborough School Board voted Tuesday to reduce the pay of 56 assistant principals as a cost-cutting measure.

    Each assistant principal for student affairs will lose 21 days of pay, which will save the district $293,000 this year.

    School Superintendent Earl Lennard had initially proposed reducing their pay by an entire month, starting this summer. But he changed it to reduce the pay by seven days this summer and 14 days next summer to lessen the immediate financial hit.

    Many of the assistant principals still think they are being unfairly targeted. Some had suggested cutting every employee's pay by one day.

    But one assistant principal said not paying the group during two different periods -- instead of the month initially proposed -- is more palatable.

    "It's a compromise I can live with," said Amelia Lubrano, an assistant principal at Blake High School. "I still don't like the fact that we've been singled out. But at least we have a year to plan for next summer."

    School Board member Candy Olson, who expressed concern about the plan when it was first proposed, voted in favor of the cut on Tuesday.

    "I don't think we had a choice," Olson said. "This is a financial issue."

    Last year, the board eliminated summer school as part of $63.9-million in reductions planned over the next two years. The assistant principals for student affairs worked 12-month contracts mostly to oversee and discipline summer school students.

    "Now, there are no students to discipline," Olson said.

    She thinks the board should review the district's entire summer staffing and programs. Reducing both, she said, is a symptom of a larger issue in this debate: the state's funding shortfall for schools.

    Lennard said that assistant principals aren't the only employees going to an 11-month pay schedule. Some administrative resource teachers and teachers on special assignment also will be paid for only 11 months.

    He did not rule out the possibility of scaling back other employees' contracts.

    "We are reviewing the entire system," he said.

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