By Trent Moore

Many coaches, band teachers and yearbook sponsors at Cullman City Schools will be getting a raise in the 2008-2009 school year.

At the recent July meeting, the city school board voted unanimously to raise the supplemental budget for teachers.

Supplemental pay is additional pay given to teachers that also coach, or teachers who sponsor drama or math teams, in addition to their teaching duties. The supplemental budget comes from local, general school funds.

The total 2008-2009 supplement package for the athletic, non-athletic and technology departments is on track to total $276,879.

In comparison, the 2007-2008 supplement package totaled $191,083 for the school year.

The last time supplemental pay was examined was in 2002, and Superintendent Jan Harris said efforts to raise it began a few years ago and came to a head in June when educator Doug Styles addressed the school board about a study he conducted. Styles’ study concluded teachers in other Alabama schools equal in size to Cullman High School are given more supplemental pay than teachers in Cullman.

“We asked Doug Styles, an independent consultant, to objectively look at what comparable school systems were paying coaches,” Harris said. “We were sorely behind the comparable school districts.”

Styles said approximately $60,000 less per-year is given to Cullman City Schools teachers in supplemental income when compared to schools such as Athens High School and Guntersville High School.

The new athletic supplement budget is $211,691, up from $141,135 last year.

“It’s for the extra efforts they make,” Harris said at the June school board meeting. “We’re looking at pulling our numbers up closer to average.”

The varsity football coach position tops the supplement list with $12,000, previously $8,400.

Varsity boys and girls basketball coaches come in second, now earning an extra $9,702 a piece — up from $6,930 the previous year.

The athletic position receiving the least supplemental pay is the $840 assistant high school tennis coach, which is paid by the booster club.

It should also be noted that the $211,691 athletic total includes $19,500 summer stipend pay for some coaches. Plus, the Cullman High School Booster Club will pay $21,188 of the total athletic supplement.

Though the athletic department accounts for the brunt of the 2008-2009 supplement, the non-athletic and academic divisions did see some increases, as well.

Totaling $44,030, the non-athletic supplement budget is up almost $9,000 from $33,673.

The Cullman High School band director will earn the most of any non-athletic faculty member with $5,924, up from $4,557.

The teachers earning the least supplemental pay are the West Elementary School Beta Club sponsor, West Elementary School Chess Club sponsor and the East Elementary School Beta Club sponsor, all of whom get $315.

A technology supplement of $21,158 was also approved, which was raised from $16,275 the previous year.

Technology assistants round out the top of the technology list, with assistants from Cullman High, Cullman Middle, West Elementary, East Elementary and Cullman City Primary schools now making $3,413 in annual supplement — up from $2,625 the previous year.

Harris said she believes the extracurricular activities supported by the raised supplemental budget will make the students who attend the Cullman City Schools more well-rounded individuals.

“They enrich the total educational program we offer to inspire students,” she said. “How do you get character and citizenship? It’s through these extracurriculars that we believe those are really developed.”

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