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Decatur school board OKs new administrative position making $108,150; position was not in budget
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Decatur school board OKs new administrative position making $108,150; position was not in budget


DECATUR — The Decatur Board of Education on Thursday created a new administrative role for research and data collection, a position that had not been in this year’s budget.

The title is director of research, data and accountability. The school board approved its description at a special meeting that began at 7 a.m. and immediately went into closed session for student and employee hearings. The vote took place around 8:15 a.m. with no discussion, after the board returned to open session.

“This person would be responsible for processing assessment data in a way that is better than what we are currently doing,” Superintendent Paul Fregeau said.

In a memo, district administration said the position was needed to “successfully oversee and/or perform the core responsibilities aligned to interpreting, analyzing and providing administrative support aligned to the data, research and data accountability areas.”

The district said the new director would analyze data and provide reports to the superintendent. The role is meant to support data-driven decision-making throughout all departments, it said. Information provided to the board did not specify an amount for salary and benefits. Deanne Hillman, director of human resources, said in an email that the starting salary for the position is $108,150. The salary will vary based on experience, she said. 

The memo did not indicate whether any candidates have been identified for the job.

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The approval comes as the district is struggling to hire teachers, part of the effect of a statewide teacher shortage. More than 70 jobs are unfilled, with the most dire needs at Hope Academy, Stephen Decatur Middle School and Franklin School. Earlier this week, Fregeau announced the district would move some specialists — certified teachers who often have advanced training — into classroom roles to fill the gaps. The next day, the district said it would back off that plan after talking to leaders of the teachers’ union.

Asked about the timing of creating the new position, Fregeau said: “We haven’t posted the job yet. This position gives us flexibility if we need it.”

The district said the position was not accounted for in this year’s budget and “additional expenses” would be added after board approval.

Some qualifications listed for the job include:

  • Master’s degree in a related field;
  • Minimum of three to five years of administrative experience;
  • Administrative license preferred;
  • Experience in data analysis and statistics, research design and program evaluation;
  • Experience training adults in assessment, accountability, curriculum, instruction, English Learner programs and supplemental and administrative programs.

Also during Thursday morning’s special meeting, the district approved a renewal agreement with Alltown for student bus transportation. The district is in the final year of a three-year agreement with the company, and the board voted to extend the contract for one year.

“Alltown has continued to afford the district’s students with a new well-maintained fleet of buses,” the district wrote in a memo to the board, “and has been quick to respond to the district’s changing needs such as building mergers and program relocations.”

As part of the agreement, the district will provide “social emotional training” for all staff contracted by Alltown.

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Contact Analisa Trofimuk at (217) 421-7985. Follow her on Twitter: @AnalisaTro


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