Any teachers who consider sponsoring a sports team either already know or can easily find out the exact amount that they should be compensated by the county for their extra time and effort. The varsity girls' volleyball coach earns $3,416, while the head football coach makes $5,712. But Youth and Government sponsor Marc Grossman didn't know that club sponsors were compensated at all.
According to the teachers union's current contract agreement with the Board of Education, club sponsors without salaries specified in the county contract are paid $14 hourly, with the number of hours paid designated by the principal. But, when asked if they are paid for the hours they put in after school, many current and former club sponsors were entirely unaware that compensation was even available. While teachers with questions about payroll can contact Assistant Principal Linda Wanner, teachers who are unaware of the policy do not even know to ask.
The lack of communication between the administration and the staff means that some teachers might hesitate to sponsor a club because they are unaware they could be compensated for their time. To avoid such confusion, all current and potential club sponsors should be informed about the extracurricular stipend policy to help them make more educated decisions when considering club sponsorship. Increased awareness of the compensation policy would help attract new club sponsors and increase the level of commitment from both the club members and the club sponsor, benefiting everyone involved.
In addition to being underpublicized, the current stipend policy does not assure proper payment to all sponsors. Sponsors who take on a club in the middle of the year are often neglected because there are no hours left for distribution. While informing teachers of the stipend policy cannot completely solve this problem, it will reduce the negative impact. Teachers who begin sponsorship of a club after stipend assignments have been made at the beginning of the school year will know that they should apply for compensation the next year.
Many Blair teachers generously sponsor activities without expecting pay, but all available incentives should be publicized, especially when the simple task of finding a sponsor has become such a challenge. Even well-established clubs like the Class of 2009 SGA have had difficulty finding a sponsor. According to sophomore Treasurer Monica Ashok, her class did not have a sponsor for all of last year. To date, neither the Class of 2009 nor the Class of 2010 SGA has been able to find an available staff sponsor.
Finding a sponsor for a fledgling club is even harder. Junior Tina Zhang, founder of the Martial Arts Club, began the search for a sponsor last September and has yet to find one. Founders like Zhang and their clubs would benefit from a more efficient payment process that would help every club find a sponsor.
Teachers need to be informed immediately of the extracurricular stipend policy. Surely it is not too much to ask that a preexisting compensation policy be better publicized so that teachers can be more informed and willing to invest time in clubs.
The following Blair clubs currently do not have sponsors:
· Cambodian Club
· Chess Club
· Class of 2009 SGA
· Class of 2010 SGA
· Future Nurses of America
· Indian Club
· Latin Club
· Martial Arts Club
· Muslim Students Association
· Social Action Club
Information courtesy of Assistant Principal Linda Wanner.
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