Refresher on the Superintendent Pay Transparency Act

Many boards are beginning the process of negotiating renewal

contracts with their superintendents. This is a good time to pause and

remember the requirements of the Superintendent Pay Transparency

Act. The Act requires school districts and ESUs to publish both the

superintendent’s/administrator’s contract and a "reasonable estimates

and descriptions of all current and future costs." Most districts and

ESUs have just added another tab or link on the homepage of their

website under which the contract and a copy of “Schedule D” from the

state auditor can be found.

Now, as boards are renewing superintendents’ and administrators’

contracts, many schools have questions about how to comply with the

Act as part of the renewal process. When the board is preparing to

renew a contract the board must:

1. Post the proposed contract and related costs 3 days before the

board meeting at which the contract will be approved or

amended;

2. Post the contract and the related costs within 2 days after the

meeting at which the contract is approved;

3. Publish an updated Schedule D any time the “future costs”

change; and

4. Provide a copy of the contract and any subsequent amendments

to the NDE by August 1 st following the adoption or amendment of

the contract.

Any new contract, changes to an existing contract, or automatic

renewals should comply with the posting requirements discussed

above. For example, if the board and superintendent agree to amend

the superintendent's contract in January of 2016, the district should

post the contract 3 days before the meeting, update the posting on the

website within 2 days after the meeting to include the changes

approved by the board, and send a copy to the NDE before August 1

once the contract is final. The board should also post a new Schedule

D.

The board may need to comply with the Act multiple times if there are

changes made to the superintendent’s contract in separate meetings.

For example, the board may extend or renew the Superintendent’s

contract in January and set the Superintendent’s salary in March. In

that case, the board would have to comply with the Act both times.

Finally, we have been getting many questions regarding how to post

the contract, Schedule D, and notice for the board meetings. First, be

sure to put the consideration of changes to the superintendent’s

contract on the board agenda. Complying with the Act does not

substitute for following the Open Meetings Act. As for posting the

contract and the Schedule D, there is no right or wrong answer. Here

is what the Act says:

Electronic publication on the web site of the school district

or educational service unit shall satisfy the requirement of

this subsection if such electronic publication is prominently

displayed and allows public access to the entire proposed

contract or amendment [and the Schedule D].

If you have questions, we recommend that you consult with your

school district’s attorney or call Karen, Steve or Bobby.