RJUHSD discretionary fund aids principals


GBT.org photo/BELLA KHOR

Teachers can receive a stipend for having advanced degrees, but this is a district stipend, not a principal’s stipend.


  That’s how much principals across the Roseville Joint Union High School District distribute to staff members at their respective schools for discretionary stipend positions – where teachers put in extra hours for necessary tasks to keep the school running.

  “Teachers spend an enormous amount of time during non-work hours providing supervision, guidance and development of several student programs and school-wide initiatives,” said John Becker, the district’s executive director of personnel services. “The discretionary stipends offer principals a way to compensate teachers for their valuable time.”

  The fund doesn’t provide a massive amount of money, however.

Teachers spend an enormous amount of time during non-work hours providing supervision, guidance and development of several student programs and school-wide initiatives,

— John Becker

  “It’s not a huge amount of money, but it offers a gesture of appreciation for teachers who want to support extracurricular activities and other school programs,” Becker said.

   Discretionary stipends have been in existence since Becker first joined the district as a principal in 2007, when he became the first principal at Antelope High School.

  “It is something that the district has been providing for years that’s up to the principals’ discretion,” said Lauren McGhee, a certified public accountant and the district’s directory of accounting. “There are certain efforts that they want to pay teachers to do, which they choose based on their site, what they want to pay and who gets it.”

  This money is a supplement for teachers’ regular salaries.

  In addition to these discretionary stipends at each site, the district has several other categories of stipends,  in three salary schedules. One stipend category is for miscellaneous positions, another is the auxiliary stipend schedule and there is an athletic stipend schedule for coaches.

  Each stipend amount is based on collective bargaining between the district and the Roseville Secondary Education Association, which represents teachers.

  “(Having) assistant athletic directors is kind of a popular (discretionary stipend) because we don’t have a position for that (on the regular stipend schedules),” McGhee said. “So that’s not a paid (position), and I know a lot of (athletic directors) need an assistant.”

I receive a stipend for having an advanced degree (of) $1,000 for the school year,

— Susanna Peeples

  Many teachers also receive stipends for masters degrees.

  “I receive a stipend for having an advanced degree (of) $1,000 for the school year,” performing arts teacher Susanna Peeples said. “In addition to that, as the choral director, there is a $2,666 stipend due to the amount of (time spent working) out of class.”

  The discretionary stipends increase the power of individual principals to award teachers and make programs run more smoothly on their campuses.

  “It’s always been my understanding that principals utilize the stipends to support teachers leading or managing programs or initiatives that meet the individual needs of each school,” Becker said. “It’s a tremendous resource for principals to offer compensation for those who are providing an extra effort to support student programs and school-wide needs.”

  Spanish teacher Julia Bonilla-Leary is a member of GBHS’s professional development task force, a stipend position.

  “I got specifically recruited, I guess you could say, for the culturally responsive teaching portion of it, because that’s a focus of the district and the school,” Bonilla-Leary said. “In instructor-led training, we’re planning professional development days, the activities we’re going to do, what we focus on, goals and faculty meetings – it’s a time commitment.”

  The culturally-responsive component is new at GBHS this year.

  “It’s presenting new ideas and approaches … of how we can improve both our students’ learning and our teaching practice, so it goes hand-in-hand,” Bonilla-Leary said. “I think part of being a good teacher is always professionally developing and looking at what’s new, what’s coming over the horizon, how do I need to change for the betterment of my students – it’s just one of those always (evolving) things.”

  Discretionary stipends see no sign of ending in upcoming years.

  “More would always be great, but I have always found the $20,000 to be sufficient to fulfill the stipend needs I was looking to cover,” Becker said. “I don’t anticipate any cuts to the stipend allocation.

  “The stipend allotment survived the massive budget cuts back in 2009, so I think they will be sticking around.”