Ecker won't seek a raise

Schools chief, with eye on budget, to sign 4-year pact offering few benefits

Salary is 11th in Maryland

Carroll County

May 02, 2002|By Jennifer McMenamin | Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF

With an eye on this year's tight budget and the uncertainty of salary increases for teachers and staff, interim Superintendent Charles I. Ecker does not expect - or want - a raise when he signs a four-year contract next month as Carroll's schools chief.

Ecker, 73, earns $128,400 a year. Although last week's news that Anne Arundel County had offered its prospective superintendent a salary and benefits package worth $300,000 prompted Ecker to joke that he should ask for a raise, he said he has no intention of doing so.

A former two-term Howard County executive who started his career as a teacher and coach in Carroll schools, Ecker was hired in August 2000 to a 10-month appointment. He took over for Superintendent William H. Hyde, who quit with two years left in his contract to take a job in Montana.

Ecker's contract was extended by a year to allow the board more time to search for a permanent schools chief. But in September, board members called off the search, deciding that they had found the person they wanted to lead their school system. Ecker agreed to a four-year appointment that begins July 1.

Board President Susan W. Krebs said the board expects to finalize his contract next month but that it will be "quite similar" to his current agreement.

"We're looking to put something in it to give him, in the future, an increase in salary and we'd like it tied to performance," she said. "That's the part we haven't quite worked out yet because we haven't decided on an evaluation tool."

In addition to his $120,000 salary, Ecker receives an $8,400 annual car allowance. He does not, however, collect health insurance, life insurance or pension benefits from Carroll schools because he is a rehired retiree of Howard County.

That leaves him with a benefits package that includes few benefits: 21 vacation days, three personal days and 12 sick days - standard allowances for any administrative- or executive-level employee.

Ecker's salary puts Carroll County at 11th, where it is tied with Harford County, in statewide rankings of superintendent salaries.

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