When David Neal was playing football, basketball and baseball at Sanderson High in 1992, his coaches received a supplement to their teaching salaries to coach athletic teams.
Neal gets a supplement now as coach of the Apex High boys basketball team. The extra duty pay he receives essentially is identical to the one paid to his basketball coach, Tom Kinkelaar, 23 years ago.
“To me an increase is very much long over due,” Neal said. “Any addition would help.”
An increase in extra duty compensation is part of recommended funding of $389.8 million that was presented to the Wake County School Board on Tuesday night. The school board will consider the request along with other funding proposals and will send a recommendation to the Wake County Commissioners.
The proposal funding is an increase of $48.3 million from 2014-15 funding.
The first step in what is envisioned as a five step process would push extra duty pay from about $8 million a year to $9 million for the 2015-16 school year.
The increase would cover extra duty jobs, not just coaching and athletic administration, but also band directors, drama teachers, newspaper advisers, department chairmen and others who do extra work.
The new proposal for extra duty pay would be based on a percentage of the starting salary for a North Carolina school teacher .
The current schedule was implemented for the 1987-88 school year and is based on about $4 an hour. The minimum wage now is $7.25.
The current scale has nine levels that are based on the amount of time needed outside of the classroom and six ranges, based on experience, within each level.
A full time band director is at level 8, the same as a head football coach, while the drama director is at level 3, the same as a head baseball coach.
The scale was based on the number of hours that coaches work during their seasons but did not include off-season workouts or the time that coaches, especially baseball and softball coaches, spend on maintaining fields year round.
An increase in extra duty pay would rectify a long-time wrong, according to Bobby Guthrie, the former Wake Schools athletics director.
Guthrie told the school board on Tuesday that he had requested an extra duty pay salary adjustment in each of the 18 budgets that he proposed while serving as the county athletics director. Essentially, no adjustments were made although some new coaches, such as girls golf, were added.
“Never getting the salary schedule adjusted was the most disappointing thing in my entire career,” Guthrie said. “Everyone could see how much more time the jobs demanded. Everyone knew that the extra duty scale needed to be adjusted. Everyone knew something had to be done. Everyone knew the impact our teachers with extra duties were having on students.
“But we didn’t make the changes.”
Guthrie said the job of coaching has changed a great deal since the 1987-88 salary scale as implemented.
“There are many more demands now,” Guthrie said. “Coaches work with players year round and responsibilities in player safety are much higher with greater expectations in concussion awareness, cardiac issues and heat-related concerns.”
Mike Miragliuolo, the Green Hope baseball and cross country coach, wrote a book about high school coaching, The Real Story of a High School Coach, in which he writes about coaching high school baseball in North Carolina.
“Taking care of the field is a 12-month responsibility for the coach with no extra pay included,” he writes. “That means weed-eating, using chemicals to kill wees, mowing he bullpens, mowing the field twice a week, spreading clay on the infield each year, laying replacement sod, painting the dugouts, putting new nameplates in the dugouts, dragging the field daily with the three-wheeler, putting out crushed brick every other year or so, and any number of other chores that come up from year to year.”
Miragliuolo receives an extra duty supplement of $1,522 for coaching the men’s and women’s cross country teams, which have more than 200 runners, and $2,626 for coaching baseball.
He maintains the baseball field year-round, plus works with players and runners in the off season.
Eddie Gray, a 28-year coaching veteran at Garner Magnet, coached the Trojans to the state boys basketball crown a few weeks ago. He began official practices in Oct. 29, and the season concluded in March 14. His extra duty pay was $3,635, the tops for basketball coaches with 20-or-more years experience.
“You don’t coach for the money. In fact, I’m doing it for less money,” Gray said. “I topped out on the supplement scale eight years ago, and there are more demands than ever.”