Coaching staffs to get raise

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By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

TELL CITY - High-school and junior-high coaches and their assistants will get 3-percent raises for the next school year after a recommendation to that effect was approved by the Tell City-Troy Township School Board June 10.

Schools Superintendent Ron Etienne said at a regular board meeting pay for extracurricular athletic positions hadn't been adjusted since he arrived in 2004. Board member Dr. Gene Ress said it may have been seven or eight years since coaching staffs saw raises.

Based on another Etienne recommendation, the board approved changes in the high-school football coaching lineup. It currently features Don Hitz as head coach, one first and four second assistants.

Hitz would like to change it to combine the pay of one first and two second assistants, divide that sum by three and pay three people as first assistants, Etienne explained.

"I don't want to put it on the pay schedule that way because if another coach wants to change that, we're kind of stuck," he said. "I see no reason not to honor that recommendation. I rounded the figures off, and ... it's going to cost us five more dollars to do that, total."

Ress asked whether a discrepancy exists between coaching staffs for boys and girls teams in violation of Title 9, part of a 1972 law that, among other things, mandates equality in boys and girls sports programs.

"Does it make a difference that you have six coaches in football and only one in volleyball?" he asked.

"No," Etienne replied, explaining the law requires comparable positions to be paid the same. A head coach for a boys sport must be paid the same as the head coach for an identical girls sport, for example. "And assistants are paid the same, it's just that there are more assistants."

"I think our plan would certainly meet Title 9 muster," the superintendent added.

The board members approved the increase. Etienne suggested they look at the athletic-position pay scale whenever they consider teacher contracts in the future.