Ken-Ton superintendent agrees to pay freeze amid financial woes

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Amid the ongoing consolidation at Ken-Ton schools, which included cuts to teachers and staff and a 3 million dollar budget shortfall, the district’s superintendent has agreed to freeze her pay.

Late last night, the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Board of Education approved the deal which will freeze Dawn Mirand’s salary for the coming school year.

The district has taken big financial hits in the past year, and state funding remains sluggish.

The closure of  the Huntley plant, and the more than 3 million dollars in tax dollars it provides is the main contributing factor to the district’s budget gap.
In a statement released Tuesday, the superintendent said the district is going through “historic changes.”

“I have elected for the salary freeze for 2016-17 given the District’s financial climate,” Mirand said. “As the District manages the loss of the Huntley pilot, fiscal limitations and numerous layoffs, the salary freeze is a good-faith gesture to show support to our community impacted by these challenges.”

And though the past year of cuts and consolidation has been difficult, she said she believes they’re moving in the right direction.

Kenmore Teachers Association President Peter Stuhlmiller said he agrees.

“Given what our district is going through and experienced over the past few years, I’m delighted that the school board expected the superintendent while negotiating her contract that she accept a wage freeze, and I’m glad she accepted it.

“I think it’s a piece in the puzzle,” he said. “All the players in the district had made some sacrifices in the past to preserve programs for kids. So this is just one piece.”

The consolidation plan includes the closure of three schools, — Roosevelt and Hamilton elementary schools and Kenmore Middle School; and it reduces programs such as health and physical education.

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