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Sioux City school superintendent's salary won't increase this school year
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Sioux City school superintendent's salary won't increase this school year

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SIOUX CITY -- Sioux City school superintendent Paul Gausman, Iowa's second-highest-compensated public school executive, will not receive a pay raise for the 2021-22 school year.

During Monday night's meeting, school board chair Perla Alarcon-Flory said Gausman did not request an increase or any other changes to his three-year contract, which entered its second year on July 1. His annual salary remains at $248,646.

Paul Gausman

Gausman

Alarcon-Flory's comments in public session came after the seven-member board evaluated Gausman's performance in a separate closed-door meeting Monday.

In most, but not all, years, the board has considered a pay raise for the superintendent in mid-July, following a closed evaluation session.

In July 2018, with the district facing tight finances, the board accepted Gausman's recommendation to keep his annual salary at $238,523 for the 2018-19 school year.

In July 2019, the board approved a nearly 2 percent raise in pay, setting his annual salary to $243,175 for fiscal 2019-20.

Last year, he received a 2.25 percent raise, bumping his annual pay to $248,646 for the 2020-21 school year, after the board negotiated the current three-year contract.

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Perla Alarcon-Flory 2020 new head shot

Alarcon-Flory

Counting insurance benefits, a travel stipend, retirement fund contributions and dues for professional organizations, Gausman's annual compensation totals $351,999. In fiscal 2021, that was the second most for a public school superintendent in Iowa, behind only the $408,133 for Tom Aharton, superintendent of the Des Moines district, the state's largest, according to a Journal analysis of public data.

Gausman, who has 28 years of experience as a school administrator, has led the Sioux City district, the state's third largest, since 2008.

At its June 28 meeting, the board voted, 4-3, to affirm Gausman's contract automatically rolled over from one year to the next.

Board member Dan Greenwell, a frequent Gausman critic, had argued district policy required board approval before the renewal of multi-year contracts.

At Monday's meeting, Greenwell asked Alarcon-Flory why there was not an item on Gausman's contract on the regular meeting agenda, even though the she had indicated at the previous meeting it would be discussed in open session.

Alarcon-Flory responded that because there was no change to the contract, an agenda item and vote were unnecessary.

Dan Greenwell

Greenwell

Greenwell, a businessman, has repeatedly asked Alarcon-Flory to schedule a public discussion on various provisions of the superintendent's contract, while stopping short of a review of his performance. In particular, Greenwell has taken issue with a so-called "golden parachute" that would guarantee Gausman the remaining money in the contract in the event he is lawfully discharged or he and the district agree to part ways before his contract expires on June 30, 2023.

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