Zionsville considers near-20 percent raise for Superintendent Scott Robison

New compensation package would hit $224,098

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. - The Zionsville school board is considering a nearly 20 percent raise for Superintendent Scott Robison, Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney has learned.

If approved, Robison’s total annual compensation package, including benefits, would increase from $187,702 to $224,098.

The proposal comes a year after voters approved a May 2012 referendum and paying more in property taxes.

School board president Jim Longest told Kenney the superintendent’s salary and benefit increases would not come from tax dollars, but rather from nontraditional revenues, such as corporate sponsorships.

"These nontraditional revenues allow us to bring the contract for our district leader in line with surrounding market forces without tapping into tax-generated funds, which we feel must be dedicated to student services," said Longest.

The Zionsville school board will hold a public hearing Monday, July 8 at 6 p.m. at the Zionsville Community Schools Educational Services Center.

The state Legislature passed a law in July 2012 in response to a Call 6 investigation that exposed a former Wayne Township superintendent’s $1 million retirement payout.

The new law requires school districts have to hold public hearings at least seven days before signing a superintendent’s contract.

The law also requires the contract must disclose the full financial implications for each year of the contract, including salary, car allowance, insurance benefits and other perks.

RTV6 asked the school district and school board for a copy of the proposed contract to be discussed Monday, but no one could provide one.

Longest told Kenney the district's attorney is finishing the draft copy of the contract, which will be available for public review.

The corporation released a summary of the proposed contract , which would have a three-year term through June 30, 2016.

Under the proposal, Robison’s base salary would increase from $133,077 a year to $160,000 a year.

He would not be eligible for automatic salary increases, but starting in 2014, Robison could receive up to 3 percent annual performance increases if he earns an evaluation rating of "effective" or "highly effective."

Under the new contract, Robison would receive $10,500 per year in additional compensation, which was formerly allocated under auto allowance.

The school corporation will pay 90 percent of the annual health insurance premium for the superintendent, his wife and dependents, with an estimated cost of $19,901, according to the summary.

"The Superintendent is responsible for the 10% balance of the cost of the premium," read the summary.

Longest told RTV6 Robison’s contract also includes five additional vacation days.

"As a board, we believe the proposed contract is appropriate in order to retain a highly qualified superintendent," said Longest. "The Board aligned the compensation with the surrounding market while also considering factors such as length and consistency of service and leadership, size of central office staff, success of goal setting, district performance, and success in developing non-tax based revenue streams for the school corporation as well as the fact that the superintendent has declined to take any increase in compensation in six years."

According to a 2012 database from the Indiana Department of Education, Robison’s base salary ranked 62nd out of 358 superintendents statewide.

Robison joined Zionsville Community Schools in 2006, after serving as the superintendent of schools in Sheridan, Ind., and as the assistant superintendent for business at Westfield Washington schools.

Kenney was unable to reach Robison for comment via phone or email this week. His email returned an out of office reply.

See Robison's current contract.

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