April 9, 2013

Fort Worth superintendent gets year extension, possible raise

The pay increase is linked to raises for other district employees.

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FORT WORTH -- School trustees unanimously approved a one-year contract extension and a potential small pay raise for school Superintendent Walter Dansby on Tuesday night.

Dansby was hired in January 2012 after serving as acting superintendent for eight months after the departure of his predecessor, Melody Johnson. His contract included a $328,950 base salary, the same as Johnson's, a $60 monthly cellphone allowance and a $600 per month automobile allowance.

At the end of the 2012-13 school year, he is eligible for a $10,000 bonus if he meets or exceeds expectations, according to the original contract.

Tuesday night, trustees approved a formula for giving Dansby a raise based on what other district employees might receive in next school year's budget, which won't be approved for several months. Dansby will get 1 percentage point less than the percentage increase given all employees, if the board gives any raises.

Among the challenges facing the 83,000-student district are shrinking state funds and changing accountability standards. On the spring 2012 state standardized test, Fort Worth trailed state averages in passing rates for grades 3-8 on reading, math, writing, science and social studies. The district's highest passing rate on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test was 72 percent for fifth-grade math, where the state average was 77 percent.

For the 2012 federal Adequate Yearly Progress measure, the Fort Worth district as a whole, and 84 individual schools, did not meet the standard, up from 75 campuses in 2011.

In other business, trustees voted unanimously to cancel elections on May 11 for three seats and to declare the unopposed candidates the winners.

T.A. Sims and Norman Robbins drew no challengers. In District 8, the incumbent, J.R. Martinez, who was appointed last year, dropped out, as did another candidate, leaving businessman Matthew Avila to take the seat.

Two seats remain on the May 11 ballot.

In District 1, podiatrist Camille Rodriguez and juvenile probation officer Jacinto Ramos are challenging Trustee Carlos Vasquez.

In District 9, Trustee Juan Rangel faces event planner Ashley E. Paz and homemaker Melody Palacios.

Staff writer Bill Miller contributed to this report.

Jessamy Brown, 817-390-7326

Twitter: @jessamybrown

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