Laurel Education Association
In the interest of releasing salary information as it becomes available and verified:
The Laurel School District has repeatedly found funds to give administrators raises at the expense of the teachers and students. One example of this is Mr. Brian Swain.
Mr. Swain was the principal of North Laurel Elementary School. This past summer, he left the district for a principal position at Lake Forest. He was there only a few unsuccessful months and broke his contract to resign. He was then hired back at Laurel School District as the Assistant Principal of Laurel Intermediate & Middle School. However, despite having left the district and despite his mid-year return to a lower position, the district administration gave him a raise for those lesser responsibilities. When Mr. Swain left Laurel as a principal he was earning about $55,000 in state funds and $19,000 in local funds, for a total of $74,000. He returned as an Assistant Principal to a salary of about $54,000 in state funds and $27,000 in local funds for a total of $81,000. This increase was noticeably primarily composed of taxpayer-funded local money, while his state funded portion dropped due to the step down in position.
The Laurel School District had many teachers who had applied for the position, hoping to move up in their careers. These teachers were educated in administration through taxpayer-funded tuition-reimbursement programs and, as new administrators, would have eagerly taken the job with no increase – working at the established rates for secondary assistant principals.
More worrisome yet, Mr. Swain has been paid this inflated salary while using district time to work for another school district. Mr. Swain leaves his job at Laurel Intermediate and Middle School early – still being paid by taxpayers of Laurel – to report to schools in the Seaford School District, where he is paid to perform duties for the University of Phoenix while simultaneously being paid for that time by the taxpayers of Laurel. When confronted with this information, neither the C.O.O. nor Mr. Swain denied the accusations. Several Board members have confirmed that they were not made aware of this second job nor of its requirement for him to leave Laurel while he was still on the clock. Additionally, we have been able to verify through teachers in the Seaford School district that Mr. Swain reports there to observe them during their working (teaching) hours as part of a University of Pheonix program. When Mr. Swain was asked by the LEA about the ethics of taking this raise and this position from a district in need of pinching its pennies, Mr. Swain aggressively verbally attacked several members of the LEA negating team (both professionally and personally.)
The LEA asserts that this is a prime example of the lack of ethics, transparency, and honesty that teachers experience from the district administration and school board. We ask the community to continue to support us, ask questions, attend meetings, and remind the administration who the most important and valuable members of our schools really are: our students. Laurel community, we humbly ask that you take a stand and take this district back. Your children deserve it. Your town of Laurel deserves it. You deserve it.