Former JCPS lawyer gets Central High teaching job at double star - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Former JCPS lawyer gets Central High teaching job at double starting pay

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An attorney whose job in Jefferson County Public Schools' central office was eliminated has been hired as a teacher at Central High School and will earn $84,000 - double the salary of a starting educator -- despite not yet having teaching credentials.

Stephanie Malone, who made $148,600 as the district's assistant general counsel, was offered the teaching job in the law magnet program at Central High because her central office job was eliminated as part of Superintendent Donna Hargens' decision to outsource legal work to save money.

The job at Central High was not advertised and Malone's salary will be paid out of the district's general fund -- not the high school's budget -- for the 2015-16 year. Decisions beyond next year will be made based on needs of the school, district officials said. 

At about $84,000, Malone's salary will be roughly that of a teacher with a doctorate and 25 years' experience, according to the district's salary schedule.

She will earn more than two other lawyers who teach in the same program, including her supervisor.

The two other law and government magnet teachers at Central -- Joe Gutmann and Charles Koby -- make $79,200 and $51,150 respectively. Gutmann, a former prosecutor, is the coordinator of the program. Koby has over 20 years experience as a lawyer and has a master's degree in teaching.

Stephanie Bateman, a JCPS spokeswoman, said the district treats Malone's change in employment as a "demotion" and set her salary at the highest scale for a teacher to mitigate the decrease in pay from her central office job. Bateman called it a 43 percent demotion in pay.

Malone, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday, will pursue alternate certification through a state law that allows potential educators a route to certification following completion of a university-based preparation program with concurrent employment in a school district. 

According to that provision, Malone would receive a temporary provisional certificate and have to pass all required assessments prior to entering the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program. She would then have three years to complete all of the program's requirements.

Brent McKim, president of the Jefferson County Teachers Association, told WDRB News on Tuesday he wasn't aware of Malone's new position.

"We want to look at this closely to make sure that the rules are being followed because this sounds like an unusual situation," McKim said. "If she already had a teaching certificate, we would expect the over-staffing provisions outlined in our contract to apply, but our understanding is that she does not have a teaching certificate." 

According to the JCPS salary schedule, the starting salary for a teacher with a bachelor's degree is about $41,000, while the salary for a teacher with a master's degree starts at about $47,000. 

"If an existing JCPS employee were to become a teacher after being a teaching assistant, my understanding is they would start at the beginning salary for a teacher, so I would think this would work the same way," McKim said.

PREVIOUS | JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens plans central office shakeup

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Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter. 

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