School District of Milton residents can take comfort knowing that stipends are being coded or classified properly.

We also can take comfort knowing that school districts throughout the state use some form of stipend pay, according to Wendi Unger of Baker Tilly.

“There was nothing I noted that was unusual or unexpected,” said Unger, who was at Monday’s school board meeting to discuss the Baker Tilly financial audit of stipends.

Unger noted use of the term “stipend” is not necessarily inappropriate, though she did say 19 categories seems like a lot. Why there are five categories for coaching vs. one – she didn’t go into that level of detail, though we do think looking at that would be interesting.

Classifications and terminology related to stipends are not our biggest concerns. While we do care about numbers and words, we care more about the decisions and policy that come before them.

A statement made by Unger gets more at our interests: “The activity that was really being called stipends was really this extra duty pay,” she said.

What is extra duty pay? What is considered extra and when is payment justified?

If for instance the district has a vacancy and another employee takes on the responsibilities of this position is extra pay allocated? What if an employee takes on only one of those responsibilities? What if the vacancy is filled within a week?

What if an employee is covering for someone who is on vacation or sick leave?

Does it make a difference if the employee taking on an extra duty is hourly or salary?

Are all duties spelled out in job descriptions?

What if someone works on a snow day? If extra pay is warranted, what is that pay?

Are administrators and non-teaching staff members more likely to get extra duty pay than teachers?

What are the policies relating to extra duty pay?

These are the questions we will explore.

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