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BOARD OKS RAISE FOR SCHOOLS CHIEF

The Lewiston-Porter School Board amended its contract with Superintendent Walter S. Polka at a meeting Tuesday, giving him a raise of about 3 1/2 percent a year until June 30, 2003.

The board did not extend Polka's contract but only changed a few items in the current pact.

Polka will now be paid a 3 1/2 percent raise each year automatically, instead of having the School Board evaluate him every year with the possibility of his receiving a 5 percent raise.

"If the original contract had been continued and he had received the stipends, the maximum stipends, then he would have received more money under the original contract," said board member Franklyn M. Collins.

Trustees had been giving Polka either close to the maximum stipend or the full stipend during the past few years of his contract.

Another stipulation in the agreement is that Polka will be able to participate in the district's group insurance plan upon his retirement, but at no cost to the district.

Board members Edward M. Lilly and Margaret S. Laurie voted against amending Polka's contract. The two have been saying, year after year, that he should not be given bonuses for doing his job. The rest of the board, however, has said that they gave the stipend in lieu of raises.

In a related matter, the board voted 5-2, with Lilly and Laurie opposed, to give Polka a performance stipend of $4,538 for 2000-01. The maximum the trustees could have given him was $5,042.

Polka said that his base salary will be about $107,000 for the coming year.

In other business, the board voted 5-2, again with Lilly and Laurie opposed, to use Gary A. McCunn as a temporary consultant from May through July 31.

The retired administrator will work with the high school principal to prepare a master schedule for 2001-02, the examination schedule for 2001-02, prepare end-of-the-year state education reports for 2000-01, mark and report on homebound instruction, and any other duties assigned by high school Principal Roberta Love or Polka.

He will be paid the equivalent of $307.62 a day, which will be applied toward the purchase of district health insurance. The district will provide a laptop computer and modem so McCunn can work at home, or wherever he desires.

McCunn retired in 1997 at age 55 as the district's director of special education and instructional services. He was paid $91,038 a year at the time.

The board scheduled its reorganizational meeting for 7 p.m. July 3 in the Primary Building. The next regular meeting will be at 7 p.m. July 10 in the same building.

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