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1 percent raise OK’d for Manchester school chief

MANCHESTER — The Board of School Committee voted to give Superintendent Debra Livingston a 1 percent raise for the second year of her contract.

The board voted 10-4 at its meeting Monday to support the raise, following the recommendation of the Coordination Committee, which voted on the contract earlier in the day.

There was no debate on the raise at the full board meeting; the committee discussed the matter in non-public session.

The board had already voted to support renewing Livingston’s contract in December, along with those of the district’s other top three administrators. Any salary increases in the second year of the contracts were put off until the spring.

The modest raise for Livingston works out to $1,600; Livingston is paid $160,000 a year. Her predecessor, Tom Brennan, made $165,000 in his final year in the job.

Livingston is completing her first school year as superintendent, during which she has taken on several ambitious initiatives, including new academic standards, redistricting and rewriting the district’s policy manual. Livingston has faced some criticism in recent weeks, including from Mayor Ted Gatsas, over her handling of a federal review of racial disparities in the district.

Her redistricting proposal, which would have converted Jewett Street School into a central preschool facility, was met with fierce resistance from parents.

After the committee meeting Monday, Gatsas said he remained supportive of the superintendent.

“I think she’s doing a good job,” Gatsas said. “I have all the confidence in the world” in her.

The board did not consider pay increases for Assistant Superintendents Dave Ryan and Karen Burkush or Business Administrator Karen DeFrancis, but they are expected to do so in the near future.

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