The Evening Sun yesterday incorrectly reported the salary of Baltimore County School Superintendent Robert Y. Dubel. Before July 1, it was $106,161. Effective that date, he received a $9,000 increase, which he donated to a school breakfast fund for needy children. The Evening Sun regrets the error.
Baltimore County School Superintendent Robert Y. Dubel say he will donate his recently approved salary increase to a school breakfast fund for needy children.
The county Board of Education approved a salary increase for Dubel at a meeting last week, raising the superintendent's salary from $101,161 to $115,000, effective July 1.
However, teachers and other school system employees, along with county workers, did not receive a pay raise in the current county budget.
"The demands upon the office of the superintendent have significantly increased as we face a myriad of education-related issues," said board President Rosalie Hellman.
"The board recognizes that the salary of the superintendent must remain competitive and that his compensation be commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of his office."
Last year, Dubel's salary ranked fifth in the state among superintendents and deputy superintendents, in part, said Hellman, because it has long been Dubel's policy not to accept raises that were greater than those granted to school employees.
"That kept [his salary] lower," Hellman said. "As far as what he's doing this year, it's his decision to make, to decide what he wants to do with his money . . . I certainly feel it was very generous of him to make the contribution that he's making."
The school system is the only one in Maryland that doesn't offer a free or reduced-price breakfast to needy students through a federally funded program.
Instead, the county has had an alternative program in which children are surveyed at the beginning of each school year, and asked if they are served breakfast. Administrators also try to identify hungry children through observation.
If the children are not eating breakfast, school administrators counsel families on the importance of the morning meal. If that fails, each school comes up with an individual plan to offer the child something to eat in the morning, funding breakfasts with money from various sources, including PTA funds and, in some cases, teachers' own money.
About 2,500 children answer the county survey each year saying theyare hungry at least two days a week and would like to have breakfast.
The county's policy has been criticized by the Maryland Food Committee, which said the alternative program is an insufficient method of feeding hungry children.
But Dubel said a working program that includes nutrition education would feed children 365 days a year, not just when school is in session. The county's program, he said, tries to promote a lifetime of good breakfast habits.
The alternative program "pinpoints the problem," Dubel said.
"We think it's more caring and it searches out the child, and we think it's more effective."
Dubel said initiating the fund with his salary increase shows an even stronger county commitment to the alternative breakfast program, and hopes to encourage others to donate money as well, though he admitted to being unsure exactly how much money the program requires each year.