Hammond Schools Say Administrators May Get Raises After Referendum

Hammond has 30 administrators making over $100,000 per year according to the Department of Local Government Finance. In Lake County, Hammond Superintendent Dr. Walter Watkins had the highest reported salary among all superintendents in 2016.

November 4, 2017-In response to a question by the Gazette regarding pay raises for administrators, Hammond School officials have responded that “Administrator wages and benefits will be considered in conjunction with negotiations with other employee groups.” The response came after the Gazette asked the Board if they would consider a salary freeze for administrators if the referendum passes. School officials have stated that the majority of the $10M per year operating referendum would go to teacher salaries. The response, which you can see below, would indicate that administrators will receive percentage pay increases in line with teachers. Hammond Superintendent Dr. Walter Watkins is the highest paid superintendent in Lake County. Hammond also more administrators making over $100,000 per year than any other school district in Lake County according to figures from the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.

Hammond residents are encouraged to go to the polls on Tuesday November 7 where voters will be asked to vote for at total of $180M in tax increases. Residents can vote Yes or No on each.

For Hammond residents, the first question will ask for additional funding for operations and would raise taxes by 44 center per $100 of assessed valuation for seven years. The question presented on the ballot will be:

For the seven (7) calendar year or years immediately following the holding of the referendum, shall the School City of Hammond impose a property tax rate that does not exceed forty-four cents ($0.44) on each one hundred dollars ($100.00) of assessed valuation and that is in addition to all other property taxes imposed by the school corporation for the purpose of funding teaching positions, staff positions, and educational programming?”

The second question will ask for funding for capital improvements and would raise taxes by .3598 cents per $100 of assessed valuation for 20 years. The question presented on the ballot will be:

“Shall the School City of Hammond issue bonds or enter into a lease to finance the construction of a new high school and comprehensive renovation, improvements and safety upgrades to various School Corporation facilities, including the equipping thereof, which is estimated to cost not more than $110,625,000 and is estimated to increase the property tax rate for debt service by $0.3598 per $100 of assessed valuation?”


  1. According to IDOE data, Hammond has an enrollment of 13,868 students at 20 schools. They employ 1,019 teachers. That’s an overall ratio of 13.6 students per teacher. That’s also 462.3 per administrator earning > $100,000/year.

    Compare numbers:

    Lake Central has 9,656 students at 10 schools and employs 585 teachers. That’s an overall ratio of 16.5 students per teacher, 536.4 per administrator making > $100,000/year.

    Crown Point has 8,389 students at 10 schools and employs 447 teachers. That’s an overall ratio of 18.8 students/teacher, 699.1 per administrator making > $100,000/year.

    Munster has 4,002 students at 5 schools and employs 191 teachers. That’s an overall ratio of 21.0 students/teacher, 571.7 per administrator making > $100,000/year.

    Griffith has 2,488 students at 5 schools and employs 136 teachers. That’s an overall ratio of 18.3 students/teacher, 829.3 per administrator making > $100,000/year.

    Gary has 5,823 students at 10 schools and employs 476 teachers. That’s an overall ratio of 12.2 students/teacher, 1,445.8 per administrator making > $100,000 per year.

    School City of Hammond clearly has at least 20% more high-wage administrators per student than other Lake County school corporations; they are second only to Gary in the number of teachers employed per student. Does their performance justify their high-wage administrative employment numbers? Do they deserve to employ at least 33% more teachers per student than other Lake County school corporations?

    Let the voters of Hammond make an informed decision.

    • You do realize that Hammond has more schools than each of those on your list. Each school has to have at least a principal and at the upper level schools likely at least 1 dean if not 2.

      More schools equals more administrators. Your methodology of the math is flawed.

      • Notice that I refer to “high-wage” administrators as well as the number of teachers employed. Your point is valid but I do not address it in my comment. I am referring to high salaries and teacher payroll expense, not the total number of administrators per school corporation. As far as I know those numbers are not readily available through the IDOE school data web pages.

      • For clarity: I do NOT talk about or give the total number of administrators in a school corporation! I only talk about those earning more than $100,000 per year!

        Re-read it and try to understand that I am NOT saying what you think I am saying. You are mistaken.

  2. GREAT REPORTING! Almost $184,000 a year! The truth finally comes out,but will voters see it? No wonder they were pushing early voting. I wonder.

  3. Why sould they be given raises when in fact I’ve had to cut back, make sacrifices and eliminate things in my life because I haven’t had a raise in 2 yrs., but yet the cost of everything has gone up. I must live within my means so why shouldn’t the school city of Hammond operate within there’s without increasing taxes. Most of the children attending school in Hammond, their parents aren’t even home owners, they are renters and of course they will vote Yes, as their taxes won’t increase. Book rental fees should be increased to create revenue, and parents should be held liable for them. I don’t have a child nor have I ever had a child in the Hammond public school system and I shouldn’t have to pay to educate someone else’s child!!!!!

  4. Its a shame that SOME teachers are getting these raises when SOME arent doing their jobs. There have been many times when have checked homework from children and found many answers checked right that were actually wrong. Why should homeowners be punished for sub-par teachers. Its no wonder that we have such low academic scores.

  5. A couple of things,

    1) The wages and the proposed salary increases for administrators is approved by the School Board so if you are a concerned voter worried about those things please consider directing your opinions to them and informing them of your worries. As for the increases for the teachers they will be negotiated with the teachers union which as a Hammond resident and region native I will always support since I believe the foundation of our area is built through hard work and fair pay via our unions, ANY union. The more they make the more they spend in the local area which is always a win win for everyone in the community.

    2) The voters of Hammond need to decide if they want to stop complaining about the way Hammond is perceived throughout the rest of the area and step up and do something about it. Property values are driven by one thing SCHOOLS, Ask anyone from the South County area that used to live in Hammond why they moved, and # 1 answer will be Better Schools plain and simple. With all the development taking place in Hammond now its obvious to see City Hall is doing their part so now its up to us residents to move us into the next tier. Vote Yes for the Referendum and show the the rest of the area that Hammond is ready to be showcased on par with the likes of the excellent communities and SCHOOLS like Crown Point and Valpo. Whatever tax increase that does come with a Yes will be repaid 10 times over when your property values skyrocket and your neighborhood looks better and better.

    Don’t let people who don’t live here influence you, Hammond is Just Better and its time to prove it.

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