Supplements: How Much and Who Pays?

Supplements are the extra amounts paid to teachers and coaches to oversee, sponsor, and/or supervise activities outside of the regular school day. For FY14, nearly $5 million is budgeted to pay those supplements.

The activities for which supplements are paid are certainly highly-valued by Hoover students and families. By calling these amounts to your attention, we are in no way making any value judgments on the importance or value of these activities.

However, the fact remains that the Board of Education continues to pass multi-million-dollar deficit budgets, and financial cuts must be made in order to stabilize our school system. To that end, we offer the following information regarding how supplements are calculated and paid.

Here is the 2013-2014 salary schedule showing how supplements are calculated. Click through the images below to get an idea of amounts paid for supplements.

From the supplement schedule: “Supplements expressed as a percentage are to be computed by applying the stated percentage to the employee’s 188 day teacher pay rate. For non-teacher sponsors, assume a step pay rate as a starting point consistent with documented full time experience.”

Hoover City FY14 Supplements_Page_1

Hoover City FY14 Supplements_Page_2Hoover City FY14 Supplements_Page_3Hoover City FY14 Supplements_Page_4Hoover City FY14 Supplements_Page_5

After researching how other school districts pay supplements, two things were learned:

(1) Hoover is one of only two systems (of the 44 who posted their supplement schedules online) that uses the percentage method. The remaining 42 systems use a flat amount, though one does incorporate a “factor” that ends up pretty much being a percentage based on the employees’ salary.

(2) Huntsville City Schools allows their booster clubs to pay for supplements. It is in their policy manual and depicted below.

Huntsville Policy on Local Supplements

Hoover paid a flat amount for supplements until the 2007-2008 school year, when newly-appointed Superintendent Andy Craig recommended that supplements be paid as a percentage of the employees’ salary. The Board unanimously approved Craig’s recommendation.

Percentages or Fixed Amounts?

It is well-known among athletic coaches that it is more advantageous to work for a system that pays supplements based on a percentage than a flat rate, as pay will increase each year due to the step increase in the base salary in the teachers’ salary schedule, which means the supplement increases as well since it is based on the salary amount.

The change from fixed amounts to percentages was documented in The Birmingham News in two sentences: “The board approved salary schedules for athletic and academic supplements. Some supplements are percentages of employees’ pay rates rather than flat amounts. Craig said this was done to account for years of experience and education” (Stock, “Board OKs $163 Million School Budget”, The Birmingham News, September 11, 2007).

Every time a raise is given, the supplement amount paid increases proportionally. Every time a step increase is recognized (salary for teachers increases each year between years two and 16), the supplement amount also increases. Pay can also increase exponentially if a teacher earns an advanced degree (see the full salary schedule for details). This is a double-whammy on a personnel budget.

Below is a table representing supplement amounts paid to employees since FY06.

Supplements Hoover City Schools

The “Non-Athletic” supplement amounts do not include any benefits paid on top of those supplements. Because the benefit amounts are not included, it is difficult to determine the true cost of these supplements. The “Athletic” supplement amounts do include benefits. It is unclear why the FY14 budgeted amount for supplements is so much higher than the actual amount paid in FY13, though all employees did receive a state-mandated 2% raise (which in turn raises the amount of the supplements, and the fixed dollar amount supplements were increased by 2% as well).

Further breakdowns of supplements paid and budgeted by program (kindergarten, grades 1-6, grades 7-12, etc.) are available and will be posted shortly.

Knowing that Huntsville City Schools allows boosters to pay supplements through the school system, should Hoover City Schools should adopt a similar policy?

More About the History of Supplements

Not only did the amounts paid change from a fixed to a percentage amount, the following supplements were added:

  • 2 Varsity Assistant Football Coaches per school, making a total of 11 per school
  • 1 JV Assistant Softball Coach, none previously paid
  • 1 JV Assistant Soccer Coach for boys’ and girls’ teams, none previously paid
  • 1 Freshman Assistant Soccer Coach for boys’ and girls’ teams, none previously paid
  • 1 JV Assistant Volleyball Coach, none previously paid
  • BEST Robotics sponsor, none previously paid (no number given)
  • AP coordinator, none previously paid (no number given)
  • Academy Director, none previously paid (no number given)
  • TNT Sponsor, none previously paid (no number given)
  • High School Writing Center, none previously paid (no number given)

Some academic supplements (on the “Non-Athletic Supplements” identified in the schedule) stayed as fixed dollar amounts, while all but a few athletic supplements changed to percentages.

We do not have salary schedules for 2009-2010 or 2010-2011.

By 2011-2012 school year, supplements had changed again. Some increased their percentage, others decreased in percentage. Some activities had the maximum number of supplements reduced, others were added.

Notably, the maximum number of supplements per school that changed somewhere between June 2009 and August 2011 as follows:

  • Football:
    • Varsity Assistant Coaches reduced from 11 to 10 per school
    • JV Assistant Coaches reduced from 5 to 4
    • Freshman Assistant Coaches reduced from 5 to 4
  • Baseball:
    • Varsity Assistant Coaches reduced from 2 to 1
  • Cross Country:
    • Varsity Assistant Coaches reduced from 3 to 2
    • Middle School Assistant Coaches reduced from 2 to 1
  • Outdoor Track:
    • Middle School Assistant Coaches reduced from 2 to 1
  • Indoor Track, each of the following was reduced from 2 to 1:
    • Varsity Head Coach
    • Assistant Varsity Coach
    • Middle School Assistant Coach
  • Cheerleading:
    • Varsity Coaches for Basketball reduced from 2 to 1
    • Varsity Coach for Wrestling eliminated
    • Freshman Coach for Wrestling eliminated
  • Junior Class Sponsor added (fixed amount)
  • Senior Class Sponsor added (fixed amount)
  • “Instructional/Extracurricular/Other Functional Support – 1% to 12%” added – no maximum number, no indication of what these are
  • Band:
    • Assistant HS Band Director and/or Middle School Band Director (who also have extended contract) added
    • High School Freshman/JV Guard Sponsor added
    • High School Dance Team Sponsor added
    • High School Freshman/JV Dance Team Sponsor added

With nearly $5 million in the FY14 budget for supplements, this clearly is an area for review. More information forthcoming.


2006-2007 Hoover City Schools supplement schedule (fixed amounts, not percentages)
2007-2008 Hoover City Schools supplement schedule
2008-2009 Hoover City Schools supplement schedule
2011-2012 Hoover City Schools supplement schedule
2012-2013 Hoover City Schools supplement schedule
2013-2014 Hoover City Schools supplement schedule

Object Code 191-Supplements, and line items for “coach” with adjacent benefit amounts were totaled for each FY from the following reports.

FY06 Financial Summary Detail
FY07 Financial Summary Detail
FY08 Financial Summary Detail
FY09 Financial Summary Detail
FY10 Financial Summary Detail
FY11 Financial Summary Detail
FY12 Financial Summary Detail
FY13 Financial Summary Detail
FY14 Budget Summary Detail