Education

Take Note

October 01, 2003 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Doing Their Part

While some Wall Street fat cats have made news for accepting hefty salary packages even during a sour economy, a growing number of Minnesota superintendents are volunteering for pay freezes and turning down lucrative performance bonuses.

For Stan Mack, the superintendent of the 13,500-student Robbinsdale Area district in the northwestern suburbs of Minneapolis, the decision not to accept a cost-of-living increase and merit-pay bonus was an easy one.

“Leadership means that you need to stand out in front of employees and demonstrate your good faith,” Mr. Mack said.

It’s not that Mr. Mack is hard up for money. He still makes $153,750 a year. But by forgoing a cost-of-living increase and a merit-pay option in his contract, Mr. Mack gave up about $7,000.

Like many school districts around the country, the Robbinsdale schools do not have much fat to trim. Mr. Mack said his decision to hold back on his pay made sense.

“This is significant, in the fact that any pattern of compensation or bonus pay would have set the wrong tone,” he said.

The Minnesota Association of School Administrators has said that at least 20 superintendents in the state have either turned down pay raises or are in the process of doing so.

For Connie Hayes, the superintendent of the 1,700- student LaCrescent-Hokah public schools in southeast Minnesota, the decision to give up a bonus and a cost-of-living increase and to see a reduction in health-care benefits was not hers alone.

Her entire administrative team last year accepted reductions in health-care benefits that saved the district about $11,000. The three principals, a community education director, and a business manager also worked three days without pay and saved the district about $7,000.

This year, the administrative team also froze its members’ salaries and saved the district $14,000.

“It’s been a team effort,” said Ms. Hayes, who makes $95,687 and gave up about $4,200 in salary this year.

“In our district, we do a pretty good job of supporting each other. People are willing to be a part of the solution short term, but people can’t take reduction in pay raises forever,” she said.

“We are just keeping our fingers crossed that the economy is going to turn around.”

—John Gehring

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Modernizing Principal Support: The Road to More Connected and Effective Leaders
When principals are better equipped to lead, support, and maintain high levels of teaching and learning, outcomes for students are improved.
Content provided by BetterLesson
Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: April 27, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: April 6, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 30, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
6 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 16, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
7 min read