Atlanta’s new superintendent would make more than half a million dollars each year if Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed has his way, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The district is in the midst of a search to replace Erroll Davis, as we reported earlier this spring. Beverly Hall, the district’s previous superintendent, was indicted in a cheating scandal that caught the nation’s attention.
Reed says that, partly because of that scandal, the district’s next leader should be paid $600,000, rather than the $275,000-$300,000 currently allotted. He said in a statement on Thursday that he had raised the money from private businesses. The Atlanta school board’s chairman disagreed with the mayor, saying that the superintendent’s salary should be paid for by the public.
Here’s Reed on why the district should shell out more for its leader, from the Associated Press:
The school system has been wracked by an unprecedented cheating scandal, criminal indictments and concerns over its accreditation. I'm hoping this financial incentive will attract a high-caliber leader willing to accept these monumental challenges and not only heal this troubled school system, but make it thrive," he said. "Not one penny of this extra compensation will come from taxpayers." ...Reed told the audience the city is looking to "recruit a superintendent like we would recruit the head of football at the University of Georgia."
According to this Deadspin infographic, Georgia’s highest-paid public employee is, indeed, a football coach.
Reed himself is paid less than $200,000 per year.
The average superintendent’s salary was $125,096 in 2007-08. Superintendents in systems over 25,000 students earn an average of more than $200,000, according to AASA, the superintendents’ association.
Fox Business News reported that superintendents in 12 states make more than the state’s governors, as some districts move to corporate pay models and call their district leaders CEOs rather than superintendents.
A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.