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School & District Management

Hefty Pay Increase Arrives Early in Term for Louisiana Chief

By Katie Ash — March 04, 2008 1 min read
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Talk about staying ahead of inflation: Louisiana state schools Superintendent Paul G. Pastorek, on the job for less than a year, will soon receive a $50,000 salary boost, bringing his annual earnings up to almost $350,000.

That total, which puts him ahead of state chiefs in Texas and Massachusetts, among other places, includes an annual salary of $277,249 per year, along with a $48,000 housing allowance and a $24,000 car allowance—in all, a 16.7 percent increase in his compensation. The contract also makes him eligible for 6 percent raises in the future.

“[Mr. Pastorek has] been very instrumental in getting the New Orleans education program back on its feet after the hurricane,” said Walter Lee, a member of the state board, which approved the contract Feb. 21 on a 10-1 vote. “He felt … that based on his ability and credentials he was worth the money, and we did also.”

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See other stories on education issues in Louisiana. See data on Louisiana’s public school system.

But some were surprised that the raise came so early in Mr. Pastorek’s tenure.

“I find that real quick for anyone to get a pay raise,” said Carnell Washington, the president of the East Baton Rouge Federation of Teachers. “He’s getting a raise without any accountability being shown.”

Compensation varies for the nation’s state schools chiefs—and is not necessarily related to the size of the state’s school system. Texas state chief Robert Scott, who is appointed, earns $180,000 and no housing or car allowance. In Massachusetts, Mitchell Dan Chester, who will begin in May as the state’s commissioner of education, will receive $206,000 per year, with no housing or car allowance.

Mr. Pastorek’s pay is more in line with the compensation for big-city superintendents. For instance, Joel I. Klein, the schools chancellor for the 1.1 million-student New York City school district, earns $250,000 a year with no housing or car allowance, and in the 708,0000-student Los Angeles Unified School District, Superintendent David L. Brewer gets $300,000 and a $36,000 housing allowance annually, but no car allowance.

Librarians Kathryn Dorko and Rachael Holovach contributed to this story.
A version of this article appeared in the March 05, 2008 edition of Education Week

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