D.C. Schools Salaries Skyrocket; 14 Officials Receive Base Pay of $150,000
Byline: Jim McElhatton, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
More than a dozen D.C. public school system central office administrators are taking home base salaries of at least $150,000 per year, compared with just one official earning that much two years ago, according to an analysis of payroll records.
The salary information, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, shows 14 central administration officials receiving a base pay of at least $150,000 in fiscal 2006, including five officials making $170,000 or more.
By comparison, pay records approved by the Board of Education in July 2004 show only one administrator - former interim Superintendent Elfreda Massie - earning at least $150,000. She was paid $175,000.
An analysis by The Washington Times compared Schedule A pay documents approved by the school board in July 2004 and in January 2006, and found that the school system's top jobs pay significantly more than they did two years ago. The document is a detailed financial snapshot that contains schedules of salaries and benefits.
The pay increases come at a time when the school system struggles with declining enrollment brought on by competition from charter schools. In recent years, D.C. school officials also have cut teaching jobs and made plans to consolidate schools.
Roxanne Evans, the school system's media strategist, said the salaries are necessary so the school system can "hire and retain the best people we can."
"The thinking is that in order to elevate DCPS into a world-class school district, the superintendent needs a world-class management team," said Miss Evans, who earns $78,502 a year.
"The salaries of our senior management team are consistent with their knowledge, ability and skills, as well as the expectations of the superintendent."
But D.C. Council member Kathy Patterson, Ward 3 Democrat and chairman of the council's Committee on Education, Libraries and Recreation, said she plans to ask school system officials about the salaries during upcoming budget hearings.
"We need to pay to have top talent in our school system, but I have to say that this will be an issue as we review the DCPS school budget," Mrs. …