Distracting

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 at 6:48 am by

On Monday, Governor Cuomo revealed a proposal to impose a state cap on superintendent salaries.

It is an attempt to focus debate on the $15 million his administration says the proposal would save, instead of on the damage his $1.5 billion state aid cut would cause for schools and students.

The Albany Times Union published an editorial titled “Gov. Cuomo’s unworthy debate.”

The Journal News serving the Lower Hudson Valley warned, “Superintendent cap won’t improve schools.”

Watertown Daily Times called for “No salary caps.”

Our statement in response to the proposal observed that, “School systems need strong and resourceful leaders as superintendents now more than ever,” and that districts are already finding it hard to get candidates for superintendent positions.

On the evening of the day the Governor made his proposal, the Council’s Executive Director Bob Reidy appeared on the statewide cable news program, Capital Tonight.

Today, Bob was on the statewide public radio program, Capitol Pressroom.

The Governor’s proposal would cap superintendent salaries based on district enrollment.  Salaries superintendents serving districts with enrollments up to 250 students would be capped at $125,000. The cap would rise in $10,000 increments up to a maximum of $175,000 for districts with more than 6,501 students.

The proposal would affect contracts entered into, amended or extended after the bill becomes law, if it does.

The bill is unclear on what should happen if a district’s enrollment changes enough to move it from one cap size to another.

The bill also limits superintendent benefits to those available to state management/confidential employees. 

Superintendents would not be able to receive compensation for accrued vacation or sick leave or use accrued sick leave to pay health costs in retirement in a manner which differed from that provided to state M/C employees.  In many cases, superintendents would be allowed fewer vacation and sick leave days than more junior school employees.

If a district chose to pay the insurance benefit costs (health, disability, life or other insurance) for superintendents, the amount paid would be included in the total annual salary of the superintendent for purposes of the cap.

The Times-Union also offered this editorial cartoon in response to the Governor’s proposal.

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