The PJ Tatler

Texas school officials threaten teacher layoffs while boosting administrator pay

How can these school systems possibly justify badgering Austin over budget cuts while giving their superintendents whopping raises?

The Amarillo Globe-News reports two area superintendents are getting raises despite proposed reduced state funding for public schools that has most school officials threatening layoffs.

The school board-approved raises are going to Amarillo Independent School District Superintendent Rod Schroder, whose 2 percent bump puts his salary at $265,980, and River Road Independent School District Superintendent Randy Owen, whose pay hike of nearly 7 percent boosts his salary to $117,500.

Schroder’s pay has shot up 11 percent since 2008, when his salary was $239,526 — the state average for similarly sized districts was $213,829. Owen’s pay has increased 12 percent since 2008, when he earned $105,000 — the average was $98,861.

Terry Grier, superintendent of  Houston Independent School District, the nation’s seventh-largest, is paid $300,000 a year.

It was just last week that Schroder was in Austin testifying before the Senate Education Committee, asking for some reprieve from the $5 billion in proposed budget cuts over two years.

Brazen and shameless. And then there’s this:

The Texas School Alliance, according to Sunshine Review, is a taxpayer-funded lobbying group composed of mostly large districts in the state, including Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. Among its lobbying partners is HillCo.

They’re using taxpayer dollars to lobby for more taxpayer dollars, similar to the way the government unions operate. That practice needs to be banned.

It’s time to cut the fat in spending across the board. In the case of public education, start with the administrators and the lobbyists that the administrators hire — not the classroom.