Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Orleans charter principals in elite salary group

Principals at some Orleans Parish charter schools earn lavish salaries in line with those paid at the toniest private academies, according to this article by reporter Brian Thevenot of The Times Picayune.

Lusher Charter School Principal Kathy Riedlinger brings home $203,556, including a $5,000 yearly car allowance. In second place among charter school principals is Lafayette Charter School's Mickey Landry, who earns $186,000 (in contrast, Orleans Parish School Board principals earn between $82,330 and $92,054).

That puts the charter leaders in the same rarefied air as headmasters at the city's most exclusive private schools - $284,828 at Isidore Newman High School, and $217,500 at Metairie Park Country Day School.

They are only following the lead of highly-placed state officials, such as State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek , whose salary package approaches $400,000 per year. Governor Bobby Jindal has been equally generous with his top appointees like economic development director Stephen Moret, who started in his post at $320,000.

Education budgets , health care, roads and bridges, and arts funding all must be slashed because of the state's budget crisis. But these mandarins are all so important to the state that they deserve their generous packages. As our leaders are so fond of saying, you have to pay the top salaries to get the best people.

1 comment:

Roger said...

Yes, and check out the lavish salaries of the folks who work at the organizations incubating new charters. At New Schools for New Orleans, for example, the top two salaries are around 140K and 130K and a third employee makes 85K. With a decentralized system, we have multiple "leadership administrations" and multiple elite salaried directors. This is just another form of inefficiency.
(You can view the highest paid non-profit employee salaries at guidestar.com. It's public information and can also be requested from the organizations.)