Providence - Top 25 Highest Paid School Employees
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
That represents about a half-a-million-dollar increase over the total cost of the top 25 employees in 2009, which was $3.9 million.
The cost of salaries alone was $3.4 million. That figure includes base salary, sick bonus, longevity, a $2,500 to $3,700 annual stipend to employees who have earned advanced degrees, and step increases, which are annual automatic raises. The remaining $1 million for “fringe benefits” includes medical and dental insurance as well as union benefits.
Exception to the rule: Four of top five are teachers
Four of the top five highest earning employees in 2010 were not administrators, but teachers. (See below for the top 25 list, ranked by salary, not including their fringe benefits.) Those four teachers made it to the top thanks to a settlement they reached with the school district in a lawsuit that was filed after they were terminated, according to Matt Clarkin, the former Chief Financial Officer for the district and now the Internal Auditor for the city.
Most of top 25 are principals and administrators
All of the remaining top 25 employees on the list are senior administrators, with the exception of Kenneth Nardozza, a special education teacher at the Providence Career and Technical Academy, whose total salary of $125,688 put him ninth on the list. Nardozza drew an additional $31,975 in fringe benefits for the year.
Of the top 25, one is an assistant principal, nine are high school principals, and three are administrators somewhere in between the level of superintendent and principal. That last category includes those administrators who are responsible for overseeing groups of schools—elementary, middle, or secondary. For example, the executive director for middle-level education was Marc Catone, who earned 125,644 in total wages and 44,869 in fringe benefits.
Councilmen: School department has too many managers
Like Jackson, Councilman Miguel Luna thinks the district is top-heavy. “I think there are too many supervisors,” Luna said. “You have the principals that are the managers of individual schools. You might think that on top of that you might have the superintendent, but no, you have other managers to oversee those managers.”
Despite such criticism, Clarkin noted that the cost of administrators is in line with other school districts. In the 2008 to 2009 school year, Rhode Island districts spent an average of 5.6 percent of their per-pupil costs on “leadership,” an expense which includes salaries and benefits for administrators. That same year, Providence spent 4.8 percent. (See chart on left. Note that 2008-2009 is the latest available data.)
A spokesman for Mayor Angel Taveras declined to comment on the data, saying Taveras was still in the midst of a comprehensive review of all city departments.
Below is the complete ranking of the top 25 paid employees. (Note that total salary is listed as "total wages." This figure does not include fringe benefits.)
Click here to download the PDF which has more detailed information. Note that on the PDF total wages is divided into base pay and additional wages, which includes pay for professional development, summer hours, and severance. The PDF also lists the fringe benefits for the employees and includes the top 25 highest paid employees in 2009. (Data is for calendar years, not fiscal years.)
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