Maryland, roughly the same size and population of Massachusetts, has 24 school Superintendents while Massachusetts has 279. One good reason the state is now pushing cities and towns to regionalize schools. Obviating a couple hundred highly-paid bureaucrats adds up to real savings.
In overly educated Amherst the School Superintendent's position is the platinum standard of public employment.
When Gus Sayer suddenly left seven years ago at $104,000 and Jere Hochman arrived at $135,000 then Town Manager Barry Del Castilho whined his way to a mid-year $10,000 raise, but still only topped out at $125,000, which remains the salary level of the current Town Manager (+ $6,000 or $7,000 car/cell phone allowance.)
The new Amherst School Superintended Alberto Rodriguez debuted at $173,000 ($158,000+ $15,000 housing/auto allowance)--a 20% raise over his Golden Boy predecessor Jere Hochman. The School Superintendent of Longmeadow makes $124,000
No wonder Amherst spends well over the $401 per student state average on administrators: $550 per student in the elementary schools and $582 at the Amherst-Pelham regional schools . Longmeadow, on the other hand, spends $331 per pupil on administrators.
But now the Town Manager and School Superintendent, our two highest paid public employees, are hoping the teachers union will enact "give backs" on their FY11 contract--specifically step increases and COLA, which combine for a whopping $1.3 million.
Chances of that happening are right up there with Scott Brown winning over Amherst three years from now in his Senate reelection bid.