Eye on Jacksonville has no taste for baloney and there was a huge helping of it at the June 7 School Board meeting. Board members obviously had been programmed with a talking point they thought was swell. While discussing their already-decided plan to give a pay raise to the superintendent,
they constantly made reference to her standing in the “Big 7.” That is not a football conference.
The reference was to the seven largest school districts in Florida. Diana Greene’s salary repeatedly was said to be at the “bottom of the Big 7.” Why seven? If they had selected the 14 biggest districts they could have said she was “above the average for the Big 14.”
Actually, with her raise to $300,000 only three superintendents in the state will be paid more. (We don’t know what the total compensation package is for each of them.) But here is the kicker.
The three superintendents with bigger paychecks command school districts with many more students and schools. Dade and Broward have more than twice as many students. Hillsborough’s district has about 90,000 more students but the superintendent only makes $10,000 more — and several Duval County board members wanted to raise Greene to that figure.
At $300G she will be paid the same as the superintendents in the larger Orange and Palm Beach districts. The tenth-largest Polk County system is smaller and the head person is paid $255,000.
Bottom line is the Big 7 salaries are not so big, in terms of being meaningful. More to the point would be, how much are the students learning vs. how much are the taxpayers paying? Comparisons of superintendent salaries to average teacher pay also are not especially relevant.