KD Investigation: Superintendent Salaries On The Rise

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Schools are being closed, teachers are being laid off and programs are being cut as more school districts struggle with budget shortfalls.

However, a KDKA investigation found that the pay and compensation for school superintendents in the region is quickly on the rise.

Are the school districts getting their money’s worth? Is it time for the school chiefs to tighten their belts?

A recent Franklin Regional School Board meeting was packed with parents lobbying to keep full-day kindergarten in the face of budget cutbacks.

“Full-day kindergarten is incredibly important academically, socially as well as emotionally for children,” Bobbi Watt Geer said.

Superintendent Dr. Emery D’Arcangelo, who just received a 6 percent raise and a hefty contribution to his retirement fund, said that is something that doesn’t sit well with some.

Despite tough times, superintendent pay is on the rise. KDKA-TV’s Andy Sheehan reviewed 30 Allegheny County school districts and found the average superintendent salary jumped from $131,685 in 2009 to $141,744, in 2010. That is an increase of more than 7 percent and is $11,000 more than the state average.

Those figures do not include things like retirement annuities, life insurance contributions, travel expenses and membership in professional organizations which are typical in most contracts.

At $183,000, D’Arcangelo is one of the highest paid superintendents in the region, but is not the highest.

Newly-hired superintendent at North Allegheny, Dr. Raymond Gualtieri, is making $190,000. That is $5,000 more than his predecessor.

Dr. Linda Lane of Pittsburgh Public Schools makes the most of all at $200,000.

However, Dr. Lane just turned down a board-approved $15,000 raise because of her plans to close schools and lay off teachers.

“I told them I was asking people to do some really hard things and I couldn’t be in a place where I could ask them to do things I wasn’t willing to do myself,” Dr. Lane said.

In terms of givebacks, she is the exception rather than the rule.

At Franklin Regional, D’Arcangelo’s pay bump included a board-approved merit increase. This came after he negotiated $6,000 in salary givebacks from each of the district’s teachers.

D’Arcangelo has agreed to contribute a higher percentage of his pay towards his healthcare costs, but he wasn’t interested in talking about those details with Sheehan.

Most school boards believe their superintendents are worth every penny they are paid, but there’s no doubt these are very tough times in education.

Sometimes, leadership involves shared sacrifice.


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  • keysmann

    I have a problem with the way the supposed “give back” by Dr. Linda Lane was reported and later discussed on air. They made it out like she was this incredible person for giving back $15,000. Yes the Dr. did not take a board approved $15,000 raise in order to make a supposed sacrifice. BUT, how is it a “give back” or even a “sacrifice” to not accept something you haven’t received yet?

    The Dr. is the highest paid Superintendent in the area and probably earns a good bit of that money. But don’t give someone credit for giving back something they never received in the first place. If it were truly giving back, she would return some of the salary she is currently receiving.

  • Becky

    I was thrilled to see the news segment this evening regarding the high salaries of Superintendents. Greed and arrogance once again while eliminating programs that benefit the students. How could the Superintendent of Franklin Regional be one of the highest paid in our area when the teachers there are some of the lowest paid in the region? I can only hope that the taxpayers of that fine city speak up.

  • Gordon

    They deserve every penny, everyday they deal with these savages in the schools and the idiots in the media who question everything they do

    • Dan

      Are you calling teachers “savages?” This article is about superintendents…they deal with policies and teachers…not disruptive students.

    • Joe

      gordon, what the heck are you talking about?!?! that doesn’t even make sense…are you high?

      • Gordon

        sorry the media are savages

  • Dan

    While I don’t mind people calling out the super intendents’ salaries, I do laugh at the quote about full-time kindergarten being necessary “academically, socially as well as emotionally” for children.” The only reason for full-time kindergarten is for tax-payer subsidized day care. A child is not losing out academically, socially or emotionally by attending half day kindergarten. What a farce.

    • Becky

      Have you had a child in Kindergarten lately? Kindergartners are expected to learn so much more than when my children were in Kindergarten 25 years ago. They are now expected to know everything that 1st graders learned not even 10 years ago. I don’t understand your calling K a farce????? Half day Kindergarten will set them back quite a bit.

      • keysmann

        Apparently you didn’t bother to read the next couple of posts before going off on Dan. He never said kindergarten is a farce. If you bothered to take the time to comprehend his post you would know that Dan is saying that the idea that part-time kindergarten will cause a loss of social interaction and education is a farce.

      • Dan

        Yes I have recently had children in kindergarten, and our school district still does half days. And you know what, my kids are excelling in school despite this “travesty” of half day kindergarten.

  • Mary

    I am the Mom of Aliquippa School District Superintendent, David A. Wytiaz and I am so proud that David was the first in the District to take a pay freeze. Because of the Federal and State budget cuts, the District had to lay off teachers and reduce full day kindergarten to half day. David was very upset to lose some of his teachers but most of all depriving the students of much needed educational necessities.

  • Ann

    To say that Kindergarten is a farce means you haven’t been inside a really good kindergarten class. They teach children so much more than you obviously understand. Why not cut sports like football and baseball! Now that’s a farce…using tax dollars to pay for stadiums, fields, uniforms, coaches… that’s a waste of tax payer dollars. Parents can pay for those extras not related to actually education!

    • keysmann

      Dan did not call kindergarten a farce, only the idea that part-time kindergarten will cause a loss of social interaction and education.

      • Becky

        Sorry if you feel that I have misconstrued what Dan was trying to say. He did say “the only reason for full-time Kindergarten is for tax payer subsidized day care.” and to me he is saying that Kindergarten is a waste of time by comparing it to day-care which is a babysitting service. So then does he feel the same way about other elementary grades? —- siince Kindergartners do receive quite a bit of educational instruction throughout the entire day the same as other grades. Except they get a snack and a rest period!

    • Dan

      Ann, you comment on my ability to understand, yet you completely missed my point. Try to keep up will ya?

      • Dan

        @Becky, yes, I _DO_ believe people want full time kindergarten so that they don’t have to pay half day child care. Many school districts “survive” with half day kindergartens. There’s no need for full-day.

  • outragednurse

    I am not sure what Superintendents due that is worth this kind of money. Why should they make more than many doctors (yes, there are plenty of doctors who make less than $200,000 a year) or other professions that are detrimental to society. I say get rid of them all. Use the money saved to keep teachers, programs for kids, etc. You cant make parents pay for sports, etc. If you do that the only kids that will get that chance are the wealthy privileged. This society is top heavy. Too many at the top that arent needed and suck up the biggest chunk of money in salaries.

    • Jerry

      I would certainly hope that superintendents make more than professions that are detrimental to society. In fact, I’d hope that these detrimental professions are eliminated completely!

      You do realize what detrimental means, don’t you?

  • ven

    This is just another example of our society. The CEO’s (which is akin to what superintendents are) continue to rob their company of millions of dollars while the workers take the shaft.

  • bruceUSA

    Hey teachers, If you want more money become a superintendent!!! And now can you see where that 1mill property tax increase is headed!!! What a racket!! .Thanks Dems Give these school districts anything they want you’ll pay for it!! Are there any limits ???

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