Rick Smith Is A Bargain - And Response

Monday, June 24, 2013

So someone who is paid $200,000 to be the CEO of an organization with an annual budget of $351 million, 6,500 employees, 42,000 students and 76 schools is overpaid? Have any of the critics of Mr. Smith ever overseen a $351 million budget. Have you ever managed 6,500 employees in 76 different facilities? Have you ever tried to stay in compliance with a myriad of federal and state regulations?

There is no doubt that teachers are underpaid. As a person whose mother and wife were educators I know that teachers have been underpaid for years. But that is a completely different issue from what the superintendent is paid. Someone suggested we do away with the superintendent's position. If we have 5,000 teachers in the system then eliminating that position with it's $200,000 salary would provide an extra $3-4 dollars a month for the teachers.

If anyone thinks leadership is not important then check out the disaster in Atlanta where the superintendent has been indicted in the cheating scandal. I have never met Rick Smith, however he seems to be a hard worker and a man of character and integrity. A $200,000 salary for a person overseeing a $351 million operation is a bargain, not a disgrace. For all the naysayers who disagree then you may certainly run for the School Board in the next election.

Douglas Jones

North Chattanooga 

* * * 

A bargain? Really?  I totally disagree. If you will look up the median salary for superintendents, it is $142,945, according to salary dot com. If you look up $200,000 on their bell curve, it occurs beyond the 90th percentile. Not what I would characterize as a "bargain."  

Also, let's compare our "bargain" to the New York City school system superintendent who makes $250,000, oversees 1.1 million students and has a budget of $23 billion.  

Not sure where you went to school, but Rick Smith, as nice and competent as he may be, doesn't seem like much of a "bargain."  By the way, we haven't even opened the can of worms concerning benefits and perks given to Mr. Smith, which, in many cases,  can increase a superintendent's salary by as much as 80 percent.  Let's hope that's not the case. 

A CEO is paid by private companies making a profit. School superintendents are paid by taxpayers. In case you haven't noticed, things went south around 2008 for a lot of us, and for a person to get a double digit raise during this time of slow economic recovery is shameful at best.  

Right now, Mr. Smith makes more than Tennessee's attorney general, treasurer, secretary of state, and governor.  Yep, you read that right, more than Governor Bill Haslam.  That's quite a "bargain." 

In New Jersey, school superintendent salaries have risen 46 percent since 2001.  Ask yourself, has yours? 

Chris Rice
Harrison


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Why To Vote Yes On Amendment One

I am still troubled about an editorial of several weeks ago on how women should not have to have government tell them what they can and can’t do with their own bodies.  Today I saw the advertisement being shown in Chattanooga.  There are so many untruths in it that I can’t just sit by and do nothing.   The editor was misinformed about what the Amendment One actually ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke, Chattanooga Police Department, And Community Members Reach Out To Group Members To End Violence

The city of Chattanooga held a call-in on Thursday night, as part of the Violence Reduction Initiative. Dozens of law enforcement officials, community members, social service providers and clergy gathered to deliver a message to over 20 members of violent groups in Chattanooga. Family members of the probationers watched the call-in from another building. Although the call-in was ... (click for more)

Man Airlifted To Erlanger After Early Morning Crash In Bradley County

Bradley County EMS responded to an early morning crash Thursday at 7 a.m. at the intersection of Lauderdale Memorial Highway and Walker Valley Road in Charleston. Three ambulances and an EMS supervisor responded to the scene. There were three vehicles involved and one car left the roadway.   One adult man suffered serious injuries and it was determined that he needed ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Claims Region 4A/AA Soccer Title

Junior Sofia Olenchek scored twice, including the winning goal in the second overtime (95th minute) period as host Notre Dame defeated crosstown rival Chattanooga Christian 2-1, for the Region 4 A-AA championship Thursday night. In a well-played, physical match, CCS led at halftime, 1-0,  after senior Hannah Henry scored in the 14th minute, but Olenchek's first goal ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats Briarcrest For Shot At Father Ryan, DII-AA State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – OK, Father Ryan.  Baylor’s still hanging around. The Lady Red Raiders stormed past Briarcrest, 3-1, Thursday in the loser’s bracket final at Siegel Middle School and advanced to Friday’s Division II-AA volleyball tournament championship match. The set scores were 26-24, 25-15, 24-26, 25-15. The Lady Red Raiders lost to Father Ryan, ... (click for more)