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



Lawsuit May Bring More Security To Hamilton Place Mall

Good for the military veteran that is suing for getting shot on CBL's and ERMC's watch. With this past holiday season's traumatic events unfolding at the mall and clear evidence that ERMC security does not have the ability to insure the safety of the patrons, it is time for a lawsuit to get someone's attention.  This military veteran, who clearly saw combat due to the mentioned ... (click for more)

Thankful Corker Stood Up To Pentagon Spending

I’m writing to thank Senator Bob Corker for his principled stand on the issue of Pentagon spending.  Earlier this week, Senator Corker voted against a Pentagon policy bill that would authorize nearly $700 billion in spending. This is a brave stance for a Republican, as Pentagon spending has become the new “third rail” in federal budgeting. Vote against a single dollar for ... (click for more)

Jury Hears About Incident Behind Food Lion That Authorities Say Led To Triple Murders In Lookout Valley

A Criminal Court jury on Thursday was told about an incident behind the Food Lion on Brown's Ferry Road that authorities say was the motive for an April 9, 2014, massacre at a Lookout Valley trailer park. Brandon Jackson said the incident five days earlier involved Derek Morse, who is standing trial on three counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree ... (click for more)

Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Apartment Building Fire

More than a dozen people were forced from their homes early Thursday morning when fire broke out in their apartment building.   The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at  2:58 a.m.  and responded to Rainbow Creek Apartments at  7604 Standifer Gap Road  with six fire companies. Seeing a significant amount of fire upon arrival, a ... (click for more)

Impressive Signal Mountain Whips Red Bank, 3-0

The Signal Mountain Lady Eagles have one of the better volleyball teams in town this fall and it’s no surprise that they are unbeaten in district play. They proved just how good they are Tuesday evening in Red Bank’s Susan Ingram Thurman Gymnasium as they needed about 50 minutes to beat the Lionettes for the second time this season. Set scores were 25-6, 25-7 and 25-15. ... (click for more)

Vols. UMass Matchup Pits 1998 National Champions

Tennessee takes on UMass on Saturday at Neyland Stadium. The game will feature a noon ET kickoff on SEC Network.     Tennessee (2-1) is coming off a 26-20 road loss to Florida on Sept. 16. Junior running back John Kelly set career highs with 141 rushing yards and 96 receiving yards and played a major role in the Vols' second half rally before the Gators ... (click for more)