Monday, April 18, 2005

DCPS management rakes it in

For a few months in 2004 Robert C. Rice was the acting superintendent, holding down the fort until the great superintendent hunt delivered Clifford Janey to our shores. So what became of Rice once the permanent reigns were handed over? Why, he got a new title and a nice old paycheck to go with it.
Mr. Rice stepped down from the interim job in September, but pay documents show he is still receiving his interim salary as a "special assistant to the superintendent" -- a position created for him. The newly created job makes Mr. Rice one of the highest-paid employees in the school system and in city government.

The school system last year had one special assistant to the superintendent, a position that paid $52,936 a year, according to pay documents. This year, pay documents show that the system has two special assistants to the superintendent: Joyce Matthews McNeil, who earns $64,101 a year, and Mr. Rice, who makes $175,000 a year -- or $210,000 a year, including benefits.

School officials declined to comment on why Mr. Rice's salary for the new position is the same as the interim superintendent's salary.
To be fair it very well may be that Mr. Rice is worth every penny of salary DCPS pays him. The problem is, though, DCPS doesn't exactly have a strong track record of managing money and Mr. Rice's pay stubs aren't the only ones that raise eyebrows.
• Peter G. Parham earned a base salary of $86,400 last year as director of interagency partnerships. As chief of staff this year, Mr. Parham will earn $151,050 -- a 74.7 percent increase.

•The Board of Education's executive director, Russell A. Smith, earned $105,040 last year and will earn $115,090 this year.

Two other officials in schools Superintendent Clifford B. Janey's senior circle of administrators rank among the highest-paid school employees, records show.

Both Thomas M. Brady, chief of business services, and Meria Carstarphen, chief accountability officer, are to earn $170,000 in 2005. They were hired in the fall by Mr. Janey as part of a move to overhaul operations in the school system.

By comparison, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams makes $149,200 a year, and D.C. Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp earns $139,200.

Mr. Janey earns $250,000 in base salary, not including $50,000 in benefits this year, records show.
And this from a school system whose facilities are literally crumbling and who may have to fire 300 or so school staff (including teachers) because of the budget.

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