Sunday, January 17, 2010

Superintendent to make almost

I used to blog for my old company, but they took the blog down. I am
not actually allowed to own the writings I put up on that blog, but as
I reference them on occasion in my writing I am putting those articles
up in my archives here for reference sake. I'll put the tag GS on those
articles noting that they were originally published on the

Superintendent to make almost $300,000

June 3, 2008 – 4:22 am by Brendan

Sounds like a lot of money doesn’t it? U-46 is in Elgin, a city of over 100,000 people spread across three counties. Almost every public school in Elgin is within this one district. According to their web site U-46 has 41,087 students, 4,172 staff (2,441 teachers), and a budget of over $280,000,000. According to Wikipedia, Kiribati, a small island nation, has a total Gross Domestic Product of only 79 million dollars.

According to The Daily Herald Jose Torres will make a base salary of $220,000 and receive perks and other benefits that equal a total pay of $291,000. In light of the size of the district and the overall budget this doesn’t sound too excessive. Considering the pay of the last superintendent who recently retired it is a down right bargain.

Of course time will tell. The previous superintendent, Connie Neale started with a base pay of around $200,000 also. Five years later she was making almost $600,000 in pay and benefits. The school board, though unhappy with the amount of money she was being paid (A year ago, school board member Dan Rich resigned, saying he felt Neale had “held the board hostage” when she asked for a $60,000 raise and bonus that brought her total pay package to more than $400,000 a year.) seemed to have been happy with her job performance. (Contractual amendments were approved for a reason, he said [School board President Ken Kaczynski,], citing that U-46 has emerged from $40.7 million in debt and is academically stronger after Neale’s five years of service.)

Jose Torres does have experience working with school districts with high populations of at risk students. He was Superintendent of the San Ysidro School District, an Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services for Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Maryland, and an Area Instructional Officer in Chicago.

In San Ysidro he was fired after only a few months because the Board felt his strict style was not a good fit for the district. (I can’t find the original article but a complete copy can be found halfway down this page.)

I can’t seem to find any direct information on how well he did after being put in charge of area 14 in Chicago, but the fact that they put him into one of the toughest areas is an indication that the powers that be felt he could make an improvement.

At the end of the day however U-46 in Elgin is not one of the best school districts in the country. Dr. Torres will have his work cut out for him and in 5 years, (if he lasts five years) the school district probably still won’t be the reason most people move into the area. It can however improve. Perhaps Dr. Torres will draw on the Chicago AIO model and hire some area supervisors to supervise and improve small sections of the district.


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