So it's been easy to get bogged down in the last few days with questions like "Holy shit! Jennifer Sprague is making how much?" and "Wait, you think us media types are blowing this salary thing out of proportion because Jennifer Sprague is young and blond and has boobs?"
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But, remember, there are new hires pulling down decent coin at DISD. Like chief of staff Alan King, who will make $225,000, operations chief Kevin Smelker who will make $220,000, and let's not forget Miles himself, who will take home as much as $350K. All this while the average teacher in DISD makes $56,000 per year.
Which is why Timothy Noah, writing in the New Republic, makes DISD a poster child for the importance of public employee unions. They help keep things in balance.
Being a teacher is back-breakingly difficult work. It is also extremely important work. Being the press agent or innovation chief for the school superintendent is, by comparison, fairly easy, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the hours are much shorter. It's also fairly trivial. Being superintendent or the superintendent's chief of staff is important work, but there's no chance it's as difficult as being a teacher, and I hesitate to say that it's as important. The boss always makes more, and I guess we can't begrudge him that. But for the boss to make more than six times more than the average teacher is freaking outrageous.
But this is the New Republic. If Noah were going to bemoan the power of unions and argue that salaries and benefits should be left to the market, he'd be writing in the National Review. But setting aside for a minute Sprague's salary, which is just silly, is it really unreasonable to pay the superintendent $300,000 per year? That's a lot of money but, whatever Noah may claim, steering a large school district is a job that an exceedingly small percentage of the population is cut out to do. I'm not going to begrudge Miles his $300,000, at least until he steers into a larger iceberg than Sprague.