National Post (Latest Edition)
Alberta to place ‘clear limits’ on school superintendent pay
Salary structure now in line with B.C., Ontario
EDMONTON • Alberta is reducing almost all salaries paid to school superintendents after a review found they were earning too much and revealed that $10,000 in college costs were covered for one superintendent’s children.
The government, citing contract privacy rules, won’t reveal the superintendent’s name.
Other perks found in the review of 74 contracts included a $1,200 annual gym membership and benefits ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 for superintendents to essentially spend as they saw fit.
Also, 17 contracts had retirement allowances or severance payments that included up to a year’s full salary.
Education Minister David Eggen said those benefits will not be allowed under new salary rules.
“Clear limits for superintendent pay will help ensure public funds continue to be put where they can do the most good for Alberta’s students while ensuring boards can continue to recruit top leaders,” Eggen said Friday.
The changes will only affect new contracts.
Ministry of Education officials did not immediately release bottom-line compensation numbers, but said the changes will reduce 67 of the 74 contracts the next time around. No one is getting a pay increase as a result.
Future contracts under a new grid will pay a minimum of $60,000 to a maximum of $275,000 for the biggest school boards.
Eggen announced the review in March following reports of widely varying contracts, including a pending offer of $430,000 to Joan Carr of the Edmonton Catholic School Board.
Eggen refused to sign off on Carr’s contract pending the review and any deal Carr signs now will be subject to the salary cap.
Terry Harris, chair of the Catholic board, said “Joan has reaffirmed her decision of Jan. 23, 2018, to continue her leadership of the Edmonton Catholic School District until Aug. 31, 2020.”
Christopher MacPhee, president of the College of Alberta School Superintendents, responded in a news release, but did not address the perks red-flagged in the government review.
“While not all of CASS’ recommendations for a new structure were adopted by the government in this review, our superintendents remain fully dedicated to overseeing and managing the schools where our children thrive,” said MacPhee. “We will work with the government to ensure the new structure is properly implemented across the province.”
The province said the new rules — which apply to superintendents of public, separate, francophone and charter school boards — bring Alberta in line with provinces such as British Columbia and Ontario.
Severance pay now matches that in the Alberta public service. Each full year of continuous service entitles a superintendent to four weeks of base salary up to a maximum of 52 weeks.
Current compensation to superintendents is $14.1 million a year and changes are expected to save $1.5 million.
CLEAR LIMITS FOR SUPERINTENDENT PAY WILL HELP ... RECRUIT TOP LEADERS.