By: Ezra Ashkenazi
City school leaders might have to rethink the way they’re using so much of their money. Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza has given multiple raises and promotion to many school executives. Although this sounds like a positive thing, it seems like the money can be used in better and in more beneficial ways. Last year, there were 21 school executives that made more than 200,000 dollars per year, which is a very nice paycheck. This year, however, the number of school executives that are receiving this hefty paycheck is now 36, with many executives receiving a promotion as high as 35 percent. Eric Nadelstern, the deputy chancellor of city schools under Mayor Mike Bloomberg, said, “It’s a picture of finances gone wild… If you look at the cumulative increases and think about what those dollars could do in schools for the benefit of children, it’s scandalous.”
These handpicked executives will get to take home an amazing promotion thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s citywide managerial raise order. According to a New York Post article, an example of a mega-earner is Deputy Chancellor Cheryl Watson-Harris, who will be raking in 241,102 dollars. This is a 23 percent increase from her salary as a senior field support director, and it is still more than Carmen Farina, who had this job last year. Watson-Harris oversees nine executive superintendents who altogether oversee 31 district superintendents. The nine new executives started a year ago with a starting salary of 190,000 dollars, however this year is has grown to 209,476 dollars a ten percent markup. Each of these execs also receives 100,500 dollars a year in fringe benefits. Carranza himself made 345,000 dollars last year, and this year he will see a 5 percent promotion that’ll bump his salary up to 363,345 dollars.
Mayor de Blasio and his city school education team has just ended his four-year Renewal program that was meant to fix failing schools. Over these four years, the program used up 800 million dollars, however, it was deemed unsuccessful, and was cancelled. Eric Nadelstern said, “I don’t know how you continue to reward people who individually and collectively have not been successful… That, to my mind, smacks of the worst kind of cronyism.” However, spokeswoman Laura Feyer spoke about the successes of the education team under de Blasio, saying that they do deserve raises and promotions. She said, “This administration believes in investing in our schools, and we’ve gotten a record-high graduation rate, record-high college enrollment, and a pre-K seat for every 4-year old to show for it.”