Supt.’s $190K pay package brings dissenting vote

BoE member Bacallao says pay “too high” compared to Fayette's teachers

Newly hired Fayette School Superintendent Jody Barrow will get a raise over his predecessor. Barrow’s salary and benefits total $190,000.

That amount is $11,000 more than the salary received by former Superintendent Jeff Bearden, though some on the Fayette County Board of Education said the difference in pay was worth it to secure Barrow’s services.

While Barrow’s selection as superintendent was unanimous, the vote on his contract was approved on a 4-1 vote, with board member Mary Kay Bacallao opposed. Her opposition dealt with Barrow’s salary, which Bacallao said was too high in light of Fayette teachers making less than many of their counterparts in metro Atlanta.

“I believe Fayette County teachers need to be compensated as well as those in metro [Atlanta] and until then, I don’t think the superintendent should make $190,000,” Bacallao said.

Interim Superintendent Dan Colwell disagreed, saying based on what he knows after 40 years in education the compensation package is in line with superintendents across the state. Colwell agreed that school system staff are underpaid and need greater compensation.

Adding his take on the issue, board member Barry Marchman said, “For what the job entails I’m a little embarrassed that we can’t offer a better package.”

Asked after the meeting why Barrow’s contract included greater compensation than that of Bearden, Marchman said Barrow has more experience and has a better reputation. Marchman also provided additional information about the $190,000 Barrow will receive compared to the contract amount Bearden worked under.

While Bearden’s contract included a salary of $153,000, Marchman said additional benefits built into Bearden’s contract meant it was valued at $179,000.

Besides the benefits such as a travel allowance of $600 per month provided in both contracts, other added benefits Bearden received are not included in Barrow’s contract, Marchman said. Thus the difference in the two contracts is essentially $11,000, Marchman said, adding that that additional price is worth the cost given Barrow’s broader base of experience and his reputation.

By way of comparison, Cherokee County pays its superintendent $232,047, while Forsyth County pays $210,739 and Cartersville schools pay $184,989, according to state records.  

Included in Barrow’s three-year contract are moving expenses and a reimbursement of $1,000 per month until his house in Waycross closes. Both are customary and were also provisions in Bearden’s contract, said board member Bob Todd.

Barrow will be entitled to insurance and other benefits extended to school system employees and will be required to be deemed physically fit to serve by way of a complete physical exam not less than once every two years. The contract can be terminated by mutual agreement or if Barrow becomes disabled by illness or incapacity for a period of 90 consecutive days.

If he is discharged without cause, the board agreed to pay Barrow’s salary for up to 18 months. The 18-month provision was the other issue Bacallao had with the contract.

Todd in referencing the 18-month clause, said such a provision is customary and usually includes a time period of 1-3 years.

Barrow’s official start date is July 1.

bladderq
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Board's Pay

Anyone know what Coweta pays its BOE? Nothing. Zilch. They serve gratis.

AtHomeGym
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blabberq & Board's Pay

What's that got to do with the proposed Supt's salary?

Spyglass
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1 no vote is not worth all the hand wringing

IYAM (if you ask me). Move on.

G35 Dude
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Spy-I agree but the die may be cast
Quote:

1 no vote is not worth all the hand wringing

Yes I agree. But I think Mary Kay kind of laid the ground work for these type posts with her refusal to close ANY schools with no feasible backup plan. This time I can understand her point whether or not I agree. Not so on the school closings. That felt like she was just pandering to the masses. So now anytime the vote is 4-1 and she's the one people are going to question her logic.

Husband and Fat...
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It's not a big deal

If she came to the table prepared with alternate solutions that actually worked, or had realistic information.

Last month during the redistricting vote, the newspaper photographer caught her with quite a smirk on her face as she voted against the plan without another solution. But like someone else pointed out, she's fast becoming the class clown.

She's pimping her votes towards the people who are vulnerable.

She was called out by Mr. Colwell when she compared salaries to counties that were not comparable. Like someone comparing a G35 to a Smartcar.

Spyglass
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Ed Zachery

:)

Veritas
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Cond 55 =breedbate

Breed bate nothing more ... Mary Kay ... Hmmm not so bright ;-)

All Smiles
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Mary Kay is correct !

I am pretty sure what Mary Kay is referring to is while Fayette County has more budget cuts, schools closings and deeper cuts in benefits/salaries to those on the front lines, our teachers, we offer an increase of 11K to the new superintendent. Cuts should start at the top. While I understand we need to make an offer which will attract well qualified, effective candidates (effective is the key word here) the one at the top should not be eating cake while those around struggle. While I understand we need to look at surrounding counties salaries/benefits, we need to focus more on what going on in OUR backyard and what can we do to help those in OUR backyard to benefit OUR children. FYI- I am not employed by the school system; I am just a home owner/taxpayer.

Husband and Fat...
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It's unrealistic

You can get a lot of people to take the job at 150k with no added benefits. You may even find a great diamond in the rough, but in our case we need someone who is a true leader with a solid background and history. Not another risk.

If you think that all the cuts start at the top, then you better start paying attention. Our school Supt is in charge of the largest budget in the county. He then should be the highest paid employee in the county, shouldn't he? But he isn't by a long shot. Your taxes also go to pay for the county too. They are paying for bs legal fees for the chairman while in the same meeting cutting workers benefits. This follows the commissioners hiring of the highest paid employee in the county.

If cond55 thinks MK is a genius, than I think he might be her father, lol. A genius would have voted not to close schools and have a plan to keep them open. A genius would have voted for redistricting after coming up with a better plan to serve the people. A panderer, is there looking to garner votes based on emotions. That's what we have and that's why no one who supported her is publicly doing so now.

Mary Kay Bacallao
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Salaries

Other Superintendent Salaries:
Ware County 142,157
Barrow 148,680
Coweta 175,067
Henry 187,263
Paulding 158,085
Spalding 138,409
Our teachers make less than Coweta County teachers. If you look at the pay scale and compare those line by line, you will see that this is the case. In addition,our teachers had 5 furlough days this year. Our teachers also make less than Henry County teachers. Each school district posts a salary scale on their website. From there, one can go line by line to see the differences in pay. My priority is to keep our high performing teachers by paying them competitive salaries.

conditon55
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Mary Kay, you are a genius

Thank you for your concise and well said synopsis.

Fayette County is not a cash cow for these big shot wanna bees. Tell them to take a hike.

The Fayette School District has the solid reputation because of the solid performance in the class room. Schools and teachers advocating for kids.

As it should be.

Since the dawn of the great recession, because of ridiculous and outrageous circumstances involving profound lack of foresight and planning, the teachers are repeatedly asked to suck it up - and maintain that golden reputation.

Sound decision making at the board level will only be more appreciated by those folks who have stepped up to maintain standards despite the ridiculous and bad circumstances.

So please stand you ground and take the necessary steps to look after those folks who day in and day out make Fayette schools worthy of the hard earned reputation that they enjoy.

Veritas
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Real Comparable salaries

The problem is Mary Kay either doesn't research or cannot comprehend what she is reading . Those salaries listed do not include many of the fringe benefits of the superintendents contract.
Now as a professor I would have expected a better more accurate comparison group from you.
The five systems in size and budgetary comparison to Fayette are ,in order, Columbia , Coweta ,Newton , Bibb and Douglas county school systems.
Salaries of there superintendents( fringe benefits unknown therefore not included)
Columbia..199,703.00
Coweta.. 175,067.00
Newton.. 177,499.00
Bibb..228,410.00
Douglas.. 198,341.00

For an average salary of ..195,804.00

Please apples to apples.

conditon55
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Why are you such a blow hard ?

You pick a different mix of counties and act like it is profound.

Mary Kay obviously did made the correct point and the board obviously did the right thing.

If this is not acceptable to the super to be, then let him move on.

The district has been tkaing it on the chin too long to banlk rol golden packages for hoo haa wanna bees.

Let them work some where else.

Let Fayette find some one who wants to be here beacuse it s Fayatte, not some short term gravy train scenario.

fc1989
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Condiion55??? you accuse

Dr. Barrow of looking for a short term gravy train. What do you base that accusation on? His record is one of doing well and moving up. His tenure at his current job does not indicate a short term perspective. I do not know why you call him a wanna be. He is well respected by his peers indicated by his leadership role in the state organization. Ms. Bacallao thinks he is qualified (she voted for him). Her statements are grand standing. If he is the right person for the job then he should be compensated accordingly. If he is just a wanna be then Ms. Bacallao should not have voted to approve him as superintendent.

Veritas
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@55

No blow hard here just factual and accurate.I use counties that are comparable to Fayette county both size, population and budgetary. Something that Mary Kay did not. Also, if you actually read the contract you will understand. You are as clueless as Mary Kay

Ps
Fayette teacher supplement and pay is higher than Coweta.
Coweta pay scale is based on 190 days where as Fayette 185

fc1989
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Veritas, Source of Salaries?? Benefits

What is your source of the salaries? If you received from the open gov site then it includes the additional gross up for TRS, FICA, etc. that is normally paid on behalf of the superintendent by the school system. Barrow's contract differs from the norm in that the usual on behalf of items are not included in the contract but accounted for in the base salary. Bearden's base was $153k plus about $26k in additional payments. Barrow's base in $190k without the additional so the comparable salary is really about $165K to $170K as a base. Ms. Baccallao is disingenuous in her use of information as usual. Her quotes at the board meeting from the 5000 Year Leap were obviously out of context and misapplied. I applaud Mr. Colwell for pointing that out.

Husband and Fat...
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Veritas - Thanks for the homework

She doesn't have a clue and is trying to justify any way she can. Have to trust our leaders on the hire. He appears to be successful and a team leader.

I'm glad she wants to pay our teachers more (they deserve it), but with the budget crunch and teachers salaries, taking most of the budget, we can't do it.

This is not just a FC thing either. A lot of school districts are having to slash the budget, some a lot more than us.

suggarfoot
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Mary Kay

is fast becoming the class clown

conditon55
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Sugarfoot

Mary Kay is a genius. You are not.

suggarfoot
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condition 55

you, nor Mary Kay are a genius. But as someone else pointed out, she is quite the panderer. She is an embarrassment.
Husband and Father put it quite well....
"If cond55 thinks MK is a genius, than I think he might be her father, lol. A genius would have voted not to close schools and have a plan to keep them open. A genius would have voted for redistricting after coming up with a better plan to serve the people. A panderer, is there looking to garner votes based on emotions. That's what we have and that's why no one who supported her is publicly doing so now."

I voted for her over Smith...that now makes me sick...we should have left Smith in there to be reminded at every meeting what a mess she made. She would always be outvoted as Lee Wright and Smola are gone. Mary Kay just sits there clueless...maybe we could have seen some remorse out of Smith.

Husband and Fat...
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Ms. Bacallao - Stop Pandering

Its unbecoming. Put your money where your mouth is. Donate your salary and perks and give back to the teachers.

Looks to me that you again have no clue about finances. The salary offered to the new Supt is lower than other metro districts which matches the lower salary we pay our teachers.

Would we like to be able to pay our teachers more? Yes, Certainly. But for Petes sake, if you haven't realized it yet, we have a budget crunch. Do a little homework, all the schools are paying their Superintendents quite well because their jobs are predicated on the whim of boards who always seem to have one nutcase. We need someone strong to lead us. Mr. Barrow seems to be that person.

Ms. Bacallao, one other note. The FCBOE has the largest budget in the county. Compare the supt pay to the county administrator. You will see that it pales in comparison.