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School superintendent gives up $800k in pay

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posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 11:00 AM
Well, I do not even know what to think about this.

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Some people give back to their community. Then there's Fresno County School Superintendent Larry Powell, who's really giving back. As in $800,000 — what would have been his compensation for the next three years.

Until his term expires in 2015, Powell will run 325 schools and 35 school districts with 195,000 students, all for less than a starting California teacher earns.

"How much do we need to keep accumulating?" asks Powell, 63. "There's no reason for me to keep stockpiling money."

Powell's generosity is more than just a gesture in a region with some of the nation's highest rates of unemployment. As he prepares for retirement, he wants to ensure that his pet projects survive California budget cuts. And the man who started his career as a high school civics teacher, who has made anti-bullying his mission, hopes his act of generosity will help restore faith in the government he once taught students to respect.

"A part of me has chaffed at what they did in Bell," Powell said, recalling the corrupt Southern California city officials who secretly boosted their salaries by hundreds of thousands of dollars. "It's hard to believe that someone in the public trust would do that to the public. My wife and I asked ourselves 'What can we do that might restore confidence in government?'"

Powell's answer? Ask his board to allow him to return $288,241 in salary and benefits for the next three and a half years of his term. He technically retired, then agreed to be hired back to work for $31,000 a year — $10,000 less than a first-year teacher — and with no benefits.

"I thought it was so very generous on his part," said school board member Sally Tannenbaum. "We get to keep him, but at a much lower rate."

His move was so low-key, his manner so unassuming, that it took four days after the school board meeting for word of his act to get out to the community. There were no press releases or self-congratulatory pats on the back..


posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 11:07 AM
reply to post by liejunkie01

What a great story. This is what America is about. I am sure this fellow has acquired a decent retirement through his career, and he decided to give back to the education system he worked in.

I would bet very few people would give up any amount of money, regardless of their wealth. This fellow is an example to be followed, but probably no one will.

He may have done more good by taking the money and applying it in areas he thought needed the funds. Hopefully the school board will use the extra funds wisely.

Thanks for the story.

posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 11:13 AM
So lemmie get this straight... in the wake of CA public officials getting paid obscene ammounts of money and getting caught, one ca school superintendent, who makes $16,000 a month, though it best to maybe give up part of his pay?

Wait...... how much a year? 200k+? yep, that's $16,000 a MONTH!

Your tax dollars hard at work.

Im OBVIOUSLY in the wrong business.

posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 11:14 AM
It's a great story and an even greater intention. But with one flaw...

He should have taken the money and given it out to those that need it directly. Just giving it back has no guarantee that it will do any direct good for anyone. It will most likely just disappear into some other Govt. hole or even a corrupt official's pocket. Same thing I guess.

We already know that we can't trust the Govt. to use our money wisely and spend it where it does the most good, so why just give up your share without having the control over how it's used?

Thanks for sharing.

edit on 28-8-2011 by jude11 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 11:20 AM
reply to post by liejunkie01

They make way too much money. Teachers should be making that kind of dough, because you usually get what you pay for.

posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 11:27 AM
reply to post by Wolfpack 51

I am sure this fellow has acquired a decent retirement through his career, and he decided to give back to the education system he worked in

He made $16,000 a month. Off of the school system.....(if those numbers are correct, I did not double check)

I had to supply my kids with paper towels, tissue and various items that I consider to be house keeping. Internal house keeping at the shool.......

Whats next,,,,, the toilet in V building broke, we need you to supply one wax gasket

Something is wrong when people have to take janitorial supplies for the children and some one is making this kind of money.......Sorry I am rambling on.........

I believe that if the economy is good, pay can be good. If the econonmy is down, pay goes down. This should be for all "government positions"......... You cannot pay more with less money

edit on 28-8-2011 by liejunkie01 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 11:34 AM
He runs 325 schools. That's a lot.
16,000 per month to run 325 schools = too less per school

posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 11:37 AM
I'd feel pretty good about that.

I mean, notice how you are reacting to the salary of $800k over 3 years, or about $265k a year, comparable to an executive management position, which is exactly what a superintendent is, especially of that many schools.

I look at this and am proud to see someone have the courage and decency to actually be given so much and turn it away for less because it is more than they need.

Granted, yes it is an outrageous amount of money, but what makes his job less important than a stock broker or a bank president or a big city lawyer any other corporate job that no one would think twice about someone getting paid so much to do?

What outrages me is the knowledge that teachers are paid so little in all of this.

posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 11:37 AM

Originally posted by Swills
reply to post by liejunkie01

They make way too much money. Teachers should be making that kind of dough, because you usually get what you pay for.

I would'nt say they as in all of them. I am all for a teacher making a decent amount of pay.........

But that kind of money is a little above decent.... In my own opinion.....I know he has alot of responsibility

That is why I said I do not know what to think in the original op.....I kind of makes me want to go smoke

posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 11:54 AM
I believe this is a raing on the schools in his district.

It looks as if most are not rated that good.

posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 12:17 PM
I think that he is doing a wonderful thing, not many people would do that. Although it might be better to directly give the money to where it is needed?
Also, I didn't realize just how big the gap between pay in that area and my own.
I think it is a little excessive
edit on 28-8-2011 by W0nderland because: Font size correction

posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 12:36 PM

Originally posted by DoctorSatan
He runs 325 schools. That's a lot.
16,000 per month to run 325 schools = too less per school

principals and staff run the schools.
The dept of educations oversees the principals.. the board of education oversees them,....and the superintendent, presides over school board meetings... about once a month...I doubt he's even set foot on every school he "oversees".

Don't act like he runs the show alone.

BTW...executive management in the real world relies on creation of profit for the business.
schools arent to be ran like a business, they don't make money... thus the superintendent isn't worth being paid what a corporate executive makes.

So an obscenely paid school board member decides ( after seeing an entire CA cities govt. get steamrolled for paying themselves too much...seeks praise for "only taking as much as a teacher makes" because he doesn't need to "stockpile any more money"?
( his words..not mine)


doesn't that seriously upset some of you?

Would you trust your kids to a qualified teacher or this guy?
Who would you pay more?

I know qualified, dedicated teachers that make less in a year than this guy makes in a single month.

Sorry.... you cannot justify this obscene pay plan.

posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 12:43 PM
reply to post by BadNinja68

I totally agree with you.

My thoughts exactly.

Kids come first. Everything they need for a better education, paper towels included. Then we can talk about superintendent pay scale.

posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 12:48 PM
I'll add:
Guess who decides teacher salaries?

The superintendent and the school board.

Someone obviously saw the payplan...$41k for a teacher..just under 300k a year for the super... and thought it was fine.
He took the money, worked and retired.. and now is comming back for only 31k.
now wanna bet not one cent goes to a teacher?

Schools in CA spend budget money on fences and gardens.. while laying off teachers and complaining to parents about being understaffed.
Ive seen it, and been to afew school board meetings to address it.

Rather than giving up pay to be handed out to other board members..., why doesnt he addrerss the situation since, he is in charge right?

I'll give praise when it's deserved.
I don't drink the kool-ade

posted on Aug, 29 2011 @ 04:54 AM
Bravo! This is exactly the type of thing I would do if I had decided to join the system and got to a point where I had enough. We need more people like this in positions of power. And no big show about it, just doing it and that's that. No speech need be made, no congratulations in order, just one man doing the right thing. If every person only took what they needed and gave back the rest, every millionaire and billionaire and organizations like the Vatican, they could make the world such a better place. It would change everything forever. If people weren't so busy trying to survive, we could be working on solving all our problems.

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