One of the more miscited figures of the last seven months has been Pam Homan’s salary as superintendent of the Sioux Falls School District.
Best as I can tell, there were two reasons Homan’s pay became a such topic of particular interest:
1. My Aug. 1, 2010 story about SFSD administrators getting 10 percent raises, which put the number making more than $100,000 at 33. As the story said, all other employee groups got similarly large raises during the first three years of the contract; in 2010, it was the administrators’ turn. Nonetheless, it gave ammunition to folks who criticize public schools for being top-heavy.
2. Gov. Daugaard’s decision to reduce his own pay by 15 percent while proposing a 10 percent cut in state funding for education. Homan publicly criticized the “half-assed” budget plan, which incited her critics to suggest she follow the governor’s example and reduce her own pay accordingly.
For the record, again, Homan’s salary was $181,000 last year.
And for the record, it will be $175,570 next year – a 3 percent decrease.
Annual percentage changes in Homan’s salary are tied to the fate of the district’s teachers, which in turn is tied to state aid. When the Legislature cut state aid by 6.6 percent, that meant Sioux Falls teachers and Homan would suffer pay cuts averaging 2.05 percent. But when the group of district administrators “volunteered” for a 3 percent reduction instead, Homan said she’d do the same.
Now, back to the number of six-figure administrators. School board documents show there are only 30 this year, but I think there will be 31 by the start of school. The decline is due to the retirement of Bill Smith, who will not be replaced, and the sudden resignation of Joe Foss principal Dave Yost, who was replaced by an interim principal making under $100,000.
(originally published June 28, 2011 at argusleader.com)