…you see a headline on social media that you just swear has to be from Babylon Bee, but it’s not:
St. Paul school board members aren’t paid enough, St. Paul school board members say
But sure enough, it’s a real story. Or as real as the mainstream media gets, anyway.
Of course, they preside over a crumbling district with one of the worst achievement gaps in the country, on a board that serves mostly as a DFL farm team.
But it’s all about keeping up with the Joneses:
Board members get $10,800 per year, which is less than what comparably sized metro districts pay. However, members are eligible for district health insurance; those who sign up get a premium subsidy that’s worth $9,643 this year.
Jon Schumacher and Mary Vanderwert, who are leaving the board next year after serving one four-year term, gave the strongest endorsements for a raise at a meeting Wednesday evening.
“I feel very strongly that there really does need to be an increase so we can make sure that we have people who have passion, who have expertise and who aren’t going to feel that serving on this board is going to make it impossible for them to meet their financial needs,” Schumacher said.
Vanderwert suggested a salary increase of $5,000 or more.
“I definitely think it’s time for us to do this,” she said. “It’s the most important work a community does, and the board positions need to be attractive to high-quality people.”
Full (but unneeded) disclosure – I worked with Mary Vanderwert a loooong time ago. Perfectly fine human being, although there’s that whole “SPPS School Board member” thing.
Did I mention the Joneses?
…Anoka-Hennepin, pays between $14,400 and $15,600, depending on the board member’s role, human resources director Laurin Cathey said.
Minneapolis, the third-largest district, pays $22,000.
Most board members make $9,000 in Osseo, $7,236 in St. Cloud, $7,200 in Bloomington and $5,000 in Brooklyn Center, Cathey said.
Cathey also looked at St. Paul’s national peers and found school board members receive no pay in either Des Moines, Iowa, or Portland, Ore.
I wondered if they bothered comparing school board pay to graduation rates, minority achievement or percent of students who need remedial classes in college?
And maybe correlate that with ideological distribution of the school board’s members?