Atlanta Mayor and School Board Differ on Next Superintendent Salary

Jan 17, 2014

What will it take to attract the next Atlanta Public Schools superintendent?

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed today stood by his idea to double the salary in order to attract what he calls the best in class.

Reed first talked about how to attract the best candidate in 2012.

In the first of two reports from WABE’s Michell Eloy and Rose Scott, new APS board chair Courtney English says the board doesn’t support the Mayor’s plan.

In this WABE file photo, at the Atlanta History Center at The Carter Breakfast.Mayor Kasim Reed talks about how to attract the best candidate for the school system.
Credit WABE 90.1 FM/Charles Edwards

Earlier this week in an exclusive interview with WABE's Rose Scott, English says the next APS superintendent not only needs to be a reformer, but “somebody who has track record of recruiting the best and brightest talent.”

English went on to say someone who has a track record of building really strong teams in the past.

Best in class or world class have repeatedly used to describe what the school system strives to be and for the next school chief.

English admitted that APS’ next superintendent is probably either running a school system or in a pretty good situation of their own.

And English says a candidate vying for the job solely because of a nearly 6-hundred thousand dollar salary would be problematic.

“I don’t know that my colleagues have an appetite to move in that direction, but you know I’m glad that the mayor is so vocal getting about getting a best in class superintendent.”

As candidates, all the new board members told WABE they were not in favor of doubling the new superintendent’s salary.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed today defended his proposal to boost the salary of the city’s next schools superintendent.

“If you keep doing the same thing, you’re going to get the same result. So the last five superintendents that we have had, we’ve paid them a moderate income, and we’ve not yet attracted – with the exception of Erroll Davis – we have not attracted a best in class, nationally respected superintendent.”

Davis, Atlanta current superintendent, makes fewer than 300,000 annually.

Reed has suggested using private dollars to double the next superintendent’s salary.

“We should have as a tool the ability to pay more if need be.”

The Atlanta School Board has final say on the next superintendent.

Davis’ contract ends in June.