From this mornings Republican-American
FALLS VILLAGE — A local radio personality and blogger’s concern about the salary of Region 1 Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain led to her defend the figure at a meeting of the Region 1 Board of Education Monday.
Marshall Miles, a local radio commentator on WHDD FM in Sharon and operator of a blog called regiononereport.com, has been outspoken about the contract raises and extensions that have been approved by the board for the five central office administrators. During the public comment period Monday he raised the issue, explaining he’d done a survey of surrounding area towns and the salaries they paid their top school administrators.“Our superintendent’s salary is top of the scale and comparable to others,” Miles said. “To take a 2 percent raise in these times is unconscionable.” Chamberlain later provided information about other area superintendents’ pay. Most of them have salaries higher than hers. Chamberlain’s salary is $148,360 plus an annuity of $8,902 for a total of $157,262. The board is proposing 2 percent wage increases for her and two others (3 percent for the remaining two), plus a contract extension to 2015.
The proposal calls for Chamberlain to receive next year a base salary of $151,327 plus an annuity of $9,080, for a total of $160,407.
She is also slated to get five additional vacation days and two more personal days.
Chairman Philip Hart asked Chamberlain if she’d like the opportunity to respond to Miles. She said she had called around that day to several other area districts and received salary information for superintendents.
According to Chamberlain, the Winchester system, which is pre-kindergarten through grade six, is small and has one school board. That superintendent’s current salary is $130,000.
Region 6, which has 1,036 students and one board of education, pays $162,000, while Region 7, with 1,007 students in grades seven through 12, pays $149,940. The superintendent in Region 10, which is a K-12 region, and has one board of education, gives a salary of $184,000 and Region 12, with 880 students and one board of education, pays $182,000, she said.
Region 7 does have separate local school boards in its member towns, although they have their own head administrator.
Chamberlain pointed out Region 1 has seven boards of education and seven budgets. Student population from the six towns totals 1,740.
Miles noted that Torrington, which has 5,000 students, is paying its new superintendent $142,000.
He said there is no question that a school superintendent needs to be fairly compensated, “but I don’t want people to think you’re drastically underpaid.”