Bloated Payroll at Fox C-6

2 Oct

The Leader had an article two weeks ago that should open a lot of eyes. It lists the pay of county superintendents and administrators. The article shows that Fox C-6 superintendent Dianne Critchlow is “earning” a whopping $256,131 for the 2013-2014 school year. While this is head-and-shoulders above other JeffCo school bosses, this isn’t the best comparison because Fox is a much bigger district in terms of enrollment. But it is quite possible to make some comparisons.

I have linked several times to the Fox C-6 Watchdogs blog. This site is heavy on data and firsthand reporting that demonstrates that things are amiss at Fox. He has been all over the Critchlow pay issue. He has pointed out that she is the fourth-highest paid superintendent in the state, despite the district not having the enrollment or performance to justify anywhere near such a reward. Here’s the raw data from the state on superintendent salaries going back to 2009. The rate of increase of her salary is also remarkable, rising from $137,589 in 2006 to where it is today. The Watchdog site has a yearly listing of her salary. Her raises over the past three years have been 6.1%, 7.9%, and 3.7%. Have you gotten raises like that? Maybe I should look on the bright side: this year was only the second year since 2006 that Critchlow’s raise has been less than $10,000. Her raises have been as high as $29,000 (2005 to 2006, when she was elevated to the top job) and $28,000 (from 2008 to 2009).

Fox has the 15th-largest enrollment in the state, with about 11,000 kids. Other schools with top-5 paid superintendents have 15-, 17, and 22,000 kids (Kirkwood is another outlier in the top 5, with only 5,000 students – residents there should also be asking questions). These larger schools have budgets at least $90 million more than Fox. Performance-wise, Fox ranked 173rd out of 560 Missouri schools (and 2nd in JeffCo, to Festus) on the state’s MSIP report.

On a related note, the Watchdog blog has also pointed out that Fox has the 2nd-highest average administrator salary in the state for districts with more than one administrator (spreadsheet here, you’ll have to sort by year and average salary). For 2013, that average salary was $125,569. Kirkwood was first with an average admin salary of $129,654 (again, taxpayers of Kirkwood, what is up with your district?). In 2012, Fox was 6th in administrative pay among districts with more than 1.5 administrators. In 2011, Fox was 7th. So just like Critchlow, Fox administrators as a whole are moving on up in the world, in terms of income.

Voters changed two school board members in the last election. Clearly, we need to remove a few more if this doesn’t change quickly.

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