cross-posted at The G Bitch Spot

Caps on education salaries scuttled by senators, June 16, 2011,

A House-backed attempt to cap salaries for Louisiana’s education superintendent and college leaders has been quietly undone by state senators.

The Senate Finance Committee removed the cap provisions Wednesday as senators crafted their plans for the 2011-12 state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

No mention was made of the removal during the public hearing on budget amendments.

Rep. Simone Champagne, who pushed to limit education pay, said the compensation has grown too fast and is out of line with other states in the region. “I’m very disappointed that they didn’t see the need in these tough budget times to try to minimize these exorbitant salaries in government,” Champagne, R-Jeanerette, said today.

Most immediately, the restrictions could have affected the hiring of a new state education superintendent because the position is vacant. In other cases, the caps would have taken effect with new contracts and renewals, but wouldn’t have changed the existing employment agreements negotiated between education leaders and their boards.

Former Superintendent Paul Pastorek had a $377,000 annual pay package when housing and vehicle allowances were included. The average in the South is under $200,000.

Pastorek’s “package” = “an annual base salary of $271,611, a housing allowance of $54,000, a yearly car allowance of $30,000, and about $50,000 in retirement benefits,” which totals $405,611. The retirement benefits are worth including considering how much griping there is about retirement benefits for teachers.

And John White’s “package”? “$225,000 salary, $21,600 car allowance, up to $30,000 for housing and $4,000 for life insurance or other retirement planning” which totals $280,600, more than Pastorek’s former base salary.

And White has how much experience where exactly?

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