St. Mary Parish school superintendent's pay is in state’s top 10
MORGAN CITY, La. -- With the $35,000 raise granted to the St. Mary Parish superintendent of schools Thursday, the parish breaks into the top 10 highest paid superintendents in the state, according to Louisiana Department of Education statistics.
Superintendent Donald Aguillard’s raise, approved Thursday, places his $171,500 base salary in the number 10 slot, the 2010-11 school year salary information shows, the latest for which information was available.
Meanwhile, St. Mary Parish teachers rank 29th in the state for starting salary at $40,000 per year, based on 2011-12 school year data.
The 2010-11 parish school superintendent salaries, with Aguillard’s raise included and ranked, are: Jefferson Davis, $254,742; East Baton Rouge, $221,450; Caddo, $202,000; Ouachita, $194,429; St. Tammany, $187,399; DeSoto, $185,976; Zachary Community, $180,694; St. Charles Parish, $174,717; Acadia, $174,042; and St. Mary, $171,500.
Regionally, St. Mary was the only parish to break into the top 10.
Regional superintendent salaries for the 2010-11 school year, the number of students in February and the District Performance Score in 2012 are: St. Mary, $171,500 (was $139,365 in 2010-11), 9,290, B; St. Martin, $151,300, 8,194, C; Lafourche, $150,771, 14,451, B; Terrebonne, $144,957, 18,480, C; Assumption, $139,862, 3,816 students, C; and Iberia, $99,062, 13,777, C.
Starting teacher salaries (bachelor’s degree, zero years of experience) for the top 10 superintendent pay parishes for 2011-12 school year are: DeSoto, $50,100; Zachary Community, $46,052; St. Tammany, $44,284; East Baton Rouge, $43,536; St. Charles Parish, $43,365; Jefferson Davis, $40,949; Caddo, $40,914; St. Mary, $40,000; Acadia, $38,473; and Ouachita, $34,771.
The same districts, by population as of February and District Performance Scores for 2012 are: Jefferson Davis, 45,763, C; East Baton Rouge, 42,640, C; Caddo, 40,914, C; Ouachita, 20,001, B; St. Tammany, 37,318, A; DeSoto, 5,134, B; 7-Zachary Community, 5,275, A; St. Charles Parish, 9,699, B; Acadia, 9,864, C; St. Mary, 9,290, B.
Aguillard’s new contract represents a 71.5 percent increase in base pay since he was hired in 2004. At that time, his contract was for $100,000 annually with three performance incentives worth $5,000 each. Those incentives and his benefits are not included in the percent increase over nine years.
Aguillard was going to retire when his contract expired at the end of the school year, he said. On Thursday, Aguillard said it didn’t make financial sense for him to continue in his position at the salary he was making. His retirement would have been adequate, he said, but the financial incentive made the new contract attractive.
The board approved the contract with one dissenting vote, that of Roland Verret of Amelia.
Verret said after the meeting that his objection is not a “personal vendetta” against Aguillard, but he believes that Aguillard “hustled the board” regarding the renewal.
Verret said he believes the public and the teachers were not represented in the situation.
Murphy Pontiff of Franklin, board president, said the renewal and salary increase were because of Aguillard’s ability to lead the school system. He noted the district’s B rating, saying it is “not common in South Louisiana.”
The new contract ends June 30, 2016.
Aguillard said his previous salary was not commensurate with other superintendents in the state.
Aguillard’s $171,500 salary is higher than Gov. Bobby Jindal’s $127,407 annual salary as governor for 2011. However, he makes less than the $275,000-a-year contract the Legislature approved for State Superintendent of Education John White.