Orange County Schools Gives Burns $300k Contract

Just wow. This guy is now the top paid educrat in the state. Meanwhile, the NCAE is engaged in choreographing theatrics at school board meetings. Theatrics that are only missing a violinist in the background and a crying child carrying an empty bowl asking, ‘please sir, may I have some more’.  Small wonder their membership is dropping.

From the Chapel Hill News article:

— Interim Superintendent Del Burns has signed a contract, worth a little less than an annual rate of $300,000, to stay with Orange County Schools for five more months.

The contract, dated Dec. 9, gives Burns a base rate of $20,160 per month, plus a $250 monthly car allowance and $50 cell phone allowance. Add to that $4,161 each month to close the gap between Burns’ Bronze healthcare plan and the higher valued state employees plan and the monthly rate to employ Burns is $24,621.

That puts Burns at an annual rate of $295,452. His contract also allows him five paid leave days every month, with unused days paid out at the end of his contract. His contract exceeds all others listed in North Carolina according to a salary study completed last year by WRAL.

Further down:

But Mike Allison, a retired Orange High School guidance counselor. said the contract is likely discouraging for the district’s teachers.

“It’s a shame things have gotten so out of hand in the upper administration levels,” Allison said. “Teachers must really feel totally unimportant now.”

Burns’ compensation is higher than other superintendents’ – permanent or interim – in North Carolina. Last month Chapel Hill-Carrboro Superintendent Tom Forcella received a raise and contract extension bringing his salary to $216,640. Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools has about 12,000 students. Orange County Schools has about 7,400.

Durham Public Schools recently hired Dr. Bert L’Homme to lead their 33,000 student district for $225,000. Wake County Schools, once led by Burns, pays superintendent Dr. Jim Merrill $275,000 to run the largest district in the state with more than 150,000 students.

Although short-term contracts for interim leaders are expected to be at a higher rate, Burns’ contract is a standout among interim superintendents.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips:
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1 Response to Orange County Schools Gives Burns $300k Contract

  1. Burns’ previous tour/term as Interim Superintendent with Orange County Schools started summer of 2013, less than a year before his current contract began. In between, there was Supt. Martin. In Burns’ 2013 Superintendent contract with OCS (obtained from, he received a salary of $15,775. per month along with a mere 4 days vacation per month. The web address below is to that 2013 contract between Burns and OCS . Slipped in, (1. A and 1. C) you will see, in addition to the Superintendent salary, his contract hired him as a central office administrator at $10K for twelve days work, before his Superintendent contract began. He was given the same administrative position for twelve days after his Supt contract ended, with the same $833.33/per day salary. That contract listed the interim Superintendent annual Salary listed at $189K . He was given the same cell and car allowance, but I don’t believe he received any insurance benefits. This would seem to be an increase in pay?! I have not seen the newest contracts. The new December contract is obviously an update, so it would be interesting to see what it looked like in May or June 2014, when he started this last stint as interim Supt.
    The News and Observer stated that, OCS Superintendent Dr Gerri Martin was paid an annual salary of $151,337.88 a year in 2013. There seems a lack of transparency from OCS Board and it’s administrative staff. Dr Martin’s contract was ended summer 2014. A letter was sent to parents explaining that Dr. Burns would be the new interim Supt, but no mention was made about the $100K severance paid out to Dr Martin and no clear or reasonable explanation was given for the change.
    The School Board is now spending more money to go through another Supt search, and has sent the same surveys out to parents/guardians that they answered about a year ago. More money… If you check the school’s approved 2014-2015 budget, you will see thousands spent (I believe it’s close to $60K – if I understand it) to assist the district in renewing it’s accreditation this spring. They hired LEADING AND GOVERNING ASSOCIATES to help create their vision,strategic plan, etc. They have also hired a temporary employee which I believe I think is part of the some $60K for accreditation renewal, but I could be mistaken, as it that information is not clearly written.) His job is/was to compile, correlate, organize information??!! and assist with the accreditation process??!! I believe he was employed by OCS, separate from the consulting firm. There is some information about all of this on the OCS website. What isn’t included on the website, is that Dr. Burns coauthored a book published in 2011, “Preserving the Public in Public Schools” with the president of Leading and Governing Associates, Phil Boyle. It’s a small world…..
    Interestingly, Dr Burns also currently serves as Director of Education Services at GMK Associates which appears another educational governance consulting firm. OCS made reference to his dual employment in the 2013 Supt contract with Burns. appSession=183486593646233&RecordID=80&PageID=3&PrevPageID=2&cpipage=4&CPIsortType=&CPIorderBy=&cbCurrentRecordPosition=79#salaries

    please forgive any typos. it’s a bit late/ early and my eyes are done.


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