Hey, Pass The Gravy… #WCPSS #NCed

MoreWithFourNotOneCentBackWBOC14The Wake County Board of Commissioners released more than $44 million in additional funding to the Wake County School Board in order to boost teacher pay.

Mind you, Wake County’s average supplemental pay before this was already third in the state at $5,994. Chapel Hill/Carborro was number one at $6,892 and Charlotte-Mecklenburg second at $6,632.

While the School Board was handing out increases to teachers, they passed the gravy to Superintendent Merrill.

Key bits from News and Observer:

Wake County Superintendent Jim Merrill could receive $12,397 in salary increases and bonuses this year – about a 4.5-percent increase over his current compensation.

The Wake County school board is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a $6,302 salary increase and a $6,095 performance bonus for Merrill based on his work during the 2014-15 school year. Merrill, 64, would also get his contact extended a year, through June 2019.


“He’s done a good job,” school board Chairwoman Christine Kushner said. “We have not adjusted his salary since he arrived and it’s been more than two years.”

A whole two years.  How was he ever surviving on $275,000 a year?

The increase would raise Merrill’s base salary from $275,000 a year to $281,302, making him one of the state’s highest-paid superintendents. Alamance-Burlington Superintendent Bill Harrison gets $330,000 a year in compensation split between a $245,000 base salary and $85,000 provided by local groups.

Don’t forget Orange county’s Del Burns with his temporary $300k contract!

Let’s look at Supt. Merrill’s contract, shall we?

State Salary $116,000 + Local Salary $159,000 = $275,000 base.
Perks include a board owned car for out of district travel, $900 a month in travel expenses, 96 hours of extra vacation, security for his family, life insurance and up to 12 months of severance pay.

Per the language in the contract, the WCPSS Board will have to make sure any pay increases are updated in writing.

The board will not have to put other items in writing though.

According to the News and Observer, the Wake School Board gave him the extra cash as ‘performance’ based pay but won’t tell the public what ‘performance goals’ he met:

Since no raise was given last year, Merrill’s contract was modified to say he’d be eligible in future years to receive performance-based compensation of as much as 5 percent of his salary. Up to 2.5 percent could be paid as a salary increase and up to 2.5 percent as a bonus.

Merrill’s increase was based on his performance on goals set by the board. School attorneys said the list of Merrill’s goals is not a public record and declined to release them.

Transparency with your tax dollars.

*This article was edited to note Del Burns’ contract was temporary.

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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: APDillon@Protonmail.com
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