Monday, February 21, 2005

Who Says Working In Education Doesn't Pay?

Head Start is a federally funded program that is designed to help children from economically disadvantaged homes get, literally, a head start in getting ready for school. The ages of children served are from birth to 5 years. (Get info about Head Start here.) In many quarters, Head Start is a well-respected program.

School teachers are constantly being told that, "You didn't get into education to get rich." Be that as it may, The San Antonio Express-News
is telling us that Head Start executives around the country are being paid very well indeed:
  • In 2002, the director of Head Start in Cleveland, Ohio, received a total of $221,742 in total compensation. (including salary, car, insurance, retirement, etc.)
  • The director of Head Start in Kansas City was given $300,000 in total compensation.
  • In San Antonio, Texas, the C.E.O. of Head Start "made" $209,000 (the article does say that this salary was subsequenly reduced to a "measly" $188,000.

Now that we know what some of the "chiefs" get in compensation, lets take a look at what the tribe's "braves" get:

  • The Express-News states, "A federal report concludes that wages and benefits for top five administrators at the Greater Cleveland agency 'appeared unreasonable' (Ed-Duh.) and did not meet federal guidelines." However, it found that the agency's teachers' salaries were in line with other comparable agencies.
  • In San Antonio, Head Start's classroom aides made $6-$7 an hour.

Generally, we like Head Start. We believe that it fulfill's an important and valuable mission. What we don't like is that it appears there is a behind-the-scenes class of very highly paid executives that are in charge of programs (spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars) while having no accuntablility to any voting constituency. There aren't even elected boards furnishing oversight.

In other words, these appointed executives answer only to the politicians that appointed them.

And yes, we do resent the fact that these well-paid "executives" expect a car to be furnished to them by us taxpayers. These folks should purchase their vehicles out of their salaries just like the rest of us.

An Invitation: Please consider contributing to The Carnival Of Education: Week 3. All contributions should be received by 10:00 PM (Pacific) next Tuesday, February 22nd. They may be sent to owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net. Get all the details here. To view the First Edition of The Carnival, click here. The Second Edition can be viewed here. The Carnival will open here at the 'Wonks Wednesday morning.

Any help that can be given by our fellow writers in the 'Sphere publicizing this carnival would be deeply appreciated.

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