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The headline does not match the story: it appears in the story that the citizens were asking the Superintendent to take a pay cut.

The school board receives no salary, but is paid $50 per day in meetings, to a limit of $4,800 per year. [OSD website shows policies on compensation for the Board.]

The Superintendent is paid $236k, about the same as the City Managers and the Port of Olympia and LOTT General Managers. That is not particularly high as school superintendents go; North Thurston is higher; Tumwater is lower. (Washington Citizens Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials).

Once you get below the Superintendent, the OSD employees pretty much make "market" for people with their skills. Principals make $120k to $170k, less than City department directors make, with similar numbers of staff under their direction.

When I served as a PUD Commissioner, we were paid $2,000 per month, which was pretty juicy compared with other part-time elected officials like Port Commissioner, City Council, or (worse of all), School Board.

The decision that the Olympia School Board faces is a very difficult one. The last school I remember closing was John Rogers Elementary, on 26th NE closed in 2001 (although it then housed the Olympia Regional Learning Academy until ORLA got a new facility on Boulevard Road in 2015).

I don't envy their position. At least they had the common sense to realize that they didn't need a site for a new high school on Yelm Highway (if there are not very many elementary students now, it's likely there won't be a bulge of high school students six years from now!), and the Yelm Highway property can now be developed for the original purpose for which the land was acquired five soccer fields and other recreational uses. I would be really peeved if they were BOTH closing schools AND holding onto a piece of property at the extreme edge of the District.

I was thinking that the original idea in the press, to close Boston Harbor School, made the most sense, because nearly all of those students are already being bussed to school. But that would have meant bussing them all the way to Madison or to McKenny, a long way from home.

No easy answers here.

From: Madison Elementary School community wants school board to take pay cuts to fill in budget shortfall

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