Mayor proposes increasing APS superintendent's pay

Mayor proposes increasing APS superintendent's pay

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ATLANTA -

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is proposing to increase the pay of the city school system's superintendent to $600,000.

Sources tell FOX 5's Morse Diggs that Reed has persuaded business leaders to put up more than $1 million in order to lock in a long-term deal for the next Atlanta Public Schools superintendent.

The mayor said he believes that the new superintendent would be worth the additional pay.

"When we recruit coaches and all of the rest and athletes in this town, we go all out for it, and I just think that to get the right leader for a system that just went through one of the worst cheating scandals in the United States of America, you're going to have to provide some additional incentives," Reed said.

The initiative has drawn some critics, including state Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta).

"We don't begrudge the business communities warning to be a partner in the education of the children in Atlanta, but they should not be a controlling partner," Fort said.

Reed denied that business leaders would have influence, despite pitching in part of the salary.

"I think that is absolutely not the case. We want to give the board some bargaining power, and if the elected officials of the board don't want to accept private philanthropy, they can do that," Reed said. "So they are not compelled to accept this."

Some parents said the mayor is tackling the wrong problem.

"They need to put that money towards the teachers. So the paying him the money is not the issue. It's giving better salaries for the teacher and then a teacher feels like somebody is on their side," said Tameka Peterson.

For the sake of comparison, the school superintendent in Gwinnett County earns more than $400,000 a year.

Current APS interim Superintendent Erroll Davis' salary is around $240,000 per year.

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