By Greg Bird
Last week we reported on the raise awarded to McCreary County Schools Superintendent Michael Cash following a 4-0 vote by the McCreary County Board of Education at last month’s meeting. We erroneously reported the raise would increase his salary to approximately $111,000 per year, when in actuality the increase is much more significant than originally thought.
After the Board office re-opened after the holiday break last week, the minutes from the December Board meeting were posted online. Included in the last item of the minutes was the motion from outgoing Board member Brandon Kidd to increase Cash’s contract rate to 1.7 times the daily rate, instead of 1.7 percent as we reported.
That difference makes a major impact as the Superintendent will receive about $26,000 extra per year, instead of about $4,000 as initially reported.
Under the raise Cash’s annual salary would now be about $133,000 per year. By looking at how Cash’s contract is structured it can be calculated what the change in pay rate means to his salary.
According to Cash’s original contract, signed in January 2016, he was to be compensated at 1.4 times the daily rate of a Rank 1 Certified employee, based on a 240-day contract.
According to the McCreary County School District Salary Schedule a Rank 1 certified employee with 23 years of experience would be paid at a rate of $59,208 per year, which consists of 185 days. Dividing the total salary by 185 gives a salary of $320.04 per day. Multiplying the daily rate by 1.4, according to the contract, brought the Superintendent daily rate to $449.32 per day. Applying that figure to the 240-day length of the contract brought his base salary to about $107,000 – which closely corresponded to the 2017 salary reported by the Kentucky Department of Education – $107, 534.
This past year the Board awarded all employees a 2-percent raise. By virtue of his contract the raise was also awarded to Cash as well, which would have raised his salary to about $109,000 per year.
The Board’s action last month to increase Cash’s daily rate modifier from 1.4 to 1.7, actually created a significant increase in overall salary for the Superintendent. Using the same formula and multiplying the daily rate of $320.94 by 1.7 instead of 1.4, brings the daily rate to approximately $544.07 per day. At 240 days the base salary would be about $130,576 per year. With the 2-percent raise on top, the annual salary for the Superintendent would be about $133,187 per year.
That salary, in Cash’s third year of his contract, would surpass the highest salary paid to previous Superintendents Donnie Wright ($128,498), and Ray Ball ($126,061).
In 2017 Cash’s salary was in the bottom 20 of all public school Superintendents in the state. The raise would vault him in to the top 50 in Kentucky.
As we reported last week, according to the KDE the average superintendent salary across the state stood at $126,972 for the 2017-18 school year. Other superintendent salaries in the region include (and number of certified employees): Whitley County – $130,719 –(344), Pulaski County – $154,530- (600), Wayne County – $120,746 –(230), Laurel County – $142,481 –(642) and Russell County – $110,000 –(230). (The number of certified employees does not include classified and other staff.)
It should be noted that Cash has refused to take the benefits package offered to him when he signed the contract, which would have increased the overall cost to the District with the added benefits.