Wake County school system disputes allegation about numbers of high-paid staff

Posted by T. Keung Hui on June 5, 2014 

The Wake County school system says former state Rep. Russell Capps greatly overstated the number of school district employees who receive salaries of at least $90,000 a year.

“There are a tremendous number of employees – not teachers – that are making well-paid salaries,” Capps said at Monday afternoon’s Wake County Board of Commissioners’ budget public hearing. “The information that I got, and I think it’s correct, is that they have 1,776 staff – not teachers but staff – with salaries of $90,000 or above.”

But Renee McCoy, a Wake County schools’ spokeswoman, said there are only 127 school district employees with salaries of $90,000 or higher. She said the number drops to 86 employees – half of them principals – when you look at salaries of $100,000 or higher.

This isn’t the only thing that school officials have disputed from Capps’ statements on Monday. Capps, the president emeritus of the Wake County Taxpayers Association, was speaking out against the school system’s request for a $39.3 million increase from the commissioners.

Capps had also charged that Superintendent Jim Merrill was asking for a 13 percent pay raise for himself. School officials say that Merrill is not asking for any raise for himself.

“During the 2013-14 school year, the Superintendent’s position was not filled for the entire year,” David Neter, the school system’s chief budget officer, wrote in an email. “Budget was removed from the Superintendent’s salary budget code as a result of this, and transferred into system savings. For 2014-15, the Superintendent will be employed for the entire year, thus the increase in the amount budgeted. No change in salary.”

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