Education

Wake County’s school superintendent is getting a big raise. See how much it will be.

Updated Sept. 17.

The Wake County school board rewarded Superintendent Cathy Moore with a 5% raise and a contract extension to mark her first year on the job.

The board approved Tuesday a contract amendment that raises Moore’s salary by more than $14,000, with part of the money going toward deferred compensation. Her contract was also extended by two more years through June 2023.

Moore’s base salary of $281,004 will rise to more than $290,000 a year. Under the amendment, 1.5% of the 5% salary increase will be paid as deferred compensation. She’s already getting $20,000 a year in deferred compensation as part of her original contract.

Moore has a higher salary than new Charlotte-Mecklenburg Superintendent Earnest Winston, who was hired in August with a base salary of $280,000.

Moore, 55, was chosen by the school board in May 2018 to replace Jim Merrill, who retired. Moore has worked in Wake since 1988 and was deputy superintendent when she was asked to lead North Carolina’s largest school system.

Moore is both Wake’s first female and first Hispanic superintendent. Moore, whose maiden name is Quiroz, was 2 years old in the 1960s when her mother moved the family from Ecuador to America.

The raise was determined by the board after doing an annual review of Moore’s performance. The past year has seen accomplishments such as voter approval of a school construction bond referendum in November, an increase in the high school graduation rate and more schools meeting growth targets on state exams.

But the past year has seen some controversies, including the fight over the use of a controversial high school math curriculum and critics who charge the district is using schools to promote social justice issues.

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T. Keung Hui has covered K-12 education for the News & Observer since 1999, helping parents, students, school employees and the community understand the vital role education plays in North Carolina. His primary focus is Wake County, but he also covers statewide education issues.
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