For the Good of Illinois

Fox 32 Chicago: Controversy Surrounds Highest Paid Illinois School Superintendent

October 4, 2018 10:01 AM
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Read the original editorial and watch the news segment, click here
 

Controversy Surrounds Highest Paid Illinois School Superintendent

By: Dane Placko
 
October 3, 2018
 
He's already the highest paid school superintendent in the state of Illinois.
 
But you won't believe the check Superintendent Troy Paraday will be getting when he retires next month from the Calumet City School District.
 
City taxpayers were stunned when we told them how much money he stands to collect.
 
After 14 years it's Paraday's last school board meeting as superintendent of Calumet City District 155, but it's hardly a warm sendoff.
 
Angry parents packed a meeting.
 
"It doesn't make any sense that we have to come here and fight and beg for stuff for our kids," said Yvette Franklin.
 
While teachers complained about the mold outbreak that closed the district's junior high.
 
"My classroom was destroyed. I have nothing left of my 22-year career," said Julie Steffen.
 
They say money's tight at the small district, comprised of three schools and 1,100 students. Except for Superintendent Paraday, who this year will earn a salary of $309-thousand-dollars.
 
But that's not all.
 
Paraday's contract also calls for a car allowance, insurance benefits, retirement annuity and other goodies driving up his annual compensation to $407-thousand-dollars -- the highest of any Illinois school superintendent.
 
And that’s not all.
 
When Paraday retires on October 31st, Calumet City taxpayers will be handing him a big Halloween treat. "Open the Books" and FOX 32 found a clause in Paraday's contract that allows him to collect cash for unused time off.
 
Since 2005, he's accumulated 567 days of unused vacation, sick time and personal days. Based on Paraday's current salary, he'll cash those days in for more than $762-thousand-dollars.
 
"Parents understand that dollars must follow the child in the classroom, and not an overcompensated, expensive bureaucracy," said Adam Andrzejewski, CEO and Founder of Open the Books.
 
Andrzejewski says Calumet City parents deserve to be angry, but need to do more than just shout.
 
"They should go to the board meetings, give public, then turn around and get their friends and family to run for school board," he said.
 
Speaking of family, we found three board members have family members currently or formerly employed by the district -- which raises a potential conflict of interest.
 
FOX 32: "Is it right to vote on his contract if you have family members that call him boss?"
 
Guy Eveland / Board Member: "Didn't bother me…I thought he did a fine job. He's still doing a fine job."
 
That job will end in a few weeks, allowing Paraday to begin collecting a pension of over $300-thousand-dollars a year at just 56 years of age, leaving struggling parents to wonder -- "Wow. How did we let that happen?"
 
Read the original editorial and watch the news segment, click here
 

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