Katy ISD had shown signs of fiscal responsibility in writing a new budget, cutting mostly outside the classroom and not increasing property tax rates. Even local Tea Party groups offered their praises. All of that goodwill might be lost once locals find out about the district’s recent spikes in administrator salaries.

Katy ISD’s budget that spends $5.2 million less than it did last year without raising taxes drew praise of local Tea Party members. Darcy Kahrhoff, president of the Katy Tea Party, was quoted in the Houston Chronicle saying:

“You guys did make some serious cuts and Katy Tea has been watching and has been pretty impressed with what you guys have been doing,”

School officials developed the budget without raising the district’s current 1.53% property tax rate. Cuts from the budget came from reducing travel expenses, eliminating programs and services, and reducing personnel, among others.

Thanks to Curt Olson with Texas Budget Source, Katy residents are now learning that the district will be paying out more for administrator salaries, despite the significant cuts in the budget that resulted in 53 less teachers across the district.

Olson discovered through an open records request that Superintendent Alton Frailey receieved a 16.7% pay raise from the 2008-09 school year to 2010-11, becoming one of the highest-paid superintendents in Texas at $288,400 per year.

Other administrators’ pay raises include:

  • Dr. Deborah Harris – Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources (18.5%)
  • Dr. Freda Corbell – Director of Assessment, Accountability and Research (9%)
  • Dr. Sharon Boutwell – Assistant Superintendent for Leadership and Organizational Development (14.8%)
  • Sandi Becker – Director of Special Education (16.1%)

This news is especially disheartening given that 53 teachers were let go because of budget constraints this year. Katy ISD took some good steps forward, but there’s clearly more work to be done.