Who needs teachers when you can pay for more administrators? That seems to be the prevailing attitude in Austin ISD’s central office building. The number of six-figure salary earners jumped 63 percent over the last five years, while AISD cut teachers and sued the state for more money.

According to the Austin American-Statesman, 70 AISD employees now make $100,000+ salaries, up from 56 during the previous school year. In 2007-08, only 43 district employees made that much.

This is the same district that fired more than 800 teachers in a vain attempt to close a $94 million budget gap in 2011. Later, they were all too eager to sue the state for more money, claiming the 82nd Legislature underfunded public education.

More astonishing, Superintendent Meria Carstarphen (who makes $283,000 base salary), surrounds herself with a 12-member cabinet, each receiving a salary range of $115,000 to $204,000. (See below for details.)

Meanwhile, AISD is gearing up for a bond proposal just short of a billion dollars, estimated to cost taxpayers an additional $70 a year in taxes. Mind you, AISD still holds $1.2 billion in outstanding debt according to the Texas Bond Review Board website.

But not to worry, educrats from Austin ISD and elsewhere will still swarm the Capitol looking to “restore cuts” to public education, as if they’re struggling to make ends meet.

Reforms to public education are sorely needed, and this serves as yet another example that bad spending, not revenue, is the threat to our kid’s academic success.


Austin ISD Superintendent Carstarphen’s cabinet and salaries:

Meria Carstarphen, Superintendent: $283,412

Mel Waxler, Chief of Staff: $204,970

Bill Caritj, Chief Performance Officer, $180,250

Nicole Conley-Abram, Chief Financial Officer, $180,250

Paul Cruz, Chief Schools Officer, $180,250

Pauline Dow, Chief Academic Officer, $180,250

Lawrence Fryer, Chief Operations Officer, $180,250

Michael Houser, Chief Human Capital Officer, $180,250

Ariel Cloud, Associate Superintendent: $150,667

Gilbert Hicks, Associate Superintendent, $150,667

Maria Montoya-Hohens, Associate Superintendent, $150,667

Edmund Oropez, Associate Superintendent, $150,667

Alex Sanchez, Executive Director of Public Relations/Multicultural Outreach: $115,360

Source: Austin American-Statesman