From time to time, the Observer likes to get the feel of the city’s pulse when possible controversial issues come up.
Such was the case on our recent unscientific Facebook poll question: “Should Rio Rancho Public Schools Superintendent Sue Cleveland get the same increase in pay as teachers and other school staff?”
The Facebook question “reached” 3,235 people, which impressed us. Some people thought she deserved the raise and others did not.
Teachers and other unionized staff recently received a raise of 6 percent, or an increase to the state-mandated minimum salary for their position and qualification, whichever was greater. With the RRPS board giving Cleveland the 6-percent bump, too, she now makes $196,524 a year.
Yes, 6 percent of the $185,400 salary she previously made since July 1, 2018, is more than 6 percent of $45,000. Still, we think it’s fair that she get the same percentage increase because she’s contributed to the overall good, albeit not perfect, quality of the schools here.
Let’s remember that she also turned down raises during multiple years when finances were particularly tight and sometimes didn’t get an increase for four or five years.
On the other side of the Rio Grande, Raquel Reedy has been the superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools for less than two years, received a starting salary of more than $263,000 and the APS board has been considering giving her an 11-percent raise.
Keep in mind, APS has gone through 10 superintendents and several expensive contract “buyouts” in the past 25 years while Cleveland has been at RRPS all that time.
Going back to the Facebook question, the debate was heated. We’re all for public dialogue, and we respect people’s right to disagree.
Some comments got out of hand, though.
In fact, one respondent was banned for over-the-top disparaging remarks. That’s not the way to respond to any issue.
Please, avoid ugly name-calling on our Facebook page, if you want your comments to continue to be welcome there.
Some people said Cleveland shouldn’t get a raise because the teachers should. Apparently they didn’t notice the statement in the question itself, or in two prior newspaper stories, that the teachers had already gotten a raise.
Reading the question thoroughly before responding is appreciated.
True, the teachers are the ones in the proverbial trenches, working hard to help your children succeed in their studies and ultimately graduate. We greatly appreciate them and their work.
Still, at the top of that pyramid is Cleveland, who does her best to get the best educators, get them raises when the money is available, deal with legislators and get the district its fair share of money, and be aware of every policy and matter coming before the school board, to either recommend passage or maybe tweak a policy before it’s passed.
It’s not an easy job. Who are we to say what a top executive is worth?
We shouldn’t quibble about a 6 percent raise, as everyone else working for the district received a 6 percent bump, too.