Superintendent Robert Y. Dubel is unique among the Baltimore County school system's 10,000 or so employees. He got a raise this year.
But Dr. Dubel -- mindful that other school employees were denied the 3 percent raise they requested -- decided to donate the $10,000, a little less than 10 percent of his salary, to start a school breakfast fund for children from low income homes.
Baltimore County's is the only school system in Maryland that doesn't automatically provide free or reduced-price breakfasts at every school that has enough students to qualify for federal aid. School officials use questionnaires to locate hungry students, but critics complain that the method allows a lot of students to fall through the cracks.
His fund would "make it easier for school personnel to feed children who are hungry against their wills," Dr. Dubel explained.
"I greatly appreciate the action of the Board of Education of Baltimore County which substantially increased the salary of the superintendent of schools," he said at the board meeting late Thursday night.
"I will not, however, accept increased family income in a year when fellow employees have not received salary adjustments."
Board President Rosalie Hellman said the schools were left without enough money to increase teachers' salaries after the budget was cut by County Executive Roger B. Hayden. But Dr. Dubel deserved a raise, she said, to keep him on a par with other superintendents who head large school systems.
"The board recognizes that the salary of the superintendent must remain competitive and that his compensation be commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of his office," she argued.
Last year, Dr. Dubel's salary ranked fifth among Maryland's school superintendents, she added.