Alonso's $100k administrators a slap in the face of Md. taxpayers

May 13, 2011

The Baltimore Sun has just reported that Baltimore City Schools CEO Andrés Alonso doesn't care how it looks that he's hiring more than a dozen administrators who will make more than $100,000 each ("Despite budget cuts, city schools to hire 15 new administrators," May 11). But to many Marylanders struggling in this tough economy it probably looks shocking and totally out of touch.

The Maryland General Assembly has just raised many fees that every citizen must pay from the time they are born (birth certificates) to just before death (nursing home fees). Those who supported the fees during the recent General Assembly session (not me) insisted these "revenue enhancers" would go to preserve Maryland's top-notch school system. Much of the money goes to Baltimore City and Prince George's and Montgomery counties. Yet, people in less populated areas, like my constituents in Harford and Cecil Counties, pay just as much in fees. Does hiring such highly paid administrators actually help students in the classroom? And why did the city schools just buy out experienced teachers to save money, teachers who may have really helped these children?

Andrés Alonso has made gains in the city, no doubt, but with this decision he slaps the face of all Maryland taxpayers. Educators with advanced degrees might have demanded salaries like this before the economic downturn. But now the suggestion of it sticks in the craw of workers who've seen their salaries flatline, who have taken pay cuts, lost benefits, or been laid off. Let's get real, Mr. Alonso.

Nancy Jacobs, Annapolis

The writer is the minority leader of the Maryland Senate.

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