JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Duval County Public Schools’ top educator has a new contract and a $300,000 salary after the school board approved a nearly 10% raise.
The superintendent in Duval County has been making $275,000 since 2005.
“$275,000 isn’t what it used to be,” board member Cindy Pearson, representing District 3, said.
That comment and discussion rubbed some teachers the wrong way.
“With her just worrying about the superintendent who makes over a quarter-million dollars, it’s just tone-deaf at the highest order,” Chris Guerrieri, a veteran teacher at DCPS, said.
He said after 21 years with the district, he gets about a sixth of Greene’s new salary.
In a statement to Action News Jax, Pearson said, “I recognize that the statement was careless, and I apologize for that. My point was that the superintendent’s salary has not changed since 2005, and over that time, the value of that compensation has declined. I am sorry and will try to be more thoughtful with my words in the future.”
Even with the raise, Dr. Greene’s salary is the lowest of Florida’s largest districts, as shown below.
1. Miami-Dade: $370,000
2. Broward: $350,000
3. Hillsborough: $310,000
4. Pinellas: $308,000
5. Orange: $300,000
6. Palm: $300,000
7. Duval: $300,000
Pearson said the closest comparison when looking at district size is Pinellas County.
Some board members argued for increasing the salary even higher to $310,000, saying it would help with recruitment the day Greene steps away from her role. She turned it down.
“Thank you, but I would prefer to stay in alignment with the teachers as a show of support for teachers,” she said at the Tuesday, June 7 board meeting. “One way I try to show leadership is walk the walk, talk the talk. And if I feel that (if) our teachers are No. 7, I should remain No. 7.”
Several board members argued the superintendent’s track record deserves a raise. Board member Warren Jones pointed out Greene helped pass the half-cent sales tax to improve the district’s aging schools.
Warren also credited Greene for leading the district through school renaming and COVID.
Lori Hershey, representing District 7, said, “We are moving in the right direction. We are seeing an increase in the graduation rate.”
The graduation rate has increased from just more than 70% in 2013 to nearly 90% in 2021. It broke a record under Dr. Greene’s leadership after she started in Duval in 2018.
The only board member who voted against the salary hike was Charlotte Joyce, representing District 6.
“I have a real issue with increasing the salary, especially with what we have going on with employment issues across the district,” Joyce said.
Greene’s new contract extends another four years.
You can check district grades across all of Florida here: https://www.fldoe.org/accountability/accountability-reporting/school-grades/.
[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]