Evergreen (Clark) Public Schools paid Superintendent Deeder salary and benefits of $433,800

Feb 1, 2018

Public school superintendents often say taxpayers are not giving them enough money for their budgets, but they seldom discuss how much tax money they themselves receive in pay and benefits.

Yesterday I noticed the superintendent of Evergreen (Clark) Public Schools, John Deeder, was paid $375,064 in salary, plus $58,700 in benefits, in 2016-17. (The average working family’s wage in Washington is $57,000.)  The district oversees 35 schools with 26,500 students and employs 3,000 people. This compensation package is the highest of all superintendents in the state of Washington. http://www.k12.wa.us/safs/PUB/PER/1617/tbl15.pdf.  

Superintendent Deeder’s salary was higher than the salary of the president of the United States, and of the governor of the state of Washington. His salary was higher than the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court and of the justices of Washington’s supreme court. Yet 20 of the 39 schools he oversaw earned ratings in the lowest categories of school performance, according to state officials.  The low rankings are reported on the 2016 School Achievement Index, administered by the State Board of Education. 

We are regularly told that schools are underfunded.  Since the McCleary ruling the legislature has increased education spending from $13.55 billion to $21.97 billion, an increase of $8.42 billion, or 62%. Evergreen Public Schools alone received a $88 million boost.  Now we know where some of that funding is going. 

Correction: An earlier version of this report mis-identified the superintendent receiving $433,800 in salary and benefits. The correct official is John Deeder.