APS Superintendent contract includes perks

On top of her $375,000 base salary, incoming Atlanta Superintendent Meria Carstarphen will receive a fully furnished home office, $2,000 monthly for expenses, and supplemental retirement contributions, according to a copy of her employment contract obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.

She’ll also receive annual raises of at least 2 percent, insurance stipends to offset health expenses, and reimbursement for moving and temporary housing expenses.

The 20-page contract, provided by Atlanta Public Schools after an open records request, calls for Carstarphen to take leadership of the 50,000-student school district July 7. She’ll replace Superintendent Erroll Davis, who was paid $258,837 in the 2012-2013 school year and plans to retire this summer.

The three-year contract represents a significant raise for Carstarphen, who was paid $283,412 in the 2012-2013 school year as the superintendent of the Austin, Texas, school district.

Her salary, a $1,200 monthly automobile allowance and $800 per month for expenses were previously disclosed when the Atlanta Board of Education voted unanimously to hire her April 14, but additional perks were revealed with the release of her contract Wednesday:

  • Reimbursement for a desktop computer, laptop, cellphone, tablet, printer, fax machine and Internet access in her home.
  • A monthly stipend for out-of-pocket premiums for medical, vision, dental, disability and life insurance. An annual physical exam will also be paid for.
  • Twenty days of annual vacation, plus an additional 20 days that shall accrue annually. Up to 30 vacation days may be carried forward from year to year.
  • A contribution in the amount of 10 percent of Carstarphen’s salary to a tax-sheltered annuity plan, 403(b) plan or other retirement savings plans. The first contribution will be made Jan. 1, 2015, and Carstarphen will be 100 percent vested in the plan.
  • Membership in the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia, with Carstarphen’s contributions covered by the school system.
  • Payment of membership fees in the American Association of School Administrators, the Georgia School Superintendents Association, the Council of Great City Schools, Georgia Association of Educational Leaders and other professional groups the superintendent deems necessary.

Metro Atlanta 2013 superintendent salaries
Erroll Davis, Atlanta, $258,837
Michael Hinojosa, Cobb County, $247,625
Michael Thurmond, DeKalb County, $275,000
Robert Avossa, Fulton County, $315,587
J. Alvin Wilbanks, Gwinnett County, $503,623

By Mark Niesse
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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