Dr. Carey Wright passed out raises by the bushel to MDE employees over the last two years. The legislature gave MDE a two-year exemption from State Personnel Board policies in 2014 so Dr. Wright could cut costs and streamline the agency. Dr. Wright used the exemption to give 331 salary increases to 247 employees. The salaries increases are posted below. MDE asked the legislature to extend the exemption for another year. The legislature passed the extension (HB #199) but Governor Phil Bryant vetoed the bill. He cited the widespread salary increases as the main reason for his veto.
A little Sparrow gave JJ a copy of a report on the salary increases that was submitted to the Governor. The report states that the average salary increased by $3,551 year. One new deputy superintendent's initial salary was $195,000. MDE classified 32 raises as salary increases and 67 as intra-agency promotions. The average increase for the intra-agency promotions was $10,690. However, the total annual costs of the raises is projected to cost approximately $1.5 million per year.
Here are the raises:
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Governor Bryant stated in his veto message:
the Mississippi Department of Education appears to have increased the overall costs of its administrative functions through handsome raises for existing employees and high salaries for new employees....JJ contacted Dr. Wright's office and awaits a response. This post will be updated if one is received.
Since July 1, 2014, the Mississippi Department of Education has awarded 331 increases in salary to 247 employees working within the agency. Some salary increases were $20,000 or more. In addition to employee raises, the Mississippi Department of Education has made 203 new hires and has even set salaries as high as $195,000, which is well over the statutory maximum.
Kingfish note: Removing an agency from State Personnel Board policies so a director has the power to cut costs and reduce the size of the agency. The intent of such an action is not to give the director the power to pass out raises and jobs.