House pursues caps on superintendent salaries; eases administrator requirements

The House Education Committee is considering legislation (HB 4671, Heise, R-Plymouth) that would prevent school districts from paying superintendents more than the state Superintendent of Public Instruction.  State Superintendent Michael Flanagan, earned $184,000 in 2010-11.

The purpose of the legislation is to bring superintendents’ salary in line with other public sector employees. The cap would be in place for future employees only.

The bill also relaxes the requirements for a school administrator’s certificate. Why? According to the bill’s sponsor, Gov. Snyder couldn’t meet the qualifications even though he was a successful businessman.

Under the new educational and professional experience requirements, administrators:

  1. Need no more than a master’s degree.
  2. Can earn a certificate regardless of the type or subject area of their master’s degree.
  3. Don’t need a master’s degree or professional experience in K-12 education if the state board determines that the degree and experience is equivalent.
  4. May receive a certificate if their experience is in business or another profession. 

Ironically, while the requirements, standards and responsibilities for teachers become stricter, there would be fewer restrictions on the people who will be evaluating them and providing educational leadership.