Indy's Crook Emeritus




Retired Wayne Township Superintendent of schools Terry Thompson received a severance package worth over a half million dollars— including a 150-day job as "Superintendent Emeritus," for which he will earn $1,351.91 a day. All three of the major local nightly news stations are running the story as well as the city's esteemed paper of record— and none of them can find out what the hell a "Superintendent Emeritus" is supposed to do.

The revelation of Thompson's Halliburton-esque contract comes soon after a $10 million budget cut for the township, and a day after IPS Superintendent Dr. Eugene White threatened to quit if the board does not follow through on his proposal to transfer, demote or layoff several school administrators.

Adding more than a pinch of salt to the wound is that educators are among the most stereotypically impoverished professionals. On the short list of occupations which parents fear the most for their children, a teacher is somewhere in the neighborhood of poet or point guard for the Pacers— and a retired administrator contributing nothing to society is getting paid as much as 17 of them.

With all the talk in the news—-especially of late— about trillions and zillions of dollars, it's hard to remember sometimes that $500k is still an awful lot of cheese for someone contributing nothing.

The median salary for a school superintendent is $74,733 ( Thompson's contract for the 2010-11 school year was worth $283, 902.

That means that Terry Thompson is getting paid almost as much as four superintendents to do the work of zero superintendents. Either he's some kind of super superintendent, or Wayne Township is getting hoodwinked. Thompson's 2010-11 salary is more than that of:

1. The mayor and the governor's salary...combined. ($95k each)
2. The Prime Minister of England
3. Tamika Catchings and Katie Douglas...combined. And many WNBA starting lineups, for that matter.
4. The average teacher in 10 years (assuming approx. $30k/year)
5. The average catholic school teacher in 832 years


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