Superintendent's Pay Increase Angers Mustang Teachers

Wednesday, March 9th 2011, 1:27 pm
By: News 9

Jennifer Pierce, News 9

MUSTANG, Oklahoma -- Many teachers in the Mustang School District are upset after the superintendent received a pay raise.

The Mustang Superintendent accepted a $7,600 pay increase, meanwhile teachers in the district didn't get a raise last year and may not get one this year.

"We don't do it for the money," said Superintendent Bonnie Lightfoot.

Yet, Lightfoot is one of the only Mustang School District employees to get a raise. She said it's not up to her to set the amount.

"I do not negotiate for a salary at all. The board is the one that sets that," Lightfoot said.

She can accept or decline a boost. Last year she did not take a $20,000 raise. And at a base salary of $131,000 a year, Lightfoot said she is still one of the lowest paid superintendents.

"Mustang is the twelfth largest district in the state, and as far as salaries are concerned, I am probably one of the lowest salaries of all 6A districts in the state," Lightfoot.

Not much consolation for teachers.

See a list of superintendent's pay in Oklahoma.

"Yes, I believe there is a reason to be upset because we didn't get a pay raise," said teacher Diane Johnson.

Johnson is president of the Mustang Education Association and said teachers could be looking at going without a pay raise for two years in a row. Johnson said while it may not be fair, she also understands it's up to the school board to set the superintendent's salary.

"I know the board wants to retain her. She's done a good job," Johnson said.

School district officials said it would cost the district over $250,000 to give all the teachers a raise, compared to a $7,000 raise for one person.