$15K raise given to Montgomery Co. Public Schools’ superintendent

WASHINGTON — Montgomery County Public Schools’ superintendent has been given a raise of $15,000.

The county’s board of education voted to increase Dr. Jack Smith’s annual pay during its meeting Thursday. In calling for a vote on the pay boost, school board President Michael Durso had said Smith didn’t request the raise or ask the board members to review his contract.

The raise was the board’s idea, Durso said.

Smith, who is in the second year of a four-year contract, thanked the board.

“It feels very awkward at this moment, but I’m very happy here,” he said. “It’s a good place to work and live.”

School board officials cited the salaries of surrounding jurisdictions in explaining the pay increase.

“Montgomery County Public Schools is the 17th-largest school system in the nation, and we want to ensure that we remain competitive,” Durso said Thursday. As a result of the vote, Smith’s salary gets bumped up to $290,000, putting it on par with the salary earned by Prince George’s County schools’ CEO, Dr. Kevin Maxwell.

Smith previously served as superintendent in the Calvert County school system.

Dan McHugh, of Concerned Taxpayers of Montgomery County, criticized the salary increase, calling it an example of “out-of-control spending” by county elected officials.

The school’s budget, McHugh said, represents half of Montgomery County’s total budget, and that money ought to be spent in other areas, such as teacher salaries and reducing class size.

“We need smaller classroom sizes, not giving raises to the top-level employees and administrators. That doesn’t fix any of the real problems. It just goes to show it’s business as usual in Montgomery County when it comes to spending in Montgomery County Public Schools,” he said.

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Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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