Superintendent Paid Too Much

RECEIVED Mon., July 18, 2005

Dear Editor,
    In the July 15 issue of the Chronicle, Michael King's article "Squeezing the Schools" [News] stated, "If you're a superintendent ... in Edgewood or Ysleta, ... you'd be better off trying to make bricks without straw than waiting for help from the state of Texas." The two districts cited are two of Texas' poorest school districts. One thing Mr. King could have added is that if Ysleta's superintendent, Mr. Hector Montenegro, is truly trying to make ends meet, he probably would not have accepted the approximately $300,000 in perks in addition to his salary that started at around $190,000 annually to $208,950 annually. (This was reported by KVIA Channel 7 News, an El Paso ABC affiliate.)
    In Mr. Montenegro's first year in the Ysleta District he earned a total of more than $500,000. Not bad for a superintendent in a very poor school district. One of the real and unaddressed problems in school finance is that there is no true accountability or responsibility when it comes to spending school funds. No one is watching the educational till.
Doug Yancey
Ex-fourth-grade bilingual teacher
   [News Editor Michael King replies: According to the El Paso Times, Hector Montenegro was hired in 2003 by the Ysleta School District at a salary of $190,000 (considerably less than initially anticipated by the board of trustees) and provided with a home for his family that remains school district property, not part of his total earnings.]
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