Monday, April 26, 2010

$300,000 a year for a preschool director (but that includes benefits)

Ron Williams is executive director of an NAEYC-accredited preschool program with two sites in Paterson, New Jersey. He is site director of one of them. They care for 350 to 375 kids at the two sites on a budget of $4.3 million, of which $4.2 million is state or federal subsidy. After 16 years there, during which he took the program from 15 kids to its current size, he makes $300,000 a year, including pension and benefits.

There is no suggestion of illegality (although his wife is vice-president of the board that sets his salary, and the preschool itself was founded by a church whose pastor later became a corrupt politician, convicted of bribery). Other local directors with similar-size programs make about half as much.

I have mixed feelings about this. I think the real problem is not that he makes twice as much as he should but that the others make half as much as they should. One thing that would make me trust him or not is how much the teachers make. If the preschool has a high wage in general, cool. If the teachers in his preschools make $20 an hour, let Williams have his 300 grand. If not, he's probably just greedy, although he has stuck around a preschool for 16 years. He he were just a scammer, he wouldn't be running an accredited program.

We have people in California running quality programs for that many kids. I wonder how much they make.

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