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Salary Hero: School Superintendent Cuts Own Pay

By Bridget Quigg

In the competitive world of salary numbers, negotiations and earning goals, you sometimes you run into surprises. Fresno County school superintendent Larry Powell chose to give up $800,000 in salary over the next three years to help fund education and the arts in Fresno, rather than add to his already-full retirement account.

In a quiet move at a school board meeting, Powell retired early then asked to be re-hired and finish his term (until 2015) at a pay rate of $31,000 per year with no benefits. That’s an 89 percent pay cut, and, according to an AP article “School Superintendent Gives up $800k in Pay” earns him $10,000 less than a first year teacher in his school district.

No announcement was made, and it wasn’t until about four days after the meeting that word got out about the decision. Powell is surprised by the attention he’s getting now. He simply wants people to trust government again and also set an example for the students he taught throughout his career.

What a guy, huh? As a salary website, PayScale is always encouraging you to get “what you’re worth.” I think that Larry Powell just made himself priceless.

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