'Are you cuckoo?' Residents cry foul over Newburgh Board of Education's $30K superintendent pay raise

Residents raised concerns during a Board of Education meeting Tuesday night before an outgoing board majority voted to give the superintendent a $30,000 pay raise.

Blaise Gomez

Jun 7, 2023, 9:21 PM

Updated 375 days ago

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The Newburgh Board of Education approved a $30,000 pay raise for the superintendent, leaving some residents to question whether their taxpayer dollars are being put to good use.
The average annual salary in Newburgh is about $47,000, according to Census Bureau records.
When it comes to its schools, Board of Education Member Darren Stridiron says the district has the lowest graduation rate in the state. He also says the district is expected to face a budget shortfall for the second year in a row.
"We have to make major strides in our education system," said Stridiron.
Residents raised some of those concerns during a Board of Education meeting Tuesday night before an outgoing board majority voted to give the superintendent a $30,000 pay raise.
"This is malarkey," said David Rein.
The board voted 5-3 to give Dr. Jackielyn Manning-Campell an annual salary of $300,000 after she was hired last year.
"Those of you board members who intend to vote yes cannot possibly be serious," says Victoria Bouley-Boucher, of Newburgh.
Newburgh is one of the poorest communities in New York, but state records show the district has the second highest paid superintendent in Orange County.
Middletown spends the most at $350,000 a year.
Those figures are well above statistics found online for the national and state average salaries for school superintendents, and are more than what Gov. Kathy Hochul, the county executive or the vice president of the United States gets paid.
Manning-Campbell issued a statement saying, "I am disheartened to learn of social media posts and commentary that accuse me of being self-serving and disinterested in anyone else in the district other than myself. Nothing could be further from the truth."
A representative for the New York state Council of School Superintendents explained the high payrolls, saying a shortage of qualified educators is driving up salaries.
Some Newburgh taxpayers and residents did not agree with the decision and are questioning where their money is going.
One resident said, "Are you cuckoo?"
Dr. Manning-Campbell says contracts for administration are typically reviewed a year in advance.
Newburgh's contracts for teachers and staff, meantime, are set to expire at the end of this month.


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