The Detroit Public Schools are facing a $219 million budget deficit, necessitating some painful budget cuts. But it's inexcusable for Robert Bobb, the system's emergency financial manager to slash the lowest-income workers' salaries while giving himself an $81,000 raise.
The 10 percent cut to school secretaries' salaries will quite literally send families over the edge into poverty. Their average salary will drop to $22,500; for a family of four, the poverty line is $22,050. Meanwhile, Bobb will make $425,000 next year.
Bobb's argument in favor of his raise is that the exta money is coming from private grants, not Detroit taxpayers. But if his primary focus is on improving the city's public schools -- by some measures, the worst in the country -- why is he busy applying for grants to boost his own salary? Alternatively, he could pay himself with the foundation money and return his city salary to the school system; surely $145,000 is enough to live on in a city in which you can buy a home for $7,500.
Send a letter to Robert Bobb and tell him not to push families into poverty while he lives in luxury.
Photo credit: AMagill
I know that much of your raise comes from private foundations, so consider giving up the $280,000 the city pays you if you plan to keep the foundation money for yourself. It sends a hurtful message to school secretaries and other low-wage workers in the school system that you are happy to cut their salaries while your salary places you in the top one percent of all American workers.
Detroit Public Schools' $219 million budget deficit constitutes a major crisis, and nobody expects to escape unscathed. I know you are dedicated to improving Detroit schools, as are all of your employees -- please don't prioritize your own salary above the fate of the entire district.