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Board raises Massachusetts Education Commissioner’s salary to over $250,000 with future increases

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[Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2020]

Katie Lannan/SHNS

Members of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education signed off Tuesday on salary increases for Commissioner Jeff Riley, setting him up to receive pay bumps both retroactively and going forward.

The board approved a motion granting Riley a 2.5 percent increase for fiscal 2021, a 2 percent increase for the current 2022 fiscal year, and a one-time payment equivalent to 1.5 percent of his salary calculated after those increases. State payroll records as of Tuesday afternoon show Riley now earning a base salary of $257,005. A 1.5 percent additional payment on top of that would work out to $3,855. In June, when the board agreed to give Riley a performance rating of 4.75 out of 5 for fiscal 2021, he was paid at an annual rate of $245,820.

James Morton, who chairs the board’s Commissioner’s Performance Review Committee, said that in deciding on the salary adjustments, the panel “took into account Commissioner Riley’s exemplary service and performance rating for his accomplishments in FY2021, as well as the fact that he received no salary adjustment in FY2020.” “The committee’s recommendation is consistent with the salary increases and one-time payment that the Commonwealth’s Human Resources Division announced on July 30, 2021 for all eligible managers in the executive branch,” Morton wrote in a memo to the board.

Riley’s management of K-12 schools throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and his decisions around in-person learning, MCAS tests and public health precautions have at times come under fire — Tuesday’s meeting opened with a public comment period in which some speakers called for a return of a remote learning option and others criticized in-school mask mandates. The motion the board approved commended Riley “for his leadership, accessibility, engagement with stakeholders, and thoughtful decision-making during this extraordinarily challenging year.” There was no discussion prior to the vote.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. SocialCrusticeCrusader

    September 26, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    Wow talk about white privilege. A state level job paying a quarter of a million dollars plus per year. Fall River schools testing near the bottom and MCAS scores statewide plummeting “because of covid”, yet a raise is in order. Systemically our schools are in a crisis because of the liberal left agenda of the UN, George Soros, The Squad, Nancy Pelosi, The CFR, Atlantic Council, shall I go on? Nahh forget about it who the hell cares anyway?

  2. Twitwanger

    September 26, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    I am looking to start a citizen board on setting government employees salaries. These board positions will be paid. I need a budget of 1 billion dollars to administer 500 million in salaries. This is government at work. It’s easy to spend other people’s money and act like your doing God’s work. Sign me up right away I’d like a quarter million a year too.

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