Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that he will propose a new bill that will cap the pay of superintendents across the state at a maximum of $175,000. It's a move that would significantly cut the pay of Superintendent Carole Hankin, who earned $386,868 in 2010 -- the highest on Long Island.
Currently 223 or 33 percent of school district superintendents earn more than $175,000, according to reports. At districts with 250 or fewer students, the proposal is a cap of $125,000, while the cap for superintendents at districts with more than 6,500 students, such as Syosset, is $175,000.
But , D-Glen Cove, of the 13th State Assembly District -- which covers parts of Syosset and Woodbury -- said the salary cap bill doesn't include other high-paid school employees.
"It doesn’t include assistant superintendents, central staff and the dozens of consultants that each district re-employees," Lavine said. "But it’s something worth discussing."
In addition to that, Lavine said the bill could run into a couple of problems.
"If it became law, it would be subject to a public override of 50 percent," Lavine explained. "I have no doubt the public would override it in certain communities such as Syosset and other 13th District communities."
Cuomo said the move would save about $15 million for the state, but Lavine argued that it is not much in comparison to other costs.
"That doesn’t do a whole lot in comparison to the approximate $20 billion the state spends alone on education," Lavine said.
While the bill may not save that much money statewide, Lavine said what it has done it stimulate the debate. Hankin and the Syosset Central School District could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but the district had this to say in a statement released earlier in the school year:
"Throughout her tenure, Syosset has been recognized as one of the top-performing districts in our region, as well as in the state and country," the district said.
"Through Dr. Hankin’s efforts, our District continually receives significant funding for our outstanding educational program through grants and from our local, county and state governments," the district said. "Under her stewardship, our District’s financial standing continues to receive the highest bond credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service, which saves the taxpayers of our community hundreds of thousands of dollars annually."