Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Raquel Reedy received a one-year contract extension on Wednesday, committing her to lead the district through June 2020.
The APS Board of Education approved the new contract in a 6-1 vote, with Peggy Muller-Aragón dissenting. Reedy will maintain her current salary, $240,000 a year.
The contract also includes a statement that Reedy will not accept a buyout if she is terminated — unlike her two predecessors, Luis Valentino and Winston Brooks, who collected large checks after they were forced out of the district.
Board President Dave Peercy said Reedy has done a good job leading APS — a role she took on in August 2015 after Valentino resigned amid controversy.
He also noted that Reedy will be paid $10,000 to $15,000 below the average for superintendents of large districts.
Muller-Aragón, the lone “no” vote, objected to an increase in APS contributions to Reedy’s Supplemental Retirement Plan, arguing that it amounts to a pay raise at a time when teachers and staff are struggling to cover their bills.
Under the new contract, Reedy will receive a $40,000 retirement plan contribution at the end of the 2017-2018 contract year, $50,000 at the end of the 2018-2019 contract year and $55,000 at the end of the 2019-2020 contract year — up from $30,000 a year under her previous contract.
Muller-Aragón argued that the superintendent’s incentives should be “tied to results.”
“We need to move the dial for our students,” she said. “We’re not doing that very well.”
Overall, more district money should go to teachers, rather than top administrators like Reedy, who are making unusually high salaries for Albuquerque, Muller-Aragón said.
Board member Barbara Petersen defended the superintendent, and said APS has to pay competitive wages to hold onto talented administrators.
Compared to other urban superintendents, Reedy’s salary is actually below average, Petersen said.
“I have tremendous respect for the job Superintendent Reedy does,” Petersen said.