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Taxpayer complains about salaries of Edgewood ISD central administration

District is one of state's smallest, poorest

SAN ANTONIO – There are some concerns in Edgewood Independent School District, one of the smallest and poorest school districts in the state, that central office administrator salaries are way too high.

Edgewood is a property-poor school district, meaning the district takes in less tax money than other districts.

Resident Agapita Jaramillo is one of two residents to complain to the KSAT 12 Defenders about the average central administration salary in Edgewood being too high.

"We're right next to Northside ISD, and when you do the comparison, we're a real small school district," Jaramillo said. "Our central office staff salaries exceed the state average salaries."

A KSAT 12 Defenders' check of documents published on the Texas Education Agency website showed that Edgewood's average central administration salary in 2013 was $107,684.

Judson ISD had twice as many students, and the average was $105,276.

Northside ISD's average central office salary was $105,133, and that district has eight times as many students as Edgewood.

At Southwest ISD, with about a thousand more students than Edgewood, it was $96,480.

"They need to focus on the academics, on our students instead of their salaries; instead of their pockets," Jaramillo said. "What's so sad is that the scores, the data, our kids, the progress, we don't see it."

Edgewood ISD spokesman Roland Martinez said when Dr. Jose Cervantes was hired as superintendent in 2011, he looked at figures like that. He said Cervantes then began to make changes.

"The administration evaluated positions, some positions were combined, some positions were eliminated," Martinez said. "The district is more frugal and staffing is more efficient."

He said change takes time and new Texas Education Agency numbers will reflect that.

However he says at Edgewood, administrators are often wearing more than one hat and are paid accordingly.

"You have fewer who are having to do more jobs, more tasks, more responsibilities," Martinez said. "For the administrator you have personnel who've been in the business many, many years, lots of experience. They may have multiple certifications."

Another complaint was that Edgewood is spending too much money on facilities, including the construction of a new boardroom.

"In the past the board would go to different schools," Martinez said. "And so you might have community members wondering where's this month's board meeting. With one permanent location, the community will always know that the board meeting is at that location."

Edgewood would not provide the cost or completion date for the new boardroom.

Despite the complaints, he said the district is making strides in other ways.

"This year, pending the approval of the budget and tax rate, our taxpayers will see a reduction in the overall tax rate for the third consecutive year," Martinez said.

Jaramillo said with school board elections coming up in a few months, these are issues the candidates should consider important to the residents.

To find statistics about various San Antonio school districts, click here.

To find out about test scores in a school district, click here.