Letter: Superintendent overpaid while asking for bond


Responding to the opinion piece published Sept. 23 from South Whidbey School District Superintendent Dr. Jo Moccia, I am appalled she has the gall to stick her hand out asking overtaxed taxpayers for money to update school buildings.

A bit of analysis through public records seems to suggest there could be some fiscal mismanagement, starting at the top.

From the Washington State Fiscal Information website, I discovered our superintendent earned $207,362 for school year 2021-2022. Taking the latest enrollment figures from the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for 2022-2023, South Whidbey School District had 1,217 pupils (and declining). Jo Moccia earned $170.39 per pupil. Other superintendents are far less compensated.

Karst Brandsma, superintendent of Oak Harbor School District, earned $230,089 in 2021-2022 with an enrollment in 2022-2023 of 5,742 pupils. That’s $40.07 per pupil.

Ian Saltzman, superintendent of Everett School District, earned $335,792 in 2021-2022 with an enrollment in 2022-2023 of 20,439. That’s $16.43 per pupil.

Brent Jones, superintendent of Seattle School District No. 1 earned $323,400 in 2021-2022 with an enrollment in 2022-2023 of 51,542 pupils. That’s an abysmal $6.27 per pupil.

Dr. Jo Moccia, how can you hold your hand out to us taxpayers “for the betterment of schools” when you appear to be one of the highest paid superintendents in the state per pupil with declining enrollment? If you were the CEO of a for-profit corporation, being highest paid and with declining customers, the board of directors would show you the door.

Instead of asking for more money, how about showing us a plan to increase enrollment that would support these significant expenditures? When we taxpayers see marked improvement in pupil enrollment, then we can talk about increasing taxes. And while you’re at it, why not take a pay cut commensurate with enrollment so that it doesn’t appear you’re sticking it to us taxpayers?

Jack Brown