The Washington Post recently ran a story about Ron Packard, the CEO of K12 Inc. earning a total compensation package of approximately $5 million dollars in fiscal 2011. This is noteworthy because K12 Inc is the largest operator of full-time public virtual schools and presumably one of the cyber-schools that would seek to open in Michigan if the Michigan legislature votes to uncap the limit on cyber-schools.
Of course, in the Michigan legislature this fall a bill was introduced to limit the salary of school superintendents. This proposed legislation failed to get out of committee.
The Michigan legislature also passed legislation this fall to require school employees to pay more for health insurance.
Why are lawmakers in Michigan intent on trying to rein in the cost of public employees salary and benefits while at the same time trying to pass legislation that would open Michigan to unlimited cyber-schools and a CEO that earns $5 million dollars?
Whether it is true or not the impression that is given is that certain members of the legislature believe that business will always provide a better value than a public school district. As a result, business is given a free pass and not asked to control costs in the same way that public schools are being asked to do because the default position of some legislators is that business will always be more efficient.
I would challenge that belief when the salary paid to the CEO of a company that is receiving public funds is five million dollars.