The Empire Center uploaded a database of 2009-2010 teacher pay and other school employee salaries to it’s website. The study found the highest compensation paid in the New York City suburbs of Westchester County and on Long Island.

The highest-paid school employee, Commack, Suffolk County, schools chief James Feltman, was paid over $657,000 during the 2009-10 school year, which ended June 30. Feltman retired in June.

The study also found 288 school employees across the state made more than $200,000 in the 2009-10 school year. A little over a dozen Albany City School district employees make over $100,000 a year … the data pegs the average salary in the district around $53,000; compare that with $42,000 in Schenectady: average compensation in school districts around the state comes in around $45,000. The Empire Center notes that some districts report salaries paid to part-time and substitute teachers, which would drive down the average pay figures.

The release of the Empire Center study coincides with Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo signaling that he’s willing to cut school aid to localities. Speaking this week at a conference of Hispanic lawmakers in Puerto Rico, Cuomo criticized the high cost of the public education system in New York, and the poor results it produces. New York ranks 40th in graduation rates, but spends more per student than any other state.

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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

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