The newly created Chief Area Officer positions at CPS will each earn about $151,000 per year, according to documents from the school district. For the nine previous Area Instructional Officers who will slide into the new roles, that’s no change in salary, but some CPS administrators will get raises of as much as 43 percent.
The new positions replace the existing Area Instructional Officer structure. The new officers will be responsible for geographic clusters of elementary schools or high schools, meeting regularly with principals to share performance data, CPS has said. One officer will be responsible for overseeing all special education programs.
The new positions were approved in a unanimous vote at Wednesday night’s Board of Education meeting and without any public discussion. Though two reporters asked for the list of officers at the end of that meeting, Board Secretary Estela Beltran said she could not immediately hand over that information because the board reports had not been finalized with internal tracking numbers.
Beltran provided the reports this morning, more than 36 hours after the end of the meeting. Beltran did not immediately return a call this morning seeking comment.
The biggest raises for new area officers are those administrators who held very different positions previously.
A senior instruction and assessment manager, Akeshia Craven, is getting a 43 percent raise after previously making $105,000.
Curriculum director Shawn Smith, who made $115,000, is getting a 31 percent raise.
Melissa Megliola, the officer of Autonomous Management and Performance Schools, is getting a 20 percent raise over her previous $125,500 salary, though her title is not changing.
In total, the salaries of the 21 area officers, plus the AMPS officer, will be $3.3 million per year.
Jackson Potter, the co-chair of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators, says the pay is too high for positions that in the past have done too little to help teachers and schools.
“This type of institutional mechanism of CAOs or AIOs, whatever you want to call them, is really insufficient in assisting in creating better models for schooling,” Potter says.