|Mississippi Fat Cat Report 2022 Published –
Who are the state’s highest-paid officials?
(Jackson, MS): The Mississippi Center for Public Policy released its annual Fat Cat Report this week, providing the public with a list of the state’s highest-paid officials.
The superintendent of the Jackson Public School District (20,401 students) makes a higher salary than Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves (population of 3 million), according to a new report published by the Mississippi Center for Public Policy.
The Mississippi Fat Cat report, an annual overview of the highest-paid public officials in the state, published today, shows that Mississippi’s “Fat Cats” are getting fatter and receiving large pay increases. While JPS consistently remains a D-rated school district, its superintendent continues to receive pay increases. This year alone the superintendent received a 31-percent raise, amounting to $225,000 per year, making him the eighth highest paid official in the state.
“The public has a right to know how public money gets spent,” explained Douglas Carswell, President and CEO of the MCPP. “Our report shows that salaries for top public officials in our state are rising fast. The Fat Cats are getting fatter.”
Mississippi’s 50 highest-paid Fat Cats make more than America’s 50 state governors. More Fat Cats means fewer nurses, teachers and police officers, and these high-paid officials are largely unaccountable, with only four of the 50 being elected. School district superintendents dominate this Fat Cat list.
Of the 50 highest-paid public officials, 26 are school superintendents, many of which are from central Mississippi. Claiborne County School District’s superintendent saw a 61-percent salary increase from last year, growing from $125,000 to a little over $200,000. While some superintendents oversee thousands of students and carry out demanding tasks, Claiborne County has an F rating with only 1,326 students.
While the superintendents of A-rated districts such as Madison County School District, Pearl Public School District and Rankin County School District received 8-percent, 19-percent and 7-percent increases respectively, the superintendent of C-rated Hinds County School District gained a 24-percent raise and D-rated Meridian Public School District earned a 21-percent raise.
Several state officials saw increases as well, such as the Public Relations Team Lead for the Department of Education who received a 128-percent raise, amounting to yearly pay of $160,425, and the Executive Director of the Department of Transportation who makes $183,000, a 45-percent increase from last year.
To combat the excessive spending, MCPP listed several policy proposals in its report to hold public officials accountable, including legislative-approved salary increases, salary formulas for superintendents, amending the Mississippi code and capping public sector pay to that below the governor’s pay.
“In summary, the report shows that government waste does not happen in a vacuum,” Carswell said. “An overpaid bureaucrat is ultimately feeding off the pocketbooks of citizens. It’s time to put the Mississippi Fat Cats on a diet of lower salaries so that taxpayer dollars can be protected from waste.”
A link to the report can be found below.