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Mayor Kasim Reed: Money available to double Atlanta school chief’s salary

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said Wednesday he has raised money from the business community to more than double the salary of the city’s next superintendent to around $600,000.

Reed, speaking to students at Morehouse College, said he has a certain type of candidate in mind: someone with a stellar track record who is nearing retirement and would be enticed by the money and the opportunity to bring an education team to Atlanta.

“We are going to recruit a superintendent like we would recruit the head of football at the University of Georgia,” he said.

A position profile calls for the superintendent to be paid between $275,000 and $325,000.

Atlanta Board of Education Chairman Reuben McDaniel said Wednesday that the public should pay the superintendent’s salary.

“Our general rule of thumb will be that the superintendent of the school system will be paid from general funds. If there are extenuating circumstances … we will look at alternatives,” McDaniel said. “I don’t think we will need to go outside our salary range to find that superintendent.”

But Reed said additional money may be necessary to attract the talent needed to turn around the troubled school system.

“The superintendent we want probably isn’t thinking about us,” he said.

If a candidate for superintendent were less than 10 years from retirement “and somebody told me they’d pay me $600,000 and let me bring my friends, I’d probably give it a try,” he said.

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