West Virginia's New Top Educator Carries High Expectations & A High Salary
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin introduced Michael Martirano to the Mountain State. Martirano has been hired to steer West Virginia`s education system. He will be paid $230,000 a year. "I am passionate about the work that I do," Martirano said. "I am driven to make a difference. And this is a way of life for me in terms of making a difference for young people." State school board members lobbied the legislature to remove caps placed on the state superintendent`s salary, arguing they needed more flexibility to hire the best candidates. Martirano is making $65,000 more a year than his immediate predecessor, and his nearly quarter million dollar a year deal compares favorably to our surrounding states. Here is a look at the numbers: Martirano is taking over a system with 772 schools and 282,000 students. In Kentucky, the superintendent handles more than double the schools and students, and makes $5,000 a year less. Maryland is next on the salary scale, with double the schools in West Virginia and three times the students, the leading educator makes $210,000 a year, $20,000 less than Martirano. Virginia has even more schools and more than a million students, with its top educator making nearly $30,000 less annually than Martirano. Ohio has nearly five times the schools and six times the number of students, but its state superintendent makes only $175,000. And finally, in Pennsylvania, with nearly 3,300 schools and nearly as many students as West Virginia`s total population, the top educator makes about $140,000 a year. "When you`re 48th and 49th for this many years, it`s worth whatever it takes to change that," Gayle Manchin, president of the West Virginia state school board said. Question: For that kind of money you are expecting results? "Absolutely we`re expecting results," Manchin said. "And we`re expecting them with a sense of urgency. Not ten years from now but just as quickly as possible." "And if you heard the press conference that I just talked about," Martirano said. "I talk about fierce urgency. We can`t let another day go by where we`re not doing the very best for the children of West Virginia." Martirano is finishing out his contract and commitments in Maryland. He said he expects to be on the job in West Virginia by mid-September. We would like to know what you think about Martirano`s $230,000 annual salary. Just go to our Facebook page, by clicking here and leave your comment.