Philly schools chief declines $60K bonus

 Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Philadelphia’s Superintendent of public schools, William Hite, is declining to accept a salary bonus, saying it’s not suitable amid the district’s financial struggles.

Hite was eligible for a $60,000 bonus under the terms of his contract.

Hite makes $300,000 a year for overseeing the city’s school district, which is grappling with an upcoming $80 million deficit.

Hite hasn’t taken a pay increase since he took the school district’s top job in 2012. He says, essentially, it’s just bad form.

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“We’ve been struggling for the past three years. Everybody is making sacrifices,” Hite said. “Teachers haven’t had a raise, or step increase, in quite a few years. I just don’t think it’s appropriate to be discussing a bonus. It’s not a publicity stunt.”

Hite was entitled to a bonus after a favorable performance review by the School Reform Commission.

Since leading the district, Hite’s closed dozens of low-performing schools, converting some of them to charters. But he has also strictly regulated the growth of new charter schools.

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