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.

“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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