At least 45 New Orleans charter executives earned more than $100,000 in 2012, with Kathy Riedlinger of Lusher topping the list, according to a report in New Orleans CityBusiness. Almost all of the city’s public schools are now charters, which are independently run but publicly funded.
The figures come from IRS filings. Looking at the total compensation package, Riedlinger earned more than $316,306 that year. More than $80,000 of that was other compensation, not salary. Next on the list was Mickey Landry, chief executive of Choice Foundation, who earned $258,007. Doris Hicks, leader of Friends of King Schools, was third at $182,073.
Marvin Thompson, principal of Future Is Now’s charter program at John McDonogh High, earned $150,000. The school earned an F that year on the state report card.
Of the executives who made the $100,000 cut, the lowest-paid leader of a multi-school group appeared to be Adrian Morgan of the Algiers Charter School Association, who was out-earned by his chief financial officer.
Riedlinger and Landry also topped the Times-Picayune’s salaries list in 2008-09, but their compensation seems to have risen substantially since then: Riedlinger’s salary at that time was $203,559, not counting a possible $10,000 bonus, and Landry’s was $186,000. The Times-Picayune noted that Riedlinger earned $91,488 as Lusher’s principal in 2004, including stipends. At that time, Lusher was still run directly by the Orleans Parish School Board, which employed Riedlinger as a principal.