Denver superintendent to take 10% pay cut as district faces big budget hole

Denver Superintendent Susana Cordova leans down to watch a student work on math problems at Columbine Elementary.
Denver Superintendent Susana Cordova leans down to watch a student work on math problems at Columbine Elementary. (Melanie Asmar/Chalkbeat)

The Denver schools superintendent will take a 10% pay cut next school year to help address an anticipated $61 million budget gap caused by the coronavirus-damaged economy. 

Superintendent Susana Cordova earned $260,000 this year.

Denver Public Schools’ four deputy superintendents will take an average 5% pay cut, and chiefs and other members of the district’s senior leadership team will each take an approximately 2.5% pay cut.

The total savings is anticipated to be more than $100,000 next school year, wrote Mark Ferrandino, deputy superintendent of operations, in a newsletter to district employees Friday.

Denver Public Schools is exploring making drastic cuts to its 2020-21 school year budget to make up for a decrease in state education funding due to plummeting tax revenue.

A district-commissioned budget advisory committee is expected to make recommendations to the school board next week of what to prioritize for cuts. There is a long list of options, including instituting furlough days, delaying curriculum purchases, merging schools, or freezing pay for teachers and low-wage workers such as bus drivers, which has proved unpopular.

The school board must approve a 2020-21 budget this month.

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