National School Boards Association pays executives hundreds of thousands of dollars
The president of the non-profit National School Boards Association has a problem with profit in public education.
In a blog post written for the Washington Post, David Pickler, president of the NSBA, wrote that for-profit school enterprises "want to make big profits on the backs of our nation's most vulnerable children."
In doing so, Pickler became one of many spokespeople for traditional public schools who demonized for-profit groups that want to provide parents an option in education.
But the idea of profiting in education doesn't seem to be a problem at Pickler's own organization.
The NSBA paid former Executive Director Ann Bryant $466,750 in total compensation from 2009-10 through 2011-12, according to reports it filed with the IRS. Bryant announced she was stepping down in the fall of 2012.
The group's reports also show that in 2010-11, the NSBA paid part-time executives $420,450 and $347,028 in total compensation for putting in an estimated 20 hours a week.
Pickler didn't respond to a request for comment. The NSBA responded to questions about its compensation practices by referring to its 990 reports it files with the IRS.
Mike Reno, a former school board member with Rochester Community Schools, said it was a bit disingenuous for the NSBA to complain about other entities profiting from public education.
"There is a whole alphabet soup of these guys that suck money out of the public education system," Reno said. "They are advocating to maintain the monopoly on public education."
The NSBA represents state associations of school boards, such as the Michigan Association of School Boards. The NSBA had $20.6 million in total revenue in 2011-12, the most recent year of IRS filings available. It generates $17.2 million of its revenue from national conferences it puts on for educators by charging as much as $945 to attend.