NewsLocal News


BPS superintendent proposing hefty pay raises for top administrative leaders, board tables vote until next year

kriner cash -2 .jpeg
Posted at 6:35 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 23:51:59-05

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash is proposing some hefty pay raises for top administrative leaders in the city district.

Dr. Cash is proposing pay raises for 30 district administrators, ranging between 6% to 40%, but on Wednesday evening, the Buffalo Public School Board tabled the vote.

The raises were supposed to go into effect in January. Now, the school board will bring the issue back up on January 5, 2022 in an executive session.

“I don’t want it kicked and then abandoned," Dr. Cash said. "It needs to stay alive, it needs to stay fluid."

The superintendent says the district sits at the bottom of other big five districts in the state for cabinet member pay.

He issued a proposal to Buffalo Board of Education members that lists the names 30-district employees he believes should receive a pay raise.

The leader of a Buffalo parent group says they just learned about this Friday.

“We were not engaged in this discussion at all. No one ever asked us,” remarked Wendy Mistretta, president, District Parent Coordinating Council.

“Is this the right time for the district to do this?” Buckley asked Mistretta.

Wendy Mistretta, president, District Parent Coordinating Council.

“That is exactly the issue — is why now? To me there's basically three issues; one, where is the input? Two, where's the funding coming from and three, what does this have to do with student outcome?” Minstretta responded.

But in making his case for to spend about $600,000 in proposed pay raises, the superintendent wrote in the proposal the district is “good standing’, unlike seven years ago when many schools were in state receivership.

The superintendent says under his administration the district's graduation rate has climbed for 48% in 2014 to over 76%.

Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash.

Cash also states in the proposal the district is now in the “best financial condition ever” with a fund balance of more than $300-million.

Cash also wrote "we must keep our ‘irreplacealbes’” and “they are the future of the district”.

“In all the discussions I have with all parents and all the students, never once has the suggestion been — ‘oh, we need to pay our highest level administrators more money',” replied Mistretta.

The 30-employees named in the proposal include nine associate superintendents, like Fatima Morrell, association superintendent for culturally and linguistically responsive initiatives. Under the proposal she would get a $35,000 pay raise.

The district’s Chief Technology Officer Myra Burden would receive a $30,000 raise.

Cash says funding for the pay raises would come from the federal American Rescue Plan of more than $300-million.

But Mistretta says that funding is designed to directly support students.

"We don't know enrollments. We don't know current graduation rates. We know we're having a huge issue with suspensions,”described Mistretta.

20 of the 30 top district employees already earn over $100,000 a year.

Mistretta says the proposed $600,000 in pay increases should be spent on hiring more school aides for city classrooms.

“That's about a building worth of aides — if you look at it that way, they could hire about 24, 25 aides into our buildings or bring in social workers or other counselors or tutors or after school programs,” Mistretta noted.

Superintendent Cash's proposal for pay raises.

The superintendent said his district leaders pay is at the bottom of other Big Five districts:


  • New York City $221,070 
  • Mount Vernon $187,587 
  • Yonkers $185,489
  •  Rochester $176,287 
  • Albany $173,615 
  • Syracuse $160,836 
  • Buffalo $147,796

The superintendent said with the pay raises the district would move to the middle:


  •  New York City $221,070
  •  Mount Vernon $187,587 
  • Yonkers $185,489 
  • BUFFALO (PROPOSED) $174,118 
  • Albany $173,615 
  • Rochester $164,777 
  • Syracuse $160,836