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Teachers, parents raise concerns about $1.7 million given to Buckeye superintendent

The Buckeye Education Association has gathered more than 500 signatures, calling for Wilson’s resignation.
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 5:55 PM MST
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BUCKEYE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Arizona Auditor’s Office released a report stating that from 2016 to 2021, the Buckeye Elementary School District paid Dr. Kristi Wilson more than $1.7 million in additional compensation.

It’s money that was not listed on the superintendent’s employment records and far surpassed the compensation given to the superintendents in Arizona’s three largest school districts over the same time period.

1st-grade teacher Maria Moreno is president of the Buckeye Education Association. She said with schools struggling to make ends meet; their superintendent should not be paid so much money.

“I think we all just felt very betrayed in a sense because we believed there was no money for raises, yet she was getting a very good compensation package, compared to teachers and staff in the district,” said Moreno.

The Buckeye Education Association has gathered more than 500 signatures, calling for Wilson’s resignation. “It feels like they lied to us,” said Moreno. “It could have been money given to teachers. Instead of 1 percent raise, it could have been 2-percent or a 3-percent raise.”

Arizona’s Family reached out to the superintendent and school board for comment and were sent this statement that read in part:

“We strongly disagree” with the Arizona Auditor General’s findings that were based on a “legal and public” agreement between the board and Dr. Wilson.

This is not money that went directly into Dr. Wilson’s pockets. It was a payroll deduction that was sent directly to the Arizona State Retirement System.

The board firmly believes Dr. Wilson has more than earned the salary she has been granted.”

The board president added that the compensation for Wilson is similar to what other school districts offer and is a needed incentive to attract and retain quality leadership.