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On Aug. 22 the District 65 School Board voted, 4-3, to increase Superintendent Hardy Murphy’s compensation by increasing the amount paid by the District toward a retirement annuity from an amount equal to 15% of his salary to 18.5% of his salary. The increase amounts to about $7,500 a year.

Dr. Murphy’s total compensation including a base salary of $214,115, a housing stipend of $25,000, a pension contribution of $22,215, and an annuity contribution of $39,611, will total about $300,000.

Pat Markham, Communications Director and School Board Secretary, told the RoundTable that Dr. Murphy’s last salary increase was for 3.5% in December, 2008. Payments toward an annuity equal to 7.5% of Dr. Murphy’s salary started in 2007-08, and were increased to 15% in 2008-09.  

Board members Eileen Budde, Richard Rykhus and Tracy Quattrocki voted “no” on the increase, citing difficult financial issues facing the District. Ms. Budde said the Board would be asking the District’s employees to hold the line on salary increases, and she thought it should start at the top. Mr. Rykhus said Dr. Murphy’s compensation was toward the top of 15 school districts that he examined – “where we should be” – but cited projected shortfalls in the projected budgets.

Katie Bailey, Andy Piggozi, Jerome Summers and Kim Weaver supported the increase, saying Dr. Murphy has met and exceeded the Board’s performance expectations, and he has not received a salary increase for three years.

Larry Gavin

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...