Even though Saint Louis City superintendent Kelvin Adams runs the biggest and most challenging school district in the area, his contract pays much less than several superintendents from smaller, far more stable districts. His base salary is $225,000, and Dr. Adams, like district employees, took five furlough days. Those unpaid days off amount to a five percent pay cut. Dr. Adams has the most comprehensive list of duties and responsibilities that I have seen on a superintendent's contract.
The duties identify twelve major areas, including developing a "Comprehensive School Improvement Plan" to present to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The St. Louis City district is now a "transitional" district overseen by a three person board appointed by the Governor. The chronic problems of poor academic performance, low attendance and shrinking enrollment are identified in the superintendent's contract. Dr. Adams can get a $5,000 bonus for each 2% increase in attendance per school year, and an additional $5,000 for each 1% increase per year with a maximum bonus of $10,000 per year. He can also earn a $5,000 bonus for increasing enrollment by 1,000 students. The maximum bonus for increasing attendance is $10,000 per year. According to district spokesman Patrick Wallace, Dr. Adams has not received a bonus since he signed his contract two years ago.
Dr. Adams receives the same health related and vacation benefits given to all district employees, according to his contract. He may receive a "Terminal Retirement Benefit." This benefit pays Dr. Adams 5% of his base pay for every month he works in the district if "the Superintendent's retirement benefits do not fully vest due to the failure of the Superintendent or the SAB (Special Administrative Board) to extend his contract...." So, if Dr. Adams doesn't get another contract, the district could owe him a goodbye check of about $34,000.