Current Events

Dallas Superintendent Mike Moses Resigns, With a Huge Pension

Who is minding the store? Donna Garner wants to know.

Moses' payout detailed
He'll get hefty pension but give up $300,000 by leaving DISD early
By TOYA LYNN STEWART / The Dallas Morning News, July 29, 2004

DISD Superintendent Mike Moses will walk away from the district's top job with $253,000 in unused-vacation pay and retention incentives, but he'll also leave a substantial sum on the table for not serving through the end of his contract.

$253,363.09 final payment

$192,871 part of a retention bonus included in a contract signed in 2002

$60,491 for 40 days of unused vacation time at $1,512.28 per day

$224,000 estimated amount per year he could receive from his pension through the state Teacher Retirement System

The school district said Wednesday that Dr. Moses will have earned nearly $193,000 out of a possible $500,000 in retention bonuses set out in his contract. He also will be reimbursed for 40 days of unused vacation time at about $1,500 per day – about $60,000.

"Dr. Moses repeatedly has said that he has been appreciative of the board and that he hopes his service has been helpful to the community," said spokesman Donald Claxton.

"He also has said that his public service was not about the money – something that's evidenced by the fact that he would have had $300,000 more if he had stayed two more years."

Trustees reviewed and approved the severance package during Monday's board meeting, when they also accepted his resignation, but the district would not disclose the final totals until Wednesday.

Dr. Moses announced two weeks ago that he would leave the $341,775-a-year job Aug. 31. His salary from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31 will be $227,850.

"Knowing what I know and how far this district and this board have come, we are indebted to his service," said board President Lois Parrott. "We cannot put a price tag on kids' lives."

District officials would not discuss Dr. Moses' state pension, but rough calculations indicate he could be eligible for more than $18,700 a month when he retires.

Because Dr. Moses stayed put beyond July 1, 2004, he is vested and entitled to 60 percent of his retention incentives, which accrued at a rate of $100,000 per year. Before July 1, he was 40 percent vested.

DISD trustee Jack Lowe said Dr. Moses' severance package was based on his contract: "No more, no less."

E-mail, July 29, 2004

Mike Moses Resigns

Dr. Mike Moses resigned from the Dallas ISD superintendent's job after July 1, 2004. Undoubtedly he chose that date because of the retirement benefits he will receive. In Texas an educator's retirement benefits are figured on his top three years of service. In this case, Moses' top three years were as the superintendent of the Dallas ISD. (His salary was the highest superintendent's salary in the nation even though there were eleven school districts in the country which were bigger than Dallas ISD.) Moses' retirement benefits will amount to approximately $224,400 per year for the rest of his life.

Today's article also indicates that Moses walked away from Dallas with $480,850 for his work from January 1 - August 31, 2004. Yet Moses is quoted in the article as indicating his public service "was not about the money."

Perhaps I need to give people a basis of comparison. I taught as a Texas classroom teacher for over 27 years (retired several years ago) and made less than $36,000 a year at the time I retired. I presently draw $1,693.16 per month from the Texas Retirement System.

Does Mike Moses work that much harder as a superintendent than the typical dedicated classroom teacher works? That is the question which the Legislature and local school boards need to answer.

Donna Garner