Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña retired from the department she now runs in 2006 after four decades as a teacher, principal and superintendent with a pension worth $199,579 per year. Now that she’s back in the department as its chancellor, she’s also receiving the salary that goes with her position.
When added together, that means Fariña is making more than her boss, Mayor de Blasio.
When combined with the $212,614 salary the schools chancellor gets, it means she takes home nearly twice the $225,000 amount the mayor makes, but he doesn’t appear to have a problem with that.
“She’s earned her pension, and she’s worth every dime of her salary,” Phil Walzak, a spokesman for de Blasio, told the New York Post.
Fariña’s salary is the same as her predecessor Dennis Walcott, but lower than the $250,000 that was given to former chancellor Joel Klein and offered to his successor Cathie Black, though she left office after only three months.
Fariña’s contract also allows her to opt out of benefits and receive a $1,000 bonus. Her pension already offers her benefits.
Under state law, retired members of the NYC Teachers Retirement System under age 65 need a special waiver if they return to public service and are paid more than $30,000, but since Fariña is 70 years old, she doesn’t fall into that category.
Fariña was appointed by de Blasio to be schools chancellor only two days before he was inaugurated as mayor. She took office Jan. 1. She is the first chancellor since the 1990s to not need a waiver from the state Department of Education. Her predecessors — Walcott, Black and Klein — did not have a superintendent’s license, required under state law. Fariña was a superintendent in Brooklyn from 2001 through 2004, when she became a deputy chancellor under Klein.