School Board Approves Raise For Duncanville Superintendent

By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News

DUNCANVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) – Duncanville school board trustee Dorothy Wolverton called it one of the most disappointing votes in her 10 years on the board: Late last month, the superintendent got the OK on a 16.5 percent salary increase, despite the district’s likelihood of facing a $6 million shortfall.

“I’m very frustrated,” Wolverton said. “I feel like I’m completely ineffective now.”

During a special meeting on Feb. 21 – and with little notice – the Duncanville school board voted to raise superintendent Dr. Alfred Ray‘s base salary from $197,415 to $230,000 a year.

The vote was five to two with Wolverton and fellow trustee Dr. Deborah Harris voting a resounding ‘no.’

“I pleaded with the board,” Wolverton said. “Please don’t do this. This is not the right time.”

The state’s massive deficit will likely leave the Duncanville Independent School District with a $6 million shortfall for the 2011 – 2012 school year. Estimates from third-party firms put that number at $10 million.

“We knew that there were going to be some tough times ahead,” Wolverton said.

Louis McElroy, Duncanville school board president, spoke on behalf of the five trustees who voted for the salary increase. McElroy said the board did not authorize a pay raise. Instead, it simply restructured the superintendent’s contract for a job well done.

“Due to his good judgment and frugal fiscal policies, our district is prepared to weather the severe monetary and policy hits from the decline in the state’s budget,” McElroy said.

Ray said he sees no problem with the approved changes to his contract.

“The board has discussed using this as another opportunity to restructure it, but it’s totally not a salary increase,” Ray said. “It is merely a restructuring of what was already committed by the tax payers of this district.”

Ray’s current contract allows for the board to vote every year on performance bonuses and longevity incentives. This new restructuring does away with those bonuses and incentives and replaces them with a straight pay raise of more than $32,000.

Ray said it works out to be the same in the end and at no cost to the taxpayers.

But Harris said whether it’s a bonus, an incentive or a pay-raise, it still sends the wrong message.

“Even though our superintendent has done a good job, if we could afford to give him a raise, then I would be that,” Harris said. “But right now, it’s just totally the wrong time.”

District spokeswoman Tammy Kuykendall said Duncanville ISD has cut $10 million over the past four years and yet, despite those efforts, the state is likely to leave the district $6 million in the hole.

“It doesn’t look like responsible use of taxpayer funds,” Harris said.

Kuykendall said no teachers will be laid off, but the defecit may lead to cuts in other programs. Meanwhile, Ray has not signed off on the contract. He said he plans to look it over before taking any action.

Under his current contract, Ray also receives a $700 monthly car allowance and a phone allowance of $200.


One Comment

  1. Paul Wei says:

    Just another body-body system. The School will be perfectly OK without this school board.

    1. gwen smith says:

      Where is the list of the pay of all the suprintendent’s. I would like to see their pay, their bonus and the extra money they recieve.

  2. Tom says:

    This principal should take a voluntary pay cut in a time of financial crisis.Instead he accepts this pay increase then goes on the air to show that he’s a smartass too!

    1. Isis says:

      not a principal… superintendent get it right.

  3. Ingrid Baeten Masogayo says:

    Seriously! What a bunch of idiots.

  4. KEN MITCHELL says:


  5. Dallas Mom says:

    I hope he sleeps well at night knowing that he reduced teachers jobs and our children will suffer the most. His wallet gets bigger and our children do without. Who ever approved this should be fired as well. Shame, share. What a selfish excuse of an Education Super……I hope he loses that big salary and is on the picket lines with the rest of the displaced teachers. Yet, he doesn’t deserve to stand next to them………

    1. Ann M. says:

      DiVille Super and the Board has done a great job saving the district money. The money that he is getting was already set a side and planned for. He should sleep well at night and not have a need to be in a soup line. Duncanville ISD is intact Super, Board, Teachers, facility staff and most of all the STUDENTS. If he give it all back, or 1/2 or keep it all is up to him. But, I beleive her cares about our students and knows it he keep the money that is already his it should be ok. Duncanville ISD will not go broke and I believe we are not in the red. I believe the Super and Board will continue to serve our district well.

  6. Duncan Ville says:

    Watch the unedited video of the interview.

    1. It is about the kids says:

      Does this guy think we are stupid! He is saying the tax payers owe him the 30% increase. I find it mind boggling that he continued to argue with the reporter when it is clear that he would only get the incentives and annuities IF the school board voted to give it to him. Unfortunately, 5 members gave him a $32,000 raise at a time when Texas schools are in crisis and his defensive attitude is shameful!

    2. It is about the kids! says:

      So, the super is saying according to his contract he is owed the $32,000 in bonuses and annuities, instead the school board voted he would get it all as salary. The reporter did an excellent job on explaining the super’s “spin” on what really happened. Too bad this part of the interview didn’t air last night. It made it clear to me that the school board had the choice to vote for or against a bonus and annuity whether it be restructured as salary or not. The super’s defensive attitude it very telling, he doesn’t appear the least bit embarrassed and will never turn down the overly generous raise no matter what. This is greed at it’s worse!

  7. Debbie McAllister says:

    I cannot believe, with the shortfall of all schools, that the school board actually had the audacity to even think on voting in favor of this raise. If he cannot live comfortably on what he makes, I feel sorry for him. With all the teachers and aides going to be out of a job, I hope he can breathe well and sleep well at night. HIS students will be suffering because of teacher losses. I pity him and the school board that voted for the increase. Call it what you want, pay raise or “restructuring” of his salary…it still is an increase! AND it does take away from his students education!

  8. TLP says:

    OMG !!! What is wrong with this picture, schools & our children are suffering and some guy gets a raise ???? All the big people who like to sit behind big desks and really try to look important get all the raises…. Lets fire teachers close schools so that some one can get a big raise, that amount of money is more than what some judges make….The ones who really do all the work never get the help or raise that they deserve. IF these people care about children then take a BIG cut in pay !!!

  9. fred says:

    That is WAY too much money for someone that actually does no real work.

  10. An angry taxpayer says:

    The State Board of Education needs to weigh in this matter, and demote this bum.

    1. Dale Joneson says:

      Dale Joneson
      There has got to be a cap on school superintendents saleries, benefits and staff. That cap should be $100,000 a year. These government people need to be brought back to reality.

      1. Dale Joneson says:

        So why wasn’t anyone worried when these schools (palaces) were being built? Each with sport venues that rivals JJ & the Bots!

      2. Isis says:

        He is not a government employee. That is a misconception. NO employee in the PUBLIC school system is employed by the state. The average in Texas is 105,000. There are schools with fewer students and lower performance ratingw where the superintendent makes much more.

  11. saddened tax payer says:

    wow! 16% raise. i barely get a 2% raise when i mark up as excellent in my performance reviews. he should take a personal finance class if he doesn’t know how to live comfortably on $197K plus. i pray for the kids and the teachers; the ones that deserve the money.

  12. David says:

    Good Lord, who else is getting a 16.5% raise in this economy? These imbeciles are running the school system and planning the education of our children, but aren’t smart enough to see this as the travesty it is? They should fire the four morons involved and make the dissenters Superintendent and head of the board. It’s one thing not to have a conscience, but no conscience and no brain is a terrible combination.

  13. Joey G. Dauben says:

    The Duncanville school board had a great conservative trustee in Cynthia Werner, but voters tossed her last year. I’m thinking Werner needs to run again for the school board. It’s worse on the Duncanville City Council though. Both entities cross-breed politically-speaking.

  14. Ann says:

    Thank you, CBSDFW for a great report! I also congratulate the two school board members who voted against giving a raise to the superintendent, instead Wolverton and Harris did their job and voted for the children of the Duncanville school district.
    Missing from this report was information on why this super deserved a huge raise. I only heard that he had been fiscally responsible and therefore deserved it. The president (McElroy) claimed it had been a restructuring of his pay and defended his vote for the super’s raise–how does that make sense?
    I question why did only two members do the right thing–why on earth would any responsible individual give any raise at a time when Texas education is in a financial crisis.
    Is this the end of this story? Will this superintendent turn down this outrageous raise or will he take it for himself while he lays off teachers, librarians and close school. I hope, for the sake of the children of Duncanville, that there is more investigation on this story.

    1. Isis says:

      NO teachers are being laid off in Duncanville. He was going to get this money anyway. They simply restructured it and that was not handled in the right way.

    2. Carmk2002 says:

      He saved the school approximately $24 million dollars. They did this because the staff agreed not to get raises for a number of years in order to avoid layoffs and guess what…..they will still be employed because of the frugal nature of the superientendent.

  15. CLF says:

    I don’t live in Duncanville but I find this “raise” outrageous! Who in the world ever gets a 16.5% raise in pay…when teachers are being asked to take an early retirement or are just being laid off. Apparently this Superintendent needs to do the right thing and “give back” that “adjustment” to his salary ….he needs to learn to live on his $197,000+…I work in graduate education for the State of Texas and haven’t had even a 3% raise or “adjustment” to my salary. I have to live on what I make currently and so should he!

  16. Rick McDaniel says:

    That’s obscene!

    No one in this country, should be getting more than 3.5 %, on ANY job!

  17. Alice says:

    To all the Supers that have taken raises, SHAME ON YOU,and SHAME on the board for voting yes so you can afford family trips that most of us only dream of having. How much are they getting that is behind closed doors. What kind of people do we have speaking on behalf of the education our chldren are getting.

  18. pam says:

    Amen, Dallas mom Cut out his big pay Give it back to the school and let him live on a budget.

  19. D O Sifford says:

    Restructure his Contract ? And People believe this manure ?

  20. shadeofafreeway says:

    All the screaming aside, my understanding is that this man has saved the Duncanville ISD, and therefore the STATE, many millions of dollars. So why bother with the raise? Why not just move him to a government post in Austin and let his brilliance fix the situation we are in? He’s the man, right?

    1. Ann M. says:

      It seems that the Super was going to recieve the money anyway. The teachers jobs are not at a lost.and the students will continue to recieve a great education. Because of plans made early on Duncanville ISD is not in the fix that other districts are in. There is nothing wrong with the Super having a dime so to speek raise. If something is voted on by the board there is nothing wrong or underhanded about fulfilling to obligation of what is due. Since it has been brought to the publics attention what his salary is many think it so wrong for him to make somuch. It is not a question of if he can live on his current salary but, the job comes with a pay and raises that has been set aside for the job leave it along let the Super have it … well I guess it depened on who you are if the amount is OK.

  21. Michelle says:

    IF this man had any compassion for the teachers of this state he would take a reasonable Salary give and give back to those teachers who are responsible for OUR childrens future. Who gets a $700 car allowance and a $200 car allowance? What is wrong with this picture.

  22. Michelle says:

    OI I was just so upset by this I couldn’t even type! I meant $200 phone allowance……

  23. Homer Fincannon says:

    What a happy face, what a nice pay hike, while others are laid-off.The citizens of Duncanville desires more from their Chamber backed money hunger Duncanville Superintendent and also the City of Duncanville City Manager, both fat cats now drooling while drawing over $200,000.00 a year. In the meantime your home values are going to H’ in a hand basket. If you call that pack of brown nosei School Board and City Council, minus a few or a single on the Council. I’am mad as H’ and won’t take this lying down. Where’s my candiidate sign-up packet.

  24. NOBAMA 12 says:

    LOL, People read his contract, he was going to get this money anyways. The same board members who voted no on the “raise” also voted to give him the money last year and the year before. All this vote did was simply add it into his paycheck and take away the “Good Work” title of it! He isn’t making anymore than he made last year! I hate to say it but all of ya’ll are naive idiots who believe what ever the media spins and throws at you! If you did a little digging your self you’d see how well off Duncanville ISD is right now. In fact if I’m not mistaken they have on the best fiscal plans in the state and are also going to be budgeting to give teachers raises! NAIVE IDIOTS!

    1. Ann says:

      Raises??? To teachers! Give me a break. The only getting a raise is the super.
      Naive? you have got to be kidding. This is not the media talking-there are two school board members (one who has been on the board for 10 years) who voted against giving a raise at this time. They do have an understanding that this is an increase in salary at a very bad time. You cannot blame this on the media–if you would take the time to go to school board meetings you would have heard some of the discussions about this raise–also, it is public record.

      1. JDsmith says:

        Actually, if my math is right, he will be making less money restructuring his paycheck this way than he made last year! Good lord all these people (CBS including) are ridiculous.

      2. Ann says:

        Oh no, I am not the naive idiot here. If you look at the timing of the WFAA report it was most likely aired after the superintendent and board became aware of the Channel 11 story. I think it is likely that the superintendent and board rushed to put out the WFAA report to CYA.
        However, whether or not the information the superintendent provided to WFAA is accurate or not, the issue isn’t about his ability to do his job, it is about taking a 16.5% raise at a time when our ISD is facing a 6 million dollar (who knows–maybe more) cut back. No one is saying he is not a good superintendent, only that he should consider a freeze or a salary cut during a time of crisis.

  25. devoted2 kids says:

    You didn’t report that Duncanville ISD also has saved millions of dollars in being energy efficient in heating and cooling, Solar power energy, and LED lighting! You didnt state that the Education Reseach Group just ranked Duncanville Number One in the State for financial performance.
    You also didn’t state that teachers declined a pay raise to save money two years ago! You should write positve thngs here at Duncanville!

    1. Ann says:

      I listened to the report on CBS and the unedited version on Youtube. I did not hear one disparaging word against Duncanville nor did I hear the reporter imply or state that the Superintendent had not done a great job. It was clear the reporter was discussing the super’s pay raise and nothing else. There are a lot of supporters of the superintendent posting comments here. They are trying to change the subject (of the pay raise) and make it appear the reporter’s intention was something other than what it was. This report is not about how saving money or installing solar power energy lighting–it IS about a superintendent receiving a 16.5% increase in salary in a financial crisis. Regardless, of whether or not he has saved money for Duncanville, there is a tough road ahead for our schools and we may see a cut of 6 million or more in the coming year-even though we dont see layoffs coming, we cannot predict that it wont be necessary. There are too many unknowns. IF the Superintendent is so fiscally responsible, he would offer to take a pay freeze or a cut for this year, until the crisis has passed. This is not a time to be increasing salary. And for all of those who say this is a restructuring–we all know that the board has to vote on bonuses every year and it is not automatic. The board could have voted not to give an increase for now.

  26. LANE says:

    Truthfully hats off to the board members that voted NO…. we as parents and tax payers need to take a good look at….the good job of the Superintendents.. Really…. compare the rate in which the average senior from these highly overpaid superintendent districts, go on to college… on college level Reading, Math and Science. As a college Admissions Advisor there are more and more students coming to us who are unable to complete simple entrance exams, or have scored so low on their SAT, ACT that the student must take remedial reading or math before continuing on to regular college courses….. yet this man as many before him stand to put a price tag on what he has done to improve the academic body…. Job well done. .

    1. Clever Journalism.. but says:

      Lane, I will have to agree, parents and tax payers need to take a good look at this and when they do, they will see that this story is just that “a story”. Go to and get the real story. Duncanville is in a great position. The restructure of this contract is not a 16.5% raise, and moreover this restructure is good for the future of the District. As a college instructor I see many students not able complete sentences, but being a parent of a Duncanville student, I see the commitment from the teachers and administration. This is a good district people.. this statement is further supported by the position the District is in having to face the shortfall of the state. Check out the real story..

  27. L. Steele says:

    If you want to see what their salaries have been go to:
    The state publishes it. It does not show you the perks, like car/phone/travel allowances. Those perks and more are standard for superintendents. What I find hard to swallow is how some of them get over $100,000 for fewer than 1,000 students. It looks to me as if the district decided to make most of his perks part of his salary, and no longer ‘hidden’. Now he has to pay taxes on it, but he also gets it even if he no longer saves the district money. He is probably right – most likely his original contract said he would get that money, just not as part of his reported salary.
    I too, work in public education, and I did not see a raise last year. I am currently working to find a non-educational job because I don’t want to be one of the proposed 100,000 unemployed come this May. I refuse to just wait until June to see if my district will find the funds to give me another contract next year. I will tell the students I work with that I won’t be there to help them understand concepts they need to prepare for college (and state testing) the last week of school.

  28. baffledbeyondbelief says:

    What in Gods name is going on here? The “supers” position is nothing more than a bean counter. Hire an accounting firm, it would probably save $. Slice it, dice it and serve it anyway you want, it is an ABSURDITY that he or any one get a 16.5% raise/restructure. If he has saved the district millliions of $ over the years, then he DID HIS JOB. Using the excuse that the taxpayers commited to it? Really? Think again, the taxpayers committed to EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN. Am I wrong, but wasn’t the lottery voted in because it was suppose to fund education? Where is that $, or what “super” was paid with the funding?

  29. TiredofDumbBoardMembers says:

    Unbelievable! Our children are going to be in overcrowded classrooms, tenured teachers that have dedicated their life to our kids are being pretty much forced to retire, newer teachers are underpaid and will probably be laid off, programs are being cut, and an administrator gets a 16.5% increase? Those $$ would pay for another teacher, help keep a front line teacher, or help bring a few teachers above the poverty line. I understand that he has done tremendous things for this district, but isn’t that what he is paid all that money to do? Everyone deserves pay raises, but when the people on your front lines can’t even get a cost of living increase and may not have jobs in a few months…..well, you get my point. Sounds like it’s time to get rid of some IDIOT school board members. I would be ashamed to have been a board member that voted for this pay raise.

  30. Real Talk Texas says:

    Let`s look at it like this,if the district gave anyone a contract and you performed up to it and than beyoud ,that contract that you signed would give you a bonus for going above your duties,who here would not want that money,serisouly,it`s easy to talk negative about this when you aren`t the person putting in the work,long hours,etc,it seems that the district is much improved under his leadership,so you say don`t honor your contracts,what does that say to the kids,”go to school,work hard ,get your education,get a good job,do your work well ,”than let your bosses srew you over for doing it WELLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Isis says:

    What does being black have to do with anything? Most superintendents in Texas are not minorities. Do the research before making blanket statements. Also the board is not black and Duncanville does not only have black students.

  32. Shaundra says:

    WAKE UP, DALLAS!! 54% of the Duncanville ISD students live in Dallas!
    Two of the school board members who voted to give this superintendent the hefty 16.5% raise are up for election this year and no one is running against them. The deadline for filing to run in this election is March 14, 2011–9 days from today. We are not going to see change to wasteful spending unless we see new members on our school board. Our children’s future is in the hands of decision makers that don’t always have their best interest at heart, let’s make sure we have the right people making those decisions!

    1. Clever Journalism.. but says:

      But Shaundra, there is no 16.5% raise.. check out the facts, for real.

      It is too funny that you say wasteful spending yet without the Superintendent (and Dr. Ray is a great one, trust me) our children would suffer….

      Dallas ISD for example.. sorry

      1. shaundra says:

        Spin, spin, spin…

    2. Ann M. says:

      I your percentages are correct 54% of DiVille students live in dallas, look at the school in dallas is there a wonder why? We already have a board and Super that is and have saved the district money why would any one want to change and get new board members if all think there is a crisis ahead?!! This raise will break the district nor cause teacher layoffs or decrease student education. I seems that if the board has planned for the increase they did good planning because the money is already available and set aside. Lets not encourage the Super to give it back. lets encourage the Board and the Super to look at saving the district over these next years. the funds for our district will continue to get better even while other districts may not. How about DeVille ISD have a conference to show other districts how its done!!

  33. Wait Just a Minute! says:

    Let me get this straight, He comes in four years ago. Begins a slash and burn campaign to cut expenses (About the same time as the idiots in Austin set this budget fiasco in motion) and for saw this impending budget doom. Then the school district is over 50% recognized and exemplary. The state cuts funding BUT DUNCANVILLE ISD doesn’t cut a single classroom position, AND YOU ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT HIM?? Shut up and move to D’ville where we get people in place who actually PLAN AHEAD! I am just worried that Dallas will scoop him up to solve their problems! Quit dogging the guy, he didn’t ask for the raise, they gave it too him to reward him for getting us ready for this mess!

  34. Clever Journalism.. but says:

    Clever journalism channel 11 but here is the real story….

    What is not shown here is that he was guaranteed the raise last year. The superintendent gets the raise that was given to ALL employees the year before. He is saying that the tax payers agreed to this increase in 2009-2010. So again he is getting the Raise that he was guranteed last year. DuncanvilleISD was voted #1 in Texas for proper handeling of funds for Fiscal year 08-09, I think something is being done right. NO staff members are being laid off. The $6million shortfall from state has already been covered. The Fund balance is at $24million… that very much covers the 6mil.

    Dr. Ray is such a great guy and I know he is concerned about this story. While we know and he knows that nothing wrong has been done, he worries about how this will look to citizens. No worries Dr. Ray, I am an empoyee and citizen with a kid in the Duncanville ISD district and I know that this is fair.

    I encourage everyone ( especialy Duncanville residence) to get the real story. Someone posted Channel 8’s story. Go to the and see the different explanation.. and then make the comment.

    1. Clever Journalism.. but says:

      Just wanted to updated and add what TexasISD had to say about this story…


  35. Homer Fincannon says:

    Will be covering some of the inside information on this weeks “Duncanville Happening Blog Talk Radio Show. Saturdays at 4:00 PM Podcast anytime,free call in number

  36. Patricia Campbell says:

    I live in Duncanville, my kids attend Duncanville schools, and I teach for the district. I pay my taxes and have been served well in return. I saw the Channel 11 interview on You-Tube and believe that Dr. Ray was much too polite to the interviewer. I would have informed him in the middle of the interview that I had already answered that question and asked him his agenda. Hooray for Channel 11- it delivered another slam to Duncanville, that little ‘burb to the south of Dallas, which will endear you to your North Dallas audience. Superiority feels so good even if it is fictitious. The Channel 8 story was about the Duncanville ISD and superintendent that I know. Thanks, Channel 8!

  37. Why restructure his salary? says:

    I am trying to understand why the school board restructured A. Ray’s contract. If I understand it correctly, every year he is supposed to receive a bonus (if he deserves it and if the board votes for it). He is supposed to receive an annuity if he agrees to stay another year. The bonus and annuity are incentives for A. Ray to do an outstanding job and to continue as Superintendent for Duncanville.

    What isn’t clear to me is WHY did the board decide that A. Ray didn’t have to prove himself to receive a bonus and didn’t have to stay on as Superintendent to get an annuity. The board decided to remove the leverage it had over him–they did away with making him perform and said –here is a bonus and annuity in a straight salary and you no longer have to answer to us. You get the extra 16.5% increase regardless of what kind of job you do.

    If I am correct in my understanding of the restructuring, then I think we should all be concerned as to why this restructuring occurred.
    I also understand why two school board members voted NO. A. Ray may be doing a great job for Duncanville, but I worry that he is no longer accountable for his actions. The school board just handed him a salary with no conditions.
    This reminds me of the banks, their CEO’s get large bonuses while everyone around them are suffering–but they are supposedly doing a good job. I wonder how the school board evaluates their superintendents–do they expect him to raise their ratings–if that is the case then he failed on that one-Duncanville schools are in the same standing now that they were 4 years ago.

    1. Clever Journalism.. but says:

      Restucture to save the district money in the long run..

      1. Its all about TRS says:

        All of you who think he’s getting a raise are morons…….and I tell you the exact reason why his contract was restructured. At the end of this contract he is retirement eligible. This will probably upset some people…..but here is what is happening. Teacher retiremnet systems pays you 80% of your 3 highest years salaries for the rest of your life when you retire. It doesn’t include bonuses and all that other jazz. His contract was restructured to get him paid more in his retirement. This is typical for all sups when they get close to retirement…….

  38. Homer Fincannon says:

    Dr.Ray Super DISD-Good Times- Movin’ on Up-Taxpayers Da’ “Shaft’ Today on Blog Talk Radio 4:00 P.M. 30 minutes or more March 5,2011 , free call in numbers 1-661-554-9167 or 1-877-552-4062

  39. Samuel Adams says:

    The fact this “public servant” makes 230K plus is ridiculous – no matter how “good” a job he does. The whole public school system is out of control and should be abandoned. Government at every level is out of control, with only 50% of citizens even paying taxes. I saw a statistic today that 63% of citizens will be dependent on the government by 2018. I fear it will take mass societal uprising to bring about any material change. I fear for my children.

  40. Rileallople says:

    You made some decent points there. I looked on the internet for the issue and found most individuals will approve with your website. Acrylic Chairs

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