LINCOLN — The Omaha Public Schools' new superintendent would be required to post online his salary and fringe benefits under a bill introduced in the Nebraska Legislature Wednesday.
Legislative Bill 274 would require school districts and educational service units to make public the compensation provided for top administrators.
The information would have to be posted annually on the district or ESU website and provided to the State Department of Education.
State Sen. Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha introduced the measure.
He said he did it to address concerns raised by his constituents about the fine print in the contract for retired OPS Superintendent John Mackiel. Their biggest concern was that the public did not know about many of his fringe benefits.
“I think this will create a better utilization of public funds,” Nordquist said.
In 2011, The World-Herald revealed that Mackiel's salary represented just 62 percent of his total estimated compensation of $413,607. Among the add-ons were a retention incentive, vacation payout and an annuity.
Last year, OPS board members were surprised to realize the contract called for him to get a $1 million payout upon his retirement, in addition to his retirement pay.
OPS spokesman David Patton said Wednesday that district officials will review the bill. But he noted that the superintendent's contract has always been public record.
Nordquist acknowledged that the information was public record but said it was not readily available.
Mike Dulaney, executive director for the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, said the organization supported the bill.
“We believe that it's a fair request for school boards and ESU boards to post those contracts online,” he said.
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