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Salary for new Richmond superintendent is highest ever

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

At its meeting Monday night, the Richmond School Board voted to pay its new superintendent the highest salary the school system has ever approved.

Dr. Dana Bedden will receive a salary of $225,000 a year plus incentives, a car and moving expenses.

Addressing the school board Monday, Dr. Bedden said that he's worth the money and that the salary is fair for Richmond's size.

The board agreed approving the contract unanimously.

"Our last salary for Dr. Brandon was too low," said Don Coleman. After serving on the school board for five years, Coleman was unanimously chosen to serve as the school board's new chairman Monday.

He says, Dr. Yvonne Brandon's $175,000 yearly salary wasn't enough to attract the type of superintendent they wanted.

"We understood up front that we had to make an investment to get a quality candidate like Dr. Bedden," said Coleman.

In addition to his base salary, Dr. Bedden can earn up to ten percent of his base salary, or $22,500, in bonuses if he hits certain criteria like reducing the drop-out rate, increasing SOL test scores and improving students' overall academic performance.

"It's not like we've got things in there that are just someone's opinion," said Coleman. "These are actual measurable metrics."

Dr. Bedden agrees but says, the changes won't happen overnight.

"Some things will be addressed early and quickly and other things will take time but no matter what we want the community and parents to be engaged. I want to see parental involvement increase."

As the new school board chair, Don Coleman says he and the other board members have confidence in Bedden's vision for RPS.

Monday night, Kristen Larson was voted as the school board's new vice-chair over Maime Taylor. Dr. Bedden's start date is January 13.

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