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Ten and a Half Important People Paid Less Than Palm Beach County Superintendent Wayne Gent

​The Palm Beach County School District approved a $225,000-a-year contract for Superintendent Wayne Gent last week. Gent was named interim superintendent last year after parents booted Art Johnson from the spot; now he's got the permanent gig. Oh -- and another $66,000-per-year pension that he gets for retiring in 2010, then getting rehired for the same job a month later. Totaling somewhere around $291,000, that's a pretty sweet paycheck double-dip.

Exactly how sweet is it? With people on television arguing over billions and trillions, it can be hard to keep a quarter-mil here and there in perspective; here's a list of people who make less than the guy who runs Palm Beach County Schools:

Six and a half Floridian households combined
Census numbers from not too long ago put Florida's median household income at just under $45,000, which means Gent earns a little more than six times the average household. We have to be competitive, though! The big money will draw the big names. And we've got the cash -- oh... they're $50 million in the hole?

More than two Rick Scotts
Yes, Gov. Rick Scott is technically taking only a penny-per-year salary, but he's entitled to about $130,000 a year -- way less than Gent is getting paid to run a school district in one small corner of the state.

Any congressman
The annual salary for members of Congress is $174,000, but pay is higher for the congressional leaders ($193,400) and speaker of the House ($223,500). Gent has them all beat, even without his pension.

The U.S. Secretary of Education
Arne Duncan's salary (as of 2010) was $196,700 -- though that does come with all the glory of being an adviser to the first Kenyan president while Gent is stuck down here with an extra 95 grand. And a free take-home car.


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