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Tuesday, October 14, 2003
If you hate the excessive salaries of CEOs...Just wait until you hear what the administrators of Head Start are making.

Excerpts from the Kansas City Star:

The federal government is questioning $814,142 in salary and bonuses paid to the local Head Start executive director. KCMC Child Development Corp. has 30 days to repay part or all of that amount or justify why Executive Director Dwayne Crompton's pay over a three-year period does not violate federal regulations. Failure to do so could cost KCMC its Head Start contract to educate low-income preschoolers, according to a letter sent to KCMC and obtained by The Kansas City Star. Federal officials said they didn't know of any Head Start director in the country making more than Crompton, who has received annual compensation of more than $300,000, along with a leased luxury car and other perks...

"I guess it's based upon value," Crompton said. "I've been here 26 years."
...Health and Human Services questioned Crompton's compensation package for the fiscal years ending June 30 in 2000, 2001 and 2002, which included performance bonuses, auto and group life insurance, a signing bonus, vacation cash-out and retirement income. According to tax forms filed with the Internal Revenue Service, Crompton's largest compensation package in that period was $343,064 in fiscal 2001. That included a $56,119 bonus for signing a new contract with the agency.

In fiscal 2002, his compensation totaled $307,503, according to tax forms filed by the nonprofit agency. In fiscal 2000, KCMC reported to the IRS that Crompton's salary package was $157,800. But Windy Hill, associate commissioner of Head Start, said in a telephone interview that deferred payments and other benefits boosted the 2000 total to $237,153. Crompton also got annual performance bonuses ranging from almost $60,000 in 2000 to $16,000 in 2002.

In the June interview, Crompton acknowledged that the agency also leased a Mercedes sport-utility vehicle for him. The $600-a-month lease was paid in part with federal Head Start funds.

In contrast to Crompton, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, whose $500 billion department includes the Head Start program, makes $171,900 annually. Wade Horn, the assistant secretary whose divisions include Head Start, is paid $134,000.

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