Calif. Superintendent Volunteers for Major Pay Cut

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Education professionals often say that no matter what -- the students come first.  However, with budget cuts and a lack of funding, it's getting harder for many to practice what they preach.
    
But one California school superintendent is putting himself, and his salary, on the line to help his school district.

Fresno County Superintendent Larry Powell is retiring this week -- but only for one day. Then Powell will then come back to the exact same job -- for a fraction of his former salary.

"The public and my employees won't notice any change at all.  I'll be here doing my same job.  But I'll just be doing it for a few dollars less," Powell said.
    
His current salary, plus benefits, costs the district $288,000 a year. Starting next week, he'll be making $31,000 and won't have benefits for the next 3-and-a-half years.

"This takes about $830,000 and sets it aside," Powell explained. "If we face some mid-year cuts, I can have the money ready to go and it doesn't affect our employees."

That $830,000 is enough to hire 20 new teachers, fund 16 pre-school classes, or pay for 11 art programs for an entire year.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called Powell on Monday to thank him for his generosity.

"Larry Powell's leadership is an absolute inspiration," Duncan said in a statement.

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