In response to public criticism of the Department of Education, Commissioner Ruby Simmonds on Wednesday issued a statement breaking down some of the personnel costs in the department "to provide clarification to the misinformation being widely circulated."
"Contrary to recent reports," Simmonds said, "this department does not have a thousand administrators among its personnel." She said non-school administration, support staff and executive staff total fewer than 200.
Of 3,027 employed by Education, Simmonds said nearly two-thirds are involved in student instruction, including teachers and paraprofessionals. Another 7.4 percent are assigned to maintenance and custodial services; school administration represents 7 percent of Education personnel.
Just over 5 percent — 160 persons — are school counselors, nurses, social workers and diagnosticians, and 2.5 percent support instruction, including librarians, curriculum coordinators and supervisors and audio-visual staff.
"A mere 3 percent of the department's staff is not represented by a union," Simmonds said. "The majority of our administrators are represented by the Education Administrators' Association, whose membership is comprised of principals, assistant principals, coordinators and supervisors of specific instructional areas or specific disciplines."
The department also released a list of all its personnel making $30,000 a year or more. Of the 131 EAA members employed in the V.I., none drew a salary of less than $40,000, and 43 were making more than $60,000 a year. Nearly 40 percent of all AFT members in the territory made less than $30,000 a year.