Yael T. Abouhalkah

Yael T. Abouhalkah: Don’t boo super-sized salaries for Mike Moustakas — or school superintendents

Chasing the all-might dollar happens in professional sports — and in education.
Chasing the all-might dollar happens in professional sports — and in education.

Mike Moustakas will earn close to $50,000 a game to play baseball for the World Champion Kansas City Royals, thanks to his new $14.3 million contract, over the next two years.

Yay!

Lee’s Summit Superintendent David McGehee is making almost $400,000 in total annual compensation to lead his award-winning school district.

Boo!

That seems to be the general feedback on some social media outlets over the past 24 hours.

Yes, we still have a big disconnect between what too many Americans see as “fair” salaries for their sports superstars vs. what’s “fair” for educators who have one of the most important responsibilities in society: teaching our kids and leading others in doing that.

The Star’s story on pay for Missouri superintendents explains that McGehee is the best paid one in the state. Many others earn far less — in the range of $100,000 a year — to lead school districts.

That’s still a good chunk of change.

But superintendents’ jobs carry great weights in the communities in which they serve, too. They are leaders in guiding the education and thus futures of many boys and girls in those cities and towns.

Meanwhile, Moustakas is an All-Star baseball player, one of the best of the best at his third base position in the small world of Major League Baseball players.

Kansas City fans are expected to flock to Kauffman Stadium this year to see Moose and the boys play. There seems to be no end to how much attention or money we will bestow on our sports heroes.

So, yeah, he’s probably earned that huge salary.

But ... McGehee has won top awards in his field, been an educator for several decades, and his district is in the “major leagues” of schools in Missouri when it comes to size and accomplishments.

Moustakas averages about 145 games a year, will practice on his days off and will — let’s hope — once again delight Royals fans in 2016 as the team goes for a repeat of its World Series title.

McGehee will have to live with the dubious honor of being singled out for earning less in a full year than Moustakas will get for playing eight baseball games.

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