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Your tax dollars at work

Fort Wayne Community Schools is the second largest school district in Indiana, with 30,992 students. It is the third largest employer in Allen County with 4,265 employees, behind only Parkview and Lutheran health systems. It has 51 schools, a food service operation, health-care services, a transportation fleet and an annual budget of about $264 million.

FWCS' leader has 38 years of experience in the district, a doctorate in educational administration and two master's degrees in addition to her bachelor's degree. She also served a fellowship with the prestigious Broad Superintendent's Academy, a 10-month executive management training program.

Still, Wendy Robinson's $211,000 annual salary is a continual target in anonymous rant columns and local blogs.

But compare Robinson's pay to the starting salary for Matt Bell, who turned five years of experience in the Indiana General Assembly into a position leading Ivy Tech's new Corporate College. He will earn $225,000 a year, according to a college spokesman.

Government paychecks apparently are outrageous only when they are close to home.

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at