Jeff Riley

A 2% increase would bring Education Commissioner Jeff Riley's salary to $245,820.

[Coverage Developing] The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Tuesday approved a 2% salary increase for Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley after his first year on the job, describing his performance as "positive and inspiring."

"We would prefer to underline this endorsement with a greater salary increase, but we are limited by budget constraints," a memorandum recommending the salary increase said. The memorandum was prepared by a committee that reviewed Riley's performance, consisting of board Chair Katherine Craven, Vice Chair James Morton and member Amanda Fernandez.

Riley is currently paid at an annual rate of $241,000 and a 2% increase would bring that salary to $245,820.

Morton, who chaired the review committee, said at a board meeting in Revere that Riley scored an overall 4.1 out of 5, including a 3.8 for facilitating student growth and achievement; 3.75 for management and operations; 4.5 for external relations and communications; and 4.75 for board support and interactions.

Themes that emerged during the review were Riley's support for the arts, commitment to diversity and inclusion, "willingness to think outside of the box," and "unparalleled" outreach to the community, including visits to more than 100 schools, Morton said.

"It was felt that the commissioner is creating high expectations, that he has a commitment to excellence, that he wants all students to be served well, and that he is committed to narrowing the persistent achievement, opportunity or proficiency gaps, whichever you prefer to call them," Morton said.

~ Katie Lannan/SHNS