Seattle's public schools' diversity employees are among highest paid in the system

Keisha Scarlett had her salary increase in one year from $158,451 to $226,695 after she was appointed as the chief of Equity, Partnerships and Engagement.

Updated: January 20, 2023 - 6:33am

Seattle Public Schools is focused on addressing the "legacies of racism in our education system" and has made its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion employees among the highest paid in the district.

The top administrators for the African American Male Achievement and the Department of Racial Equity Advancement are among the highest paid in the district.

James Bush had his salary increase from $151,480 to $214,714 from 2020-21 to 2021-22, according to salary information provided by the state of Washington. Bush received that 42% pay increase when he was promoted to the chief of Equity, Partnerships and Engagement.

Mia Williams made $231,229 as the chief of the office of African American Male Achievement in 2021-22.

Manal Al-Ansi made $154,662 in 2021-22 as the director of Racial Equity Advancement. She has eight people in her department.

Keisha Scarlett had her salary increase in one year from $158,451 to $226,695 after she was appointed as the chief of Equity, Partnerships and Engagement. In 2022, Scarlett was promoted to Chief Academic Officer and made $231,229 in 2021-22.

The Seattle Public Schools has made improving the academic proficiency of African-American boys the focus of its "flagship goals." One of the goals is to improve the 7th-grade proficiency on the Smarter Balanced Assessment in math from 23% in June 2019 to 45% in June 2024 and to 70% by June 2026.

The highest-paid employee in the district (not including the superintendent) made $242,087 in 2021-22. A first-year teacher with a bachelor's degree made $63,180 in 2021-22 in Seattle Public Schools.

Tim Robinson, lead media relations specialist for Seattle Public Schools, didn't respond to an email seeking comment.

School districts around the country are hiring diversity administrators in high-paid positions. For example, the Columbus City Schools hired Dionne Blue as its first chief equity officer in June 2000. Blue made $163,034 in 2021-22 and was the district's seventh-highest-paid employee.