A NYC public school special education official is accusing the DOE of racial bias for paying her considerably less than non-Black colleagues in the same positions. Barbara Wedderburn-Simpson became a boroughwide special educator in 2019 after spending almost 20 years as a teacher, school psychologist, and supervising school psychologist. She was paid a salary of $125,000, which is $14,000 below the annual salary of the next-lowest paid colleague with the same title. Special education directors are not union members.
Not only were two other directors who started in the role after her paid $20-25K higher than her $125K salary, she also claims that her pay was lower than the DOE’s management employee pay plan. In the lawsuit, Wedderburn-Simpson says that she addressed the pay disparity from May of 2019 when she was hired to February 2020. She was eventually given a raise, but is asking for compensation for months she was not paid as well as additional damages. The DOE is currently reviewing the lawsuit.