Legislators trying to wrestle state spending to the mat in 2011 might want to take a look at management in the state Department of Education.

According to the Oregon state government transparency website, the department last summer had 37 people employed in the job category of “principal executive/manager.”

The department runs the School for the Deaf and, until it closed, ran the School for the Blind, along with being in charge of educating incarcerated young people. It also rides herd, more or less, on the nearly 300 school systems, demanding reports, and handing out school funds.

Still, 37 executives, most of them making more than $90,000 a year, and four of them getting paid $134,000 a year?

For an outfit that doesn’t have much to do directly with what kids learn in class, it sure chews up a good chunk of education cash.

Trimming the department would not do much in the overall funding crunch for Oregon schools. But it would set the right tone for the other cuts that will have to be made.

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