But ethics and education experts say the true price might be much higher because nearly half the money came from anonymous private donations.
The unusual contract buyout announced Monday ended Arlene Ackerman's turbulent three-year tenure in the district. It totals $500,000 in taxpayer money and $405,000 in private funds.
Some argue the donors' names should be revealed so the public can know who gave money and what their motivations might be.
State Auditor General Jack Wagner said Tuesday that he would look into the severance package.